Looking for a low-stress job? CNN reports that becoming a technical or information technology (IT) writer is the answer. Yes, the work of an IT copywriter ranks sixth on their list of the 10 least stressful jobs.
You might be thinking, “Great! I like to write.” But, behind the excitement, you wonder what is really involved in the job or if you have what it takes to make it in this field.
What Is An IT Copywriter?
Technical writers take the jargon of developers, product designers, engineers and other innovators and spin it into language the average population clearly understands. Think about your car manual or the instructions for that new gadget you recently purchased. What you hold in your hands is the work of an IT copywriter.
Without these writers, the tech world remains foreign and frightening. Really, doesn’t it? For the non-techie, attempting to understand manuals and guides written in geek-speak misses the mark. Oh, how the lines of tech support would be ringing even more!
If you crave autonomy along with your passion for writing, this type of copywriting work could be for you. Check out these perks of IT writing:
- Minimal stress. (We already established this one.)
- Ability to work independently.
- Long deadlines on projects.
- Interaction with developers, web designers and software programmers.
- Higher pay than average writers.
But, it does require some know-how to be successful at this work. After all, perks do not come for free. So, what does it take?
The Basic Skills Required
In general, the basic skills needed to tackle this job are fairly broad. While some seem obvious, see how you stack up in comparison to the following list.
- Writing skills.
- Analytical thinking.
- Organizational skills.
- Time management capabilities.
- Independent and teamwork abilities.
Still with me?
Do you think you have what it takes? Or, are you wondering what more is required? Let’s dig deeper to understand what these broad categories mean in the work of an IT copywriter.
What Do You Need to Know to Become One?
While the above characteristics offer a good start in knowing if IT writing is a fit for you, expanding on these concepts helps. Broadly, the abilities listed below fit copywriters of all flavors. Specifically, they address the role of a technical writer.
Learn to Write for an Audience
The audience scope of an IT copywriter can be quite wide. Consider how many people view a tech support website or scan a phone manual. Writing to this broad audience can be a challenge. Yet, items such as journal articles address a more targeted reader.
In the development and design world, abbreviations, acronyms and jargon flourish. Yes, it a language all its own at times. As an IT copywriter, you must be able to break this language down for your audience.
Know Your Stuff
To explain an assembly or process clearly to someone, you must fully understand it yourself. And, the experience level of the audience weighs into how much information you need to gather and explain. Further, ensuring the information is accurate proves vital. Have you ever assembled a toy to realize the instructions misdirected you? Frustrating.
The ability to recognize reputable resources and gather research from several sources gives you the picture needed to begin writing a technical piece. Plus, you may need to work closely with those creating products to gather data as well.
The art of copywriting is also worth studying. Whether formally through a course, online via free courses or on the job, the skills of producing quality content are a worthy investment. Learning to write with a reader in mind,
Craft Killer Headlines
Headlines get attention and draw readers into your content. Creating unique, extremely specific titles gets you noticed. After all, if the combination of text and presentation fail to attract the reader, you write in vain.
While the title of an instruction manual may be less important, journal articles and website headers need this pull. Again, as a technical writer, knowing what interests your audience allows you to craft attention-getting headlines.
Learn the Art of Simplicity
Technical writing seeks to direct, instruct or explain. Therefore, this format differs from creative, academic and even business writing. How so? Consider the journal articles or manuals you skim. They are straightforward and concise.
Learning to right thoroughly with less words proves valuable. Again, think about your experience with manuals. Likely, if the material is too complex, it gets tossed aside.
Keep Your Opinions to Yourself
Much of the web is filled with blogs and articles brimming with personality and emotion. If this sounds like your gig, copywriting of a different nature might be for you. On the contrary, technical writing is unemotional and objective. This material presents the facts and not opinions.
Being able to remain impartial and write in the third person is crucial for IT writers. Readers are looking for, “Just the facts, Ma’am.”
We Can Help
Ready to take on this low-stress job? Ready to find someone who is?
Either way, we’ve got your back. Give us a call today to discuss your interest in copywriting of any kind or your copywriting needs. We have a free consultation waiting just for you.