Writing Technical Copy
Our Side Hustles Breakdown
Technical copywriting is the process of creating content related to complex fields, such as technology, engineering, or medicine and presenting it in a manner accessible to a broader audience. It not only requires a deep understanding of the subject matter but also the ability to communicate intricate ideas.
- Requires Expertise: It often needs a strong background or education in the relevant technical field.
- Challenging: Striking a balance between accuracy and simplicity can be tricky.
- Continuous Updates: Rapid advancements mean regularly updating content.
- High Demand: As technology advances, there’s a growing need to simplify complex ideas for general audiences.
- Higher Pay: Due to its specialized nature, technical copy often commands higher rates.
- Constant Learning: Stay updated with the latest in various technical fields.
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Do you have a knack for making the complex sound simple? If so, a career in technical copywriting could be your path to a profitable side hustle.
Here’s how you can start an income stream by writing technical copy.
An Overview of Writing Technical Copy: A Primer
Technical writing is a special domain under the umbrella of content writing. It requires expertise in the subject and its specific jargon to deliver complex information that non-technical readers will understand.
A few examples include white papers, user manuals, and business proposals.
Nowadays, technical copywriting focuses on digital marketing through valuable content driven by conversion rate and search engine optimizations.
In short, your copy should rank on search engines and propel readers into action, like making a purchase or clicking a link.
Meanwhile, technical content writing involves producing informative materials like press releases and blog posts.
How Much Can Writing Technical Copy Earn You?
Getting paid to write in the technological field sure is lucrative!
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the typical annual salary for a technical writer hovers around $86,760.
ZipRecruiter estimates that freelance technical copywriters make an average of $38.77 per hour, which is in the ballpark of the national average.
Hourly rates on freelancing platforms can range from $15 to $125, though most fall in the $20–$45 bracket.
How Much Does It Cost to Start Writing Technical Copy as a Side Hustle?
The good news is that you don’t have to break the bank to start technical copywriting as a side gig.
The startup costs are low, and the most crucial investment you’ll make is a website to market your services. Depending on the website service, you can expect to pay around $10–$15 monthly.
Instead of expensive software subscriptions, you can use free online tools and resources. For instance, Google Docs and Dropbox offer file-sharing and cloud-based storage.
If you’re thinking about shelling out for software or services, remember this simple rule: any investment should either save you time or generate more income than it costs.
Where Can You Find Writing Technical Copy Gigs?
You can find technical copywriting gigs through any of these channels:
Where to Independently Find Writing Technical Copy Work
Here’s where you can look for opportunities as a technical writer:
1. Social Media
Platforms like X, Facebook, and Instagram are suitable for building your brand. Write engaging social media posts to share your work with the public.
You can leverage your online presence to seek referrals and rope in prospective customers.
Build a strong LinkedIn profile that highlights your technical writing skills.
Connect with professionals in related industries, including colleagues who may refer you to work opportunities.
To stay updated on job postings, join relevant groups and follow companies that routinely hire technical writers.
3. Online Forums and Communities
Participating in online forums related to your niche can lead to networking opportunities. You can find them on Reddit, Quora, or industry-specific associations.
Engage in discussions and offer your insights to establish your authority in the field.
Gig Economy Companies That Offer Writing Technical Copy Work
Here are some online writing sites to pursue a career in copywriting:
Contently is one of the most trusted copywriting agencies in the content marketing industry. Showcasing your writing skills increases your chances of being discovered and hired.
Upload samples of your work to your Contently account to show your ability to write on different technical topics.
Even if you don’t receive direct invitations to work, having a robust portfolio on Contently can boost your visibility on search engines.
Upwork is a land of opportunity for freelance copywriters. You can select technical writing projects that match your interests and expertise.
To join the job mill, you’ll need a profile highlighting your technical writing skills, experience, and desired hourly rate. You can also complete relevant tests to demonstrate your depth.
Over time, you can build a network of potential customers and collaborate on multiple projects.
Fiverr is ideal if you prefer not to actively seek out clients. Simply list your services, and customers will discover you. That said, you must work on your visibility.
Your Fiverr profile should reflect your professionalism. Ensure your profile picture is clear and friendly, and use a professional username.
Write a concise and clear description of your technical writing services. Assume that a buyer’s attention span is short, so get straight to the point about what you offer.
Incorporate relevant keywords into your profile and gig descriptions to help your search engine rankings.
While you’re free to set your rates, note that Fiverr will deduct a 20% fee on every closed transaction.
Why You Should Consider Writing Technical Copy As a Side Hustle
Becoming a technical writer is a choice worth considering for several reasons:
- Lucrative Earnings: Adding technical writing to your repertoire can diversify your sources of income.
- Flexible Schedule: Technical copywriting offers the flexibility to work on projects when it suits you. It’s one of the low-stress jobs if you’re seeking work-life balance.
- Enhanced Skills: This side hustle allows you to refine your writing skills while diving into different technical topics.
Problems With Writing Technical Copy As a Side Hustle
Writing technical copy isn’t without its drawbacks. Here’s why this path may not be suitable for everyone:
- Niche Market: The technical writing market can be niche-focused. Finding clients and securing projects may require more effort than other freelancing gigs.
- Market Competition: The technical writing market can be competitive. Standing out and securing high-paying clients may take time and persistence, especially when you’re just starting.
- Complexity: Technical writing deals with complicated subjects that require in-depth research and understanding.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is There a High Demand for Technical Writers?
Yes, there’s a strong demand for technical writers who can produce quality content. That said, the competition within the field is fierce. To thrive in this environment, you must use all available channels to secure writing gigs.
How is Technical Writing Written?
Technical writing uses plain language to convey complex technical information. First, know your audience so you can tailor your technical content accordingly.
Next, research the topic extensively and draft an outline. Then, write your article clearly and concisely. Lastly, edit and proofread to make your final copy spotless.