No, this has nothing to do with product reviews and whether it is ethically okay to write reviews about products that you have no first-hand experience of. That debate has already been done to death with people expression views from both sides of the fence. Here, I’m talking about the ordinary blog posts other than product reviews.
I have always wondered if you could make people sit up and take notice of what you put out there if you’re going to say (or remotely sound like saying), “Hey, I haven’t seen it myself but I think this is the way it works. I’m almost sure about it.”
One of the primary lessons in content marketing is to write on stuff you already know and help people with your content. There are different types of blog posts that we write – it could be an instruction, a list, tutorial, cheat-sheets, infographics, strategy or an inspirational writing. You know, it could be anything.
If you’re a beginner yourself, you are still in the process of learning. Day in day out, you are bombarded with new information and you have realised that it is important for a beginner to publish posts frequently.
If you’re in a niche that you are knowledgeable about, say something like your hobby, writing will not be much of a problem.
But if you’re in a general and highly competitive niche like Internet marketing or its sub-niches, chances are that all topics have already been covered in many blogs.
As such, it is never going to be easy to find the angles to make your writing stand out from the crowd.
Above that, since you’re a beginner, you are not an expert on many things and hence that you cannot write much with absolute authority. The knowledge you’re having could be in bits and pieces, and you’ve yet to arrive at the final solution to the jigsaw puzzle.
Whatever knowledge you may be having are mostly second-hand knowledge ones that you have to forage from the many authority sites and blogs from all around.
Write Without a Hands-on Experience?
Let us examine a hypothetical situation.
Let’s suppose you are in a sub-niche of Internet marketing and you are learning about email marketing. From the resources found on the web and through some training posts or videos from a course you have enrolled yourself in, let’s say, by now, you have thoroughly understood why there’s so much gaga over it, why people are investing much of their energy on email marketing.
Your research is thorough and you have your basics covered nicely. You are now able to know how the whole thing works, why email is helpful in making conversions, why it is important to write good email copies, how to write those catchy copies, the comparative prices of the various Autoresponder subscriptions, the best service providers in Autoresponder, how to set up campaigns, the works.
While it is true that you know all these, let’s suppose, you’re yet to carry out a full-fledged email campaign yourself to promote your blog.
Forget about campaigns, you haven’t even bought the services of an Autoresponder.
Since you’ve equipped yourself with all the theoretical knowledge on email marketing, you may be tempted to write a post on it.
In such a situation, do you think you can write a blog post on the possible benefits of email marketing? Perhaps with a disclosure that you cannot verify the reliability or effectiveness of the strategy simply because you haven’t experienced it yourself?
What do you think the readers will feel if they realise that you have no experience in email marketing yourself and what you’re providing is nothing but a summary of all that you learned from various sources?
Can the readers (who landed on your page because of your great content and SEO efforts) be convinced of what you write and coaxed into taking up an action like signing up for something or clicking on that CTA of yours?
There are Audiences who are at Different Levels of Experience
As beginners, we do a hell lot of research on many things. We follow established bloggers, subscribe to popular posts, read and watch videos to learn. With such a rigorous learning schedule, we do manage to learn about the various strategies, about content creation and promotion. Theoretically, at least.
Can this theoretical knowledge be the basis for our content?
What is the best way to provide value to the readers when you do not have a practical experience on the topic that you’re writing?
When we start out, we build up a solid knowledge base to leverage it for our content creation.
So, when we write something, we are writing from our experience at that point and the people that will be interested in our writing will be the ones at a similar level of experience as ours then. They will be interested in our content if we are able to speak their language and if our writing makes sense to them.
As beginners, it is about sharing the experience at the level that we are at. If we look closely, at any level, we have different experiences that could be turned into a post – mistakes made (and to be avoided), the obstacles faced, the misconceptions, the strategies followed, inspirations, your various permutations-and-combinations of blog strategies, etc.
As we progress, we climb up the different levels of experience.
It’s No Use Getting Hung up on Experience
Some people tend to delay writing about things and wait for the ‘experience’ to happen.
They get too hung up about putting their thoughts out there and hesitate writing till they get to a certain level of experience or till the time they have results to justify what they are writing about.
Is it really impossible to write anything from whatever little experience that you’re having?
Can you not write about your own mistakes, about the wrong choices you made, about why you think Internet marketing is a game-changer, why it’s easy (or difficult) to achieve success in affiliate marketing, about how your experience has been so far in your blogging journey, about tips on starting an online business by absolute beginners, about your own experience of the WordPress platform, etc.?
If you look closely, you can write about so many things from a beginner’s perspective. And you can well manage to hold your ground if you choose to.
The articles that you write may not find takers from the experienced group but there will always be beginners like yourself who will relate easily to what you’re saying. This is because, whether you realise it or not, you’ll be speaking their language only.
We Should Not Blindly Follow the Experts
As beginners, you are likely to follow the experienced people who “have been there, done that” and you may even try to incorporate all their strategies into your own.
Many beginners tend to follow online gurus blindly on the assumption that replicating their strategies would bring them success. There are advantages in following successful bloggers but this should not make you believe that you could recreate their success by following the same strategies.
Not all that an expert says resonates with the beginners. In fact, when they are at an advanced level and even though they make the effort to communicate with the beginners effectively, sometimes their writing and the strategies fly over the head of most newbies.
An online business is about making your own mark. It’s not about copying successful people’s strategies.
Remember, no two journeys will be alike. Every Internet marketer’s journey is unique because no two individuals’ life situations are going to be similar.
READ MORE: “Should We Blindly Follow Experts?”
Finding Your Own Angles
So the answer to whether we will be able to write on a topic without a hands-on experience will be a resounding YES.
Much of the frustrations in your blogging journey will be centred on your ability (or inability) to find your own angles for your posts.
Nobody likes to sound contrived.
There are ways to dig deeper within your niche.
You can always share your personal experiences. People connect better when you write about them – about your fears, insecurities, joy, and hope.
There’s no end to learning.
There’s no point waiting for the day when you will understand everything because that day is never going to come.
Even the world’s most famous names in Internet marketing learn new things every day.
Mistakes will be made and there’ll be new ways of looking at the same thing.
Keep learning. Keep writing.