Different Writer Roles

Writer Avatars

– Maya Agnihotri

Technical writers no longer depend heavily on words alone to deliver their message across but are making good use of audio and video, infographics, illustrations, screen-captures, graphics, and animation via modern tools and interactive technologies available in the market.

Writing and communication is not only about scrupulous writing and editing, but being the most important part of the complete cycle of designing the output from start to finish. Key considerations are keeping simple, maintaining consistency in terms of words, terminology, fonts, grammar, format, style etc. throughout the document. They design the entire document structure, write, edit, and format documents so their responsibilities often go beyond just writing.

The article is aimed to assist writers across various sectors and industry domains, to understand the roles, software and skillsets, and typical challenges per role in the IT industry.

Domains
Technical writers work in diverse domains depending on their depth of experience and interest. These domains can be broadly categorized into two types. Though technical writing isn’t just limited to the below mentioned categories.

  • Technical
    • IT, Software, Hardware, Networking, Engineering, Telecommunications, Aeronautics, Education and Training, Publishing, Security, Research, Robotics, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Bio-Technology.
    • Aviation, Banking & Financial services, Consulting, Defence, Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), Energy, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Marketing, Medical, Pharmaceuticals, Sales, Transportation
  • Non Technical
    Academic Writing, Business Writing, Grant Writing, Resume Writing, Story Writing, Script Writing
#CategorySoftware'sKey Skills RequiredChallenges faced in an IT environment
1Technical WritersMadcap Flare,
Adobe Technical Communication Suite, GoogleDocs,
Microsoft Word, Visio, SnagIT
Develop technical and end user help content for productsTime crunch, lack of inputs, non-availability of SME’s to resolve product issues,
lack of timely collaboration, multitasking on multiple projects, changing priorities.
2UX WritersBalsamiqResearch, content planning, content management, clarity & brevity, understanding and writing from a user’s perspective.Incorporating continual changes in the Wireframe, changes in requirements, functions, add-on features, at short notice
3API Documentation WritersSwaggerTop-level research, align complex concepts and technical information in engaging, meaningful, useful and accurate contentUnderstanding code,
writing the document details,
error handling, creating a good document structure and maintaining documents.
4Instructional designersAdobe CaptivateCreativity, research, time managementDesigning / redesigning courses or curriculum and creating various training materials in stipulated time frames can be cumbersome.
5Content Marketing WritersGrammarly, Hemingway App, Canava (for images), Yoast SEO, SEMrush,
HubSpot
Create convincing content for online marketing purposes to engage and inform the readers.
Content such as articles, blogs, eBooks’, white papers, social media.
Lack of originality, poor content quality and frequency, time management, adaptability.
6Proposal writersBetter Proposals, MS WordWrite and compile persuasive proposal documents that help clients win contractsStringent deadlines, non-availability of updated information, lack of timely collaboration.
7Copy writersGrammarly, Hemingway App, Copywritely, VerbixDevelop promotional material that is engaging and persuades the readers take actions to drive salesUnderstanding of target market needs, SEO,
sticking to tight deadlines given by clients.
8Content writer (Bloggers) BuzzSumo, Canva, Grammarly, Yoast SEO Engage the readers to build trust, Inform, educate, entertain readersUnderstanding SEO, lack of originality, writing engaging content, lack of fresh content ideas.
9Content strategistsSEMrush, HubSpot, SurveyMonkeyDevelop a content strategy, manage the process, and maximize the results over time. They drive content marketing.Understanding and defining the target audience, maintaining projects on schedule without compromising quality.

Good luck to those who have made a decision to enter the field of Technical writing or any content related field listed above!

About the Author

Maya Agnihotri is a freelance technical writer with 12+ years of experience in a variety of IT domains like Infrastructure, Education, Telecom, Mortgage, Health, Travel and Mobility. She has explored different aspects of a writer such as technical writing, website content development, proposal writing and the list goes on. Contact her on LinkedIn.

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