Many businesses believe tasks like technical writing are better done in-house. Who, after all, better understands a company’s products and services than the people who work there? Well-written instruction manuals and other informational documents are crucial to a product’s success, so it’s important they be written in a way that speaks to the end user.
Often, those who know an industry or product best are not well-suited for writing instruction manuals. Why? They’re too familiar with the subject they’re writing about and may be guilty of writing jargon-heavy content that leaves out critical steps the customer must have to successfully use a product or service. There are a lot of compelling reasons for outsourcing your technical writing to a team of professionals. Here are just 5 of them.
5 Reasons to Outsource Technical Writing Services
- Outsourcing lets employees stay focused on their most value-added activities. Most technical writing takes a lot of time to research and complete. Unless a company has an in-house technical writing staff (and most don’t), it doesn’t make sense productivity-wise to take staff away from what they were hired to do to write a manual. In other words, asking an IT engineer to suddenly become a writer is not a value-added activity.
- The cost of employing a team of in-house technical writers is out of the question for most organizations. Technical writers are trained and skilled at extracting important information from volumes of data and then presenting it in a way the end user finds relevant and easy to use. When you add in salary, insurance, training, and development expenses, hiring someone for a full-time technical writing position can be a substantial expense. If a company only launches one or two products a year, there’s meaningful savings to be found in outsourcing the task.
- An outside technical writing services provider can give your documentation an innovative and fresh perspective while fine-tuning it for a targeted audience. You also get two other valuable, often overlooked services: editing and review. Most technical writing projects include interaction with a company’s development, marketing, quality assurance, and product management departments. Few people from any of these departments are qualified to proof a technical document for style, grammar, and readability, not to mention branding rules. An outside editor who reviews the document for accuracy, consistency, and style ensures a high-quality end product.
- It’s easy to get caught up in the nuts and bolts of an instruction manual, but keep in mind that a well-written technical manual can also have a positive effect on customer loyalty. When customers have a positive experience with a brand, even with something as simple as the instructions, they are more likely to purchase again. The information provided in technical writings should help them use the product and be easy to access and understand. An experienced professional technical writing services provider can produce user-friendly content about how to use the product, not how or why the product works.
- When you outsource technical writing services, the work gets done faster. Writers who provide technical content are more up-to-date on industry trends and know the latest online documentation tools that will help them get the job done more quickly.
How to Find Good Technical Writing Services
Services that specialize in technical writing have years of experience identifying, vetting, and hiring good technical writers. They can help you choose candidates who have a solid technical writing background, are able to quickly learn about your particular industry, and are skilled in writing technical content in a clear and concise manner.
While there can be cases where an in-house technical writer makes sense, outsourcing technical writing services is an attractive option for any organization that wants to produce accurate, clear, and useful documentation at a reasonable cost. To learn more, check out our white paper, "Top 10 Ways Technical Writing Services Help You Succeed."