5 Creative Ways Technical Writers Can Make Money Online
Looking for ideas to make money with your Technical Writing skills
but donít know where to start?
Here are five ways you can use your writing skills to sell
educational products and professional services online.
Making Money From Technical Writer Online
I can think of at least twenty ways to sell technical skills online but letís
start with these and look at more next week.
Write Content for Mobile Devices
Develop content for smartphones, PDAs, iPads, and other mobile
devices. For example, work with companies that have lots of legacy
documentation that needs to be written so it reads well online,
especially on small screens and mobile applications.
How do you get started? Contact firms that develop different types of
sales literature or
technical documentation (for example,
online help) that needs to be tweaked for smaller screens.
case studies that show the benefit of
writing short, concise text thatís easy to scan and how this will lead
to more sales and lower costs for technical support.
Develop Education Based Content
People are willing to invest in their education in a recession. The question is:
what can you write about that will find potential customers?
Look at industries that you know very well, for example, if youíve written
documents for Healthcare providers, and then see what materials you could write
for this industry. A good example would be checklists for doctors, nurses, or
other health professionals.
Another area is your childrenís education. No parent wants their child to get
left behind. Could you teach
non-native English speakers to write better essays?
Or better CVs? Or better job applications. You get the idea, right?
Convert Microsoft Word Files into FrameMaker
While you might be using Microsoft Office 2010, not everyone else is. I'm
writing this on my old PC with Word 2003 and many others do the same thing.
area where I make side income is converting files, for example, converting
Microsoft Word into Adobe FrameMaker, converting Adobe FrameMaker into HTML, and
also converting older products, such as PageMaker into file formats that others
So, if you still have an old copy of
PageMaker on your PC, setup a
webpage and get the message out that you convert PageMaker into FrameMaker, PhotoShop or InDesign.
Make Screencasts of Technical Documentation
Video Recording is also known as screencasting. What you do is create
videos of applications, testing, or other prototypes and then share it
with your client.
Hereís a good example.
A client asked me to write their user guides, release notes, and
other technical documentation. After that, for their website, they
wanted videos to show how it worked.
Techsmith Camtasia to make short educational videos based on the user
guides that showed how the product worked. This leads to other contract work
where I made similar education videos for their employees (internal training
programs) and also for clients. If you're on Mac, try
Mentoring Junior Technical Writers
Letís say youíve worked as a Technical Writer for ten years. You know a lot
about Technical Communications, right?
One way you can sell this knowledge youíve accumulated is to setup a dedicated
Technical Writing blog and share your expertise with others, especially firms
that donít have established Technical Writers.
Then, for a fee, work with them
over Skype to train their team, mentor them and help implement best practices.
The key here is to blog a lot and to
position yourself as the authority in your
When you teach them how to write their own checklists, you also need to explain
in your sales literature HOW this will help save money, reduce costs, and give
them more time. The reason I emphasize this is that your ability to
benefits, not features, is what will generate the sales.
So, when looking at ways to use technical writing to make money online, identify
your customersí biggest problem RIGHT NOW and then find ways to develop products
and services that solve these problems. Once you do this, you will start to get
noticed online and customers will start calling.
PS: Make sure you have an account with
eJunkie to sell your digital products and
setup a blog to promote yourself.