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Christine Belzie
Christine Belzie

Posted on • Updated on

3 Important Lessons I Learned From My First Paid Tech Writing Gig

The Power of Speaking Out Your Goals

Hey there, fellow tech enthusiasts and aspiring writers! Remember when I mentioned in my "So Far So Good" post about aiming to land a paid tech writing gig by the end of the year? Well, guess what? I did it! 🎉 I had the incredible opportunity to work as a paid reviewer for a non-profit organization's open-source project tutorials. Imagine—a perfect blend of open-source projects, documentation exploration, and getting paid for it. Sigh, it’s a dream come true! 🥹
As I sit and reflect on this achievement, I want to share three important lessons I have learned from my experience. Why? To inspire you of course! 🙂 Let's go! 🙂

Lesson 1: Research About the Project/Organization

Ever heard of checking someone's social media page before a date? Well, the same idea applies when you get your paid first tech writing opportunity. It’s always best to do some research on the organization you’re working with. It’ll help guide you on how to create content that aligns with your purpose. For instance, in my in-depth research on the organization, I learned that their project has a web editor that generates colorful images, aiming to make coding more accessible for non-tech professionals such as artists, educators, and other creatives. This has helped me immensely in my review of one of their reference pages as I suggested to the docs’ lead to simplify explanations, and hyperlink terms that have their own page. Now research is not the only lesson that I learned from this experience. Let’s look at another one.

Lesson 2: Ask Before Signing

Before clicking on the 'Agree' button, asking questions is crucial. When I first read the agreement for the reviewer role, I asked the following questions:

  • How will I receive payment?
  • What are the main tasks that I will focus on during this opportunity?
  • What tools will I be using?

These questions added clarity to the agreement and helped me learn more about the role and its expectations. Now before you go, there’s just one more thing I want you to consider when getting your paid tech writing gig.

Lesson 3: Don’t Be Afraid To Seek Clarification

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, miscommunications occur. After I worked on my feedback and discussed it with the docs lead, I reread it again and found some areas that needed improvement. Unfortunately, I hit a dead end in getting further input from the docs lead, leaving me to wonder “Should I pile on more feedback or hold back?” I felt torn between fulfilling the agreed hours and potential overstepping. Eventually, I decided to include the comments. Days later, the docs lead mentioned the extra commentary wasn't necessary. This taught me that seeking clarification, even amidst uncertainty, is crucial.

Not too Bad Overall

So, there you have it, three lessons I have learned from my first technical writing gig. It was an incredible experience, and I'm eager to do more of them in the future. If you're hungry for more opportunities in the tech writing realm, I recommend reading @blackgirlbytes'guide on writing technical blog posts:


It’s filled with great tips on how to write engaging technical posts. I also suggest exploring the CommunityWriterPrograms’repository on GitHub:

GitHub logo malgamves / CommunityWriterPrograms

A list of Developer Community Writer Programs

Paid Community Writer Programs

Paid writer programs usually have just enough of an incentive for people to get started creating developer content, besides the extra income it is an amazing opportunity for people to build a career out of it. For non-technical sites, have a look at http://whopayswriters.com.

A list of companies that have paid Developer Community Writer Programs.

  • Abstract API - $100 per article.

    Technical content and tutorials related to the APIs in their catalogue.

  • Adeva - $200+ per article

    Technical guides, thought leadership content and resources for Engineering Managers.

  • Agora - $250 per article

    Technical content and tutorials for the Agora community.

  • Airbyte - $900 per article of about 1500 words.

    Data engineering tutorials, tutorials that cover Airbyte use cases and features.

  • Alan AI - $75-$200 per article.

    Technical content, tutorials, building demo projects, and how-to guides that includes Alan AI platform.

  • Ambassador Labs - $300 per…







It’s a treasure trove filled with places that offer paid technical writing opportunities. And while you're looking, let’s stay connected! Find me on BioDrop for more tech content and support. Now, go forth and start writing! ✍️

Top comments (8)

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

Great post, Chrissy!! 🙌

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thomasbnt profile image
Thomas Bnt ☕

Oh woah, thanks for the post, very nice to know some tips about writing paid posts, and just seen how many enterprises propose that ! 🙌

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dumebii profile image
Dumebi Okolo

Thanks for sharing, Chrissy!

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lymah profile image
Lymah

Thanks for sharing. Keep being a source of inspiration. More wins.

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cbid2 profile image
Christine Belzie

Sure will @lymah! :)

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jamesajayi profile image
James Ajayi

This is on point, Christine. Thanks for sharing.

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dotsejerrykwesi profile image
dotsejerrykwesi

can you help me with a React Project?

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cbid2 profile image
Christine Belzie

Sorry, I’m not the best person for that.

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