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When most people think of writers, they think of fiction writers struggling to produce great novels. With the exception of those very few writers who make bestseller lists, far more writers make a living in various sorts of business, technical, and nonfiction writing than in any other writing job. So here are 22 ways to make money as a writer…
Technical writing is great for writers who have good technical aptitude. Technical writers these days are often software documentation writers, but many are writers documenting hardware (anything from washing machines to aircraft carriers), medical and pharmaceutical products, and other technical subjects.
Of course, you need more than just writing skills to be a good tech writer. You’ve also got to be able to learn technical material by reading engineering documents (specs in the software business), talk with SMEs (that’s Subject Matter Experts), and work with the actual product (unless it’s a nuclear warhead or something similar!). Your goal is to acquire a thorough knowledge of the product so you can then turn around and explain it in your document.
Technical editing is related to technical writing. It’s the editing of technical documents, and requires not only skill in editing, but also an understanding of the technical subject matter so that you can identify possible errors in intelligent queries to the author.
Document management is the processes and systems of managing an organization’s documents. Sounds a little dry, perhaps, but in industries like pharmaceuticals, for example, it’s absolutely crucial for an organization to have rigorous systems in place to track their documents through the writing, editing, and submission process. You don’t really want your drug company to lose the patient information sheet on someone’s individual hard drive, do you?