6 Reasons to Hire a Technical Ghostwriter for Your Company
6 REASONS TO HIRE A TECHNICAL GHOSTWRITER FOR YOUR COMPANY
When it comes to the tech industry, few jobs are in as high demand as the technical writer. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that by 2030, employment growth for technical writers will rise by a whopping 12%. That gives this job sector the highest growth average than any other sector in the world!
It’s safe to say that technical writers, especially those with a plethora of knowledge and experience under their belt, are worth their weight in gold.
But, how do the skills of a technical writer help companies with their documentation needs?
Business moves quickly and often company documentation is an afterthought. The consequence of this is that companies are losing mass amounts of insider knowledge and Subject Matter Expert (SME) resources any time an employee leaves.
By hiring a technical writer, businesses can ensure that important processes and information are documented in writing.
While it can be a little scary thinking of handing over the SME responsibility to someone outside of the company, there are crucial benefits to doing so that could potentially improve the output of the writing itself.
Let’s investigate the six core reasons a company decides to outsource these types of tasks to a technical ghostwriter.
6 Reasons to Hire a Technical Ghostwriter for Your Company
1. An expert technical writer will ensure clarity and accuracy.
A technical writer’s job has two main attributes. They must remain 100% accurate, ready to take on any supposed skeptic or technophile that comes their way. And they must also lead with clarity.
Clarity and accuracy are the two things that enable a technical writer to work in a way that best fulfills a company’s needs.
An old saying from my first tech writing team went like this: “If it isn’t written so that a 10-year-old can understand it, it hasn’t been written properly.”
While it’s not likely that finished user manuals would make much sense to a 10-year-old, this overall idea widened our audience reach.
It also enabled people in the company to learn more about a department after their first cup of coffee than they had done in their entire time working there.
If your work involves any sort of need for white papers, product descriptions, instructional manuals, or something more nichey like accessibility text, then chances are, you could benefit from the help of a technical writer.
Experienced technical writers will work with your SMEs to ensure that all content is written in a way that is accurate and that the target audience will not need a special dictionary to understand.
2. You will avoid high engineer turnover with a technical ghostwriter.
A product is nothing without its creators and modifiers. Similarly, a tech company is nothing without its engineers.
And yet, companies across the globe are having huge issues with retaining engineers for long periods of time.
There are a few factors at play here.
First, this tech bubble is far from bursting. Innovative start-ups in the making during the quiet Covid months are now emerging and are hungry for success.
With this growth in the market comes more opportunities, especially for an engineer.
Engineers are being consistently scouted, and with good reason. Stick an engineer in a corner, give them a list of menial tasks to perform every day and they’ll go and find something more challenging.
In fact, challenge is a prerequisite for an engineer. It’s essential that they continue to upskill and grow as the industry does.
If you want to help retain the engineers in your company, you need to allow them to grow in their position. Overburdening engineers with in-house guidelines and data sheets to fill out, along with their never-ending list of technical tasks, is a waste of their time.
With strong technical writers, engineers can be relieved from having to find the time to draft all of these documents. Instead, the technical writers are there to interpret what an engineer does in an easy-to-understand, conducive manner.
Sure, the engineer may want to review some of that content written every now and again, but the technical writer’s obligation is to take this responsibility on, wholly and completely. That allows your engineers to focus on doing what they do best: building remarkable products.
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3. You can save money with a technical ghostwriter.
The average wage for an in-house technical ghostwriter is $78,060 a year.
This can be a costly expense, especially if your company is just getting on their feet, or you have a specific, tight-budget project you need to get done.
Instead of hiring a technical writer full time, take advantage of hiring a technical ghostwriter or ghostwriting team for a specified amount of time.
That way, you could save tens of thousands of dollars in the time that you don’t require a writer’s service.
Technical ghostwriters usually get hired on a per project basis. Both parties can agree to the terms and conditions and the hours that the writer will work. This means that you know exactly what you’re spending your money on, what you’ll get out of this investment, and what you’ll have completed by the end of it.
For companies such as The Writers for Hire, there are project managers and full-time staff that work with the writers to ensure that the highest quality product is delivered. You can have total peace of mind, knowing that a huge project will be lifted off your plate and expertly managed by professionals.
4. You are guaranteed technical clarity with an out-of-house ghostwriter.
As mentioned above, an excellent technical writer will make a complex product easy to understand. For technical ghostwriters, there are a combination of skills at play.
Not only does a technical ghostwriter know how to write about your product, they may also have a portfolio of similar content.
They are used to hopping from VPNs to coding. They are not indoctrinated into one specific subject matter but rather have a wide range of technical experience.
There are serious writing advantages to hiring a technical ghostwriter outside of your company.
Essentially, the way to guarantee clarity with technical writing is to put yourself in the shoes of someone who is reading this technical information for the first time, taking into consideration that there are different target audiences with different background knowledge.
By explaining to the technical writer exactly what your software/product/company does, they are coming from a space of learning, just like the reader. As the technical writer becomes familiar with the concept they are writing about, it will be reflected in their writing.
Learning, investigating, and researching is a huge part of a technical writer’s job. The right writer will be able to grasp the concept of the technology within a short period of time.
This is why the technical writer lends themself very well to outsourced projects. If you’ve worked in the tech writing industry, you’ll know that no one puts out fires like the one who puts everything down on record.
It’s our responsibility to ensure that the records of a company are true and accurate, and lead to a certain, predicted result. There’s no way of faking it as a technical writer.
5. You will retain SME and company knowledge when you hire a technical ghostwriter.
The worst thing that can happen to a company is for a longtime employee to leave and take an entire career’s worth of knowledge with them. This happens more often than you think, and obtaining a former employee’s OneDrive is not going to make up for the amount of critical knowledge lost.
Most employees who have been with a company for a considerable amount of time will give longer notification periods. Take advantage of this opportunity before it’s too late.
Hire a technical ghostwriter to obtain any crucial workflow processes, software user manuals, or troubleshooting steps for software that are the responsibility of your departing employee.
The best way of using up valuable employees' time in their last weeks in the company is trying to retain and record as much of their knowledge as possible.
Don’t fall victim to losing interest in your employee before they’ve even walked out the door.
Keeping a record of company knowledge means that the next employee has training material as soon as they start, instead of just trying to figure it out on their own.
A SME of a certain department will always know more about their job than the colleague who will train the new person. It’s just the nature of things.
In the past, I have spent a week or two with specific employees that were leaving in order to obtain the most important aspects of their technical work.
Eventually, we had technical records of every software, both internal and external, every work process, and every user manual needed for the different products of the company.
It didn’t matter who had left; there was no more “Oh, Sally used to take care of that, but she’s gone…” There were no more excuses or passing on of responsibilities. It also made the new employee’s transition into the company a whole lot easier.
6. Hiring a SME technical ghostwriter for specific content will allow you to expand your resources.
While an in-house technical writer is a must for most industries producing SME text on a regular basis, you don’t want to overwhelm your on staff technical writers either.
Having worked as an in-house technical writer for a multi-million-dollar company before, I know how it feels to be drowning in complex guidelines, production workflows, and accessibility writing.
There is a habit within companies to hand every technical piece of text over to the writer..
While the production flow of a professional technical writer is impressive to say the least, writer burnout is a very real thing.
Consider hiring a technical ghostwriter for some projects that suit being outsourced better.
Are you considering using Tableau for the first time and need company-specific guidelines? Instead of requiring weeks of research for your writers to become familiar with the software, you can find a technical writer that’s already talking about this software five days a week. They know what sort of updates are on the horizon, how to host your data in the way you need it to, and what your company needs to be aware of in order to get just as comfortable.
Technical ghostwriters with certain specific niches are often sought after, and with good reason. I caught up with a longtime friend and technical writer, Jess, to talk us through some SME content she’s worked on in the past:
“When working on accessibility writing for IT e-learning courses, not only did I require a broad understanding of IT concepts, I also needed to learn how people with specific disabilities access online products and services.
Another example is when writing product or service descriptions for Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings. On these projects, I had to carve multiple versions of the same explanations, depending on the target audience. For example, you may have a landing page targeted at CTOs that requires more technical language and another targeted at HR teams that requires plainer language. And other times, you need to craft copy that speaks to everyone and anyone who reads it.”
So, you see, the considerations of every project and subject matter differ widely. To find the best technical ghostwriter for your project, take advantage of the different pool of technical writers we have at The Writers For Hire.
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