In the tech community, there are 2 words that I noticed are often interchangeably used: technical blogging and technical writing. I have received several questions from my readers on how they can become a technical blogger/writer, and that's when I realized that these are 2 words are mistakenly comprehended by a lot of people (including me a while back).
So in this article, let's discuss the differences between technical blogging and technical writing!
Because both words consist of the word 'technical', most people assume they mean the same thing. Content-wise, both are jobs which write on topics that are more technical, catered to people with a certain level of background knowledge in a specific area.
In terms of skill sets needed, technical blogging and writing are also very similar. Both jobs need good communication skills, time management and research skills.
It's no wonder why a lot of people mix up these 2 so frequently. While technical blogging and writing have similar work processes and skills, they are different careers. Let's look at their differences.
Technical writing is a product-focused job. A technical writer's main role is to deliver complex information, instructions, ideas and functions into comprehensible words for the audience. Usually, that involves a deep understanding of a certain product and being able to explain it easily for users to use it.
On the other hand, technical blogging is more audience-focused. A technical blogger is a content writer that focuses on delivering high-quality articles that engages their audience and brings traffic to their business' website. They often write about topics that their target audience are interested about and provide value from their background technical knowledge or with a little research.
2. Content & Style
Because technical writing is product-focused, it mostly involves a specific manual or instruction on how to use the product. The content they write must be clear, concise, objective and rigid. The style and tone is neutral, formal and professional. Any images you see in technical writings will be diagrams, tables, charts that provide useful information about the product.
Some types of documents that technical writers write are:
- User manuals
- Process manuals
- Technical reports
Technical bloggers write content to engage their audiences. Hence, their content does not have to be as objective and rigid, but the topic needs to be current, relevant and SEO optimized. Unlike technical writings, most technical blogs include plenty of keywords, visually appealing pictures, infographics and have a writing style that is more casual, as if the writer is talking to you.
Technical writers often only focus on a niche topic, one that is related to the product they are writing about. If the company they are writing for develops a software, they will most likely write documentations and technical reports on that software. They will need to write at a deeper level of understanding than a technical blogger. As a result, they become specialists in their own niche, having depth over breadth of technical knowledge.
Technical bloggers usually cover a range of topics. However, that does not mean they don't have a deep understanding on the product. It is just not as specialized as the level of technical writing. They can write high-quality, in-depth content for companies' blogs, reviews, social media posts and pretty much any marketing content that can garner a lot of audience interest. Ultimately, their priority is to leverage the broad range of topics they write to reach a wider audience within their target industry.
At the end of the day, technical writers are writing to build trust and credibility around the product. Their goal is to help readers achieve their individual goals with the product by giving them the information they need concisely and clearly. For example, if they write an API documentation, their goal is to help the reader be able to use the API.
Technical bloggers aim to build a brand around the writer. By interacting and engaging with their readers, their goal is to provide value and influence the audience to do something after reading their article, such as trying out the API they wrote about, subscribing to a newsletter or reading other useful articles.
Both technical bloggers and writers are essential roles in the tech ecosystem. For example, technical bloggers can work with businesses to write engaging, SEO-optimized content about their product. But unlike technical writers who will write in-depth documentations about the product, technical bloggers simply write an interesting overview of the product then encourage the readers to follow-up by reading the official documentation, written by technical writers.
Thank you for reading this article! I hope it has been a helpful read. Please like and share it if it is, and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. Cheers!