Advance your technical writing career

April 27, 2020

Technical writing is a challenging job, and it takes real skill to balance creativity with technical know-how. Organizations do not always recognize the vital role that writers play. Professional writers deliver immense value to businesses by authoring content that is clear, concise, and engaging. The key to getting ahead as a technical writer is conveying this value to management.

To receive the resources, credit, and pay that you deserve, you need to push the business case and demonstrate the advantages of professional technical writing. With that in mind, this blog highlights some of the principal ways that technical writers can deliver business value, both through initial authoring and the subsequent benefits it has on translation.

Cut costs with clear and jargon-free content

The role of technical documentation is to accurately communicate instructions and information, and organizations sometimes assign the authoring tasks to engineers and developers rather than writers. But to deliver the best user experiences, the content must also be clear and engaging. To achieve both objectives, accurate and engaging subject matter experts should collaborate with dedicated professional writers.

While engineers possess the necessary product knowledge, they are typically used to writing for their peers and thinking from an engineering perspective, and they are not always capable of creating content that is comprehensible for non-experts. This is where professional writers come in. Technical writers have a better understanding of the user experience, and they approach authoring from the end-user perspective. Engineers and developers should certainly provide the information for technical documentation, but it takes a skilled writer to break down complex concepts and present them in a way that is easy-to-understand and engaging for laymen.

Clear documentation cuts support costs by minimizing the number of questions to customer services and technical support desks. Additionally, professionally written content is more concise, and takes fewer words to convey instructions. This concision further cuts costs by reducing the number of words that require translation, accelerating the review process, and lowering print volumes. – Translation savings, in particular, can be substantial!

Finally, writing is a time-consuming task for non-professionals. If an engineer is required to author content, turnarounds are slower, and during that time the engineer is unable to focus on their core responsibilities.

The value of consistent, high-quality writing

Professional writers naturally author content with their audience in mind, considering the whole user journey and developing a cohesive experience across outputs. This consistency strengthens the brand and enhances the user experience, fostering customer loyalty and generating repeat business.

Consistency in technical writing structure and format also promotes content reuse, which can unlock significant savings throughout the global content creation process. Content reuse streamlines authoring and it is one of the best ways to reduce translation volumes. Maximizing content reuse – and therefore cost savings – requires the use of structured authoring tools. It takes experience to leverage these tools to their fullest, and that experience is most commonly held by technical writers.

It should go without saying that technical writers produce the highest quality content, but the value of high-quality authoring goes beyond the source language – it also directly impacts localization. When writing content that will be translated into multiple languages, any mistakes in the source will be passed on to the translated versions, where they will be costly and time-consuming to fix. But by building quality into the source content, professional writers can help prevent mistranslation, inconsistencies, and delays from arising during localization.

Take control of your career

So, technical writers – take charge, and use this information to boost your company’s global content strategy, grow your own business, or move up within your organization. Fingers crossed there’ll be a pay rise in it for you! And as your career reaches new heights, remember to think of us when you need support.

At Rubric, we exist to help companies improve their content development processes. We work with everybody from director level strategists to developers and technical writers, all to create a more cohesive and profitable content strategy. Get in touch to discuss how we can support your business.

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