A good technical writer is someone who can break down complex concepts into simple and straightforward language that is easy to understand.
To be able to do that, you need a good writing process. A good writing process will help you to:
- Understand the topic you are writing about.
- Know your audience.
- Know how to structure an article.
This article will show you the writing process you can use to write good technical articles that clients will like and make them come for more.
Here are the steps we will be covering:
Step 1: Brainstorming
Step 2: Preparing to write
Step 3: Writing your first draft.
Step 4: Editing and Revising.
Step 5: Proofreading your final draft.
Step 6: Publishing your finished work.
Brainstorming is where you google the topic you will be writing about. Googling will help you understand and get a firmer grasp of the topic.
Brainstorming will be very important, especially when you start getting Technical Writing work from clients. Sometimes, a client will ask you to write about a topic you are unfamiliar with.
Being unfamiliar with a particular topic can be pretty intimidating and overwhelming. When you get yourself in such a situation, you only need two things:
- Knowing how to google.
- Willingness to learn
For example, in my first paid Technical Article, I was asked by a client to write about ‘How to get Stripe payment data, load the data into a database, and visualize the data using graphs or charts.’
I didn’t know how to do that, but I figured things out since I knew how to google, and I was willing to learn.
Preparing to write is where you put together all the information and ideas you collected during the brainstorming stage. You then use that information to develop the structure or outline of the article.
An outline, in simple terms, is basically a skeleton of a finished piece of writing that maps the topics you will cover in an article. An outline provides a structure that helps ensure your ideas flow logically and clearly.
Here is what an outline of an article looks like:
A title should be a headline that demands attention and should have keyword combinations that reflect what the article is about.
The introduction should describe the problem and the solutions the article will cover. Ensure that the introduction lets the reader know what the article is about.
In the body part of the article, describe the problem and the solution in detail. Try to tell a story. The story should keep the reader engaged at every step. Make a list of your main points. Then progress from one point to another logically to lead to a conclusion.
The conclusion should essentially include a summary of all the main points mentioned in the body.
NB: Preparing to write is also the coding stage. Most of the technical articles you will write will need you to work on a project then write about the process.
Writing your first draft is when you write the words on the page. Here you should focus only on writing and not on grammar or writing a good piece ready to publish.
You will do that during the editing stage.
Use the outline you created in the preparing to write stage to build your draft, sentence by sentence and paragraph.
Editing and revising is the stage where you shape the completed rough draft into a final draft. Make sure that you take a break between writing and editing. Taking a break will enable you to view your work with fresh eyes.
One way to quickly find areas to make your writing stronger is to read it aloud.
By listening to the rhythm of your writing, you can hear:
- Words that feel out of place,
- Awkward transitions,
- Redundant phrases
- Inconsistent tenses and tone
- Points where you need more details.
One tool that will come in handy in this stage is Grammarly.
Proofreading your final draft is the stage where you have finished your writing, but you are not quite ready to publish it or hand it to your client.
Here you go through your article to catch:
- Any spelling mistakes
- Grammar errors
- Formatting errors
- Incorrect structure or syntax
Publishing your finished work is the stage where you hand your work to the client or publish the work on your blog or on any blogging platforms like:
- Dev To
- Hash node
Writing an excellent technical article that solves a problem for the reader is all about using the proper writing process.
If you have any questions concerning Technical Writing, feel free to reach out to me, and I will be more than willing to help.