Are you considering hiring a freelance writer for your business? If so, then you’ve probably already considered the benefits of working with a freelancer. You get the expertise of someone who knows how to create highly readable content that sells without the expense of having to bring on a new employee and handle all of the costs and time investment that comes with that. You also get the benefit of the knowledge and research that the writer brings to the project. However, if you are hiring a tech writer, then there’s a good chance that you have some concerns about finding a writer who is qualified for the position. Fortunately, there are many qualified freelance writers with whom you can work. Here are some things you should look for in writers to find the right tech writer for your business.
Experience in a Technical Field
For tech writing, it helps to have experience in tech. For some writers, this may mean that they have a relevant educational background. Others will be entering the field of writing after spending a portion of their careers working in tech. In still other cases, you may encounter writers whose experience in tech is specifically in the field of tech writing. Each of these kinds of writer can bring the knowledge you need to your job.
There are some factors to keep in mind, based on the kind of work you are hiring a writer to do. For example, if you are looking for someone to create B2C marketing copy that is designed for novices to understand, you may not need a writer who has a technical background, since you want the pieces to be beginner-friendly. However, if you need copy for a technical audience, you need someone who can speak that language. Balance your need for tech knowledge in your candidate accordingly.
Understanding of the Copy You Need
Tech writing is very cut and dried. The text needs to be precise, and the language needs to be clean and crisp. By their nature, many writers want to do work that allows them to be a little more creative with their presentation and language. This preference usually includes good tech writers.
You don’t need to look for someone with a passion for writing straight pieces to find a good tech writer. What you do need to find is a writer who understands your audience and who can adopt the appropriate voice for your needs. You may be able to get a sense of this skill through writing samples, but be sure to discuss it during interviews with writers, so you can make sure you’re both on the same page.
Attention to Detail
Errors in technical writing can be more serious than a simple typo. Writers have to deliver all of the relevant information for a piece in full detail, without skipping anything. A writer who leaves out a step that may seem minor to them could actually confuse your customers, particularly when they are writing training manuals or user guides.
This kind of attention to detail usually involves both incorporating any information you’ve provided as well as thorough research to fully cover the topic in question. One reason technical writers tend to receive higher pay than other writers is because of the additional time this requires. It’s worth the investment to get a writer who will deliver a technically accurate piece that has been adequately researched. When you’re setting the timeline for your project, be sure to include enough time between the assignment date and the due date to let your technical writer provide this caliber of work.
Willingness to Collaborate on Edits
Technical writing tends to involve more editing than other kinds of freelance writing. This is especially true if the writing in question involves manuals, training documents, e-books, or white papers. An important part of the process may involve the writer working with someone at your business to review the text. You may also need to work together on producing edits that will ensure the piece is fully accurate and comprehensive.
Most freelance writers include a certain number of edits in their fees for a project. When hiring a technical writer, be sure to discuss your needs for edits up-front. You should hire a writer who is willing to be flexible, within reason, when it comes to collaborating on edits. Of course, you can minimize this process by ensuring that your assignment is as clear as possible.
Looking for a qualified freelancer? At Writers Work, we make the challenging process of hiring a freelance technical writer easier than ever before. In our Writers Marketplace, you can visit the profiles of technical writers, read their samples, and contact them directly, all without inviting applications from the masses. Ready to get started? Visit the Marketplace today and find the right writer for your project in our talented community!