How You Can Build a Career in Technical Content Writing
If you have a knack for understanding intricate technical details and want to help people better understand those points and data, technical content writing could be an ideal career for you.
Let’s find out how you can get started and reach the heights of success.
What is technical content writing?
A technical content writer produces content in the form of blog posts, articles, e-books, white papers, product reviews, and buying and ultimate guides to achieve a specific goal. To achieve the specific goal of creating content, you’ll need to learn a bit more about researching and using keywords in your content, writing in on-brand tone and style.
Also, to be better at it, you need to be able to break down complex technical details into easy-to-understand language, write it in a clear and concise format, and be jargon-free if possible.
Also, areas you can consider writing for are SaaS companies, companies selling web software or other products, cryptocurrency, programming language blogs, tech news, tutorial blogs techniques, etc.
Now that you understand what a technical content writer is and how it works, you need to know what a technical content writer is not.
What is technical content writing?
When you start applying for jobs, you will find two types of openings. One will be for the role of a technical content writer for a tech blog, and another for the role of a technical writer. You should know that the duties of these two positions differ significantly.
Unlike a technical content writer, a technical writer creates documentation, user manuals, how-to guides, and possibly white papers about company products. The pay scale for each of the writers also differs. According to research, a technical writer earns a median annual salary of around $72,000. However, a technical content writer earns around $52,000 per year.
Now that you know the difference, let’s move on.
The Top 3 Skills You Need to Become a Technical Content Writer
Here is a list of skills you would definitely want to have to become a successful technical content writer.
1. Ironclad writing skills
It goes without saying, but yes, you need to develop strong writing skills. You can join a college course or take online writing courses to deepen your knowledge in this field.
You should know that to be successful in this field, in addition to perfecting your grammar, you will also need to learn a few more techniques, such as storytelling, how to keep the reader engaged with your content, how to write persuasive headlines, and how to entice your audience to take action.
2. Search for complex topics
It’s one of the most important parts of your writing. If you research poorly, you will create poor content, which will eventually cost your readers and customers. Developing good research skills is therefore a necessity.
One of the best ways to do research is to find facts and information on authority blogs. This means that when you Google your topic, you need to know where you are getting your data from. Stick to the top results, check the domain authority of the website, review the monthly traffic this blog receives each month, and more.
Now, you’ll probably be wondering how are you going to find such data in the first place?
Well, it’s not as difficult as it seems. Simply download one of the following Chrome extensions:
With a simple click on the icon of the extension you downloaded, you will see the analytical details of the websites: the domain authority, the monthly traffic, the number of keywords on the linked page, the total number of words, page attributes, and total social shares—under each of the search results.
In short, enough information for you to understand whether or not you can take data from this blog.
3. Interact with industry experts
Besides Google searches, if you want to create original and in-depth content, which is not available elsewhere, you may need to interview experts in the field. These people can be engineers, researchers, security analysts, etc.
However, going that far in your research takes time and communication expertise. If you want to become a top-paying technical content writer working for top companies and not just content mills like Upwork, Fiverr, or Craigslist, you’ll need this skill.
Not to mention, if you work for a tech news blog, this will be a necessity.
So learn how to write such emails that get replies and the perfect way to interact and interview someone. Learning extra copywriting skills never hurt anyone.
How to Break into Technical Writing
After knowing all the essential details about writing technical content, you will need to decide how you want to operate: as an entrepreneur/freelancer or full-time employee in a company.
To become a freelance technical content writer, you probably won’t need a dazzling degree in journalism or experience in the tech industry. However, if you have it, that’s a plus. All you need are the skills we discussed in the previous section, a portfolio (which we’ll talk about in a bit) and you’re good to go.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a full-time job in a company, you can consider the requirements of the company. Recruiters are primarily looking for someone with a bachelor’s degree in English or a communication-related subject. Additionally, they may also consider your previous experience in the technology industry, such as IT, engineering, medicine, etc.
But whatever you do, you need to have a portfolio to show off your work. The recruiter, despite your degree, would like to know if you can deliver what you say.
Here are some ways to start your journey as a technical content writer today:
- Consider enrolling in online or university courses. Here are a few here based on the ratings:
- Network with professionals: If you want to land good clients or a job with a reputable company, this is one of the best ways to start.
- Create a technical writing portfolio: The easiest way to do this is to create a blog on Medium. It’s free and your recruiters will understand that you really know how to write for an online audience. Here are some websites you can use to create an online portfolio.
- Apply for jobs: Platforms like Indeed, Monster, Flexjobs, Career Builder, Nexxt, LinkedIn are great places to start your search.
Start your career in technical content writing
Like anything, it will require constant effort and investment of time. But you should know that this industry is growing day by day.
So, if you’ve always loved technology and have the skills to facilitate technology learning and technology-based decision making, this is your chance. Hone the skills discussed in the article, dig deeper into this topic, and start your new journey of technical content writing.
Looking for a writing career, but not sure where to start? Read this guide to get the best tips and useful websites to kick-start your writing career.
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