How to Become an Expert in Any Topic – Video

Are you afraid to pitch an idea because you’re not enough of an expert in the topic? In this video, I share two secrets for getting around that block. Enjoy!

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55 comments… add one
  • Short, sweet, succinct! Thanks, Linda! Am sharing this on my Facebook author’s page.

  • Michele

    As I embark on building my freelance career, this peptalk comes at an opportune time. And what a terrific first video! None of the uming or uhing that so many speakers torture their audience with. Excellent message delivered in a professional manner. Thank you.

  • A video! Branching out. Nice job. I’ve been thinking about adding vids to my blog, too. You’ve inspired me to get on it. 🙂

  • I was going to tweet this at you, but thought I’d leave a comment here instead – great first video, Linda! I look forward to watching more from you.

  • Excellent first video, Linda!

    This comes so at the right time for me. I was just discussing this with someone the other day. I had my own doubts about touching subjects I’m not exactly an expert in.

    Your short but to the point video pushed my concerns away at last. It gives me the confidence to approach topics I’d love to write about (yet hesitated to do that) and, in the process, become the expert.

    Keep adding more videos!

    • Thank you…I will keep doing more videos. In the meantime, pitch some of those pet ideas of yours and let us know what happens!

  • Natalie Zett

    “Stay one step ahead” may end up being my mantra for 2013!

    Great info about growing your own areas of expertise, too.

    Thanks so much, Linda!

  • Linda,

    You did great! That information is exactly what I needed to hear right now. THanks so much!

  • Ah, like the video. I’ve been wanting to branch out in video. So cool. Good job, Linda.

    I tout these very points in my conference sessions. Thanks for making it so clear!

  • Great tips, Linda. I am very guilty of over-researching and overthinking and then still hesitating because I feel I don’t know enough. I will put this advice to work as I prepare to send queries next month. Loved the video. Keep ’em coming!

    PS: Love the new hair, too.

    • Thanks, Roxanne! And about the hair — I’ve been letting it grow since late spring. It was SHORT.

  • Hey Linda,
    This is brilliant! A double shot of instant confidence. More potent than caffeine. I love it!

    “I think you’re going to be surprised.” I think I am, too!

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Thanks so much for this video! I am glad I took the time to view it. I have been considering freelance work but kept talking myself out of it for this very reason. Thanks for saying, “You don’t have to be an expert to write.” I desperately needed to hear that! I also concur with the other commentator–very professional delivery. Great job on your first video!

    • Wow, I’m glad it resonated with you! It’s a refrain I hear from almost every mentoring client.

  • Thanks Linda. Loved the video and the 2 secrets you shared. I write but mostly via stories and it doesn’t necessarily fall into a particular category but your tips gave me positive reinforcement.

    I’ve also thought about a video in the future and am so happy for you on your first one. You made it look so easy with such an expression of confidence.

  • Wow! I almost deleted this email and I’m glad I didn’t. I’m always interested in writing information but have a a lot coming to my inbox and skim it for what might be something I’d enjoy reading. Sharing this on my web page – great stuff! I’m really looking forward to the next one and I won’t even think of deleting it! Thanks Linda!

  • I love your video! As an auditory learner, I got so much more out of that, rather than reading an article. The temptation is to scan the written word, looking for the key ideas. But, with your video, it felt more like a conversation.
    I love it!
    Please do more of them.

    • Thanks, Tim! I was actually hesitant about doing it because *I* prefer to skim a website than watch a long video. That’s why I kept the vid fairly short.

  • Great video, Linda – congratulations!.

    I’ve always loved your practical, no-nonsense approach to cutting through writing blocks. It’s especially powerful to see you deliver ’em on the screen. Looking forward to your next video!

  • Congrats on your first blog video. I love it!

    Plus, the topic is a confidence builder when I’m writing the “What’s so great about me” section of my query.

    Thanks a bunch for sharing the advice.

  • Awesome first video, Linda! I love what you said about how being an expert means just being one step ahead of the others. It’s a very motivating thought and it encourages writers to research and tackle certain topics, even if they aren’t necessarily scholars in those fields.

    I’m looking forward to your next video. 🙂

  • Karen

    It’s like you’re inside my head! ha! As an aspiring freelancer this very thing keeps me stuck way too often. So glad I watched this today. Thanks for always giving such great advice!
    Love the video, too! Karen

  • As a freelancer writer/editor myself I can understand why this scares most of us.

    I think your video is right on time Linda, congrats and keep them coming!

  • Diana Burrell

    Great video, but wow! I didn’t recognize that hot chick for a minute. I love your hair!

  • Wow! How do you keep from saying “um”” It plagues me in almost every presentation I’ve ever done and even in casual conversation.
    You speak with such clarity in your voice and ideas.
    I appreciate having another solution for building confidence…I need all I can get.

    • Thank you! Haha…I learned long ago that if you have any pauses in your speech, it’s better to just have silence than to fill it with an “um” or “er.” That said, I have to fight to keep myself from saying “You know” a lot.

  • Hi Linda, ditto what everyone else has said. Being an expert in an area can be a hindrance especially if you want to work in different areas. Love the video!

  • I really appreciate this video and the great advice. It’s very encouraging and doesn’t make it feel so daunting knowing that I only have to be one step ahead. I guess one thing I’m struggling with right now is wondering how and where freelance writers access the “experts”. When I was in grad school, I had tons of academic journals and databases at my fingertips for free. But, now those would cost a lot of money to access. Plus, how do I know which journals to access and what experts to follow? It all seems a bit overwhelming and confusing to me at this point. I’m very new at this and just trying to learn the ropes and get my feet wet. I’d love it if you could address this topic! 😀

    • Welcome, Ali! If you’re writing about health and fitness, you might want every so often to check out and Science Today, which run health news and press releases. Also, to find research studies (for free!) try BUT — be careful not to overwhelm yourself with too much information. A lot of great ideas come from your own experience as an expert and someone interested in health. What are your clients talking about? What questions do your friends have about fitness? What bothers you? THAT’s where the ideas come from.

      Good luck!

      • Hi Linda, wow, thank you so much for your reply and the helpful resources! I’m going to check them out right now. I have several ideas that I think are really exciting and interesting, but feel I need some research to back them up. This is all a bit overwhelming for me since I’m just starting out. I feel like I have no clue what I’m doing. I’m really thankful for your blog and the guidance it provides. I read your book on query letters recently and found it really helpful. Thanks again! 🙂

  • Great first video Linda! Put bluntly, it takes a lot of guts to make one and get your “whole self” out there (I’ve yet to do anything more than an audio).

    I’m in agreement with the above. This could not have come at a better time. The Renegade notification has been sitting in my inbox, but a massive server crash (hosting side) had me scrambling since last Saturday (missed all the Den stuff and more this week, but I survived).

    Now things are settling down, and voila! here you are providing the motivation and inspiration to remember what part the writer plays in this… and not become overwhelmed. Love it, thank you!

    • Thanks for your comment, Theresa! I was nervous to put myself out there…I’m confident that I know my stuff, but I feel uncomfortable being on camera. That said, I can talk about writing FOREVER, so it went well.

  • I’m so impressed by the value you provided in less than five minutes. The advice was simple and plain, but it’s exactly what I needed as a new writer.

    I remember a friend of mine sort of snubbing my idea when I said I wanted to write stories about music and musicians. Her comment was, “Well you really have to know your stuff, though.” At the time, I thought exactly what you said in this video, I don’t have to be an expert, I just need to research. But even though I knew that, I never actually attempted to pitch a story on music. Now I kind of want to write one just to show her that I can.

    P.S. Have you written any posts about how to deal with friends that almost seem like their waiting for you to fail?

  • Dee Child

    This is a great video. I have often wondered about this aspect of writing & your presentation answered my questions. Very well done & easy to listen to. Thanks!

  • Julie Bates

    You helped me see that writing is a viable career. You gave honest and direct advice that made perfect sense to me. Thanks!

  • This was awesome! I’m a huge note taker and I had popped open a Word doc to take notes as you spoke, but I found I preferred to just sit and listen–soaking it all up. It was as if I was sitting across from you, and we were having a conversation. Thanks for the great (as always!!) advice.

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