Do you have a technical writer’s personality?

Considering a career as a technical writer? Want to know what kind of people enjoy technical writing the most? Would it suit your personality? Is being introverted an advantage? Can jovial types make it as tech writers? Yes and Yes. Crag on Helpscribe makes the point that, “Personality can also have a strong influence on […]

How to find technical writing work using Quora

Are you using Quora to find technical writing work? Maybe you’ve never heard of Quora. Here’s how it works. Think of it as a deluxe ‘Question and Answer’ site focused on the business community. A lot of influential people are there. It has almost no spam or nasty comments. If you want to develop your […]

How I use Twitter to find technical writing work

KB from London heard that I use Twitter to find work. Like many of us, she thought Twitter was a waste of time and ignored it. Maybe we can change her mind. How I use Twitter to find technical writing work Here’s how I use it. Create a twitter account for your business. Add a […]

Who Makes More Money? Technical Writers with Language or IT Skills?

Kai raised an interesting point about which skill (writing/technical) takes longer to master. Knowing how to structure and present information to users? Or knowing how to use a product or application? That got me thinking. If you want to make money as a technical writer, which area should you focus on? Sharpen your writing skills or deepen your technical knowledge, for example, learning how to document an API?

Stephen King Can Make You A Better (Technical) Writer

Scott says, “If you want to improve as a writer, you not only need to write. You need to read. Writing and reading are two sides of the same coin. You need to do both to achieve your potential.” I head downtown most weekends and buy 2 or 3 books, mostly business, history and some fiction. Every so often I run out of options (we’re in Beijing) and get something I usually wouldn’t buy, for example, Iain M Banks. Reading outside my comfort zone stretches me. I encounter writing styles, opinions, and information that I usually side-step.

A Day in the Life of a Home-Based Technical Writer

Thinking of starting a career as a Technical Writer? I’ve worked in Technical Writing for over fifteen years, mostly as a freelancer. Here’s an outline of a typical day when working from home. FYI – I wrote this last thing at night, so the grammar may not be perfect. But, it will give you an […]

How Technical Writers Can Move Further Up The Food Chain

Do you feel loved? Many technical writers feel unloved. They feel they don’t get the respect they deserve. I hear this on LinkedIn and Facebook: “people don’t respect the work I do.” Well, if that’s the case, here are a few ways to get more respect and move into a more rewarding career.

Who Makes More Money – Technical Writers with Language or Technical Skills?

Which of these would you hire to join your Technical Writing Dept? Someone with great writing skills but little technical knowledge or, for example, a Computer Science graduate with deep technical knowledge but average writing skills? We’ve been talking about this on LinkedIn and here are some thoughts.

7 Ways for Technical Writers to Re-invent Themselves & Demonstrate their Value

You’ve just being fired. The Technical Writing dept is closed. What do you do? This is a fact of life for many people today. Indeed, there is now a real fear that US technical writers will continue to lose their jobs to offshore companies, e.g. India & Poland. And it’s true; it’s the shape of things to come, I’m afraid. But rather than moan about it, let’s look at what you can do to re-invent yourself and find new, lucrative opportunities.

How to Interview Technical Writers Even If You're Not a Technical Writer

Yes, I’m that terrible person who interviews technical writers and asks those awkward questions. Here are some of the things I’m looking for when I interview people. First, companies expect that graduates will have the same (more or less) writing skills – that’s a given. So, what they’re looking for are other qualities.

Why did you choose to be a Technical Writer?

Why did you become a technical writer? Some move into technical writing by accident (me!) while for others it was part of their career path.  I spoke to some technical writers about this recently. Here’s what I learned.

Does your technical writing have an accent?

Maybe you don’t hear your accent, but others do. When you read their documents, does the accent come through?

Are technical documents a waste of time?

“Don’t worry” she said. “No one reads this stuff anyway. Just get it done.” Sounds familiar?

How to Write a Target Audience Questionnaire

Creating a training plan? Before you do this, you need to step a step back and work out what your colleagues need to learn.

Can Outsourcing Help Your Technical Writing Career?

Image by Ivan Walsh via Flickr Most technical writers see outsourcing as a real threat. But, if you look at it from another angle, it’s one huge business opportunity.