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How to become a Technical Writer

Technical writing is a growing field, and technical writers' demand is at an all-time high.

You can make a side income of $200 to $600 per article as a developer.

But how can you become a technical writer in the first place?

Let us find out.

What is technical writing?

Technical writing is writing articles that are supposed to inform, instruct, or direct a specific audience on doing something.

It involves writing about a particular subject that requires direction, instruction, or explanation.

To become a technical writer, you can follow the process below.

Learn the basics of programming

Technical writing mainly involves writing about Softwares or technological products. These products are created using programming technologies.

To write about such products, you have to be familiar with the technologies used to create them.

That is why learning the basics of programming is very important.

Learn how to write

You need to have good writing skills to become a technical writer.

Writing skills include all the knowledge and abilities related to expressing ideas through the written word.

Technical writing requires being able to break down complex information into an easy to understand manner.

That can't be possible if you don't have good writing skills.

Some of the writing skills that you need to be a technical writer are:

  • Research
  • Outlining
  • Editing
  • Reading comprehension.

Start writing

Writing is the best way to improve your writing skills.

Start writing about your favourite topics or any topics you are interested in tech.

You can start writing at free blogging platforms like Hashnode, Dev To and Medium.

You can also write on Twitter by creating valuable content. Actually, that is how I landed my first technical writing gig.

The best way to improve your writing is by practising daily and reading regularly.

Apply for jobs

Now that you have worked on your writing skills and have written a few technical articles, you can start applying for technical writing opportunities.

Most platforms will give you topics that you can write about. Others will ask you to come up with a topic that you want to write about.

However, some platforms expect to see two or three technical articles you have written before.

That is why it is important to start writing before applying for technical writing gigs.

Tips for writing a good technical article

There are some things you need to get right to write an excellent technical article.

Come up with a good structure or layout.

The format of an excellent technical article includes:

  • Title
  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion

A title should be a headline that demands attention and should have keyword combinations that reflect what the article is about.

The introduction should describe the problem and the solutions the article will cover. Ensure that the introduction lets the reader know what the article is about.

In the body part of the article, describe the problem and the solution in detail. Try to tell a story. The story should keep the reader engaged at every step. Make a list of your main points. Then progress from one point to another logically to lead to a conclusion.

The conclusion should essentially include a summary of all the main points mentioned in the body.

Do a lot of research.

Writing a good technical article is challenging because it can take a lot of your time and often requires research.

When writing a technical article, doing research will help you understand the problem you are trying to solve and the solutions you can come up with.

The research will also help you understand your audience and the message you are trying to deliver to them.

Know your audience

Knowing your audience when writing a technical article is very important because:

  • It helps you to make decisions about what information you should include.
  • It directs you on how you should arrange that information.
  • It helps to know what supporting details will be necessary for the reader to understand what you are presenting.

Keeping your audience in mind will help you organize your ideas and how best to support your argument.

Use examples

Use examples to help your audience better understand and relate to key points of the technical article you are writing.

Examples can be in the form of screenshots or code snippets.

As a technical writer, examples can serve as evidence to support your general claims or arguments.

Read other technical articles.

Reading other technical articles will help you get inspiration and ideas on writing better articles.

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Top comments (2)

manikantasriram profile image
Manikanta Sriram

Thank you for this artcle

the_greatbonnie profile image

Hope you found it helpful.