It’s no surprise that technology writing is a huge market for freelance writers. With technology all around us in our daily lives, cutting out a niche for yourself can prove to be very profitable If you believe you take on the task of technology writing, it might be a little confusing as to where to start. After all, there’s so much of it out there!
So, what options do you have if you want to enter the world of technology writing?
Technical writing is for people who can put advanced technological ideas into simple layman terms. These kinds of writers are at their best when writing instruction manuals and documentation to aid people in using software.
If technical writing sounds like it’s for you, you can pitch to software companies to see if they want manual writing or documentation done. Be careful when doing this, however, as you have to make sure you have a solid understanding on the area the company works for. There’s nothing worse than having to write an authoritative and informative document on an area you have no idea even existed!
Not far off of technical writing, tutorial writers focus more on trying to think of problems users have, and writing up guides and articles to help them out. This is a particularly great role if you want to use your skills to help others understand the often-complicated world of computers, including describing hardware, explaining topics, and how to turn on/off features of an operating system.
You can pitch your services to ebook writers, tutorial magazines, or websites that pay for articles and how-tos. I got my own break into technology writing by pitching articles to WorldStart, which was — and still is — open to freelancers to pitch simple tutorials and guides. You may even want to consider making your own site or books, or put articles up on sites like Constant Content for people to peruse and buy.
There’s always technology news to be written. From product announcements to cyber security, technology news always comes in thick and fast. If you’re someone who likes to keep their finger on the pulse of technology and reporting all the great innovations and devastating attacks, news writing might be for you.
When looking for a website to pitch to, keep your horizons open. While websites that specialise in technology news are plentiful, don’t forget that a lot of general news outlets will also have a technology section. If you can locate the email of the editor in charge of the technology department of a news website, you can better get your foot in the door with a well-targeted pitch. Don’t forget to use their name in the introduction of the pitch; a little familiarity goes a long way!
With all the technology in the world, someone needs to get out there and work out what’s worth buying! Reviewing technology can range from hardware to software, and oftentimes you’ll have owned or tried the product you’re reviewing.
There’s a few websites out there dedicated to reviewing software, such as I Love Free Software, that will pay for your reviews on various software across computers and mobile devices. Make sure you take look around and see if you can get paid for reviewing products.
This one’s a tough nut to crack, but it will certainly pay off if you make it. Trade magazines are set up by, and for, enthusiasts around a particular topic. As a writer for a trade magazine, you may find yourself having to write for people who know more about the topic than you do!
Given how trade magazines are run by enthusiasts, you’ll often find they cover a tight niche, so pick out a subject you’re strongest in and go with that. If you can bring an authoritative voice to the world of coding, search for programming trade magazines and pitch to them. If you have years of web design experience under your belt, web design trade magazines might want to hear your story.
If you have your head in the digital space more than you do the real one, you might find yourself able to cut a niche for yourself in technology writing. From helping beginners change their screensaver in Windows 10 to writing an authoritative article about ASP.NET, there’s all kinds of work for people on every skill level.
S.E. Batt is a freelance writer and author. He enjoys a good keyboard, cats, and tea, even though the three of them never blend well together. You can follow his antics over at @Simon_Batt or his fiction website at www.sebatt.com.
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