Tuesday, February 10, 2009

To Web Content Strategy from Technical Writing

OK, I confess that I’ve not always been the cool Web guy (ha!), I worked my way into a Web job as a technical writer. And not just any kind of tech writing, but seriously geeky stuff. My first exposure to the Web involved converting a 900-page programmer user guide from print to HTML. It wasn’t even a popular programming language, but a language only used in what was known as CASE tools - great plan back in the 90’s to generate mainframe code by drawing diagrams. Anyway, not glamorous stuff.

So I’ve always contented that tech writers make good Web Content Strategists. You are not usually writing about technical issues, but you have to function in a very technical environment. The biggest hurdle I see for most tech writers is getting past a mental block about writing “marketing stuff.” Marketing is not a dirty word, and if properly done, it can sell and inform at the same time.

If you have a background in tech writing, and an interest in the Web, content strategy could be a great career move. I find the work much more interesting and Content Strategy certainly pays better.

Here is an interesting, STC-related, article about Tech Writers and Content Strategists.

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