Technically Speaking: Introducing Technical Writing

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You take your computer to the Genius Bar. So why would you leave writing about computers to an amateur?

When two people speak different languages, conversations quickly become a challenge. A native English speaker and a native Spanish speaker will have trouble understanding each other, even if they know a few phrases. Habla usted Inglés?

Technology also has its own lingo. Those who deal with it every day—such as IT specialists, engineers, scientists, and web developers—usually understand one another, but problems arise when they need to communicate with business owners or executives who lead a company offering a tech product or service platform but don’t not necessarily “speak the language.”

To help bridge this gap, we’re introducing a Technical Writing subcategory to our growing list of Writing and Translation offerings. Technical writing is a growing field that helps companies and individuals disseminate technical content, from manuals and how-to guides to policies and procedures. As technology continues to develop at record speed, there is a growing demand from companies to clearly explain their products and to develop user manuals and guides. As the go-to resource for small businesses and entrepreneurs looking to connect with freelance talent, we at Fiverr want to help SMBs grow, scale, and explain their products coherently and accurately.

We know this may be the first time some doers have encountered technical writing, and you might not be sure where to start. So we put together a list of tips for first-time buyers to communicate their business needs clearly and finally break through that language barrier.

Let’s Get Technical About IT

First and foremost, entrepreneurs and business owners need to provide the technical writer with sufficient direction on the project. After ordering your technical writing Gig, submit a detailed brief that clearly outlines deliverables and the revision process, as well as the business purpose behind your project. Your technical team should help collect the technical data, create the outline, and draft the content framework to guide the technical writer.

Use a whole team approach by connecting the technical writer with your tech talent via Fiverr. Other tech team members can also perform a peer review of the documentation. If you’re a one-person show, then consider outsourcing this task to a technical editor. The editor can also serve as a “translator” for you to better explain the changes you need to their drafts.

Additionally, benchmark technical material from other companies that produce technical manuals and guides that reflect what you need for your own product. Even if you don’t understand *everything* in these guides, you may be drawn to certain styles, structures, and tones. Share these with your Fiverr technical writer and explain what you do (and don’t) like in as much detail as possible so he or she knows what to incorporate into the final delivery.

If your new technical writer recommends a certain tool or platform, take the time to consider whether it’s something your company can adopt as well. Confer with your tech team to see if they can use the tool to further facilitate communication. At that point, you can either agree to add it or recommend something else your company already uses.

Leave IT To the Professionals

Hiring a technical writer to tackle some of your more complex and, well, technical copy needs gives you the confidence to know that you are communicating complex information and ideas precisely. Even better, it frees up your time to focus on what you actually love doing: building your business! Check out our hand-vetted technical writing freelancers here.

Have questions about our new technical writing category? Ask us in the comments below!

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Hannah Curran
Hannah Curran is Fiverr's Social Media and Content Manager. Originally from Connecticut, she lives in California and works out of our San Francisco office. Have an idea for the Fiverr blog? Connect with her on LinkedIn.