Technical Writing Services
What is Technical Writing?
Technical writing (sometimes referred to as technical communication) is the process of distilling otherwise complex information into simple, precise, thorough, and actionable terms via user manuals, instructional documents, and other highly specialized communication tools. As this definition implies, technical writing and communication spans a breadth of applications and industries.
Demand for High-quality Technical Writing Has Increased
Many believe technical writing is no longer relevant, or at the very least has been outmoded. However, while the format in which people read technical documentation has changed from print to web, this has actually increased the demand for technical writers.
This means that information is no longer siloed and available only to the select few. Now, online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay sell millions of used, complex products without the user manuals (or other technical documents) that accompanied the product with its first purchase, because Google can find the correct user manual online with a single click.
There may not be an increased demand for the volume of technical writing, but there is an increased demand for high-quality technical writing given the widespread availability of online user manuals and consumers’ expectation that it should be easy to access them. This creates a unique, supply-demand paradox in the industry, because the demand for technical writers has increased markedly despite technical documentation being more accessible and easier to produce than ever.
However, the true supply-demand curve in technical communication is driven not by volume and accessibility, but the lack of quality in the documents themselves, which has a purely inverse relationship to the number of frustrated customers reading poorly crafted user guides.
Differences Between Technical Writing and Copywriting
The process of a technical writing agency or freelance technical writer is much different from that of copywriting, blogging, or article writing processes. While most modes of writing outside short stories, novels, and book-length content are designed to influence, ingratiate, or sell something like an idea, product, or service, technical writing’s sole purpose is to educate as objectively and concisely as possible.
While some technical writers can cross over into copywriting projects and therefore be hired to fulfill either function, each type of writing is very different not just in the skills required but also in their intended audiences. Copywriting attracts prospects into the top of a sales funnel or sales cylinder, whereas technical writing retains the customer, increases trust, and turns the reader into a net promoter of the product or service. If you’re in search of a copywriter, visit our copywriting services page.
Technical Writing Examples and Industries that Need It
Sound technical writing is what separates many of the giants in complex industries like medical technology, bioengineering, life sciences, environmental sciences, software, and cloud computing from the fast-followers and flops. Likewise, just as the industries in need of technical writing are diverse, so too are the types of technical writing in which technical communicators engage.
Examples of Technical Writing
Medical journals and publications
Internal training and procedural documents
User, policy, test schedule, instructional, and procedural manuals
Research abstracts and articles in technical publications
Technical writers are more versatile than their job title implies: aside from the writing of technical documentation, they’re also skilled project planners, analyzers, content developers, editors, information managers, and product managers.
Technical writers (also known as technical communicators) are masters in the precise art of explaining complex products, services, and processes so the end users or benefactors can understand the material. Skilled technical writers are also masters in the science of hermeneutics: the study of understanding interpretation.
The hermeneutical relationship between writer and reader in technical context, much like most other forms of writing, demands a professional who can set aside their own subjective viewpoints. In a world with so many products and services that do so many things, it’s important to acknowledge that the greater the number of functions in a product or service, the more explanation it requires.
Industries Where Technical Writers Are Most Needed
Many believe technical writing has been outmoded. However, contrary to common perception, while the format in which people read technical documentation has shifted from traditional to digital mediums (primarily the internet), this has increased the demand for technical writers and communicators. Moreover, there are as many kinds of technical writers as there are products, services, and processes they’re paid to explain.
Software and Computing
This is the most common kind of technical writer available today. While some argue that software user interfaces have become so intuitive that technical content created to help users understand them is overkill, this is merely a viewpoint made by brilliant product engineers with poor communication skills. Furthermore, anyone who creates software is going to understand it quite well, and this engineering assumption parlays many future issues into user experience problems down the line.
Life Sciences, Engineering, and Medical Technologies
Given the complexity of medicine, healthcare, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology industries, many organizations hire medical technical writers to craft documentation for all of the communication mediums relevant to these niches. Moreover, while many engineering firms employ gifted and intelligent mathematicians, many of them struggle with the right-brain linguistic processes required in written communication, increasing demand for both user-facing and internal documents clearly outlining necessary procedures.
Academic and Research
If you are a researcher or scientist with results of a scientific study needing both peer review and perfected wording, you’ll need a professional technical writer to clarify the findings of your research into simple, clear, precise, and readable terms.
Internal User Documentation and Instructional Guides
Unlike the above examples, this mode of technical writing does not adhere as stringently to customer-facing experiences and the final intended audience. Rather, it is composed by an internal employee and for internal purposes. Some examples of this include written instructions for processes unique to specific organizations, like HR policies, legal writing, and compliance-specific guides. Most of WordWoven’s technical writing portfolio falls under this category.
Our Recent Recent Technical Writing Projects
WordWoven has technical writing expertise in sweepstakes legal documentation, internal policies for sales technology use, marketing communication compliance, and marketing infrastructure.
Internal Technologies, Compliance, and Infrastructure
Instructional Training Manuals for Marketing and Inside Sales
Do I Need a Technical Writer?
While the below list isn’t comprehensive, you should hire a technical writing agency, freelance technical writer, or technical communicator under any of the below circumstances. Many of these circumstances co-occur with each other, and the greater the number of scenarios with which your organization identifies in the below list, the more urgent your need for a technical writer.
6 Common Scenarios Where Technical Writers Are Needed
1) Your engineering team has designed a new product that your company is ready to sell, but doesn’t know how to explain.
2) You’ve launched a new product or service that, while selling, customers are not using to its maximum capacity or are confused by its interface.
3) You have an internal team in need of understanding a new product or service they’ll be using to sell more products or services, and this product or service the company has purchased is without any technical documentation of its own.
4) You have ideas for procedures or processes, which are either customer-facing or internal, that need to be documented and distributed.
5) You’ve devised a training process for new hires in a specific department or function of an organization, but would like it standardized in written format.
6) Your research-oriented business has conducted research and needs to document and explain it with the appropriate citations and standardization necessary for publishing in your given industry.
Desirable Technical Writer Skills, Experience, and Qualifications
Hiring a freelance technical writer, part-time technical writer, or full-time technical writer is much like any other hiring process: you can find one for the duration of the technical writing needs of your organization by posting a job on on major hiring platforms or searching for one on well-known contractor and freelancer platforms like Upwork or Fiverr. While this option gives you greater flexibility in the breadth of your search, you’ll want to look for certain credentials in your technical writers, particularly when their experience is limited.
Certified Professional Technical Communicator (CPTC)
The Society for Technical Communication offers a Certified Professional Technical Communicator (CPTC) designation, which although not required to find an excellent technical writer, may help you narrow your qualified candidate shortlist.
Relevant Technical Writing Samples and Experience
However, much like any other career, experience is what matters most in selecting the right candidate. In vetting a freelance technical writer’s experience, you should consider the quality of the projects they’ve completed in industries and for purposes mirroring your organization’s needs. Also note that many graduate and undergraduate programs in technical writing offer certificates of emphasis or achievement within certain majors like communication and English, which you should look for on technical writers’ job applications.
Our Technical Writing Services and Pricing
WordWoven staff are experienced in drafting technical documentation for a range of business functions. If you’re interested in securing a free consultation for your technical writing project, fill out the form on this page and we will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible. The breadth of processes needed to fulfill the technical writing function in a manner specific to certain style guides and industries is as immense as the price point of these projects.
Unlike creative forms of writing, technical writing can be up to 70% research and 30% writing, or vice versa. Thus, you’re likely to have better results hiring a freelance technical writer who’s already well-versed in the industry of your business, product, or service. Given the rapid proliferation of new technologies in need of technical communicators, we structure our technical writing contracts differently than our other writing services. I.e., WordWoven technical writing invoices are split into 2 separate categories and pay period intervals: 1) research and 2) writing.
Step 1: Research – 5-40 hours of research at $50 Per Hour
Without this portion of the process, the final document will be nothing but a copied, pasted, and reworded form of technical communication that makes no progress toward better user experiences, regardless of who you choose to hire. This process generally includes but is not limited to:
A. Using the Technology or Software
This is a critical component of crafting precise and helpful technical documents. Without it, the drafting, editing, and reviewing process for existing documentation is futile.
B. Reviewing Existing Technical Documentation (Where Applicable)
This step is critical to bridging the gaps between the existing technical manual(s) and the processes they attempt to describe, which we procure in any applicable using processes.
Step 3 – Writing – $70 Per Hour
As a client, you reserve the right to see work completed by hour on a daily basis once this portion of the contract has begun. This price does not include any editing services. To schedule your free technical writing project consultation, fill out the form fields below, and we will be in touch with you shortly.