How to hire technical writers
Product manuals, user guides, and white papers won’t write themselves. If you’re looking for a freelancer who can help you take advanced technical topics and make them sensible to the masses, a technical writer can help.
So how do you find a technical writer? What follows are some tips for finding top technical writers on Upwork.
What is technical writing?
Technical writing is an umbrella term that covers everything from code documentation to blog posts covering the latest news in tech. If you’ve ever clicked “help” in a software service, perused an informative article covering new technology, or relied on a user manual to use a new product or service, you’ve benefited from the services of a technical writer.
Here’s a quick overview of the skills you should look for in technical writing freelancers:
- Technical writing and editing
- Experience writing technical documents (whitepapers, user manuals, etc.)
- Attention to detail
- Familiarity with your subject matter
From marketing a technical product to educating your customers on how best to use it, technical writing consultants can create the documentation you need to reach your target audience.
How to shortlist technical writing freelancers
As you’re browsing available technical writing consultants, it can be helpful to develop a shortlist of the freelancers you may want to interview. You can screen profiles on criteria such as:
- Industry fit. You want a technical writer who understands your industry, so they can help you translate your technical jargon into something that speaks to your target market.
- Detail oriented. It takes strong attention to detail to accurately translate advanced technical concepts into the words of a layperson.
- Feedback. Check reviews from past clients for glowing testimonials or red flags that can tell you what it’s like to work with a particular technical writer.
Why do you want to hire technical writers?
The trick to finding top technical writers is to identify your needs. Are you looking for someone to write fun and informative blog posts about your technical products or services? Or do you require someone with a strong coding background to create the documentation for a library to be used by other developers? The cost of your technical writing project will depend largely on your scope of work, and the specific skills needed to bring your project to life.
How to write an effective technical writing job post
With a clear picture of your ideal technical writer in mind, it’s time to write that job post. Although you don’t need a full job description as you would with employment, aim to provide enough detail for a freelancer to know if they’re the right fit for the project.
An effective technical writing job post should include:
- Scope of work: From blog posts to test procedures, list all the deliverables you’ll need.
- Project length: Your job post should indicate whether this is a smaller or larger project.
- Background: If you prefer experience working with certain industries, software, or marketing channels, mention this here.
- Budget: Set a budget and note your preference for hourly rates vs. fixed-price contracts.
Ready to create compelling content and user-friendly documentation for your technology products and services? Log in and post your technical writing job on Upwork today.