Blog

Don't miss an update: join my free Espresso email list.

Yes, I'll have an Espresso Nope, I'll click a button that does nothing

Search site


Pricing: a question of trust

Pricing: a question of trust

I recently posted a simple question on Facebook. It received a lot of replies and so I thought it would be worth investigating on my blog. Here was my query:

Question posted on Facebook

Earnest question: would you, a potential consumer, trust a service provider who didn’t give any indication of their price on their website?

View full thread (Friends only)

Read more

The Tao of Twitter: an experiment

The Tao of Twitter: an experiment

I’ve worked as an independent technical writer since the end of 2009. I’m fortunate to have a career I enjoy: I get to take part in varied, interesting projects, and the words I write help people get stuff done. That’s all awesome. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to raise my profile. How does one do that?

Read more

How do technical writers charge?

How do technical writers charge?

This series is all about pricing technical writing work, and in this final part I’m looking at the different types of payment model.

Freelance technical writers are usually paid using one of the following models:

  • Per word – each word in the copy is paid for at an agreed rate, e.g. £0.50 per word
  • Per hour – ideal for the shortest jobs, e.g. £50 per hour
  • Per day – good for short jobs of a day or two
  • Per project – best for longer jobs (and often a good way to secure a discount)

Read more

Preferred spellings in technical writing

Preferred spellings in technical writing

Here’s a quick round-up of a poll I ran about technical writers’ preferences for common computing terms.

I write for a predominantly British audience in UK English, but I sometimes have to use computing terms, which are usually written in American English (probably because of style guides such as the Microsoft Manual of Style). That can lead to an odd mixing of styles.

Recently, I’ve noticed more UK spellings creeping into technical communications about computing, and I wanted to get a feel for what others thought about this.

Read more

Pen portraits

Pen portraits – understanding your ideal audience

Have you ever read a piece of writing that feels as though it were created just for you? The author of that text will have thought about the audience – what they would need to know and how they should be made to feel about it. This is the essence of good, persuasive writing.

Want to add this kind of sparkle to your own words? Then it’s time to think more carefully about your audience.

Read more