In recent years technical writers have been greatly in demand because of their amazing ability to simplify processes and general information. When it comes to what type of technical writing is needed, it’s clear that there are various categories that businesses have consistent work for.
Find the section you need quickly here –
- What Type of Technical Writing Is Common?
- End-user Documentation Examples
- Technical Marketing Content Examples
- How to Get Started as a Technical Writer After Choosing the Type of Technical Writing to Work on
- Finding Jobs for the Type of Technical Writing You Want
- How different is technical writing from other business writers?
- How Long Do Projects Take? After Knowing the Type of Technical Writing that’s needed
- Technical Writers on Call to Help
What Type of Technical Writing Is Common?
Technical writing has long been associated with process manuals and in-depth studies. For example, have you ever used an instruction manual when attempting to assemble some furniture? Well, depending on how well it was written, it could be the determining factor of how long the process takes.
Although in recent years, other types are becoming increasingly more popular, alongside traditional projects. These include:
- End-user Documentation
- Marketing content (technical)
We’ll discuss both of these with some real-world examples so you can see firsthand what it involves.
End-User Documentation Examples
Whether you need to know or not, the vast majority of products you buy will come with some instruction on how to use them. This type of technical writing helps ensure product users know how to successfully operate the product. Or, at least it aims to!
Most of us won’t pay attention to these unless the item is somewhat complex to use. Then it’s up to the technical writer to create jargon-free information that is easy and quick to understand.
Some examples of end-user documentation consist of:
- Product Manuals
- Assembly instructions
- Technical Books
- Help Guides for the User
Let’s break them down so you get a better comprehension of them.
These handy booklets of information are usually cast aside by many until issues arise. However, even if this is the case for the majority of products you buy, they still can be essential for general maintenance and repairs.
If you’ve ever bought a car or a kitchen appliance then you should have experienced receiving a product manual. Companies spend high amounts to make sure the information included is easy to follow by the reader. Why you may ask? By doing so, they can keep customer support costs down and improve customer satisfaction with rapid answers.
This type of technical writing is providing step-by-step instructions when building a product that someone has purchased. To reduce the amount of frustration caused when building items that are quite lengthy, a lot of thought is put into this type of writing.
Great detail is included to cover all aspects of the process to stop confusion and make the creative journey as easy as possible. If not done well, it could lead to customers staying away from that particular brand!
Somewhat similar to writing user help guides, technical books are produced to provide the customer with an ‘all you need to know’ guide when buying a product. Typically, you see this type of format for software products due to the extensive knowledge you need to know.
From every page, individuals that are novices to the industry and the product should be able to clearly grasp the information needed. That’s why only experts that know the products thoroughly can work on these projects.
Technical Marketing Content Examples
One of the newer categories of technical writing consists of creating text for the purpose of marketing. There are many different forms that can be classed as technical, let’s take a look:
- Business Case Studies and White Papers
- Business plan pitches
- Online Articles
Business Case Studies and White Papers
Both of these documents focus on showing how successful a company is from a particular service or product that they offer.
Business case studies show how useful their customers found what was purchased in relation to what it was needed for, similar to a review but much more in-depth. Whereas White Papers research complex issues for different sectors and implement a company’s product or service as a suitable fix.
Typically, when writing case studies, they’re only 1-2 pages long. White Papers are slightly longer with the average length being between 5-12 pages.
Even leaflets are classed as technical writing. Yes, a huge amount usually finds their way straight to the trash can, however, it’s still a legitimate form of marketing for many businesses. A leaflet’s goal is to quickly provide an all-rounded description of the product to show why someone may need it. This type of marketing is definitely more than simple pictures and bright colors!
The importance of a business plan pitch is never overlooked. That’s why serious money is invested into creating the perfect one to ensure the best chance of acquiring what is needed. Whether it be trying to secure funding or partnering with another business.
Technical writers spend hours upon hours researching relevant information to create perfect business pitches. Throughout the process, they will know the business inside and out. Which provides opportunities for further projects when freelancing.
With a quick search, millions of articles can be found on the internet in just a few seconds. These online articles are helping to educate readers on different things when required. For example, you’re reading one right now as we discuss the type of technical writing that is regularly produced.
How to Get Started as a Technical Writer After Choosing the Type of Technical Writing to Work on
Now that we’ve gone over more than one type of technical writing, let’s dive into what is needed to excel in this lucrative field.
To start with, you’re going to need a great understanding of the English language, alongside, great expertise in the field you’re looking to write for.
However, this is just the beginning. There are other crucial elements you’ll need to master to ensure you perform to the best of your ability.
- Great at Researching
It’s not often thought about, but technical writers usually spend more time researching than actually writing. Why is this? Due to the responsibilities of the role, all subjects written for require great consideration. The difference can be from relating to the target audience to frustrating them.
- Scheduling Projects
Deadlines are an important part of the process. That’s why it’s essential to plan out the timeline when writing. From the beginning to the end, all content should be carefully thought out to ensure quality isn’t impacted. This includes research, first drafts, and improvements.
- Attention to detail
With projects many pages long that consist of different sets of data great focus must be used. Otherwise, a small hiccup along the way could alter the rest of the content which could cost valuable time and energy to fix.
- Software Proficient
Technical writers are constantly using various software. That’s why new entries into the field must have at least a basic understanding of general programs and can pick up new ones quickly.
Another reason why understanding how to use technology is so important is that many technical writers are tasked with creating useful information on how to use certain software.
Check out a great writing software documentation guide here.
If you have these skills already or are confident in your ability to develop them over time, then a technical writing career may be in your future. Which is an exciting prospect for many considering how writers are always in demand.
When you’ve decided whether this is the best sector for you, you’ll need a well-presented CV and Cover letter. Our technical writer cover letter tips and tricks provide the necessary information to improve your chances during the application process.
Finding Jobs for the Type of Technical Writing You Want
The worldwide web provides the opportunity for many to find the right job they’re looking for. Especially with more and more roles being aimed at remote workers that don’t have to commute.
The first question you need to ask is whether you want to become a freelancer or work for a business. This role allows individuals to choose between either, with plenty of options no matter the choice.
For those that decide the freelancing route, places like Fiverr and Upwork provide a starting point that can help refine your skills along the way.
If a permanent position in a company sounds better, then head over to job boards such as Indeed. As previously mentioned, writers are always in demand. So, there should be a specific niche that fits your credentials.
How Different Is Technical Writing From Other Business Writers?
When it comes to other writing content creators for businesses, such as copywriters, there is some overlap. However, for the most part, technical writers will be focusing on projects that are very complex compared to others.
Copywriters aim to produce text that helps persuade the audience into taking a certain action. Unless a writer that works on technical projects is working on in-depth marketing content, then they won’t worry about this aspect.
Many content writers that work for companies usually progress into technical writers after they have the relevant experience.
How Long Do Projects Take? After Knowing the Type of Technical Writing that’s needed
Every task can take a considerable amount of time with the level of research and planning required. However, the actual length can vary depending on the type of technical writing being carried out.
For instance, working on white papers can take up a huge period of time. Some take a few months to complete after various modifications to improve the document.
Technical Writers on Call to Help
We’ve gone over a lot of information regarding the main type of technical writing. In addition to the other ones. The process of writing these projects can seem overwhelming for many, however, do not fear.
At Killer Copywriting, our experienced technical writers can help craft excellent results. If you’re interested in finding out more about our services, contact us here.