Who Should Hire Technical Writing Services
Who Should Hire Technical Writing Services
I might make this writing business look easy, but there is a lot of work that goes into producing all of the content you see here. The truth is that I love writing and I do it pretty regularly, so it does not take me a terribly great amount of time to complete blogs. Technical writing, on the other hand, takes a bit more time. I may know a lot about grammar, but when it comes to CAD software or constant force springs? I may need some extra time to research. When you have a technical topic that the average person might not fully understand, you may benefit from hiring technical writing services.
What Is a Technical Writer?
Simply put, a technical writer is someone who takes complex information and creates readable content from it. While many writers cover a wide range of topics that include general information and research, technical writers must be able to understand and use industry-specific terminology and explain more technical concepts in written form. These writers do not necessarily need to have worked in or written about the industry or topic before, but they must have the skills to thoroughly research the topic and produce comprehensible content that sounds like it was written by an industry professional.
What Does a Technical Writer Do?
Technical writers should be able to handle in-depth research into niche topics for a variety of industries. They may produce manuals, instructions, reviews or even product-level pages that contain information that sounds like it was written by a professional in that industry.
Here are some of the things a technical writer needs to be able to do:
- Ask questions about the content you want to produce
- Research additional information to learn more about the topic or products
- Write high-quality content to the length and specifications requested
- Complete the content in a timely manner
While you can expect the writer to handle the bulk of the research side of things, whatever upfront information you can provide concerning the kind of content you want is helpful. Be ready to offer example websites and even reference materials, if you have them available. Niche, technical content can sometimes take longer to produce depending on how much research the writer has to do.
Which Businesses Need Technical Writing Services?
Every business stands to benefit in some way from producing online content. According to surveys, in 2018 approximately 33% of people used an online search to find local businesses every day. Creating consistent, quality content can get your business, service or product in front of more people. But what happens when your industry is a little more difficult to explain to the average person? That is when you need the help of a technical writer. Technical writing tends to be more prominent in these industries:
- Engineering: From working with CNC machines to creating instructions and manuals for device operation, engineering is a field that involves a lot of technical writing. Incorporating the proper terminology when writing about certain engineering subjects is essential, and a little more difficult than what is involved with your average blog writing.
- Law: Law firms tend to have strict ethical guidelines that written content must adhere to. Some practice areas are more complex than others and can require additional research on the part of the writer. You can anticipate the need to hire a technical writer if you require more in-depth legal content.
- Medicine: The medical field includes a lot of technical language. Depending on your audience, you may require a technical writer to dive into the specifics of diseases, pathology or a field of medicine.
- Sciences: The sciences include pretty much any field of writing that a technical writer is likely to fall into, from medicine and technology to biology, geology, chemistry and others. If you need to delve into niche subject matter related to the sciences, an experienced technical writer is a must.
- Technology: Technology is a dynamic field. With new products and developments occurring constantly, having a technical writer who understands IT and other technological nuances, such as software development or coding languages, is beneficial. Having a technical writer handling written content creation allows you to focus on your field.
What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Professional Writer?
There are many excellent reasons to hire a technical writer to manage the production of your written content. The skill of writing is essentially a muscle; if you do not exercise your writing regularly, the quality of your content may suffer. Just as people may turn to you as an expert in your industry, it makes sense to turn to a professional writer to produce readable content. There are myriad benefits to choosing to work with a professional:
Focus on Your Field
You could be the top expert in your industry, but writing might not be your strong suit. Hiring a professional writer to produce your content for you allows you to focus on your work and business. Creating new content regularly is important for keeping your business visible and relevant, and sometimes it just might be better to let someone else handle that part of things so it is not a constant worry in the back of your mind.
Get Approachable Content
When you work in a technical field, using the lingo of your industry becomes second nature, but it could sound like gibberish when you explain it to someone outside of your industry. Technical writers may be able to put your content into simpler terms that reach a wider audience. Of course, if your business and content is aimed at professionals in your industry who understand the terminology, a technical writer should be able to create knowledgeable pieces for that audience as well.
Access Scalable Projects
Online content creation is not a one-time thing. Sure, some pieces of content can last for years, and it does take some time after you upload new content to see increased traffic, but that does not mean you should be letting your blogs, webpages, manuals and other pages just sit. When you hire professional writers, you should be able to order consistent content and increase your output on a project-by-project basis.
Where Can You Find Technical Writers?
At this point, you might be saying to yourself, “I need a technical writer now.” The good news is that you do not have to go far to find writers for whatever type of content you need. As with many other industries that require written content, there are three main choices you have when searching for a technical writer for hire:
- In-House: In-house writers are employees of your business. An advantage to hiring in-house writers is that you can train them on all the details of your business and the content they will be writing so they can become experts. However, hiring an in-house writer tends to be a more expensive approach. You need to ensure you have enough regular content to keep the writer busy, plus you will need to factor in wages and any benefits.
- Freelancer: Freelancers, or independent contractors, are writers for hire. You can pay these writers for each project they work on. Like hiring any employee, it is important to research freelancers before contracting with one to ensure you know what you are getting. You should expect to pay a higher price for more experienced writing professionals. While you can save money with a less experienced writer, the quality may suffer as well. The main drawback of going with a freelancer is that you have to be careful about ensuring you choose a quality person to work with who will put in the effort to research your technical topics, and it can get expensive when you go with a pro.
- Content Company: Content companies or agencies typically consist of teams of managers and writers who are experienced in creating online content. Good content companies will work with you to determine the specifications of your project and ensure they have a writer who can meet your needs. Just watch out for “mill” type companies that tend to produce mass, low-quality content for a cheap price, which could ultimately come back to bite you in search engine rankings. Solid, responsive communication with a real person is a good sign that you are more likely to get better content from that agency.
Treat your search for technical writers as though you are hiring an employee. Check out referrals and content samples whenever possible. It is ideal if you can connect with a real person to customize your project parameters.
How Much Should You Pay for Technical Writing Services?
The cost of article writing services is a tricky area because it ultimately depends on who is handling the writing and the contract you create for the service. Factors that affect the final price for hiring a professional writer include:
- How many pieces of content you need
- How long each piece of content is (how many words)
- How much time is required for additional research
- How quickly you need the content finished
In most cases, technical content costs more than an average blog or webpage. If you work with a freelance writer, you may end up paying an hourly rate, which the writer typically negotiates. If you work with a content agency, your cost is likely to be determined by the final word count. Which option is better?
- Hourly rates can be better when you are working with a fast writer.
- Word count rates (or cent-per-word rates) can be better if you are ordering content in bulk or when the content takes longer to write.
If you have budget restrictions, it is a good idea to let your writer or content company know so they can customize your project to fit your financial needs.
What Qualities Make a Good Technical Writing Service?
Unless you work with technical writing services regularly, it can be difficult to tell if the content you are getting is good. Sometimes, the quality is obvious, such as when you are reading a web page and the language is awkward. Perusing customer reviews of the service you intend to use can also give you a clearer picture about communication and quality. To get the most out of your online content, you should look for a technical writing service that espouses the following qualities.
Includes Reputable, Recent Research
Good writers know to cite their sources, and those sources should be recent and reliable. If you have specific expectations as far as sources go, be sure to communicate that with your writer. You can also provide the writer with your own list of acceptable sources for your industry. Trust me; the writer will be grateful.
Does Not Include Fluff Content
Fluff content is wording that does not add value or information. It often appears as a general statement that everyone already knows. Lower-quality writers may resort to inserting fluff content just to meet a minimum word count.
Does Not Plagiarize
Plagiarism ultimately harms your visibility in online searches, so it is imperative that your web content is unique. Doing a plagiarism search is easy, but check beforehand to ensure your chosen writer assures the production of original content.
Follows Up on Finished Content
What happens if you get your finished content, but you are not happy with it and the writer ghosts you? Unfortunately, in that case, you are stuck with that finished product. However, you could turn over the poor content to a better writer and possibly have them fix it. A good technical writing service delivers your content and is open to your feedback because they are interested in building a business relationship with you. Usually, if a change needs to be made, a good writing service can work that in until the content meets your expectations.
What Is Your Next Step?
Now that you know what technical writers are good for and which businesses benefit the most from their services, it is time to find a writer. Take your time to research your options and make sure you go with technical writing services that will meet all of your needs. If you have any questions about BKA Content and our technical writing services, please contact us. What qualities have you found to be the most beneficial when searching for professional writing services? Share your tips with us in the comments below.