I’ll start this by saying that I love writing about technical stuff. Why? Because it’s a challenge.
It’s a challenge to explain a lot of complex concepts and it’s a challenge to do it in a clear way, a way anyone could understand.
Obviously, this depends on the audience you have.
Sometimes you have a group of geeks like me that will want to learn more about the technical part of things BUT that doesn’t mean you can just write like a robot.
Unless you’re a robot. In that case, it’s ok.
Anyway, I want to share how I approach technical content, so here it is!
1. Technical content has to be human
Because of my work, I come across websites, blog posts, and a lot of content from tech companies and startups every day.
It’s impressive how the content of many of these companies sounds like a robot lawyer from the 90s. Again, if you’re a robot lawyer from the 90s, then it’s ok.
The thing is, nothing sounds like a human is speaking and it’s hard to connect with something that’s using a language so foreign for you.
Human doesn’t mean informal or unprofessional, btw.
2. Understand the context of your audience
Like I heard from Stacey Abrams, you want to meet people where they are, not where you want them to be.
This advice is golden.
A lot of content I see makes this mistake by assuming their audience has more knowledge than they have about the product or the problem the product is trying to solve.
Know who you’re talking to.
In my experience, a lot of companies think that customers need to know the technical aspects of whatever product they’re trying to sell. Most of the time, that’s not true.
What people want to know is how your product/service is solving a problem for them. They’re not interested in knowing about your fancy algorithm or AI, they just want to know what they can get from it.
You don’t even have to be technical about your content all the time, you just need to explain the benefits.
3. Understand your role
I’ve seen a lot of developers and coders that are super good at explaining the tools they’re using, and the process they’re following. At least, that happens when you talk to them. Then, if you ask them to write down any of that, a lot is lost in translation.
(I’ve also seen a lot of founders on Twitter that are super good at writing, just putting it out there.)
Your role as a content writer is to translate that awesomeness into written awesomeness.
And it’s SO important!
Reading great content empowers people to make decisions, change their opinions, or simply 👏get👏the👏job👏done.
Don’t ever forget that, what you do is very important.
4. Don’t be afraid of not knowing something
Everything can be learned. Everything. Some things take longer than others, of course, but you can learn everything if you want to. Or in this case, if you need to.
The thing is, you have to start.
Don’t avoid it, don’t think you can’t.
A fifth of the work is done when you get rid of the idea that you can’t possibly write about something like that. Why the weird fifth of the work expression? I initially had written “half of the work is done” but that’s hardly the truth haha. It was a very professional calculation, fyi.
5. But hey, you also don’t need to know EVERYTHING
Understand what you have to write about and stick to it.
You’re free to fall down the rabbit hole and then start learning and reading and adding more details about what you’re writing about.
But that takes a lot of time and, normally, you’re limited on that resource.
So make an outline, go through the things you have to explain, and, if you still have time, add all that information you still want to add.
6. Don’t be afraid of sounding “simple”
Technical things are not my jam. But I see that as an advantage. I can break things down to their simplest form and build the content from there.
Remember, simple is good, especially for technical stuff.
You don’t want to add complications to something that might already be complex. Write short sentences. Stick to simple structures. Make it easy for the reader.
And, when everything fails, take a break!