Are you thinking about becoming a freelance writer but worried you’re not an expert on enough topics?
When I started writing I thought the same thing. In fact, it almost prevented me from taking that leap. How did writers know so much about everything? These wordsmiths had to be the smartest bunch of people in the world.
Lucky for me, I stumbled upon their secret. You don’t have to know that much because there’s a world load of people who help you with your stories and articles.
I’ve written on topics I previously had no prior knowledge of, and with the help of the experts I interviewed, viola, it looked like I was really smart.
So how do you find the experts you’re looking for….
One site I always used was Profnet. I’d post a query about what I was looking for and what experts I needed and about 99 percent of the time, I’d get e-mails, either from the experts themselves or their PR companies with perfect matches. An added bonus is some PR companies pitch you additional ideas and you can turn them into articles you would never have dreamed about.
Help A Reporter
I know a lot of people use Help a Reporter. They sort of came on the scene when I was at the tail end of my freelance career so I don’t have any feedback to share with you but I’d definitely give them a try.
Pitchrate is another company that you can contact and tell them what you’re working on and who you need to find.
I also had great luck contacting associations and organizations who dealt with specific topics. For example, American Heart Association for lots of my health stories.
I’ve also posted, threads titled I need help with to various writing groups I belonged to and some nice person always had a recommendation about who to contact or where to look for research.
And while this all applies to non-fiction, I’m not leaving fiction writers out of the mix. We all need to do research on things like careers, police work, legal system etc. You can use any of the above to access experts for stories you’re working on. Some of them are so flattered that you’re asking their advice and I’ve found everyone loves authors. I think people know how tough it is to write a book and they also think it’s cool to be talking to an author.
I hope this post has helped you put some of your fears about not having enough knowledge, to rest. Best thing is you get to chat to lots of interesting people and you learn something new everyday.