So, you are a professional freelance writer. That means you write
good well. But, what are you an expert in?
Freelance Writer Expert Areas
If you are a client, or someone looking to hire freelance writers, do us writers a favor and click on a different article. This is secret writer stuff. Thanks.
The truth is that a professional writer can, with enough research, write about almost anything. I’m not an expert on changing the fuel pump in a Tesla Model S, but if someone gave me a manual, and maybe a mechanic to interview, I could write an article on doing the repair. (Just kidding, electric cars don’t have fuel pumps.)
As Dick Vitale once said, you don’t have to have had a heart attack to be a heart surgeon.
However, the reality is that no one besides writers thinks that is the case. Instead, people who work with writers often labor under the impression that you being an expert in a certain subject or topic is necessary for you to write about it. That is why, as a professional writer, you need to cultivate the knowledge that you are an expert about certain topics.
Expert In Everything
As a professional writer, there is always the temptation to claim that you are an expert writer in everything. As a writer, you understand the difference between being and expert writer in a topic, and being an expert in a topic, but not everyone else does. In fact, most people will assume that if you claim to be an expert writer in “everything,” or even “lots of things,” then what you really mean is that you are not an expert writer in anything.
Obviously, you don’t have to limit yourself to a single topic. On the other hand, you don’t wan to claim the expert mantle in too many topics either. The trick is to be an expert in broad topics so as to not overly limit yourself.
For example, as a former financial planner, I have a lot of experience both in finance and in writing about finance. The key to making this a usable skill is to not limit yourself. In my case, as a financial planner I did a lot of work with things like IRAs, and retirement plans, and 529 plans. So, naturally I write about those kinds of things, but I don’t say that I’m an expert in writing about financial planning. I also write about inflation, and employment numbers, contracts, and mortgages, even though I never actually sold or originated a mortgage in my life. The important thing to prospective clients is that I am an expert freelance financial writer, meaning I can write about most any financial topics, even if I need additional research first. But, because finance is a big world, there are actually a lot of things that people feel comfortable hiring me to write about.
Likewise, I used to do a lot of systems administration work, and I do quite a bit of web development work these days. Do I hold myself out as an expert in writing about systems administration, or web development? Actually, I have experience writing about numerous types of technology. Much of this experience came from clients that hired me to write about my direct experiences only to come to me later to write about tangential topics because they already liked working with me as a writer, and they knew that I had a “technology background.” As such, I do plenty of business with people looking for a freelance technology writer as well.
The key as someone building a freelance writing business is to present your skill and expertise broadly so as to not overly restrict your opportunities. What if you don’t have any expertise in an area you would like to write about? – Develop it.
You can publish anything you want on your own websites, or on other online publishing platforms. Start writing about something like cooking and in a few months you will have hundreds of cooking articles published. That’s the kind of expertise you can point to, and when someone comes looking for a freelance cooking writer, you’ll be ready and waiting as a newly minted “expert” in writing about cooking.
Bon appetit 🙂