Technical Writing – The Dark Art
To many people, technical writing is an unknown art practiced by dry, dusty writers creating complex documents in a language that few understand. They assume that technical writers are not the sort of people that you would not want to sit next to at a party, unless you want a long, dull conversation littered with technical jargon and long words.
This idea is a long way from the reality, and most technical writers specialize in simplifying complex concepts, taking difficult ideas and making them easily understandable and readable. Look at the help manual for your new computer software, or the instruction booklet that arrived with your new washing machine and you will understand the value of a professional technical writer.
Photo by Boogies with FishThe Hidden Benefits of Technical Writing
Good technical writing can add value to your product; poor technical writing will frustrate consumers or see your grant application rejected.
- A professionally written grant application will push you to the front of the queue, promoting a professional image and explaining why your cause is worthy of funding.
- A product help manual containing all of the information, in an easy to find format, will help consumers and cut down the amount of time your customer support department spends asking easily avoidable questions.
- An easy-to-follow employee guide will help your workforce follow procedures without having to wade through pages of irrelevance. This will save you time and money, by reducing the amount of training and avoiding mistakes.
- Product details that compel rather than list dry, technical specifications will improve sales and conversions.
In the world of the technical writer, less is more!
Hire a Technical Writer
A skilled technical writer will write in easily understandable English, cutting through the jargon and helping non-specialists comprehend even the most difficult concepts. Most of us have had to read help guides and manuals written in meandering, incomprehensible English, or sales brochures heavy on information but lacking personality. An experienced technical writer creates content with the end user in mind, weaving emotion and personality amongst the concise clarity. Hiring a freelance technical writer has a number of advantages:
Flexibility: Large organizations can afford to employ in-house technical writers, paying a good salary with all of the associated taxes and benefits. Because large companies have a steady flow of work, paying these overheads is worthwhile. For small and medium businesses, this isn’t an option, so hiring an independent contractor is a cost-effective solution, allowing you to pay by the project and avoid the extra expenses.
Expertise: Many smaller businesses try to draft the technical content themselves, or hire cheap labor from freelance writing sites. This policy rarely succeeds, as technical writing requires a specialist rather than an enthusiastic amateur. Would you try to write your own software applications or find an amateur to take out your appendix? A professional technical writer will produce high quality work, producing winning grant applications or useful product documentation.
Photo by revbeanBlending Creativity with Clarity
Many people assume that technical writers are not ‘real writers,’ believing that they lack creativity and produce only lifeless prose and tedious technical details. In reality, technical writers need creativity and the ability to shape language, because they have to cut the amount of text down to the bare minimum, while keeping it interesting and appealing.
This is an ability not shared by all writers, and a professional technical writer who can master this art is worth their weight in gold. A good writer can banish complexity and use simple language to add personality and a gentle, authoritative tone.
Hire a Professional Technical Writer
If you want to hire a technical writer, please feel free to visit my website.
Contact me for a free consultation.
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