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Clueless About Technical Writing? Get Started With These Essential Tips

Technical writing is like copywriting’s old, boring uncle.

In the communicative garden party that is online content, Copywriting gets everyone a drink and socializes, while Technical Writing runs the grill and feeds all the guests.

Copywriters may think technical writing is simple, but it actually presents a number of challenges unique to the discipline.

In tomorrow’s post, +Nick Chowdrey shows you how to approach a technical writing assignment like a pro.

Stay tuned.

Update: post is now live:
http://www.copyblogger.com/technical-writing/

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11 comments
 
I found the post to be informative. However, I thought it was going to be about technical writing, as in writing technical manuals for software, electronic products, etc. I've received a few inquiries from recruiters who are looking to fill these types of technical writing jobs.
 
Great article - thanks for the reminders and excellent examples of what you mean. Clear and concise!
 
I'm curious to hear what you classify as technical writing and how you differentiate it from copywriting. 
 
I've applied for a number of jobs requiring technical writing, but mentioning copywriting seems to turn off employers and clients. Any suggestions on bridging that gap?
 
+Alex Forrest The aim of technical writing is to communicate a technical or specialized topic with clear and concise information, whereas the aim of copywriting is get readers to take some form of action (for example, purchase your product or service). More on copywriting here: http://www.copyblogger.com/copywriting-101/
 
+Amy ODonnell Hey, Amy! I'd suggest having technical writing samples ready to show potential employers/clients. Also, tailoring each job application to the specific role may help -- highlighting your technical writing experience (if that's the assignment) rather than mentioning copywriting when applying.
 
Great article, I'll be transitioning to more technical article content in the coming weeks so this was perfect timing.  Thanks for the clear direction!
 
+Copyblogger Thanks. In my primary business I toe the line here - trying to teach prospective clients about a rather technical subject matter (insurance) to help persuade them to buy it. 
 
+Amandah Blackwell I work for +Crunch Accounting so most of the technical writing I do is based around explaining complex tax laws and processes. 

However, all of the points I made in the piece can be applied to that kind of technical writing too. As the Copyblogger team mentioned above, it's all about communicating in the most concise and accessible way possible.
 
Very useful article, and many of those tips can also apply to copywriting. It is never a good idea to use complex words when simpler ones will do. Who are you trying to impress?

However, I take issue with one thing. Motley Crue is not "fronted" by Tommy Lee. He's their drummer! Granted, he founded the band, but bands are traditionally "fronted" by the vocalist or the lead guitarist.
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