If you want people to take you seriously, you need to sound like an expert, right?
The internet is littered with advice on how to write like an authority in your field, but you might want to add a pinch of salt to it all.
It’s not that you shouldn’t sound like you know what you’re talking about. The problem lies in the way many of us think an expert ought to sound.
To live up to the weight of the word, we make choices we would never make in normal conversation. We douse our readers with information, say everything in the passive tense, or write in a superior, distant tone. ‘Verbification’, oversized paragraphs, and using words that are way too short or way too long are the other main hallmarks of expert writing gone wrong.
None of this helps us convey knowledge or authority; it just builds up walls between us and the people we’re trying to reach. Here’s how to share your expertise – without letting it get in the way of your message.Continue reading
The day I went from having to follow strict briefs to being able to choose what I wrote about was a watershed moment for me. It was a new, open-ended project in the beauty sector, with a broad, vague content strategy and the brand’s objectives to guide me. Other than that, I had free rein.
I charged full-steam ahead, firing off blog posts, product descriptions, email content. Naively, I just assumed the ideas would keep flowing. But very soon, the well had run dry.
That’s when I decided to turn to science for guidance. But not for the data—for the story. This simple shift of perspective almost instantly raised my game as a writer. When I decided to pick apart just why it worked so well, I found it came down to nine core strategies.
At the time, I had already been incorporating science into the content I was writing for clients in the beauty sector—a statistic here, a study there—to back up whatever hair or skincare point I was making. This time, though, I wanted to put the science at the center.
But did it make sense to go this level of geek in the most aesthetic of fields? I had my doubts.Continue reading