If you write for niche markets, read this post where we look at four ways to approach writing for a specialist audience.
Writing about specialisms requires dedication, research, and practice. Great writers understand the preferences and particularities of different communities, professions, and topics.
We’ve listed some ways to think about specialist audiences and your approach to writing for them.
4 Ways To Approach Writing For A Specialist Audience
1. Understand their motivations (and fears).
Great writing keeps people engaged.
How do you do that? You need to play to expectations and manipulate emotions. You need to use persuasive writing.
Take advertising content. How does it succeed? Typically, when it taps into people’s desires.
Great ads highlight a problem and offer their product as a solution.
Writers need to create these emotional reactions from readers in their target markets.
An example: The VetCompPen website is a classic example of specialist content. Look at how they approach a sensitive topic. They show an understanding of veteran struggles. They know how hard it is to get benefits and compensation. It’s not just authoritative, it’s reassuring. Readers are now at ease and open to promotion, and all this is achieved through effective, considerate communication. Businesses need to earn their consumer’s trust. VetCompPen does this by using soft language. They care for their readers and understand their concerns. Awareness is communicated clearly.
You can find hundreds of examples of this online, including these:
- The project management tool promising to save you time.
- Subscription services that remove a painful weekly chore.
Brands such as Beer52 take this a step further. They make treating yourself more convenient.
Great copy achieves this goal. The writer and brand know their appeal and what the audience wants to see. They establish a calm, secure tone. Then, they sell.
2. Communicate in a language they understand.
Understanding your audience is important. But it’s just one part of your wider writing aim.
Look to communicate in a specialist’s language by positioning yourself within their community.
That doesn’t mean writing in English, French, or Spanish. It doesn’t even mean using slang or memes. It’s about understanding and naturally integrating their culture into your writing.
How do you do this as a newcomer?
- You do your research.
- Read other blogs, website content, and journals.
- Videos and podcasts can teach you about the hot topics in that field and show you how they’re discussed.
Then you can reflect what the experts are saying and how they say it.
Position yourself as someone who should cover these topics. It makes your writing more engaging. Writing with authority outweighs having all the facts and it’s a crucial part of adapting.
Take your research beyond the surface level. You want to find communities where people discuss specialist topics naturally. This can guide your writing to suit their preferences.
3. Embrace experts.
A good writer spends more time researching than writing. To cover a specialist topic with the respect it deserves, you need to consult and learn from the experts.
Speaking to and observing experts gives you a greater understanding of their specialisms.
Don’t expect to understand everything. You’re looking to emulate their language and tone. In this research exercise, it’s just as important to analyse the individual as it is the topic.
Borrow language quirks and topics from these experts and channel them in your writing. Readers are familiar with and trust this tone.
This style is more appealing and impressive to publishers and clients. They want something that requires little editing.
Specialist writers are adaptable. Learning how to adapt comes from reading and listening to experts in that field. Imitation is healthy sometimes.
4. Don’t abandon the basics.
We know knowledge and authority are important. However, it’s equally vital to get the basics right even if your work is targeted at specialist readers.
Never ignore the basic principles of writing for the web.
It can be tempting to show off when writing. Long, winding sentences are not your friend. Aim for short, snappy ones. They make the content easier to digest.
Layout and formatting are equally important. Online readers particularly dislike long paragraphs that make it hard to find information quickly.
Nobody wants an information overload. Specialists equally don’t want surface-level understanding, especially when it’s disguising itself as informed. Write for the expert, but consider the novice.
‘Specialist’ doesn’t mean impossibly complex. Great specialist writers make content accessible to everyone.
The Last Word
Writing for a specialism isn’t all that unique. Research like a journalist. Focus on motivations like a novelist. Play to the conventions like a copywriter.
These tips will help guide your writing into something more fitting and enjoyable.
by Hollie Jones. Hollie Jones is an expert lifestyle blogger who lives for writing. Hollie’s drive, passion and background come from the arts and media sectors. She’s worked with some of the biggest and most responsible brands in the world, making her ideally positioned to offer lifestyle support and advice. You can read her latest blog posts on Hollie and the Ivy, where she shares tips and advice about her passions while having a lot of fun along the way.
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