You must have come across a situation where people come to you with a project about which topic you do not know anything. Yes, and asked to make the material expert. It was? How many times have you taken an order to work and failed? In the article I will tell you how to competently build a process and hand over quality material. Based on real events: personal experience, proven methods and examples.
So, the sequence for writing expert articles, if you are a strong-willed and organized author:
- Step 1. Introduction to the topic.
- Step 2. Defining the goal
- Step 3. Choose a format
- Step 4. Collecting information from the customer
- Step 5. Find additional information.
- How to check information
- How to process information
- Step 1. Dive into the subject.
- Step 2. We make the structure
- Step 3. We write
- How to understand that you did everything right
- How to write expert articles if you are not an expert: conclusion
How to collect information
We go to the company or to the production, we look, in the hands we turn, we test. We assign interviews with a bunch of specialists. We step into the library for books and magazines, then we sit, we read all this and delve into every word.
Or we personally experience the situation, apply the cream to the face, build a house of aerated concrete blocks. And then we talk about the results.
So do the units and then, when in an ideal world in an ideal sky the stars successfully converged.
How to be?
Step 1. Introduction to the topic.
First of all, do independent work. Learn about the subject of the article. I start searching for information by determining what is needed, where it is applied and for whom it is relevant, how it works, what is the difference from the other exactly the same offers or goods, what results it gives. This helps to understand the subject in a basic way, outline a plan of action, and work out questions for the customer.
Step 2. Defining the goal
What do you want to achieve with the help of the text: so that the reader sees the benefits in the service, understand the harm of gluttony, changed his attitude to the product? It is necessary to collect material to write on the case and not lose the thread of the story.
Just to tell is a bad goal. Good material indicates the direction to solve any problem and gives an answer to the question of how to achieve. Explain the reasons, offer a solution and an alternative. In this regard, all egoists: the reader wants to talk about him and the benefits / benefits for him.
Step 3. Choose a format
The presentation of the material is selected depending on the topic, the objectives of the text and the audience (B2B or B2C):
- solution to the problem;
- methods of use;
- review of the pros and cons;
- feature overview;
- Comparative characteristics.
The format directly depends on the goal: if you want to teach - write manuals, give information for reflection - reviews, show differences and help with choices - reviews with elements of comparison.
Step 4. Collecting information from the customer
After the first independent study of the topic and determination of the preliminary goal, communicate with the customer. It is important to know:
- Needs: why text, what are his goals.
- Who is the target audience: the townsfolk, novices, advanced users.
- Where you can get information about the product with relevant data: on the website, from internal documentation, the customer will tell or will be with specialists, he may recommend sources.
Further, the brief helps with the customer. If this method is inconvenient, speak on the phone. Just do not torment the customer with calls every day about and without him. Specify all the details for 1-2 conversation.
In the conversation, you can miss some detail, misinterpret the words and come to a false conclusion. It will be awkward. After a call, always tezisno duplicate information in writing and confirm with the customer by mail, Skype or other messenger, if you understood correctly. And to not forget anything, use the recording of the call.
This step is excluded if you are writing, for example, for an informational and educational magazine. In this case, the editor will help with the direction, tell you what issues it is important to reveal and what to focus on, but no more.
Step 5. Find additional information.
A talkative and enthusiastic customer who shares information is the dream of every copywriter. And if you could not get enough information? There are many ways to find information, they are obvious, but they do not always work. Why and what to do, consider below:
When it works
When not working
How to be
Independent testing of goods, services, service
- free probes will give, open access to the cool service;
- you are interested;
- it is useful in the future;
- you rushing from the "research" work.
- there is no possibility to get the goods;
- there is no time for "experiments";
- The result must wait for a long time.
- read reviews on the customer's site;
- if there is a video on the site - be sure to look;
- use independent otzovikov, for example, irecommend.ru, otzyv.ru, otzovik.com and others.
Learning manuals and instructions
- you are technically savvy.
- information submitted too concise;
- you have no idea what the power affects, why you need a CISS in printers, or how the “resolution” differs from the “expansion”.
- resort to instructions when accurate technical indicators and characteristics are important - for the rest they are useless.
Acquaintance with internal documents and company reports
- the customer is ready to provide all the necessary documentation.
- the documents have commercial information "not for prying eyes";
- style and presentation for specialists: narrow terms, professional slang;
- Documents were developed for a tick.
- just forget about this method and return to it if the customer himself provides the documents.
Reading books, reference books, specialized magazines
- there are new publications not older than 3 years (data quickly lose relevance);
- written in human language, not programmers for programmers, for example;
- literature is in the public domain;
- there is no more information anywhere.
- you do not know what books or magazines to look for. They certainly exist, but it is not clear how to find good ones;
- and if you know, then the literature is available only after purchase;
- To find an interesting idea, you need to shovel a lot of inappropriate.
- in some topics will help sites with scientific reports, for example, nature.com, and news releases of the Air Force - briefly, succinctly, easy to find;
- look on foreign sites. For those who do not know a foreign language at a sufficient level, translators will come to the rescue. For a start, you can automatically translate the page, and if there is a goodness in the material, use electronic dictionaries, for example, Lingvolive or Multitran.
- there are direct competitors who do better than the customer’s company. And the last one talks about it.
- there are many competitors for whom it is not clear to look.
- If there is a list from the customer, see it. In other cases - the top five in the issuance of keywords, below - time wasted.
Appeal to experts in the field
- you are familiar with experts;
- it is possible to officially appoint an interview to a professional;
- The customer brings together with employees who are in the subject.
- it is not known where to find experts;
- strangers will not waste time answering for you or the answer will come in a month;
- some charge consultation fees;
- the person is an excellent specialist, but he does not know how to explain to others.
- Look at the forums or communities on Facebook, "VKontakte";
- if you decide to contact the guru, ask 2-4 open-ended questions at once (why, why, how);
- Offer to make a link to the expert: both a detailed answer and a person advertisement.
It is not necessary to use all methods of information retrieval: porridge in the head from incomprehensible data has not helped anyone in writing good articles. Usually there is enough communication with the customer and 1-2 ways from the table.
Where to look for information in the first place, if you cannot interview the customer and / or experts? The diagram shows the order of all the methods that I use:
How to check information
Reliability - the main criterion for the selection of information. Fact-checking will help determine the reliability and truthfulness of the information. With it, you objectively and impartially look at the data, make their independent and accurate assessment.
Doubt! Be skeptical of sources from the Internet, media, reviews, words of a well-known interlocutor. Drop the emotions. Accuracy is more important than sensations. Before you write about something, check and confirm.
Find the source - which would be correct - is unlikely to succeed, therefore:
- Collect information from several independent sources.
- It is better if you get information from different "camps": from supporters and opponents, producers and consumers, people with positive and negative experiences.
- Focus on the official data and statistics, GOST and standards.
Doubt truthfulness - do not use. Different sources provide conflicting information - do not use. Failed to confirm - do not use.
How to process information
Collecting information and facts is half the success. Now it is important to mix everything and comb.
Step 1. Dive into the subject.
The deeper into the topic, the more questions arise. However, not all that you can dig will be really needed by the reader. Limit coverage based on audience and objectives.
A detailed portrait and analysis of Central Asia, as well as the method of "taking the side of the reader" help me in my work on the text. What would be interesting to know on the topic, what facts and data would convince me and help me achieve the goal? What advantages would you pay attention to, and what absolutely doesn't matter?
Step 2. We make the structure
It can be a plan, sketches of individual parts, or “torn out” ideas-phrases, taking into account the goal (where we are going) and tasks (how we are going). I prefer to use theses and a list of questions that I want to highlight in the article. Along the way, the points, their order, the names will change - this is normal.
The plan will help to structure information, create logic, not to forget about important points, to direct the flow of thoughts.
If the structure is difficult, there is a lot of information and you cannot select the points immediately:
- copy the found information to a file;
- shuffle it: move paragraphs logically and consistently;
- clean from unnecessary;
- based on the resulting text, write your article, adding examples, cases, illustrations, usefulness and not forgetting the goal.
Step 3. We write
Remember, expertise is not knowledge of clever terms known only to a specialist. Expertise - to deeply understand the topic and submit reliable material is available and understandable to everyone.
Slang and technical wording should be used carefully: for ordinary consumers, they will be incomprehensible, and a professional can find mistakes. If we already took up the use of a specific language, specify the meaning of words.
Postpone the article for 1-2 days.
How to understand that you did everything right
Read the article. For you, the information is useful, important, convincing? Aim to solve reader problems? Tips and recommendations doable? Are you talking more about the reader than about yourself? If there is at least one "no" - rewrite so that it is "yes".
Evaluate the result will also help:
- those who do not understand the topic at all (yes, yes!);
- colleagues working with a similar theme;
Take the finished article to someone who does not know anything about the subject of the article: does he understand everything, what questions arise, did the text help, did there not be unnecessary digressions? So you will see spaces and places for improvements, and sometimes even rewrite the text. Well, if the person will be from your target audience.
Criticism of colleagues helps to identify weak pieces, hear advice, look at the article from a different angle. But be prepared for a situation where "all garbage - redo it." And to get the most honest answer, do not say who the author is. Sometimes colleagues cannot remain impartial and turn a blind eye even to obvious misses, fearing to offend you or spoil the relationship.
Do not hesitate to ask your friends about the pros (of course, if there is such an opportunity), specify the necessary points. The expert will correct inaccuracies, will place accents and give recommendations.
How to write expert articles if you are not an expert: conclusion
- Suitable material will work if you show interest in the topic. It is noticeable when the author is bored and does not need anything. This affects the manner of the narration - the text is obtained forced. Do not trash and do nothing mechanically. To do this, set yourself a goal and answer why you are writing: for the sake of money, public relations, in order to save the Internet from trash.
- Try to understand the topic. This is the only way to present the reader with useful and intelligible material, to let him understand. You will not understand - nobody will understand the article.
- Accompany the text with visual elements that illustrate and complement it. Screenshots, pictures, tables, infographics, and if there is still a video shot by you - in general, beauty. And remember, in the pictures from Google there is no soul.
- Share real-life cases and examples.
- Give specific, feasible advice, tell about the chips, open more useful information and facts, offer the reader a choice.
... And you will be gorgeous!