5 Qualities Of A Great Technical Copywriter
If good copywriters are in demand, good technical copywriters are in HUGE demand. Why? Because they have to combine writing skill and technical expertise to write marketing copy, web content, user manuals, sales sheets, and everything in between.
Moreover, they're writing about products and services that appeal to industrial clients. Face it, trying to sell things like heating and cooling systems or heavy machinery takes a different skill set than selling jeans or paper towels.
As a result, technical copywriting projects tend to go the most experienced writers. However, if you possess all of the five traits necessary to be a great technical copywriter, you may be up to the challenge.
Most clients want copywriters to have some knowledge of the field, but beginners can sometimes do well without it. But technical projects require at least basic knowledge, if not more. And the more complex the project, the more necessary that technical expertise becomes.
If your background is in a technical area like engineering or industrial products, whether through education or work, you're off to a good start. If you don't have it, get it, because you'll need it for the technical projects that come along.
Research and Analytical Skills
Even with a technical background, you'll need to do research for certain projects, especially if you aren't completely familiar with the subject. In those cases, your research skills need to be up to speed.
Like other types of copywriting, technical copywriting requires the writer to collect information from the client and other sources, then compile it in an easy-to-follow narrative that highlights key features and benefits. In many cases, the research needs to be advanced enough to really get the idea on paper, so make sure your research skills are strong enough to tackle the toughest projects.
Communication of Complex Ideas
The right background and research can give you technical expertise, but not the talent to know how to communicate it. Sometimes your readers will have ta high level of expertise. But in many cases, they're just trying to figure out what the product or service is and how to use it.
Unless you're writing for an expert audience, write about complex ideas in a simple style. Stay away from technical jargon and go for basic explanations. Use analogies and other tricks to help the reader visualize the idea or product. The basic rule is this: if your readers have to searches for terms or ideas, your writing is going over their heads.
Clear, Concise Writing Style
When it comes to technical issues, it's easy to get lost in the details of the product or service. But this only leads to copy that's long, wordy, and hard to follow. To make your writing easy to grasp, break it up into simple sentences.
Think of a user manual. Notice how each step includes only one instruction, written very clearly with no extraneous language. Take that same approach when you're writing website copy or a brochure. It help readers understand what they're supposed to take away from the copy, and it keeps them from getting lost in the weeds of complicated writing.
Technical writing has a natural tendency to turn dry, but a good technical copywriter knows how to keep it interesting. Their best tool is a basic rule of copywriting.
Most technical documents have lots of detailed information, but it shouldn't be a chore to read them, nor should it be just a list of features and specs. Don't forget to talk about the benefits of the products or the needs they're addressing. Incorporate benefits into sales sheets and web copy. Add examples of usage to product sheets and user manuals. Talk about what the product is, but also remember to talk about why the reader needs it.
Technical copywriters have the unique challenge of making products and services easier to understand AND more attractive to users. But if you possess all the qualities above, you could meet this challenge and be on your way to a lucrative writing career.