Companies are increasingly looking for people that can transform complex conceptual ideas into straightforward content for customers and stakeholders. If you have a technical background but are looking for a more flexible career option, freelance technical writing might be excellent.
By learning how to become a freelance technical writer, you can become your own boss and work from anywhere. In other words, you can turn your expertise into a flexible, lucrative, and rewarding career.
If you wanted to learn more read the full article with Pritish Kumar Halder.
Benefits of Freelance Technical Writing
Freelancers enjoy a lot of benefits that you can’t get in a traditional office job, and freelance technical writing is no different.
There is always risk involved when you work for yourself, but there are also a lot of rewards you can receive, so long as you know what you are doing.
Pick the hours that work best for you and take the time you need for non-work obligations like friends, family, and hobbies.
Work From Anywhere
Freelancing allows you to work anywhere in the world so long as you have the internet.
Unlimited Earnings Potential
In a traditional office job, your salary is based on what your employer wants to pay. As a freelance technical writer, you can earn however much you want without a limit.
Variety of Work
Freelancers work with many different clients, meaning that there is a wide variety of tasks and projects that can be done.
Be Your Own Boss
As a freelance technical writer, you have total control over your management style, the types of projects you take on, and how you do your work and run your business.
Most Common Types of Technical Writing
As a freelance technical writer, you can choose from various content types to offer your clients. Here are some of the most common types of freelance technical writing projects.
Technical articles refer to any editorial pieces focused on a specialized topic or product. These articles are typically published in magazines or other online publications, and they don’t require supervised research.
You can find work writing technical articles for almost any type of client, from robotics manufacturers to legal firms and everything in between. Here are a few examples of technical content from some of these industries:
A New Way to Launch Rockets: Microwave Power (Tech Briefs)
Cryptoassets: Accounting for an Emerging Asset Class (The CPA Journal)
Technical Guides and Manuals
Technical guides and manuals are how-to handbooks intended to help customers learn how to use a product and get the most out of it.
A technical manual may include instructions for installation, use, maintenance, troubleshooting, and best practices depending on the product. API documentation is another popular type of technical guide used by software companies.
Some popular examples of technical documentation include Salesforce’s Pardot API Guide, Blue Star Cooking’s Free-Standing Range Installation, and our step-by-step guide on website usability testing.
Policies and Procedures
Businesses use policy and procedure manuals to define a standard protocol for various situations. As a technical writer, you can work on documents such as hiring procedures, work-from-home policies, employee benefits packages, or workplace conduct guidelines.
These projects are especially relevant in the education, government, and healthcare sectors as they’re frequently subject to federal regulations. A good example is the Code of Ethics and Business Conduct published by SHRM.
Business plans serve as the roadmap which defines a company’s goals, objectives, and strategies. Startups, in particular, may employ technical writers with acute business acumen and product-related knowledge to draft a business plan to present to potential investors.
Two great examples worth peeking at are the Culina Business Plan and the OrcaSmart Business Plan.
If you have experience working in a B2B industry, you may already be familiar with white papers. White papers are documents used by sales and marketing teams to explain new solutions or highlight product or service details.
White papers range in length from 6 to 15 pages, and they’re one of the more lucrative offerings for writers, clocking in at $3–6,000 on average. High-end white papers can go for $10,000 or more; however, you will often need to research and create or suggest designs for the document.
Similar to white papers, case studies are used to help sales and marketing teams sell their products. But, instead of explaining product features, a case study provides an in-depth look at how a product (or solution) helped a single customer or solved a specific problem.
And finally, we have corporate reports, which detail a company’s financial information for potential investors. Corporate reports include quarterly reports (Form 10-Q), annual reports (Form 10-K), and reports of significant events (Form 8-K).
To write corporate reports, you need to understand accounting basics, financial documents, and the company’s product and competitive environment.
Freelance Technical Writer Salary
According to ZipRecruiter, freelance technical writers earn more than the average freelance writer. On average, a general freelance writer makes around $61,935 annually or $30/hour. On the other hand, freelance technical writers earn an average of $70,191 a year, or $34/hour.
On the higher end of the scale, 25% of freelance technical writers earn between $76,000 and $133,000 annually.
Several factors affect your rates as a freelance writer, including industry, level of expertise, and content type. Technical writers that have higher levels of knowledge or specialize in niche topics can price their services higher.
Getting Paid as a Freelance Writer
So, you’ve got your first client, and contracts are signed. Once they’re happy with the work, how do you get paid?
Well, for the most part, you’ll get paid like any other business. Most freelance writers use invoices to bill their clients at the end of a project.
How to Send Invoices
Your contract should include how much you get paid and when. You’ll use these details when sending out invoices.
Make sure to include the following information on your invoice:
- Invoice number
- Your contact information
- Issue date (the date the invoice was created)
- Due date (for payment)
- Line item description
- Total amount due
- Payment methods
Using invoicing software helps you keep your finances organized and lets you accept more payment methods, such as bank transfers or credit card payments. Popular options for freelancers include Freshbooks, Quickbooks Self-Employed, Bonsai, and PayPal.