With SEO writing and copywriting being the need of the hour, it is no surprise that technical writing plays a vital role in the IT firms and the field of science. Technology is evolving every day, and so is the connotation of ‘technical writing’. Today, it encompasses all documentation of complex technical processes, that involves engineering, biotech, aerospace, finance, global supply chain, etc.
As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for technical content writing is estimated to be 8% faster than the average. So, you can well imagine that the competition for the position of a technical assignment writer at any firm is extremely fierce. Hence, certain points have been highlighted below to help you stand out from the rest of the crowd.
- Select Your Domain
Technical writing involves various domains. Here, you have to choose which field you want to get into. Of course, if you have a Master’s degree in computer science, you will opt for IT-related technical writing. But, as you delve deeper, you have to decide whether you are comfortable with software review, or writing press releases on gadget unveiling. Thus, you need to have a knack for a specific field (even within the IT).
Irrespective of your choice, you must be well-versed with the subject matter. For instance, if you write about cameras, you have to keep a tab on the latest developments in the mirror-less or smartphone camera. You must be confident so that you can write technical reports, executive summaries, proposals, guides, etc.
- Follow the Trend
Today, robotics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, cloud computing are hot topics in the technology sphere. So, if you want to land a good and sustainable job, you might want to explore these domains. Even if you have in-depth knowledge, you must not take it for granted. You have to constantly update yourself by reading journals, blog posts, articles, news, etc.
Your task as a technical writer is to bring forth all the latest news that the general population might not be aware of. For instance, you can talk about cloud-based quantum computing and how brands like Amazon and Microsoft are integrating it. Your write-ups should be precise and articulate and abide by a specific word count.
- Work on Your Writing Style
You might have heard or read it in articles that if your research is solid, your write-ups would be top-notch. While it is true to some extent, there is more to it. Your content should be relevant and straightforward. And if there is any technical jargon used in the write-up, explain it for the benefit of the mass readers. Moreover, you need to validate your arguments with statistics and facts.
It is ideal if you think from the perspective of the readers. Imagine this. If you had to refer to a dictionary or use Google for understanding a concept, would you read that author’s content the next time? So, you should not use compound sentences and try to cover your points in bullet points. Thus, a sound technical article requires 50% research and 50% writing prowess.
- Incorporate Graphics and Illustrations
Just penning down lines after lines of information won’t do you any favor. You won’t get views in your articles or any attention unless you incorporate special attributes. These features involve graphics and smart arts. The pictures that you include act as an elaboration of the content you have written and not as a mere decoration.
For instance, you wish to write about Artificial Intelligence. For this, you decide to cite AlphaGo, a computer program acquired by Google. What you can do is paste images of ongoing games and statistics based on the results of the game. Moreover, you can shed light on the AlphaGo algorithm in a language so that both the professionals, as well as the non-technical people, can comprehend it. You are, in fact, most welcome to include flowcharts or smart arts.
- Do Not Specify Time-Bound Initiatives
Due to the rapid change in technology, technical write-ups have to be updated from time to time. Thus, if you are preparing reports, summaries or articles, do not insert any timelines. For instance, do not include sentences like “Let us see whether the software will be available for the people in 2019 or so.”
However, there are instances when you are allowed to specify dates. For example, if you are talking about Big Data, you can specify the data analysis results of a particular year. Try to keep your documents clear, so that it is comprehensible now and 20 years from now, so that people can understand the evolution process etc. Your write-ups will act as a source of information to the present and future readers.
- Share Links on Social Media
This tip is nothing new for the technical writers. If you want more viewership, it is essential that you share your write-up links on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. This is especially beneficial for those who work as a freelancer or have a firm or a website. In fact, 87% of marketers rely on these platforms for exposure.
You must advertise yourself, especially when these sites are free to use. If you post content consistently, you will find that people are communicating due to increased engagement. Moreover, you will find more traffic on your websites and landing pages.
- Use Examples and Cite Your Sources
The only way to prove that your write-up is legitimate is to include examples. Whenever you state an argument, provide evidence through appropriate cases. Moreover, do not forget to cite your sources, or your content will be considered plagiarized.
For instance, if you are writing a user manual for a smartphone, you should mention that the consumers are not supposed to chat while the device is being charged. But the fact alone won’t be sufficient. You must cite examples of incidents when the consumers were negligent, and it led to an accident.
There is massive scope for the writers in the technical domain. If you abide by the tips shared above, and you have the required writing skills, you will flourish in no time. The median annual salary for technical essay writers was $71, 850 (as of May 2018). So, this is a huge opportunity for you. Thus, you should pull up your socks and start improving your write-ups.
You should also consult with other experienced technical writers to know how they managed to get into a top-rated firm. You can even ask them about their approach towards acquiring validated information or how they organize their content. The more you explore, the more you will learn.