5 essential qualities for a technical writer/blogger
Do you love to write about the tech stuff? Here are five skills you need to build your career as a technical writer.
1. Ask questions:
Finding the information you require isn’t always simple. Occasionally, you feel less like a technical writer and more like an investigative reporter. It can be difficult to interview Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). Despite having a wealth of knowledge, they are not always the best at conveying what you need to know and omitting what you don’t. You must oversee this and speak for the interests of the readers. The finest technical writers arrive at SME interviews well-prepared, having read the available background material and have all the questions ready. You shouldn’t be afraid to ask seemingly foolish questions, and you should always make sure that you comprehend everything they tell you by repeating it back to them.
2. Write in simple words
The capacity for concise writing is crucial for any content, including technical writing. Try to provide the information readers must know in the least possible terms while keeping your major communication objectives in mind. Are you having doubts about your ability to write effectively? Please take a brief quiz for yourself: Pick a subject you are well aware of and attempt to describe it in writing to someone unfamiliar with it. The venerable manual On Writing Well by William Zinsser is a useful tool if you struggle to explain your knowledge in layman’s terms. Although Zinsser wrote the book in 1976, its concepts still hold today.
3. Conveying the message through graphics
Writing is just one of the many elements of technical documentation. The ability to conceptualize drawings, diagrams, pictures, and other easily understandable visuals can significantly impact the users of technical publications since most people learn best visually.
4. Testing and usability skills
Technical writers frequently receive customer invitations to take part in testing or collaborate with the user experience team. This is an excellent chance to put yourself in the users’ shoes and practise the steps they will need. Active Participation can help you improve your documentation’s calibre and ensure it’s centred on end-user requirements.
5. Patience and Tenacity
Most seasoned technical writers will list patience and tenacity as two of the most important qualities you need to succeed. Sometimes, though, there can be one particular nugget of knowledge that you can’t seem to find. Don’t give up when these hard situations arise; keep your end in mind and persevere!
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced writer, maintaining your skill in these areas will help you find work in the field. The idea is to focus on your documents or readers’ intended audience. If you do, you’ll discover that you can create one of the more difficult sorts of material constantly in demand.