15 Ways To Become A Better Technical Writer

I’ve been a technical writer for the past seven years, and I love it. I get to write all day, and my job is to make things more understandable. 

How cool is that? Yet, even though I love what I do, there’s one thing that bothers me: there are so many poor technical writers out there! They can’t write properly and their products don’t convey any information clearly or effectively. 

To be frank with you guys, this annoys the hell out of me! But rather than going on a rant about how bad some people are at writing (I could go on forever), let me instead tell you what you can do about it yourself. If you want to become better at writing professionally then follow these 25 tips from someone who knows what works best when it comes time to write something down!

How to Become a Great Technical Writer – YouTube
1. Focus on improving clarity and conciseness in your writing.
2. Master the art of simplifying complex technical concepts.
3. Learn to tailor your writing style for your target audience.
4. Use visual aids to enhance understanding and engagement.
5. Embrace feedback as a valuable tool for improvement.
6. Develop your skills in using documentation and authoring tools.
7. Study and analyze well-written technical documents.
8. Prioritize organization and logical flow in your content.
9. Pay attention to proper grammar and punctuation.
10. Practice consistency in terminology and formatting.
11. Cultivate a deep understanding of the subject matter.
12. Seek continuous learning to stay updated in your field.
13. Collaborate with experts and cross-functional teams.
14. Understand the needs and expectations of your readers.
15. Experiment with different writing techniques and styles.

Learn From Your Peers

Learning from your peers is a great way to improve your writing skills and make the most of the experience you have in other aspects of technical writing. 

You should regularly receive feedback on your work, whether it comes from colleagues or clients but be sure that you are receptive to feedback, even if it’s not constructive. It’s important to take criticism seriously to improve as a writer and develop at a professional level that will be respected by others in the field.

Becoming a better technical writer is a journey that involves honing various skills. To succeed in this endeavor, it’s crucial to learn from those who have excelled before you. Explore the 10 Secrets to Succeed as a Real Estate Writer to discover valuable insights that can be applied to your technical writing journey.

Learn From Industry Legends

You should also learn from the best. This might sound like an obvious step to take, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t follow through on this advice. They’ll read a book or article and think of it as “their” work, or they’ll avoid sharing their ideas because they want to keep them private.

Instead of doing that, take inspiration from those who have already succeeded in your field and learn from their experiences! When I started writing for TechCrunch, I had no idea what I was doing and it showed in my work. 

But watching other writers do their thing helped me figure out how to improve my craft. They showed me new ways of framing stories or made connections between different topics that hadn’t even occurred to me yet (and now they’re some of my favorite parts).

Learn From The Masters Of Other Professions

You can learn from the masters of other professions. For example, writing master Stephen King has said that he learned how to write by studying the works of other writers and then trying to figure out how they did what they did. 

And speaking of writing well: if you want someone who can teach you how to get your message across clearly and effectively, check out William Zinsser’s On Writing Well.

A great technical writer knows how to communicate complex topics understandably and it’s no surprise that many professional writers have also mastered the art of clear communication in their fields. 

For an excellent example of this kind of mastery (in addition to being one of my favorite authors), I’d recommend reading anything by David McCullough or Peter Stark both terrific storytellers with a gift for explaining even complicated topics in simple terms.

Writing about real estate requires a set of essential skills that can also be beneficial for improving your technical writing craft. Whether it’s effective communication or attention to detail, these skills are transferable. Check out the 10 Most Important Skills When Writing About Real Estate to gain insights that can enhance your technical writing prowess.

Let Your Writing Sit Overnight

This is a good way to write, but it’s also a good way to edit. Sometimes when you have just finished writing something and you read the piece on the screen, it will be difficult for you to see what needs editing and what doesn’t. When you wake up in the morning, two things will happen:

  • You’ll be more rested from having slept on it
  • You’ll have forgotten some of the details while sleeping

Both of these things make editing easier because they allow you to see your work with fresh eyes as though someone else wrote it. This makes it easier for both big picture edits (like making sure everything flows smoothly) and line-by-line edits (like fixing grammar or spelling mistakes).

Develop A Workflow That Works For You

Developing a workflow that works for you is essential if you want to become a better technical writer. Here are some examples of different types of workflows:

The hand-editing method is great for people who want to write more naturally, but it’s not practical if your writing will be published online or converted into other formats.

The outline-first method involves creating an outline before writing the document itself (which can then be converted into another format). This is useful for long documents that need structure and organization early on.

The template-based approach involves creating templates for different styles of writing so that you know exactly what goes where when it comes time to publish—and it also helps ensure consistency throughout your documents!

The right workflow isn’t always obvious; however, here are some tips on how you might find yours:

Diversify Your Reading Material

As a technical writer, it’s important to be well-read in your field. But if you’re only reading papers and manuals that deal with information similar to yours, you’ll become stagnant and stale. 

It’s good to have some outside reading mixed in there things like novels, poetry collections, and nonfiction books that are completely unrelated to technology or science. You might learn something new about language or writing style; you might even find yourself inspired by the creativity of other writers’ wordsmithing skills!

The world of technical writing is full of opportunities and resources that can help you refine your skills. If you’re on the path to becoming a better technical writer, make sure to explore the 16 Resources for Technical Writers: Agents, Publications, and More. These resources can provide valuable guidance and support on your journey.

Read Something You Don’t “Get”

Reading something you don’t “get” can help you develop new ways of thinking, and ultimately improve your writing. Reading something that challenges your beliefs and ideas can be uncomfortable, but it will also force you to rethink what you know, which is a necessary step on the way to growth. 

The specific book or article doesn’t even matter; reading something challenging will help develop your critical thinking skills and prepare you for working with people who have very different opinions than yours.

Improve The Quality Of Your Writing Tools

Use a good word processor. If you’re writing technical documentation, you’ll find that Microsoft Word has more features than most people need for their writing. 

It’s not just enough to be able to format your text you also need tools for tracking changes, inserting images and tables, generating indexes and tables of contents, and generating cross-references automatically from other documents (such as specifications).

Allowing readers to email comments or questions directly to the author (instead of having them go through customer support), etc.

Use a good grammar checker. Most word processors include some built-in spell-checking functionality; if yours doesn’t have this feature (or if it doesn’t work well), try installing one like MS Office 2016 or LibreOffice Writer instead of using the one built into your operating system.

Use a good text editor with syntax highlighting and code folding capabilities

Use a good spell checker

Write With A Distraction-Free Interface

Use a plain text editor. This is one of the most effective ways to avoid distractions and stay focused on the writing. Many popular writing tools, such as Word and Pages, are full of features you’ll never use and can be distracting just by being there. Just start writing in your favorite text editor and see how much easier it is to focus!

Use a distraction-free interface. While you’re working on your draft in your plain text editor, make sure that as little else is visible on screen as possible no open browser tabs or email notifications! 

If you’re using an operating system like Windows 10 or Mac OS X (formerly macOS), try installing programs like Freedom or SelfControl that allow you to block distracting websites for a set amount of time (e.g., 30 minutes). 

You might even consider using an OS with built-in distraction-free features like FocusWriter for Windows 10 Professional users or iA Writer for Apple’s iPad Pro tablet line (the latter also includes its built-in timer).

Write In Markdown And Convert To Html/Pdfs When You Need To

Markdown is a lightweight markup language that can be converted to HTML or PDF. It’s easy to learn and use, which makes it perfect for writing content for the web. 

Markdown can also be used in conjunction with programming languages, so you can take advantage of all the formatting options available in those languages without having to learn their syntax. 

Many popular blogging platforms like WordPress and Medium support Markdown natively which means that if you want to publish on those sites using your technical writing skills, all you need is a simple text editor (like Notepad on Windows) and some basic knowledge of how Markdown works.

Technical documentation is a crucial aspect of conveying complex information effectively. To excel in this realm, you need the right tools at your disposal. Discover the tools that can streamline your technical writing process by reading about The Tools I Use to Write Technical Documentation. These tools can make a significant difference in the quality and efficiency of your work.

Use A Good Word Processor (Ia Writer On Mac, Ios, Android)

This is the first step to becoming a better technical writer. A good word processor can handle all of the writing and editing functions that you need to get your work done, without adding too much overhead or complexity.

You’ll want to use something like iA Writer on Mac, iOS, and Android (it’s free!). It has a distraction-free interface, supports Markdown, and lets you convert your finished files into HTML/PDFs when you need them.

Learn Latex For Ultimate Publishing Power And Control

Learning LaTeX will give you ultimate publishing power and control in your writing life.

LaTeX is a typesetting language, which means it’s used to create documents that are both readable and beautiful. You can use LaTeX for anything from writing articles for your website or blog to creating reports for work, to even making flyers for concerts at your local music venue.

LaTeX is an acronym for LATEX, which stands for “LATEX Document Preparation System” (read: a document-preparation system). It was created by Leslie Lamport in 1978 as a way of formatting technical documents with simple commands like \section{} and \begin{document}.

While there are many different typesetting systems out there (like FrameMaker), LaTeX has become one of the most popular because it’s extremely flexible. 

Unlike other typesetting systems where everything must be entered manually into a text editor before being compiled into its final form as an HTML page or PDF file, with LaTeX all you need do is write in plain text and then compile it into any format you want using another program called pdflatex.

Keep A Dictionary By Your Side At All Times

The dictionary is your best friend. You should keep a dictionary by your side at all times, and consult it whenever you have a question about what a word means, how it’s pronounced, or if it’s the right spelling.

Remember: the meaning of a word is different depending on who you’re talking to and what context they use it in. If you don’t know what someone means when they say “vague” or “predictable” then consult the dictionary! If they use these words incorrectly (which is highly likely), then explain that misconception as part of your documentation efforts.

Read Books On Writing And Style And Practice Their Lessons Regularly

Read. A lot. Read widely, but also read with purpose. If you want to become a technical writer, it’s important to get familiar with the language of your chosen field and understand how it works. 

Reading books on writing will help you learn about grammar, style, and tone to develop your unique voice as a writer; however, those aren’t the only things that will make or break your career as a technical writer!

Reading books on style and grammar and reading them regularly will also give you an advantage over other writers who may not put in this much effort when writing their content for clients or employers. 

By reading these types of books regularly (instead of just once), not only will you absorb more useful information than someone who doesn’t read these types of resources regularly but also begin developing good habits around writing while they’re still fresh in mind after each session with one particular book! 

For example: if there’s something specific I want from my next draft after reading something new like this article then I’ll try using some techniques suggested within its pages before moving onto another topic altogether.”

Emphasizing the key aspects of your technical writing is essential to grab and maintain your audience’s attention. If you’re looking to improve your technical writing skills, consider exploring 14 Ways to Emphasize Your Technical Writing. These techniques can help you convey your ideas more effectively and engage your readers with your content.

If You Want To Improve, Study What Has Been Done By Others Who Have Been Successful

You learn from your experiences, but you also learn from the experiences of others. When you study the work of others who have been successful, you can see what has worked for them and what hasn’t. 

You can learn from their mistakes and avoid making similar errors yourself in the future. If you want to improve as a technical writer, it’s important that you study what has been done by others who have been successful.


We hope these tips have helped you get started on your journey to becoming a better technical writer. Remember, there’s no one way to do this there are many paths that lead to success. Experimentation will help you discover what works for you. 

And don’t forget about all the other resources out there: your peers, industry legends, and other professions can all teach us something new (even if it doesn’t seem like it at first). Remember that everyone has their process and preferences when it comes down to writing well just because something doesn’t work for one person doesn’t mean it won’t work for another!

Further Reading

Best Ways to Improve Your Technical Writing: Explore practical tips and strategies to enhance your technical writing skills and communicate effectively.

How to Become a Technical Writer: Discover the steps and insights into pursuing a career as a technical writer and the skills required for success.

Top 10 Tips for Great Technical Writing: Dive into a list of valuable tips that can help you produce clear, concise, and impactful technical writing content.


How can I improve my technical writing skills?

Improving your technical writing skills involves practicing clear and concise communication, mastering grammar and style, and using appropriate tools. Consider seeking guidance from experts or taking relevant courses.

What steps should I take to become a technical writer?

To become a technical writer, you should acquire strong writing skills, gain technical knowledge, and understand how to present complex information to a target audience. Additionally, building a portfolio of writing samples can enhance your prospects.

What are some key tips for creating effective technical writing?

Creating effective technical writing involves organizing information logically, using a consistent writing style, employing visuals to enhance understanding, and keeping the audience’s needs in mind while writing.

How do I transition into a career as a technical writer?

Transitioning into a career as a technical writer requires refining your writing skills, gaining technical expertise in relevant industries, and building a portfolio that showcases your ability to communicate complex concepts clearly.

What tools can assist me in producing quality technical writing?

Several tools can aid in producing quality technical writing, including word processors with grammar and spell-check functions, documentation platforms, collaboration tools, and software for creating visuals such as diagrams and charts.