No matter the aspect of technical writing you focus on, now that you have the required skills that guarantee you to become a technical writer, how do you become a good technical writer?
Additionally, how do you stand out from the crowd and become a better and sought-after technical writer by clients and companies?
Technical writers aim to simplify complex subject matters to easily digestible content so applying these steps helps you provide clear instructions and directions that are self-explanatory for any reader going through your writing.
This article is part of our Technical Writing Series, you can read the previous series before you jump to this one.
- What is Technical Writing?: We explored technical writing in-depth and get you started creating your first technical content.
- Who is a Technical Writer?: We explore who a technical writer is, the different types of technical writers, and the different skillset required to become a technical writer.
- Types of Technical Writing: We broke down technical writing into 3 broad types and discuss in detail these different types and how to choose a specific category.
- Technical Writing Niches: We explored the different technical writing niches or types of technical content you can specialize in as a technical writer and produce.
- The Technical Writing Process: We will explore the lean technical writing process that will help you create high-quality technical content consistently.
- How to Become a Good Technical Writer? We discussed the factors you need to make you stand out and become a good technical writer.
In this series, we will discuss the factors you need to make you stand out and become a good technical writer.
How to Become a Good Technical Writer?
To become a good technical writer, you need 3 main elements. You need to understand them in depth and apply them in any technical content you produce.
Know your audience.
Getting to know the audience that would be consuming your writing helps you narrow the terms, abbreviations, acronyms, etc. used in your writing to correspond to that used in such field of study.
And if the people going to be reading your writing are beginners or novices, knowing this helps you put your writing in a manner where every detail is explained and spelled out for them to be able to understand and apply.
Develop your Technical Skills
Your goal as a technical writer is to break down complex technical terms into easily digestible and understandable content. To achieve this goal, you need to learn and understand these technical terms yourself before attempting to explain them to the next person through your content.
Therefore, take some time to develop your technical skills in those areas of interest which will be a very big benefit and plus to you in your way of becoming a good technical writer.
Researching is one of the major skills you need to develop as a technical writer. Your ability to seek information from several sources, study and understand the information gathered, and then move on to analyze the information thoroughly, and then write down the information in a simple pattern that the readers would be able to understand.
Top Technical Writing Tips
Below are top technical writing tips to help you become a good technical writer.
Just Start Writing
According to Jean M. Auel — “You learn to write by writing, and by reading and thinking about how writers have created their characters and invented their stories. If you are not a reader, don’t even think about being a writer.”
If you want to learn how to write, the best way is to start writing now. Pick up a challenge you recently solve and write about it.
You can create a free Medium, Hashnode accounts or create your personal blog and start pushing out technical content.
Understand your audience
Before you publish an article, make sure you define who the technical content is for and its goal.
This will help you structure your content properly as started earlier in this article.
Embrace supporting imagery
“A picture is worth a thousand words” — Wikipedia
As you write your content, you need to understand that your readers are busy and have a shorter attention span than ever before and so you want to engage them by using a variety of assets.
You can try Images, vectors, infographics, illustrations, etc to pass information more quickly than words.
Simplify your language
Use a third-person perspective.
When writing, making sure your writing uses a third-person perspective is important.
See yourself as a teacher instructing a student and get rid of any personal opinion. When describing your writing you must make your point by providing your reader with enough detail; while also making sure you don’t bombard your reader with lots of words or details that are not necessary.
Analyze competitors content
Don’t use ambiguous and difficult-to-understand grammar. Technical writing is aim to break down complex technical terms into simple understandable content. You should try to stick with simple but correct English( or any language)
You get better by writing more. The more technical content you put out there, the better you become at creating more content.
You can set a content calendar for yourself and collaborate with a friend to stay accountable.
Join Writing Challenges
To stay consistent, be accountable, and improve your writing skills, you need to join many writing communities and participate in writing challenges such as #2Articles1Week Writing Challenge, Contribute to Open Source projects, or join Google Season of Docs.
To become a good technical writer is a mixture of 3 broad elements: Knowing your audience, having enough technical know-how, and researching the technical project properly.
Additionally, these 3 elements enable you to develop a unique voice in your technical content that resonates with you and your brand.
Furthermore, creating a unique style of writing and personal brand as a technical writer positions you as an expert and makes you a good technical writer.
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.