How to create great content when you’re not a subject matter expert
When it comes to creating great content, there’s no big secret or magic formula. It’s all about thoroughly understanding the subject matter in question, and being able to convey this information in a concise yet compelling way.
But what if you’re not a subject matter expert? How can you still provide enough value to audiences that will encourage them to read and share your content for better online awareness?
Think of common questions relating to a prompt
First and foremost, start with a prompt. If you’re an Italian restaurant, think “fresh pasta.” If you’re an IT consultancy, think “antivirus software.” Next, you’ll need to identify the questions that people are asking relating to these terms and the information they want to know.
You can do this in a couple of ways – either type your prompt into Google and look at the People Also Ask feature, or use a tool like Moz Keyword Explorer for a drop down list of potential questions.
These tools will help you build an outline for your content, which needs to be both authoritative and valuable in order to rank highly. You’ll also discover what Google considers the target answer to be for these questions. Make a note of the top performing content for each query and go from there.
Identify and expand on key terms using content
For the Italian restaurant reference, the term “fresh pasta” could result in recipe questions. In this case, the key terms to identify and expand upon will more than likely be ingredients. Not only will this add value to the user, it could also help you better comprehend the subject matter for easier content creation.
An especially useful tool for identifying and expanding key terms is dandelion.eu. This free tool can identify noun phrases, which will then provide you with a description of what they are and what they mean. This will allow you to expand paragraphs you originally pulled from top performing content.
There’s a chance you’ll also find different terminology that your reader might not know about. If you’re able to explain this terminology better than anyone else, your content will start attracting and engaging wider audiences.
Create novel research
Novel research should start with Google Trends. By finding out about topics and behaviours from all around the world, you’ll be in a better position to create unique and engaging content.
With the term “fresh pasta,” you might find that recipes containing a certain ingredient have increased over the past few years because of health or dietary reasons. This is novel research that few others will be performing.
You may even want to bring insights, graphs and talking points from your novel research into your writing. After all, unique research is an incredibly powerful backlink technique.
Pull everything together
From your initial prompt to expanding terms and creating novel research, you’re now well positioned to pull everything together for a top quality piece of content. Here’s how to go about it:
- Rewrite for relevancy – Chances are when you write about a topic you’re not familiar with, you won’t use the correct language. Therefore, it’s really important to rewrite for relevancy with your audience in mind.
- Identify relevant words and phrases – One way to guarantee relevancy is with the tool nTopic, which will tell you all about the words and phrases you should be using in your content. This will make your content go further by adopting the actual language experts are using.
- Examine and improve your writing quality – It’s one thing making sure your content is in-depth enough and covers the right subjects with the right language. However, you’ll also need to make sure it’s written well, which is much easier if you use the Hemingway app. From correcting grammar to shortening sentences and using different words, it will return a number of actionable recommendations.
Take pride in your content (but don’t forget to cite your sources)
Once you’ve finished the creative process, all that’s left to do is post your authorative and valuable content. It will be factually accurate, extremely relevant and use the kind of language your target audience understands. Not bad for someone who isn’t a subject matter expert.
But before you hit publish, remember to cite your sources, even if they’re competitors. Your audience will appreciate the fact that your content is backed up by research and information provided by other professionals. What’s more, sites like Wikipedia cite sources every second sentence, and they rank for almost everything!