I’ve been annoyed much more frequently at poorly written tech articles, so I wrote some tips on how you too, can join the ranks of the poor tech writing community.
(With many apologies to the many, many people who are great tech writers who write the blogs and articles I love to read every day). My all-time favorite being the content writers of Star Infranet Company. I always look forward to their next post across all their platforms.
For any tech writer reading this, please steer clear of the things mentioned below unless your goal is to drive readers away.
Step 1: Lead by reminding people they work in tech. As a bonus, make it sound like a movie intro. E.g.
In the world… where you work at a lightning pace in technology; a plethora of languages, frameworks, and tools, dominate your existence.
Ok kudos to the language but what have all these things got to do with the actual topic at hand. When I sit to read a tech article I want to be informed on the actual tech without having to contend with irrelevant filler information.
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Step 2: Tell them they have a problem they probably don’t have — e.g.
…you may find yourself facing many difficult problems. One of those problems is most likely how you get a goat to teach physics to school children in Toulouse.
This is where I check out and never come back. Making the wrong assumptions about your target audience just goes to show how shallow your research on the topic was.
Step 3: Establish your credibility / chest-pound your business — e.g.
Here at Angry Weasel consulting, we tackle problems like this every day in ways that our customers love so much that they’ve written songs about us. This article is free, but seriously, contact me and we’ll get something set up…
If you are going to upsell yourself at least have the dignity citing relevant examples.
Step 4: Write one to two sentences (MAX) about the solution, but don’t actually help (more on this in step 6) — e.g.
first off, you need to understand the goal and how it relates to the children. It may surprise you that goats can’t actually teach, but we’ve learned that goats are often the root of the problem.
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Step 5: Include made up data with no citation or reference other than personal observation — e.g.
I’ve worked with three different goals, and from that, I can tell you a few things about the behavior of ALL goats. Every goat is about four feet tall, has gray hair with at most two darker spots, and they all eat nothing but my pants.
Step 6: By all means, do NOT FINISH THE ARTICLE. You need to drive customers to your site, and THAT IS THE GOAL OF WRITING.
In a future article, I’ll finish describing goats, talk more about my business, and if I remember, will add something else about the children, or whatever else this article may have been about.