Monthly Archives: March 2016
Maybe you’re a business owner pondering ways to improve your young enterprise, and you’re considering using technical writing services to help you reach the next level. With money tight, however, you wonder: how exactly will technical writing services benefit my business? The rewards are many, so let’s boil it down to the most important ones.
Total control over your (perfect) message.
Your customers will never be left wondering what they’re getting, because you’ve already perfectly tailored and critiqued your message to them, with the help of an expert technical writer. If you’re not happy with the writing, your professionally trained technical writer will toil away getting your message just right, while you…
Worry about one less thing.
Your copier is shooting paper across the office, the phones are down and your temp exploded a can of soup in the new microwave. Using technical writing services means that your message is conveyed the way you want it, while you take care of everything else. While you clean out the microwave, people are being attracted to your website, and you’re making money. This leads to the third, and most important point.
You make more money.
Your message is set, your other problems are dealt with, and you don’t have to spend your own time on writing. Because you used technical writing services, you also avoided hiring another employee and all of the costs and liabilities associated with that process. Now you can sit back in your leather chair and watch search engine hits go up and money roll in, without even worrying about someone else not covering their dish in the microwave.
There are, of course, many other advantages associated with using technical writing services, but the bottom line is, it’s good for your business. You get exactly what you want and need, with less hassle, and you grow your business. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Sitting at home without any work can really be monotonous at times, especially when you have enormous technical writing opportunities available on internet. There are many types of writing jobs available online, and depending on your field of interest or expertise, you are really spoilt for choice.
Freelance writing work can be exceptionally stimulating and rewarding. A technical writer that is recognized for his or her applied knowledge can easily earn up to $5000 per month on a part-time basis. This amount can become even more if the writer opts to go full-time.
But not everyone has all the freelance technical writing skills which are required to deliver consistent high quality work all the time. As a minimum requirement, three or more of the attributes as mentioned below, are essential:
* Technical computer skills and expert use of word processing packages
* Knowledge about writing work including style and grammar
* Time management skills and the ability to concentrate
* Mastery in proof reading, editing and recognizing minor flaws
* Knowledge about useful day-to-day products and their markets.
In order to tart grabbing technical writing opportunities, you must take a careful look at yourself and establish whether the above mentioned qualities and attributes are residing in you. If some of them are lacking, it indicates a short-coming in your skills set, and you need to polish up in that particular direction, by attending a skills enhancement course.
You must not be reluctant in communicating with people online to get work. As a freelancer it will be beneficial for you to have a portfolio to present when seeking writing opportunities. There are many industries from where you can start your freelance technical writing career. These include;
* Daily transportation services
* Online Manufacturing markets
* Technical world of computers
* Various fields of engineering
* Construction industry
* Science and technology
* Governmental and related fields
To develop your freelance writing career you can very well select one of the above industries to make a quick start. For newbie’s in the technical writing field there a various available options. If you are a newcomer, then you can start by posting your portfolio on blogs and freelance writing websites. Well-known, authentic websites offering technical writing opportunities to aspiring writers includes Bright Hub and Wise Geek. It is also possible to gain experience by writing for online forums, and thus build up your reputation.
When you going for a freelance technical writing career then you must keep in mind your rights as well as client’s requirements, and only take on assignments that you are comfortable with.
Technical writing is one of those professions that doesn’t seem to get much in the way of profile. When the writer does their job properly then ideally no-one will notice, because their work is designed to facilitate the use of something else and it is associated with the product’s excellence. When it’s bad their work is associated with frustration and nobody likes that so sometimes there’s a negative association. So why is technical writing important?
It’s Different from “Creative Writing”
Technical writing differs from what is known as “creative writing”. Creative authors are free to develop pretty much any material they like, fact or fiction. They can display their content in a way that appeals to them, and there are no major structural requirements apart from the obvious like; “DONT USE ALL CAPS TO TYPE” or “learn to spell and punctuate”.
That doesn’t mean that technical authors aren’t creative but it does mean they are much more structured. The true professional develops documents that are not only to be read but are practically useful. Users may never recognise the skill that takes but they surely appreciate it when they fly through a manual and get started in an instant with a new product.
It’s a very Versatile Profession
Great technical writers can deliver a wealth of work, not just user manuals (though that’s a big part of it) but some or all of these pieces too:
- Training Courses
- Functional Specifications
- User Requirements Documents
- Process Mapping
- Marketing Material
- Business Letters
- And Many More
Which means that you may not recognise that there are many more technical authors than there are people with the title. Business analysts, trainers, software developers, analysts, marketing teams all have their fair share of unlabelled professionals.
Almost Every Business Needs One
While there may be a few exceptions like self-employed window cleaners for example, who don’t need the services of a business writer, they are few and far between. Every product that comes with a user manual, every company that has policy documents, every service that requires marketing will need a technical writer of some form or description.
And that tells you that not only is the profession important but it’s vital to a working business world, even a can of spray deodorant has a list of instructions on it (like don’t spray this stuff in your eyes) making it a job with endless opportunity for variety and contribution.
Engineers are highly technical people who essentially don’t mean they are good technical writers. Engineers should understand that they are documenting their ideas and not to impress. This is the main key for successful documentation. In this article we shall discuss some important points that an engineer should follow before documenting any product or service.
One of the main Keys for successful documentation is “keep it simple”. Relaxed writing style can add clarity and vigour to your documents.
Know Your Audiences: Before documenting any product or service you must know the knowledge level of your audiences (end-users). Your document should serve the purpose. Assume the document is intended for lay people and you have written the document for engineers, then the document is of no use. You have to re-write the entire document.
Be Concise: Technical personals are busy people, so your document should be crisp clear and concise. Avoid usage of redundant words. Avoid usage of wordiness in which a modifier repeats an idea which is already conveyed.
Be Consistent: Inconsistency in the document may confuse your readers, and convince them written document is disorganized. Good technical writers strive for consistency in the use of grammar, technical terms, symbols and abbreviations.
Avoid Big Words: Sometimes Writers prefer to use big words instead of short words. Use simple and straight forward English, your readers will love you for it. Some of the big words used are terminated, optimum, and incombustible and so on; these words can be replaced by the end, best and fireproof.
Use Visuals: We all know that a single image represents 1000 words, so drawing, graphics screen-shots can re-enforce your text. Visual representation can make your document more attractive and more effective. We remember 12% of what we read, but 35% of what we see. Different types of visuals that can be used in the documentation are photographs, schematic diagrams, tables, graphs, charts (Pie, bar, graphs), and maps.
Use Active voice: In active voice, action is expressed directly. In passive voice, the action is indirect. Statements written in active voice are simple, easy to understand, and concise. When possible, use active voice. Your document should be vigorous and straight.
Prefer Specific Over General: Technical end-users are interested to read detailed specific technical information such as facts, recommendations, figures, and conclusions. Be specific whenever possible; contents should not say something is good, bad, fast or slow, but instead it can say how good, how bad, how fast and how slow.
Breakup Writing into Short Sentences: Long, unbroken blocks of contents intimidate and bore readers. Break your content into smaller chunks-makes it easier to read and understand. In the same way shorter sentences are easier to grasp than longer ones.
I hope the above tips help engineers to improve their technical writing skills.
Black and White tech writing solutions is an end-to-end documentation company. We believe that a writer is a voice that promotes company’s products, success, commitment, and achievements. Black and white tech writing solution is based in Bangalore, India. We possess a well versed team of creative writers and technical writers. We provide end to end documentation service, which include marketing collaterals, user manuals, White papers, installation guides, and spec sheets. Black and White offers technical writing training for aspiring writers.