How do I Choose a Technical Writing Service?

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Technical Writing ServiceSelecting the best technical writing service for your project can seem like a time-consuming process. Although rushing into your decision can cost you both time and money, you can simplify the decision-making process by following these easy steps.

Define Your Project

Before you do anything else, you should spend time examining the requirements of your project. Then, you can begin your search for the best technical writing service to get the job done.

Consider these questions when examining your upcoming project:

  • What is your project? Define exactly what you want the final deliverable to be—for example, a user guide, white paper, online help system, training guide, or marketing brochure. Narrowing the scope of your project will help you find a top-notch writer who specializes in that specific area.
  • What is your budget? Based on the scope of your project, have an idea of how much you want to spend. You’ll then be in a better position to identify a technical writing service that can work within that budget.
  • What is your deadline? Determine whether you need a service that can provide a quick turn-around. If you have a particularly tight deadline, you may need a service that can provide you with a team of writers to get the job done quickly.
  • Should the work be done on-site or off-site? Determine whether you have adequate workspace and utilities to house an additional person. If not, make sure to look for a technical writing service that is comfortable working virtually and managing remote writers.
  • Will the project require ongoing support after the initial deliverable is complete? Online help, for example, will require revisions every time you release a new version. You’ll want to find a service that can provide this type of ongoing support and will be available when you need them.

Create a Short List of Services

After you examine your needs, you can begin making a list of potential services. Include every service that meets your minimum requirements, even if you’re doubtful you’ll use them.

Make Your Final Selection

When you have your list of potential technical writing services, it’s time to research to find the best one for your project. Use these questions to help you in your investigation:

  • Does the owner have a technical writing background or is the company simply a general placement service without any knowledge of the technical writing industry?
  • Is there a quality control system in place to ensure that your documents are reviewed and edited before being delivered to you?
  • Is the service willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement?
  • Can the technical writing service meet your deadline? Do they have writers available to start when you need them?
  • Does the service have writers with experience in your industry?
  • Will the technical writing service provide you with references and/or examples of completed projects?