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  • Writer's pictureDan Purdy

Firsthand Experience – Your Digital Content's Superpower

I want to take a moment to highlight an aspect of content writing that I feel is increasingly disappearing in the wave of easy research: firsthand experience. Readily accessible information makes researching any topic, even those you have no experience with, incredibly straightforward for a basic blog post. Take the facts, weave in a little content, apply some wordsmithing, and there's an article. But I feel there's still something lacking, and your audience will too.

That item is firsthand experience. Climbers know when they're talking to other climbers just as engineers know when they're talking to engineers. The shared experiences, common vernacular, and mutual understanding between like-minded individuals create a powerful bond that acts as an instant ice-breaker, even in digital content. That's precisely why our writing team includes everything from engineers to backpacking guides.

Sure, you can research a topic to death and make certain you're providing useful and relevant information. But your work still needs to connect with the reader on a personal basis before they become regular readers or customers. This connection takes time and significant effort to attain, involving multiple posts, direct reader interaction, and continuous useful information.

Injecting firsthand experience, however, cuts through this difficult connection building like a hot knife through butter. Your target audience will instantly recognize that they're talking to one of their own and recognize that the article or blog post is both relevant and trustworthy.

So how do they know? Well, subject-specific vocabulary is a good start. Climbers know the pain of crimpy routes and the joy of sending onsight. While that jargon may mean nothing to the uninitiated, it's classic terminology that immediately creates a more personal and relaxed connection with any climber in the audience.

Subject-specific examples are another avenue to win over your readers quickly. You can discuss engineering design processes to death with facts, figures, and advice. But throw in one reference to haggling with suppliers, and you'll have tapped into a classic frustration that most engineers have faced. In so doing, you may elicit a slight smile or snort of understanding and create a personal bond with your reader at the same time.

These two examples of firsthand knowledge may seem trivial in the grand scheme of your content marketing. But trust me, they aren't. Facts and researched information will only take your content so far. But it takes a personal touch to form that coveted trusting connection with your audience. Show them that you know where they're coming from, what they need, and understand the challenges they face.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not marginalizing the importance of the other aspects of your content by any means. Accurate data and exhaustive research are both crucial pillars of your digital content edifice. But an approachable writing style glazed with firsthand experience is the grand entryway into your work. It's enticing, engaging, and immediately generates a sense of camaraderie between you and your readers. Once you establish that essential connection, you'll find it much easier to present your ideas, products, and advice to a receptive audience.

In this age of endless digital content and advice, online readers are drowning in an infinite sea of resources. Prove your worth with firsthand knowledge, and your audience will recognize a valuable read.

At BestDraft LLC, we practice what we preach. We take great care in pairing each project to a writer based on experience, not just writing prowess. Our rock climbers discuss climbing, our backpackers cover hiking and camping, and our engineers tackle technical topics. The result? A delectable concoction of useful information, appealing storytelling, and firsthand experience to interest and engage your audience.


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