Freelancer标志如何运作 浏览工作 登录 注册 发布项目
Find Jobs
Hire Freelancers
Get Ideas
About
Resources
Why Your Business Needs a Content Marketing Strategy Why your business needs a technical writer (and how to hire one)

6 tips to make you a great technical writer

Technical writing doesn't have to be dry and dense. Follow our guidelines to help make your tech content actually enjoyable to both write and read.
2020年1月21日 • 阅读需4分钟
封面照片

Explain complex concepts without putting your readers to sleep

Technical writing is a difficult discipline. By definition, technical writing is producing instruction manuals, how-to guides and supporting documents to communicate technical information. It tries to put highly technical subject matter into a format that readers can easily understand. For a writer, this is no easy feat.
But technical writing is a great industry for talented writers. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics , the median pay for a technical writer is $71,850 USD per year.
Technical writing is a growing field as well. The demand for technical writers is projected to grow by 11% by 2026. If you're a professional writer, using your skills as a technical writer can lead to a lucrative career.
Getting into technical writing can seem intimidating. Disseminating complicated information for easy digestion is difficult. But if you follow these tips, you can produce engaging copy that helps and informs your readers.

Freelance Freelance Writing Experts

用户头像
的国旗 NovaStudios @NovaStudios
40 USD / hour
4.8 (662条评论) PHP Java JavaScript Adobe Flash Website Design
Visit profile
用户头像
的国旗 Mark H. @perthuniversity
30 USD / hour
5.0 (1430条评论) Copywriting Legal Project Management Engineering Research
Visit profile
用户头像
的国旗 GilbertBarry @GilbertBarry
25 USD / hour
5.0 (210条评论) Copywriting Translation Data Processing Data Entry Link Building
Visit profile
用户头像
的国旗 Daniel Carey @dancarey
35 USD / hour
5.0 (176条评论) Copywriting Project Management SEO Research Proofreading
Visit profile

1. Know your audience

First and foremost, think about who will be reading the materials you produce. Try to understand the audience you're writing for. This will determine how you write the materials.
For example, if the training manuals you're producing will be used by software engineers, it's likely you won't have to spend time defining concepts like code linting or integrated development environments. You'll be able to assume a certain base level of knowledge and can focus on explaining unfamiliar concepts rather than retreading already familiar ground.
You also need to understand how your audience will be using the document. What goal will they be trying to accomplish by reading your documentation? What questions will they be asking? When will they be reading the document, and why? Knowing how your document will be used dictates how it will be written.

2. Map out your piece

Mapping out your work is crucial in technical writing. You're trying to explain a process or use case. This means you have to think about the order in which information must appear.
Break down the goals of the document into individual tasks. What tasks must the reader perform in order to master the concept or process you're communicating? What information will they need to perform these tasks? Structure your document to flow in the order in which an actual reader will have to perform tasks.

3. Talk to experts

One of the biggest challenges in technical writing is gaining an understanding of the subject matter. You can't very well explain a process or concept to a reader if you don't understand it yourself. This is why consulting experts is invaluable.
Talk to the people who actually designed the process you're trying to explain. Find out why they designed it the way they did, and how they envisioned others using it. If possible, watch them actually use the product or platform you're writing about. Think about the questions you have after watching them. If you have these questions, it's likely your readers will too.

4. Be clear and specific

Don't leave room for doubt when describing a task or process. For instance, rather than writing "hold the power button down until the light flashes," write, "hold the power button down firmly for five seconds until the green power light flashes three times."
Technical writing is not the place for ambiguity. Use measurable terms and specify quantities and times.

5. Be concise

Try to explain concepts using as few words as possible. Write in simple, declarative sentences and use active rather than passive voice. Remember that you're trying to simplify a concept or process. When this is your goal, success is measured in using as few words as possible to do this.
Think about the information that's vital for your reader to achieve their goal. Narrow down your document to include only this information and get rid of anything extraneous.

6. Use plain English

This might be the single most important skill to master in technical writing. After all, the purpose of technical writing is to make complex concepts and processes easy to understand. If the language you use is overly obtuse, you'll only succeed in confusing your audience further.
This doesn't mean you have to avoid jargon altogether. What it does mean is that you need to understand the jargon with which your audience will be immediately familiar, and avoid any that will be unfamiliar to them. When in doubt, err on the side of using layman's terms.
Define any unfamiliar terms or acronyms the first time they appear in the text. Use familiar and common words in place of longer or more complicated words. While your instincts as a writer may drive you towards impressing the reader with your vocabulary, keep your hands off the Thesaurus. In technical writing, loquaciousness is not a virtue.

Freelance Freelance Writing Experts

用户头像
的国旗 Saminakiran @saminakiran2
10 USD / hour
4.8 (606条评论) JavaScript Website Design Graphic Design Translation Internet Marketing
Visit profile
用户头像
的国旗 David Dundas @ProWriterHalDog
35 USD / hour
5.0 (1228条评论) Copywriting Legal Internet Marketing SEO Research
Visit profile
用户头像
的国旗 Pratiksha J. @TechnoWritesAcad
50 USD / hour
4.9 (550条评论) Copywriting Blog Powerpoint Financial Research Technical Writing
Visit profile
用户头像
的国旗 Rana Shakoor A. @thebestwriter66
18 USD / hour
5.0 (17条评论) SEO Proofreading Blog Powerpoint Marketing
Visit profile

相关故事

Why your business needs a technical writer (and how to hire one)
阅读需6分钟
Why Your Business Needs a Content Marketing Strategy
阅读需12分钟
10 tips to write homepage copy that sells
阅读需6分钟
How to write a call to action that gets results
阅读需6分钟
8 tips for writing landing page copy that SELLS
阅读需4分钟

获得最新信息

订阅我们的新闻时讯,及时获取重要信息。
感谢订阅!请留意收件箱关注我们的下次更新。
该电子邮箱已被注册。
糟糕!出现了错误,请重新尝试。 如果问题仍然存在,请联系客服,并附上下面的错误信息:错误代码:

与我们的Technical Co-Pilots进行沟通来获得项目帮助

立即获得帮助

专为您推荐的文章

文章缩略图 Planning your startup
Our ultimate guide will help you write a business plan investors will be ripping out of your hands. Learn how to expertly craft each section of it.
22 min read
文章缩略图 10 local SEO tips you can't afford to ignore
Local SEO helps your business get noticed and sends customers to your door. We've got 10 superb local SEO tips you need to start implementing today.
6 min read
文章缩略图 2020 SEO Guide: How to write website content
Need to write content for your website? Follow our guide to make sure it's optimized to rank on the first page of Google
20 min read
文章缩略图 How to use Google Search Console to track your SEO
Google Search Console is an essential to monitor your SEO effectiveness and if it confuses you, you're not alone. We've demystified this tool for you.
5 min read
已注册用户 发布工作总数
Freelancer ® is a registered Trademark of Freelancer Technology Pty Limited (ACN 142 189 759)
Copyright © 2022 Freelancer Technology Pty Limited (ACN 142 189 759)
加载预览
授予地理位置权限。
您的登录会话已过期而且您已经登出,请再次登录。