10 Tips To Hiring Technical Writing Consultants

By Dave Young, Professional Writer and Founder, Young Copy

I bring this article to you courtesy of Dave Young, as I think it adds enormous pertinence to what I do and I also endorse his opinions in this regard.

Young Copy has put together a list of tips every hiring manager should review before bringing in a contract technical writer or hiring technical writing consultants. These tips are based on years of experience by technical writing consultant Dave Young, founder of Young Copy.

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10 Reasons to Outsource Technical Writing Services

By Dave Young, Professional Writer and Founder, Young Copy

I bring this article to you courtesy of Dave Young, as I think it adds enormous pertinence to what I do and I also endorse his opinions in this regard.

The following ten reasons are based on Young Copy’s years of experience providing outsourced technical writing services to highly successful technology companies. The ten (10) reasons you see below provide real results to real companies everyday.

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How your customers feel about the user assistance your company provides.

I have posted this opinion poll so that software developers and users may gain an understanding of the myth that abounds in software and product development and marketing that “No one reads the manual” and alerting you to the fact that skimping on technical documentation can cost money

I bring this article to you courtesy of Sharon Burton, as I think it adds enormous pertinence to what I do. You may view the original article here.

This poll certainly supports the opinions I put forward in my previous article.

Why do we have both “Color” and “Colour”?

I bring this article to you courtesy of Grammar Girl, as I think it adds enormous pertinence to what I do. You may view the original artical here.

by Mignon Fogarty

Have you ever wondered why the British spell “color” with a “u” and Americans don’t? Or why the British spell “theater” with an “re” at the end and Americans spell it with an “er” at the end? We all know that these spelling differences exist, but not everyone knows why they exist.

Today, we’re going to find out!

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Which Skill Sets are Important?

Like any profession, becoming a technical writer requires a mastery of a certain set of skills. This skill set used to involve primarily writing and illustration skills, as large manuals for print publication were the standard in the profession. The worlds of communications and technology have evolved dramatically in the latter part of the 20th century and the early part of this century. How has that evolution affected the skill set required for a technical writer?

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Painful truths of not using a Technical Writer

Some business managers fail to recognize the impact on profitability of good technical documentation and other support literature, or the lack thereof.

You might hear them say—as I have—“It’s not really a priority at the moment” or “We may consider it later” or even “It cost too much, we’ll have to do without it”.  And yet, with your eyes and ears open, you will learn that:

  • Many industrial accidents happen because of inadequate procedural documentation or training.
  • Many high-tech products fail in the marketplace because customers don’t receive the information they need to use them effectively.
  • Many investments in costly new business systems fail to achieve results because structured training and user assistance materials are not part of the plan.

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Technical Writers are Communicators

The Society for Technical Communication (STC), the professional organization for technical writers, is involved in a movement to re-classify technical writers as technical communicators. A similar effort is also underway in the United Kingdom. To some technical writers, this movement is a bit contrary to their self-image as professional writers, while others welcome the change and agree that technical writers are increasingly tasked with creating technical communications in a growing variety of mediums beyond the written word.

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