Most writers understand there is a difference between basic copywriting and technical copywriting. After all, to begin with, there is a higher pay rate with technical copywriting. The pay rate per job has definite appeal, but looking at topics and titles, it’s easy to figure out there may be a bit more skill involved.
What is Technical Copywriting?
Technical copywriting involves knowing more about a subject. There are a few reasons to have experience or deep knowledge when technical copywriting:
- To be able to simplify the information so more people can understand
- To write in a manner that speaks to professionals in the field
- To give an in-depth explanation of something or instruction
Technical writers often write articles, guides, descriptions, and instructions. They know specialized terms and concepts. Technical copywriting can be a great field to be in, but like anything, it has its pros and cons.
What Does a Writer Need to Do to be a Great Technical Copywriter?
Let’s say there are more pros than cons to being a technical copywriter, and you have excellent knowledge in a particular field. Maybe you are a former lawyer, or perhaps you worked in IT. Whatever the reason, there are things you should do to be a great technical copywriter, which will likely increase your ability to get great jobs. As a technical copywriter, you should:
In the “technical” field you are choosing to write, you need to have a better than average knowledge of the subject. Often, technical copywriters have gained that knowledge through a former career or their education.
Have strong research, analytical, and reading skills:
Although you may have a base knowledge in an area, technical writing typically includes ingesting, more complex materials. You may need to read and interpret studies, suss out pertinent information from long documents, or reduce lengthy publications into bite-sized pieces. You’ll also want to find reputable support and citations, and be able to research quickly and well. All of this will lead to well-written pieces.
Some fields are constantly evolving. For example, just as people get used to one technology product or software, the next is released. For technical writers, it’s essential to stay on top of any given subject. You can do that by looking at trade magazines, continuing your education, or reading the latest articles from legitimate sources about industries and subjects.
Understand the target audience:
In technical copywriting, the audience plays a huge part in how you’ll write. Sticking with the former lawyer theme, you will write very different technical pieces for lawyers versus someone needing help from a lawyer. The key is the information still needs to be incredibly accurate, especially when it addresses the law. With the lawyers, they want to feel they are reading something written by an experienced peer while someone seeking law advice wants an expert who simplifies the concepts so they can better understand them. Always make sure to find out who you're writing for.
Writing about DIY projects or fashion gives you a little more leeway with filler, or as the industry likes to call it, fluff. In technical copywriting, you want to avoid anything that resembles unnecessary words. Your writing should be clear and to-the-point. Avoid lengthy sentences and paragraphs, and get to the point quickly.
Make it interesting:
It isn’t easy to make something like an industrial humidifier or 5G networks interesting, but it can be done. Your technical copywriting can become more interesting when you:
- Use examples
- Promote benefits
- Give the why and the how
- Keep it concise
Technical copywriting isn’t for everyone, but it certainly is a growing field, and according to the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), growing faster than average. If you are a great technical copywriter, you have the ability to make a solid income. To become great, work on the above steps.