How to write for a technical — dare I say nerdy — market

A few of years ago I had a project that required me to listen to probably more than 10 hours of recordings of interviews with actuaries. I started the project the way you’d think. I googled, “What does an actuary do?” The first response that popped up was very interesting, but… it didn’t sound super exciting. I strapped myself and started to listen to the interviews, fully expecting to be sleeping in less than 10 minutes…

What I wasn’t expecting was that actuaries really get excited about what they do. And, not only that, but because of where we’re sitting right now in terms of massive amounts available data, a lot of them were stoked about what the future held for their profession.

To my amazement, I wanted to learn all I could about actuaries.

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Why You Really Do Need All That Research (even when you think you don’t)

Let’s talk research.

This is one of those things that people always balk at when they see it’s something you plan on doing. It’s seen as an unnecessary step to some, others just feel like it’s something they don’t need to pay for.

As much as it might seem like just something content marketers and copywriters do to fluff up their invoices, it’s probably the most important part of the writing process next to gathering up all the words and organizing them into coherent sentences.

Here’s why.

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5 Reasons Why A Failed Content Marketing Strategy Can Be Good For Your Business

A couple of years ago I went looking for a lake. I had heard that not only was it a beautiful spot, but the fishing was supposed to be excellent. In short, it sounded like the perfect spot.

So I did my research, plotted out my route, got up early and spent hours driving in a circle, not quite lost (I knew how to get back), but not really sure of where I was going. I kept ending up back at the same five corner intersection, not sure which road I should try next.


One of the many roadblocks I encountered.

Eventually I got frustrated and went to my backup lake for a few hours of the same old, same old.

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Are You Telling Your Story Correctly?

What’s your best story? I’m sure you’ve got one. We all do.

Mine is about a canoe trip I took with my brother. It was a great bonding experience, as we hadn’t seen much of each other during that time of our lives.

Wanna hear more? Probably not.

What if I told you that the bugs were so bad that we did what was supposed to be a 10 day trip in just 5? You might be a bit more curious now, wondering how bad the bugs really could have been. (The answer is awful. They were just awful.)

Now…what if I threw in the fact that we dumped our canoe after missing our final portage and had to portage through a seagull colony?

What you’ll probably find most interesting though, is that on the third or fourth day of the trip, we were nearly attacked by a polar bear.

“A polar bear? Tell me more!” you say.

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