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Updated by Ashish Gupta on Apr 05, 2014
Headline for Why should technical communicators and writers blog
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Ashish Gupta Ashish Gupta
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Why should technical communicators and writers blog

Why should technical writers blog? Aka, how blogs and official documentation can supplement each other and allow technical writers to have a larger impact.

Source: http://twtools.wordpress.com/2013/10/23/blogs-and-official-documentation-aka-why-technical-writers-should-blog/

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Author content in different styles of writing

Author content in different styles of writing

The humorous, casual, informal, witty, off-beat, and community content may not be suitable for your official documents. Get it in a blog. Don't push it under the carpet!

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No issues of localization

No issues of localization

Unless your blog posts are localized(?!), you do not have to worry about localization costs! Include as many multimedia assets as you want, casual style of writing, publish multiple versions of the same content written with different perspectives, share those tips and tricks that are not officially supported, and just go all out! Also, you can suggest readers of other languages to use Google Translate, with a disclaimer about machine translation.

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Publish whenever you want

Publish whenever you want

Official projects deliveries are time-bound, mission critical content that cannot miss the deadline. Not the case with a blog! Publish content at your own pace.

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Skip the review cycle

Skip the review cycle

On a blog, you are allowed to be a little off! Don't be too wrong and always put a disclaimer. Having done it, publish on your own, without the review cycle taking up much time and iterations.

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Market your product and build community

Market your product and build community

Have a healthy and engaged community by constantly doling out content, outside of the release cycle. Healthy community == great marketing!

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Generate a constant buzz -- repurpose or create compilations

Generate a constant buzz -- repurpose or create compilations

Have a year-long plan to share content and keep the community and social media channels buzzing with activity and engagement. Repurpose content, support calls, re-post, have guest appearances, make lists from long standing content, have curated list of top traffic content, and so on. In short, drive social media engagement.

By re-purposing multiple blog posts, one can compile cheat sheet, tips and tricks, series, publish newsletter of top blog posts, FAQs from top traffic items, lengthier technical articles and workflows, a magazine, and even an ebook! The sky is the limit.

3

Engage and recognize power users

Engage and recognize power users

Get those power users, brand loyalists, critical reviewers, market mavens, industry leaders, strategic partners and consulting firms, and bloggers with huge followings onboard. Invite them all and publish their guest posts, interview them on your blog, publish product review from critics, give partners visibility, and so on. They all want engagement with the brand they like!

2

Document workarounds and hacks

Document workarounds and hacks

Workflows not suitable for official content can find great acceptance in blogs. Do provide with appropriate disclaimer! Publish workarounds that users should otherwise avoid, provide gotchas, share less-professionally done illustrations that cannot be a part of the official content, invite the community to share real-world workflows, etc.

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Customer interaction for everyone

Not just professional communicators, everyone in the organization can come together on blogs, get in touch with the real community, interact with it, know the user challenges, and get to know the real world workflows. Techcomm professional show encourage and facilitate this, besides blogging on their own.

  • Ashish Gupta

    PRO CURATOR

    Ashish has several years of experience working with content. He is a technical communicator and a community builder by profession; UX advocate and a quality champion by nature; and a Chemical engineer from IIT Bombay by academic qualification.

    In his spare time he likes to spoil his son silly, test workflows, identify usability enhancements and new features in software that he uses, and indulge in the online communities. Other interests areas in which Ashish dabbles are Instructional content, eLearning, social media, SEO, project management, life skills, watching soccer, fantasize about running long marathons some day, and occasionally trekking in the Himalayas.

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