Technical writers have a unique ability to take technical data and information and turn it into clear, precise material. Many technical writers are skilled in certain areas, such as IT, mechanical and medical fields, while others simply take technical jargon and turn it into an easily readable format. A good example of this would be an instruction manual. A technical writer must take the technical data and help the lay person understand each step of building or using an item.
Many technical writers work on a freelance basis, and many writers work from home. Given today’s soft economy, many companies are turning to freelance technical writers to save on the costs of full-time employees. As a result, the technical writer who works from home has many opportunities in today’s job market. Put those writing skills to use and start your own technical writing business today!
Skills Required: A technical writing education and related experience
If you want to start your own part-time business as a technical writer, you will have much better luck at attracting clients if you have a solid portfolio and a technical writing education. Make no doubt about it: many technical writers do not have a formal technical writing education, but overall, your success as a technical writer will largely depend on the education and experience you have acquired.
Many technical writers find that specializing in a particular industry helps them achieve success. For example, you may find great work in the IT field if you have both a computer science and technical writing background.
Finally, published work is often a great way to show your skills to potential clients.
Startup Expenses: None, provided you have a computer with word processing software and an Internet connection
Starting a successful part-time business in the technical writing field does not require any start-up costs, provided you already have a computer with an Internet connection. An additional expense may include starting your own website, which many technical writers use to display their work and market their business.
Monthly Revenue: $500 to $1,000
Depending on how much work you can take on, you can potentially make a considerable amount of money as a technical writer. In addition, if you have specific skills that are sought out by companies, your income can increase substantially.
Monthly Expenses: less than $50
Other than the cost of your Internet service, you will have nearly no monthly expenses as a technical writer.
Time to Break Even: Almost immediately
Considering the low, monthly expenses associated with a part-time technical writer business, you have a great chance at breaking even almost immediately.
Possible Bumps in the Road
As a technical writer, you must consistently meet deadlines for your clients, which can prove to be quite stressful at times. You must also be able to juggle several jobs at one time and constantly market yourself and search for your next job.