Believe it or not, not all content written these days is for promotional or branding purposes. Even though most content writers focus on writing for the web as well as for traditional media such as brochures, magazines, and so on, there is another world within the area of content, and that’s technical writing.
If you’re a software developer, game developer, or any other company that creates a product which requires instruction, technical writing is what you need. Some providers will tell you that it should cost hundreds or thousands of dollars to produce, but that’s far from the truth.
So to save you money and still ensure quality, here are five things to look for in your technical writing provider.
1. A proven track record of technical writing
Whenever you’re hiring a provider for any task, you need to be doubly sure that they’ll do a good job. Because technical writing is often very involved and in-depth, you need to be sure your writer has done this kind of writing before. It will make the process much quicker and more efficient.
2. Experience within your industry
Hiring a technical writer is usually a large investment, both in terms of time and finances. That means that the provider you choose needs to be able to hit the ground running. If the writer has had experience working in your industry before, that’s a huge plus. For example if you’re a car manufacturer and you need technical writing for a car’s manual, you’re best to hire someone who’s done that before. With car loan applications and new models of vehicle on the rise, automotive technical writing is actually on the increase – so having a writer that knows the industry back to front would be ideal.
3. They speak your language
When it comes to technical writing, the actual content itself is often concerned with development languages. For example, if your provider is writing a manual on how to use a web app, they may be required to discuss languages such as HTML, CSS and PHP. For an amateur writer, understanding these concepts and writing about them in a succinct way can be somewhat of a challenge. The key role of a technical writer is to garner understanding through a simple use of language. If your technical writer doesn’t know the nuts and bolts of your development language, problems can occur.
4. Affordability and adaptability
When it comes down to it, most purchasing decisions are made based on price. That means that if you’re looking to hire a technical writer, you’ll need one that fits your budget. Many providers will attempt to tell you that technical writing costs more than other forms of writing because of the additional research and understanding required. But any technical writer worth their salt will be able to adapt to almost any topic. When this comes at the right price for you, all the better. Don’t let providers convince you that technical writing needs be expensive; it doesn’t. And with the right service on the case, you really can have it all.
5. Turnaround times that don’t leave you hanging
As we’ve discussed, technical writing is often a far more involved process than other forms. Some providers may tell you that because of this complexity, the time it takes to turnaround the content will be much longer. Again, this is simply not true. Obviously if the work required is expansive and requires a lot more research, it may well be the case that turnaround time is higher. But any quality technical writing service should be able to give you a realistic timeframe within which to do the work. If you think it’s too long, they should be able to work with you to bring this number down. The last thing you want to do is be left without any writing done when you were promised it on a certain day. It’s all about being realistic with timeframe and delivery times.
So there you have it: five things to look for to make sure you get the best technical writing service for your buck. Don’t be convinced that you’ve got to spend thousands – technical writing can actually be a very affordable service. You just need the right provider to help you.
This blog post contributed by Imogen Reed, a Content Launch blogging team member.