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How To Excel At Freelance Technical Writing: 10 Quick Tips

Unless you were born with the proverbial silver spoon in your mouth and your mummy and daddy can afford to completely subsidize you, then chances are you are going to need to take up a job in addition to your studies. This is the perfect solution for many college kids as it ticks so many boxes. Not only do you get to work hours that suit, but you also get paid, and you get to do something that you love.

So, how can you excel at freelance technical writing? Here are my 10 quick tips:

Practice

I’m sure that you’ve heard the old saying practice makes perfect. This definitely applies here. The more you write, the better you will get. It is as simple as that.

Pay attention to detail

The ability to pay attention to detail is critical for any technical writer. Not only does your work need to be one-hundred-percent accurate as the smallest of mistakes is likely to be picked up on. You also need to ensure that it flows well and is grammatically correct.

Know your competition

The longer you work at this, the better you will get at not only identifying your competition but also being able to pick out their strengths and weaknesses. Use other people’s weaknesses to your advantage when pitching for work.

Start small aim big

When they first start out, a lot of beginners make the mistake of trying to bite off more than they can chew. Try and start with small assignments of no more than 500 words each. This will allow you to research your subject properly while honing your craft.

Spread yourself around

Don’t just work for one client. Try and work for as many different clients as you can initially. This is the only way to get an accurate indication as to expectations. One client may be unduly lenient, or unduly harsh.

Write on a broad range of topics

While your goal may ultimately be to find a niche that you can specialize in, I would strongly recommend that you write on a broad range of topics initially to build a strong portfolio.

Create strong profiles

If you are planning on freelancing for any of the major sites ensure that you take the time to create a decent profile. Far too many freelancers make the mistake of thinking that they can skip this process. However, your profile is your gateway to work.

Be aware that you are operating in an international marketplace

To really excel at your craft, you need to think big and not restrict yourself to just finding local clients. You can easily source work worldwide with minimal effort.

Scour technical publications

You need to look at a diverse range of work options. Don’t just limit yourself to the internet. Buy some publications and periodicals that are relevant to the area that you want to specialize in and then contact them directly.

Contact local businesses

Have you thought about contacting some local businesses to see if they have any freelance opportunities? A lot of the best ones are never advertised!

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