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Turn Your Freelance Writing Specialty into
Tech Writing

Tech Writing is No Longer Just for Geeks

The term, technical writer, will be around for a long time, but its meaning is changing rapidly. Once the term conjured up pictures of computer geeks dissecting software programs into almost usable instructions for users. Today, because technology is woven into every aspect of life and work, the need for specialists who also understand that technology and can write about it is an ever growing field.

Tech Writing is a Growing Field

For example, a search on DICE, still the major job board for tech types, listed 362 jobs using the keyword writer. The first three jobs listed were for fairly typical contract tech writing positions; the fourth was for a medical writer. The list also called for a business analyst, a technical business writer, a training writer and even something named a Senior Creative Writer.

So how do you move your talents into the tech field? Start by thinking more broadly about what you know. Make a list, starting with the things you currently write about and those you're pretty sure you could write about. Add the obvious, like the computer programs you do use well. Don't overlook things like any research you do on the web - even if it's just being able to find a great shopping bargain. Or maybe you're one of those who actually understands and uses all the functions on your cell phone or Palm or video player.

Take a Look at Tech Writing Jobs

Poke around on DICE and see what's out there. Don't limit your search geographically for this purpose; you're goal is to see if anything your currently doing would also apply in the tech writing field.

Do a search on Google for tech writing and for tech writing jobs. Get a feel for what's happening out there, and see where you might fit in. If you know any tech writers, talk with them too.

Once you think you've got a picture of how you might fit into the tech writing field, create a resume that shows off your skills with that in mind. Reshape your goal and any experience that might fall into the tech writing bucket, even if that job wasn't billed exactly that way.

Get Serious About Tech Writing

Now begin your search for a gig in earnest. Haunt the tech job boards, network with your technical friends, send out resumes.

If your search reveals that you definitely need a particular program to do technical writing in your chosen field(s), take a course, either online or off. On the other hand, you may discover you've got exactly the right skills, right now, to land a technical writing job.

Write well and often.

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