But I’m Not An Expert!
Photo Credit: surprise truck
One piece of advice that gets passed around when choosing a topic for your website is that you should pick something you are passionate about, or at least interested in. You’ll also hear a lot that you should be an “expert” so that you can write good articles for your site.
That immediately sends some people into freak-out mode.
BUT I’M NOT AN EXPERT IN ANYTHING!
So let’s reel it back in a bit and break down what that actually means, and how anyone, including you, can create an awesome (and profitable) niche website about just about any topic.
What’s an expert?
When starting out in a niche, we do not need to hold a PHD in our topic of choice. In fact, we don’t need to know anything at all.
If you spend just one week doing 1 hour of research per day reading about your website topic in forums, blogs, and Wikipedia, you will now know more about it than most of the worlds population. Think about it, most people just don’t know anything about how to raise backyard chickens.
Do 5-10 hours of research, and now, according to 1 billion people, you are now a very knowledgable person on how to raise chickens.
Who To Target
When we start out in a niche, we do not want to target folks that are looking for ultra detailed information. Going back to the chicken example, I don’t want to start out writing about chicken biology or the history of chicken evolution and other complicated subjects.
I want to tackle the simple things. The stuff that complete and utter newbies would search. Because now, I’m not a newbie :)
- Common chicken foods and where to find them
- Can I raise chickens in the city?
- How many eggs do chickens lay daily?
These are very basic ideas that you can research in an afternoon. Write a 500 word article the next day (link), and now we’re on our way to having a great website.
As you grow your base of basic, newbie articles, your knowledge will grow too. Now you can expand into medium level topics. With all of your basic knowledge, now, some of the more complicated stuff doesn’t seem so hard anymore.
- What are some common chicken illnesses and how to cure them?
- How to build a chicken coop in my back yard
- How to hatch baby chicks at home
Our audience has grown from complete newbies, to somewhat experienced chicken lovers. In fact, we can probably have a pretty good conversation with other chicken lovers on forums and on their websites.
Out knowledge begins to grow exponentially as we learn more vocabulary and do research on a regular basis. You can pretty much see where this is going…
Advice From a Friend
I thought about writing this post today because I’m thinking of getting a pet rat. No, they are not gross. They are super cute.
Anyway, a buddy of mine has two pet rats. He is by no means an “expert”. He’s just a guy with two rats. But he knows a lot more than me, for sure!
So instead of searching the internet like a normal person, I texted him for lots of advice on how they do in cold weather, what they eat, what kind to get, if there are rescue rats I could buy, etc etc.
Because he was a trusted voice. I didn’t really care that Wikipedia probably knows more than him. I trust HIM to give me honest, friendly advice.
This is your goal as an internet marketer!
Another huge worry people have is that they don’t sound professional on their website. Stop worrying. People searching the internet for information want friendly, easy-to-understand advice/answers.
Very often, the “expert” articles are too complicated or wordy to really appeal to the average user.
By breaking things down into simple language, and distilling all the noise of the internet into a 1 page, readable, user-friendly answer to people’s searches, you now have a fan, and potential customer.
The Big Picture
Next time you write an article, don’t think about the ONE guy that knows more than you and will think your website is dumb. Think about the ONE HUNDRED people that know less than you and are happy that someone finally created a website that easy to read, friendly, and has a real person they can talk to.
It doesn’t matter if you are not a so-called “expert” right now. Your knowledge will grow with time as you research, write, and talk with people interested in the same topic as you.
Addition: One more thing I thought of. You have another advantage!
Many website currently ranked are written by these guys:
- Marketers that outsource their writing and don’t check the work of their writers or don’t care
- Hobby bloggers that don’t post regularly and have low standards since they don’t make money from their site
- News sites that are worried about clicks, not engagement with real people
- People that do a good job but will give up later for whatever reason
As a dedicated (and persistent) writer, i.e. someone that cares about delivering good content your audience, you can blow these guys out of the water with consistent, quality writing.
Did you start out as a newbie then learn a lot about your niche?
Are you worried that you don't know enough to have a good website?
Let me know in the comments!