If you need content that provides expert advice to readers who may be unfamiliar, it makes sense to employ an expert to write that content, doesn’t it? They have all the information, they know everything that needs to be covered in each piece – the expert should be the obvious choice.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but a complete novice might actually be a better choice. They are approaching all information for the first time, learning as they go, and realising exactly the same questions any unfamiliar reader would have. They may not know what should be covered, but they certainly know what the audience will expect to be covered.
Here are 3 reasons a writer who is a novice in your industry will write with more authority than an expert.
Not knowing about a subject is a huge advantage for a writer. The exploration of various sources will give them a breadth of understanding that doesn’t just cover the topic, but also brings perspective. This intense research shows the writer how other writers have approached the subject, where they have been successful and where they have confused the issue.
A simple rule for every form of writing is this: if the reader doesn’t understand what is being said, it is not good writing.
For an expert in any field, having such a vast knowledge can get in the way of simple explanation. Separating issues out into the basics when you are so used to handling all the information at once can be difficult.
Not so for the novice writer. During the research period, they will read through pages and pages of information. Unlike the expert, the novice writer will notice clear paths through information. In other words they will realise that ‘if I want to understand this, I need to know what that is first.’ This provides a route through the issue that will inform the structure of the written piece.
Simplification and Explanation
You live and breathe your industry, which probably means you use all sorts of jargon, acronyms and brand names others won’t be as familiar with. Your novice writer will notice this, and, more importantly, they will go on to provide explanations in their copy.
They know that if they need to Google a word in order to find out what it means within the context of your industry, an unfamiliar reader will need to do that too. The trick is giving them the information within the writing, rather than making them leave your page to get a better explanation elsewhere.
This is where all that research comes in.
The novice writer will know which explanations made sense the first time, which added in extra details that might be useful later on and which were just incomprehensible (even now they know what they are meant to mean!). From this knowledge, the novice writer can tailor their own explanations to create a cohesive answer that will satisfy the basics as well as the extra, expert details.
Novice to Expert
They might start as novices, but quickly your writer will become an expert on topics relevant to you. This means that, having learnt everything in the same way that your readers will, they will also be able to provide content that demonstrates your expertise while being approachable and readable.
As the novice writer develops their knowledge of your field, it is likely that they will continue to research and stay up to date with current trends and demands of your industry. In an effort to keep up, the novice writer is far more likely to go out of their way to stay current than the expert who feels they already know it all.
It is this self-awareness that keeps their writing fresh, on point and accessible to all readers. It is also why many writers who started with no knowledge of an industry actually end up knowing far more about it than their clients.
It is the job of a writer to research, comprehend and then explain ideas. While an expert will likely have already conquered the first two parts of the holy trinity of good writing, missing these steps could result in complex writing that fails to grasp the basics before moving on.
If you want to explain something well, ask someone who has never heard of it to explain it. Only they will remember the learning process.