Powerful content has the ability to transform an average business into a great one. In fact, content writing services offer one of the most effective ways to boost your audience and sales with crisp blogs and landing pages.
That said, the term content is generic and doesn’t reveal much in terms of specialisation. For example, what if you need highly focused blogs on jetting off to Mars?
You’d need a writer who’s proficient in the inner workings of rocket science, not a marketing ghostwriter who can present the idea of travelling to mars so well that billionaires end up spending a cool million on your service.
Enter, technical writing experts. They’re specialists who have the rigour of science behind their writing. In this blog, we’re going to help you understand how these technical writing experts differ from content writers.
What’s Technical Writing?
In simple terms, technical writing is done to explain complex scientific, engineering, and business concepts/techniques. It requires the writer to have a deeper understanding of the topic they’re writing about.
Let’s go back to the “jetting off to Mars” example. A technical writer would get right down to the meat of the matter. They might start with how rockets function and move on to a deeper explanation of the parts involved.
Finally, the technical writing expert might explain how to get back to Earth using the same rocket. A regular marketing copywriter may not be able to go into the level of detail that a technical writer can.
It may be a gross oversimplification to say that technical writing is purely about demystifying core concepts in a direct and “bland” manner because of the nature of the content. But that may be true most of the time.
Role of Technical Writers
We’ve discussed how technical writing and communication involves specialists stripping down a complex concept into simple and easy to consume content.
But their role is a bit more complex than that. Generally, technical writers are involved in projects like:
- Technical report writing: summarizing results of a particular research
- Documentation: a guide of how something works or how it was built
- Whitepaper: a proof of concept piece that describes problems and their solutions
- Press release: a matter of fact statement released to the media explaining important events
- Pitch documents: reports, factsheets, or presentations for business proposals and funding rounds
Technical writers are known to be formally trained in the discipline that they’re writing about. The rigour must be present given the nature of the content that they are required to weave.
What Content Writers Do (And Don’t Do)
Content writers and marketers are survivors. They’re generalists who can read about anything and write about everything. Except, they may not be able to produce technical jargon-heavy content unless they’re trained in it.
In fact, writing technical content may not even be a requirement for them. Content writers are required to highlight the USPs of a product or service so that it can generate awareness at the top of the funnel.
The challenges that content writers face are different from technical writing bottlenecks. For example, tone. Content writers and marketers have to modify the style and tone of writing based on the:
- Brand they’re writing for (luxury brands are chic, food delivery brands are casual)
- Type of content they’re writing (landing pages are salesy, blogs are informational)
- Platform they’re writing for (social media copies are impactful, newsletters are knowledge-driven)
These are, after all, surface-level differences between technical writing and content writing. Let’s explore them in greater depth.
Differences Between Technical Writing & Content Writing
We’ve discussed two things so far. One, technical writers earn their money by drafting jargon-heavy content related to science, technology, engineering, business, and others.
Content writers, on the other hand, are tasked with marketing a product or service and at times, relaying their thoughts and opinions on popular events, politics, and others. On to the operational differences.
1. Research Required
Technical writing is generally known to require more research than content writing. Technical concepts are by nature either scientific, jargon-heavy, or both and don’t have much wiggle room for creativity.
Thus, a technical writer has to dive deeper into concepts than content writers who operate in a much more independent and free domain of publishing write-ups.
Content writers may have the leeway to be much more opinionated about certain topics than technical writers. Technical writing and communication are almost always rooted in facts. Naturally, it tends to be more objective.
For example, compare the difference in objectivity required to write about building rockets and whether pineapple should go on top of pizzas. The principle of building rockets is rooted in engineering concepts.
Pineapple on pizza, on the other hand, is subject to taste buds and not scientific rigour. But hey, if you sell pineapple pizzas, reach out to us and we’ll make sure that it becomes the norm.
3. Industry Expertise
Subject matter expertise is generally different from industry expertise. A content writer can draft powerful blogs on e-commerce even if they don’t understand how to build effective supply chains.
Similarly, technical writers can write about building rockets even if they aren’t experts on the rocket industry’s total worth and business prospects. Thus, industry expertise isn’t much of a roadblock for either domain.
To summarize, technical writers are specialists while content writers are generalists. Technical writers earn their money by explaining complex concepts in bitesize pieces and require in-depth subject matter expertise.
Content writers, especially ghostwriters like the ones Superceator gives you access to, are good at writing about everything, even if it’s about putting pineapple on top of pizza and selling it to a Hawaiian.