Go From Clueless to Credible Blog Writer in No Time


When you’re writing your own personal blog, you likely know your subject well and are highly interested in it. On the other hand, if you’re writing a blog for a company or multiple different brands, you may not have the same understanding or interest beyond wanting to connect with their customers. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t still provide high-quality insight and “expert” knowledge that readers keep coming back for. 

You’re obviously reading this now because you’re interested in blog writing yourself and the many benefits it provides, from establishing credibility in your industry to engaging and building relationships with your target audience. To reap those benefits, your blog needs to give readers something useful to them, typically accurate, relevant information that helps better their lives in some way. 

Now, if you’re explaining highly technical information and/or providing a main source of education to those operating in highly complex and critical fields, then I’d highly recommend you get it straight from the horse’s mouth, or in this case, the expert’s pen. Otherwise, if it’s not life-and-death information you’re providing, and you’re a competent writer in your own right, there’s no reason why you can’t craft a blog even if you’re not a so-called expert. 

As a senior writer for M:7 Agency and this Beyond the White Noise blog as well as a former supervisor of copy for a major sporting goods retailer, I’ve written for a wide variety of themes and industries. I’m no manufacturer, real estate agent, soccer player, carpenter, or outdoor enthusiast, but I’ve had to write as if I were. If you’re looking to do the same and give justice to the topics you have to cover, check out the following nine keys to writing blogs for just about any subject, which are also applicable to other writing content such as brand journalism and press releases.

Keep in mind that writing about the unfamiliar is going to take more time and effort at first than it will months down the road. However, the more you write about a particular topic, the more of an expert you will become, and the quicker you’ll be able to connect dots.


1. Research, Research, Research 

Before starting to write your blog, you have to dedicate time to researching and becoming familiar with your subject. From your research, you’ll start gathering information and data you’ll need to write. Oftentimes, your research can even help shape or change the direction of your piece as you write it. Even for experts, getting supporting information as well as other points of view serve to bolster your creation. 

It’s extremely likely that others have tackled your topic before, so why not take advantage of it? Once you get a good grasp of what others have to say about it, you can shape your narrative into something a little more original, whether it’s a different take or angle. Even novelists, fiction and nonfiction, research their subject matter, from the towns they depict to the intricacies of a main character’s job.

While you probably shouldn’t always trust what you find on Wikipedia or other open content sources, it does serve as a good starting point and comes in handy for straight-forward, practically set-in-stone content such as some (not all) scientific, technical, and medical details. 

How do you get to most information online? Through search engines. How do you optimize those searches to quickly get to the best information relative to what you’re attempting to write? By knowing the right words and phrases to type. If you’re a good writer, you should be better than most at unlocking the right type of material for your blog to reference, cite, quote, paraphrase, and get inspired by in the infinitely large fount of information that is the Internet.


2. Make Sure Your Sources Are Legit

I hate to break it to you, if you don’t already know, but much of what you read online is neither factual nor original. You’re more likely to find shades of truth or outright lies than the actual truth.  While we do have this vast wealth of knowledge at our fingertips, on our smartphones, laptops, tablets, and PCs, it comes with a great amount of misinformation sprinkled liberally throughout. The key is getting good at finding and using sources you can trust.  

Nothing will sink your blog faster than giving out false information, whether purposely or unintentionally. While you may get away with a mistake here or there for a while, soon your audience will catch on that your writing isn’t exactly credible, and that’s a bad reflection on you and the business or organization for whom you may be writing. 

Unfortunately, even the websites, news sources, and “experts” you’ve always thought you could trust can get things wrong and eventually become a poor source. So, don’t be too hard on yourself when you quote, cite, or paraphrase them and it turns out wrong. That’s not on you. But as they say, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. Just like people will move on from your blog if your information doesn’t line up with the facts time and again, so should you move on from unreliable sources.


3. Get Direct Input From Relevant Experts

While this can be a difficult and time-consuming task, from finding experts and scheduling meetings, it’s always better to get the input of people who know the subject best, whether through phone calls, emails, in-person interviews, or their published works. Few things can add credibility to your writing like facts, direct quotes, and paraphrases from those holding relevant degrees and intimate knowledge of your topic.


4. Cross-Reference Your Sources

Like hearing gossip “through the grapevine,” as factual information passes from one source to another, it can be slightly altered. The more it gets passed along, the greater the chances that the information will be distorted, either unintentionally or purposefully. To ensure that your writing is as precise and thorough as possible, you have to avoid trusting just one or two sources. Always work from and cross-reference multiple sources to verify your material. As you do, you’ll end up weeding out the bad ones.


5. Fill Your Copy Palette

Like a painter must gather the different paints on their palette before starting to create, a blog writer must gather the different pieces of copy from which to pull and blend together. 

When you find pertinent information that helps you understand and will help you write about your subject, copy and paste it in your Google Doc, Word, or other word processor.

Just like a painter’s palette keeps its colors separate, your writer’s palette works best when you separate portions of copy. Organize your information in “silos” as you shape your outline and the order in which you’ll be presenting information. Because, unlike paint, it’s not easy to visually tell the difference between masses of copy, it also helps to top each section with some sort of title  that’s easy to distinguish (e.g. larger sized, underlined, or bolded). This will help you keep your train of thought and more quickly sift through information. 

As you fill your copy palette, you’ll realize if and when you have enough information to start. Sometimes, with little incoming information to work with, you’ll have to adjust your topic or change it all together. As you pull from sections of your palette, you’ll naturally be editing copy and deleting the stuff you decide you don’t need.


6. Eliminate Redundancies 

When working with multiple sources, it’s easy to get repeating and redundant information. With the rise of AI, you’ll find that one article or blog entry can have those redundancies within itself, as one of AI’s achilles’ heels is not being great at eliminating them. You don’t want redundancies as they hinder from the reading flow and make it look like you didn’t do your due diligence both writing and proofing.


7. Link to Your Sources  

An essential pillar of effective SEO strategies, the inclusion of relevant external and internal links shows search engines like Google that your page is useful to viewers. Whether they connect to reports, surveys, articles, or other sources of information, links help you make a persuasive case for your topic and credibility. Don’t overdo it though. Too many links can look spammy and also adversely affect your SEO. A few links per page of copy in your document should do. Also, if you’re writing for a business, make sure that your links don’t take your readers to competitors’ sites. This can be tricky, but through sheer creativity and diligence, you can usually find linkable sources that won’t steal your customers.


8. Get Another Set of Eyes on It

As with everything you write, it’s essential to not work in a silo yourself where it’s easy to develop tunnel vision and miss mistakes or confusing and inconsistent copy. When you’re an amateur at your subject, it’s even more important to get another set of eyes on your copy so that they can point out when you didn’t explain something correctly or simplify it enough.


9. Continue Learning About Blog Writing 

There are tons of articles and blogs online like this that give expert insight into blog writing. Reading some of these will help you learn tips and techniques to hone your skills. For instance, check out our previous take on how to create an engaging, brand-boosting blog.


While it’d be nice to be an expert at everything you write, that’s typically not the case. Hopefully, these nine keys to writing blogs for just about any subject will help you when writing for topics you’re not all that familiar with. 

Now, should you need expert guidance or like someone to take over blog writing for your brand, we’re the actual experts that you can trust to give you a hand. Contact M:7 Agency today with all your blog writing or other creative, communication, and strategic needs.