Do you follow a process when writing content on difficult topics? What do you do? Do you follow a process?
For many years I have been writing on technology, and a majority of my current clients come from this field, so, it rarely happens that I come across a topic I find difficult. Comprehensive, yes, even exasperating in terms of quantity and scale, but not difficult.
Nonetheless, there are times when I am baffled. The topic is alien or I don’t have enough knowledge. The fact that sometimes it is not possible to find information on the web exacerbates the matter further. Or the template provided by the client is designed in such a manner that finding and writing content based on the layout turns out to be a Herculean task.
So, what do I do? My first source is the client. In most of the cases the client isn’t eager to pay for the time I may have to spend on research, so he or she eagerly sends me the needed information. For example, I request some links that explain the topic. I don’t waste my time researching for it because I know that for the client it will be faster to find the right information.
If the client is ready to pay me for research, I do my own research. Sometimes I don’t even tell the client that I’m charging extra for research; I simply prepare the quotation in such a manner that the time for research is also included.
These days it’s easy to find information on the Internet provided you know what to look for, and where to look. Starting to write can be a problem, especially when there is gap in understanding.
I start with randomly jotting down my thoughts. I don’t even bother with complete sentences. I pick up phrases and expressions from the reference links. My sole focus is on the words and expressions that I’m writing. I try to get comfortable with them. I even write random sentences with these words and expressions that have got nothing to do with the current article or blog post.
Another thing that helps me is that I’m not trying to prove myself as a better writer. I don’t need to impress anyone. I need to inform as clearly and with as few words as possible. I need to educate. So, even a sentence containing 3-5 words would do.
But the reality is that the client demands certain number of words. Suppose I’m asked to write about the benefits of creating digital wallets with blockchain technology and the blog post must be 1000 words.
Without worrying about those 1000 words, I simply focus on the central theme. I may create bulleted points listing all the benefits of such digital wallets. I may write a paragraph.
Then I start creating the context. Context is very important to build a narrative. For that, I may explain what digital wallets are, what is blockchain technology, why more businesses are using digital wallets and why more businesses are using blockchain technology. This gives me a few hundred words.
Then, I find examples of businesses actively using digital wallets in general and digital wallets built on blockchain technology in particular.
After having written 500-600 words, I grow comfortable. Afterwards, if you ask me to write 3000 words on the topic, I can manage even that.