How To Get Started In Technical Writing

In this post, we’ll cover the basics of technical writing and how you can apply them to your projects. You’ll learn about the different types of documentation and how you can use them in your content strategy. Oh yeah, and we’ll also talk about some tools that will help you create better docs faster!

How to get started as a Technical Writer – YouTube
Key Takeaways
Understand the basics of technical writing.
Develop strong writing and communication skills.
Learn to present complex information clearly.
Explore various technical writing tools.
Build a portfolio showcasing your work.
Network and connect with professionals in the field.
Consider pursuing relevant education or courses.
Adapt your writing style for different audiences.
Stay updated with industry trends and best practices.
Practice, practice, and practice to improve your skills.

Create As Many Docs As You Can

As a technical writer, you’re not always going to be writing about things that you know. You’ll need to write about things that you don’t know about. And sometimes, for some reason, you might even have to write about things that are just plain hard for other people to understand if they don’t already understand what it is that you don’t understand yourself!

But it’s important not only to write about these subjects in the first place: It’s also important for you not to be afraid of them! Try your best when writing about something new and then try again later on when more information has come out of your understanding has changed (which is likely).

If you’re considering a career in technical writing, understanding the fundamentals is crucial. Explore our guide on The Basics of Getting Started in Technical Writing to lay the foundation for your journey into this dynamic field.

Know Your Audience

As you begin to write, it’s important to know who your audience is. What are his or her goals? What background knowledge does he or she possess? How much time does he or she have on hand for reading your content? Knowing what readers want from a technical document will make all the difference in how well it meets their expectations.

The first step in creating an effective piece of writing is identifying what exactly you’re trying to achieve:

Are you informing potential buyers about some new technology?

Are your readers just interested in getting started with a new software product that they’ve purchased but aren’t sure how best to use it yet? Do they need help setting up their computers properly before they can start using everything properly?

Maybe even more simply than this, do these people need help navigating through menus on their phones so that they can get better service from them (like when I got my first smartphone)?

Keep It Simple Stupid

The best advice I have for anyone starting in technical writing is to keep it simple and stupid. Your readers are not going to understand what you’re saying if you don’t use clear and concise language when writing your document. This means using short sentences, paragraphs, words, sections, and pages/documents.

It’s also helpful to make sure that any information that is included in the document isn’t already known or obvious by the reader. For example, if you’re providing instructions on how to use a piece of software then it should be obvious from reading those instructions what each button does without having to explain it first!

Are you passionate about communication and want to make a mark in the world of technical writing? Our article on Building a Fulfilling Career in Technical Writing will provide you with valuable insights and strategies to create a successful path in this industry.

Use Plain English

Here’s a list of tips to get you started:

Use plain English. Technical writing is not the place for complicated or highly technical language. Instead, write in simple sentences using the active voice and short words that are easy for your audience to understand.

Use shorter paragraphs no more than three lines long and make sure each paragraph has a topic sentence that introduces what you’re going to say in that paragraph. This will make it easier for readers who skim through text rather than reading every word carefully because they want to find specific information quickly (like search engines).

Keep sentences short; avoid passive voice; make lists when appropriate; avoid jargon; use bulleted lists instead of numbered lists whenever possible (they’re easier on the eyes).

Know Who Your Editors Are

You should also know who your editors are. Editors can be people and/or processes. If you have a direct editor, make sure that they’re easy to reach and that they have time to review your work on time. 

If you don’t have a direct editor, make sure that the process of submitting articles is clear to everyone involved so that everyone knows how the workflow works and what needs to be done by whom.

Make sure you know how to contact them if they’re not online at the moment or if they’re on vacation (you’d be surprised by how many tech writers forget this). This can save everyone a lot of headaches later on in the project if someone has no idea who’s supposed to review their articles when it comes down to management for approval.

Employ The Readability Index

If you’re not familiar with the readability index, it’s a measure of how easy or difficult a text is to read. It can help you determine whether the average reader will be able to understand your content.

The Flesch reading ease score is a scale that ranges from 0 to 100, where higher numbers indicate texts that are easier to read and lower numbers indicate more difficult texts. 

The formula for this calculation involves four factors: average sentence length (ASL), word length (WL), syllable count (SC), and total word count (TW). The final score is calculated by adding ASL and WL together and then dividing by 500 plus SC divided by 40 plus 10 times TW:

50 = very hard

60 – 70 = moderately hard

70 – 80 = fairly easy

Exploring the foundations of real estate writing is crucial for anyone starting in this field. Delve into “The Basics of Real Estate Writing” to gain insights into crafting compelling content that resonates with your audience. Check out our guide on The Basics of Real Estate Writing to learn more.

Use A Spell Checker

Proofreading and editing are the most important steps in the technical writing process. You can use a spell checker, but it’s not a substitute for proofreading.

Spell checkers aren’t perfect and they don’t catch everything. The best way to ensure that your written work is as polished as possible is by employing multiple editors, who will each notice different things and help you make sure your work is clear and error-free.

Having said all of this, if you’re just starting as a technical writer it might be difficult to find people who are willing to edit your documents (for free or otherwise). 

In this case, I recommend getting yourself some good grammar software like Grammarly or Ginger Software Suite these programs will help you catch many common mistakes before they become part of your final draft!

Don’t Assume Your Doc Is Finished

One of the most important things to remember is that your document is not finished until you’ve done a final proofread. This means going through the entire document and checking for errors, including grammar, spelling, and capitalization. 

You may also want to check for consistency with other documentation regarding similar topics or products. While it’s tempting to assume your dog is good enough because you know what it says, an uninformed reader may notice mistakes that slip by you!

Another thing to keep in mind when proofreading: don’t just look at the words on the page—look at them as if they were someone else’s writing. What would YOU write differently?

Don’t Assume Anything About Your Reader’s Knowledge Or Skills

Technical writing is a lot about getting the reader up to speed. You might assume, for example, that your reader has no knowledge of your product or service and you’d be right! But what you may not realize is that this means you have to spend time explaining it.

Don’t assume anything about your reader’s knowledge or skills. Don’t assume they know how to use email or a web browser, don’t assume they have any technical skills, don’t assume they’ve been trained on your system before (or even why they would want to be), and so forth.

Your goal is always to write documents that are friendly but informative; if you’re writing instructions for how people should use a piece of technology or software then those instructions must cover everything someone could need them for.

Have you ever wondered what technical writing entails and how to embark on this exciting journey? Dive into our comprehensive guide on Understanding and Starting in Technical Writing to gain a clear perspective on the field and get started on the right track.

Write for an age group

Writing for kids is different than writing for adults, and you need to know the difference if you want to get your point across. 

Kids have shorter attention spans and can’t understand abstract concepts, pts as well as adults can so use examples that kids can relate to and use a simple, straightforward style when explaining complex ideas. Also, remember that teens are still figuring out their identity and how they fit into the world around them, so keep the tone positive!

The Documentation Process

The documentation process is a series of steps that you need to follow to create quality documentation. When you’re starting, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information involved and lose sight of the most important thing: delivering high-quality documentation. 

That’s why I want to share some tips on how you can make sure your documentation stays on track while still allowing yourself (and your team) enough flexibility and freedom within each phase of the process.

When I’m working with clients who are new to technical writing, three main challenges seem common among all teams:

Documentation can be seen as an isolated task that doesn’t have much value for other departments or senior members within an organization

Documentation is viewed as something done once at the end of development and not regularly throughout the design and development phases

There isn’t enough time allotted for training, which makes it difficult for new writers/editors in particular

Mastering the tools of the trade is a crucial aspect of excelling in technical writing. Discover our list of the Top 16 Essential Tools for Technical Writers and empower yourself with the resources needed to create impactful technical content.


Technical writing is a field that can be both challenging and rewarding. It can be difficult to get started, but with the right approach and some practice, you’ll find that it’s not as hard as it seems. With these tips in hand, we hope you’re ready to start creating your documents today!

Further Reading

How to Become a Technical Writer on IndeedA comprehensive guide to understanding the steps and skills required to embark on a successful journey as a technical writer.

Becoming a Technical Writer: A Complete GuideExplore the key insights and strategies to transition into a technical writing career, complete with practical tips and advice.

How to Become a Technical Writer – Your Ultimate GuideAn ultimate guide that covers the nuances of becoming a technical writer, including industry insights and the necessary skill set.

And here’s the “FAQs” section in markdown:


What qualifications do I need to become a technical writer?

While formal education isn’t always mandatory, a bachelor’s degree in a related field like English, communication, or a technical discipline can provide a strong foundation. However, a combination of writing skills, domain knowledge, and experience can also open doors to the field.

Is technical writing a creative profession?

Yes, technical writing involves creativity in presenting complex information in a clear and understandable way. Writers often need to find innovative solutions to communicate intricate concepts effectively.

How do I develop technical writing skills?

Practicing writing, studying various technical subjects, and learning about different document formats are key steps. Enrolling in technical writing courses or workshops can also enhance your skills and knowledge.

What industries require technical writers?

Technical writers are in demand across various industries, including technology, healthcare, engineering, finance, and more. Any industry that produces complex products or services requiring user manuals, documentation, or guides will benefit from technical writers.

Can I transition to technical writing from another profession?

Yes, many professionals from diverse backgrounds can transition to technical writing. Transferable skills like communication, research, and critical thinking are valuable assets. Tailoring your resume and showcasing relevant skills can help make a successful transition.