What Are The Main Advantages Of Being A Freelance Technical Writer
With more and more websites popping up to connect freelance writers with clients, and facilitate the business side of the relationship, the number of people seeking to make a living with freelance writing is increasing. This is great for clients who use them, but for writers it can mean more competition for jobs. The term ‘freelance writer’ is very broad, and encompasses dozens of different kinds of writing: from blog and article writing, to grant writing, to fiction writing, to technical writing. One major key to creating a successful career is to specialize in the right kind of writing.
Here are some of the main advantages of being a technical writer:
- You have a specialized background
- You have a unique set of skills
- There is less competition for jobs
- You can charge more for your work
As a technical writer you likely have some sort of background in the sciences, engineering, product design, manufacturing or business. While this background isn’t necessarily needed, in depth knowledge about a certain technical area will make you a more qualified writing, and ultimately a more successful writer, because you be able to spot errors more easily. This specialized knowledge background makes you more marketable, particularly when it aligns closely with the specialty of the client. When applying for technical writing jobs, be sure to highlight your background, including work projects or coursework that is relevant.
Beyond knowledge of technical areas, technical writers have a unique set of writing skills. Technical writing often requires for very complicated systems to be explained clearly and concisely, while still being approachable to the reader. Furthermore, most technical writers work on materials that will be used by a business or industry to ultimately try to sell their product, so the writing must be compelling, trustworthy, and to protect the company against false claims, correct.
The specialized background and unique set of skills means that there will be fewer applicants for jobs and projects that are qualified, which means that you’ll have less competition than in other kinds of writing, like blog writing, which requires fewer expertise.
Because the threshold of experience is higher for technical writing, it also means that you can charge more for your work. It isn’t uncommon for technical writers to bill between $35-50 per hour. However, along with this higher pay grade, comes the expectation that your work will be impeccable and error free.