Know Your Topic

by | Oct 5, 2009 | Marketing & Selling

Part One of: Is Your Copy Convincing? 7 Ways to Show Authority In Your Writing

This is the first in a series of seven blog posts where I will share seven ways to show authority in your writing. This series is an expansion of this video.

If one of the purposes of your writing, whether for article directories or your blog, is to showcase your expertise, you need to convey authority on your topic. Yes, this may seem like a no-brainer, but you might be surprised at how often this can be overlooked. In this series of blog posts, I will share seven things you can do to express confidence, authority and expertise in your writing.

1. Know Your Topic
This should go without saying, but there are plenty of people out there writing about topics they know nothing about and didn’t even take the time to do a little research on. When you write, you should know your topic well enough to be able to show your readers that you not only know what you’re talking about, but that you have an idea of what they might want to know about the topic. Believe me, readers can tell if you are bluffing.

You can do this in several ways:

1. Talk their language. Each group of individuals has a unique set of terms that are used commonly. Some are more developed than others, but you need to know the terms your target audience will expect to hear from an expert on that topic. Not only that, but you need to use the terms correctly. For example, I’m not going to be writing about Hip Hop anytime soon. I may be down with OPP (or not), but I’m just way to much of a dork to be credible to that audience.

2. Know more than your target audience on the subject. My belly dance teacher once told me, and I’ve since heard the same thing from other very wise teachers, that you only need to know more than your students in order to teach. You don’t need to be a be-all, end-all expert on the topic. You just need to know more than those you are talking to.

3. Write with confidence. I think that it was Jack Palance who once said that confidence is sexy. And he’s right. It can also make you an expert in the eyes of others. Would you think to learn from someone who constantly down plays their knowledge and hedges all their bets? I think not.

In the next post in this series, I’ll discuss proving your experience.

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