You do not need to be a computer engineer or a scientist with Ph.D. to become a top-notch technical writer. There are many low-tech writing niches that you can prosper in even if you are not too comfortable with hi-tech subject matters. Here are seven such opportunities available to all technical writers:
1) Grant Proposal writing.
There are a lot of non-profit organizations out there looking for writers to prepare and submit a grant proposal on their behalf. The same goes for for-profit corporations that need writers to prepare the necessary documentation to satisfy the conditions stated in a RFP (Request For Proposal) document and win commercial bids.
2) Resume and cover letter writing.
Resumes and cover letters are “evergreen” writing gigs since they are needed all the time. But especially in times of economic hardship and recession, a good resume becomes more important than ever. Learn how to write great resumes and cover letters and you’ll never be without a job.
3) Quality Control Plan (QCP) writing.
This is a document submitted by a defense contractor trying to win a defense-related bid. You can learn how to write one within a day and make good money freelancing for defense vendors and contractors.
4) Tests and Quizzes.
There are many tutoring companies, SAT and other exam-prep book publishers who need technical writers come up with all kinds of exam questions, tests and quizzes. Pick up one such book you like, find its publisher, and send a query to the editor.
5) Policy and Procedure writing.
Policy and Procedure manuals are needed by all kinds of civic, religious, and military organizations, corporate Human Resources departments, and non-profits in general. You gather and compile the rules, policies and procedures so the managers know what to do when something goes wrong.
6) Case studies.
A case study defines a problem for an organization, describes the alternative methods tried to resolve the issue, and then defines one solution that worked the best, with Before and After figures. Many mid- and large-size organizations have such case studies written both for their internal training and marketing purposes. This is a lucrative field that overlaps with writing White Papers.
7) Game rule writing.
Video and board games is a $12 billion industry and growing. Every game must have its own file or booklet of rules and technical writers write them. If you can write clear directions on how to play a game, what constitutes a “win” or a “loss,” what are the things that are allowed and not allowed, and express it in a language that can be understood by an average reader with only high school education, you might have a job with a game company.