To write remarkable content, you need two things: a great writer and
someone who knows the ins and outs of your industry.
The catch is, it’s not often that you find one person who can fill both
roles. So, whom do you choose to produce your content—the writer who has a
way with words but no technical experience, or the technical expert whose
writing is bland or, worse, utterly unreadable?
Fortunately, you have another choice: using your technical experts as
subject matter experts (SMEs) to inform and guide your writers. For this
option, you or a writer would conduct an interview with an SME to get the
details of the topic and then use that information to write a well-informed
piece of content.
That often introduces another challenge: getting exactly the information
you need from your SME (versus the information they want to give you).
Though he or she probably has a wealth of information, it’s not always easy
to get what you’re looking for.
To start, go into the interview prepared. Though your SME might be a
primary source of information, a basic understanding of the topic will help
you ask intelligent questions. Imagine going into an interview for a blog
post on protecting your computer network from ransomware-when you don’t
have a clue what ransomware is.
You’d probably spend a good chunk of time talking about the basics, without
getting to the meat of the topic. If you’re already an expert on the topic,
brush up on your interviewee’s background so you understand his or her
specialties and position on the subject matter. If you’re new to the topic,
make sure to come to the table with:
- A knowledge of key terms related to the topic, industry trends, or