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3 Copywriting Tips for (Confused) Technical Writers

Are you a technical writer looking for copywriting tips? We’re not surprised. The boundary between marketing communications and technical communications is fading.

Copywriting Tips for Confused Technical Writers

This isn’t news—people have been saying it for years. But it doesn’t make the transition any less confusing for technical writers who are suddenly asked to write marketing content.

Technical writers come from an objective world. There is information that is accurate, and information that is not. If we set aside the not-inconsiderable challenge of communicating that information clearly—which, yes, is 95% of our job—we can look at technical content and say, “This is factually correct, and therefore meets a minimum standard.”

In copywriting, there is no such test for correctness. Our objective is to persuade, but there are infinite ways to do so, and no way to judge before publication if we’ve succeeded (unless you’re one of the lucky few with a market research budget). The only real way to find out if your copy works is to let it run, and study the results.

As for style: gone are the proscriptive technical style guides, with precise vocabulary and sentence formulations. Instead, you deal with somewhat fluffier brand guidelines. There’s more freedom but less direction.

In short: it takes some getting used to. But it isn’t a completely lawless wilderness. There are ways to put a structure on your process and keep you on track. We know because we’ve been there.

We pooled our knowledge on making that jump and distilled it into these slides. Armed with these copywriting tips, you can begin to find your way in the subtle world of marketing content. And don’t worry: you may not realise it, but you have a host of transferable skills to bring with you.

Best of luck! And if you think we missed something crucial, let us know.

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