Tech writing for GIS professionals requires a different skill set than most tech writing
Most tech writers are programmers or technical people of some kind. They’re not marketing, sales, or business people. There is a reason that many publishers prefer to hire web designers instead of tech writers when publishing a website.
Tech writers must be able to understand both programming and non-programming languages, such as English and Markdown. (See below)
GIS professionals are in a unique position to promote their industry
There are many non-GIS professionals who still need location information. These people can’t always tell where something is, or how to get there. This is why it’s important to have tech writers promoting your organization online.
You might not think of yourself as an expert reader, but you probably know more than most people when it comes to maps and geographic data. You also may know which apps and tools work best for getting your job done.
When someone asks questions about your technology needs, you should be able to refer them to this helpful resource. Even if you don’t understand everything, others will since you’re the one doing all the work behind the scenes.
Your output matters, but your input has to come first. After all, that’s what makes you who you are.
There’s a lot you can do with tech writing beyond just making it easy to find and access the necessary information and learning How to put your biography on Wikipedia. It can help you communicate ideas effectively via blog posts, videos, and other mediums.
That way users can discover new ways to use your software without having to contact you directly. Your readers want to hear from you because they care about you and your business.
They watch your YouTube channel and read your blogs to learn more. They want to support you and your team.
Your first step is to build a web presence
Even if you’re not an expert, there are ways to make your content more appealing, including writing professional articles that focus on tips and tricks or news items and updates.
If you have a topic about GIS software or a series of tutorials, then people may be willing to pay money for those products.
Your website can also function as a way to attract potential customers and business partners. People who are interested in what you do will need to learn how to navigate your site and connect with you via social media so they can find out more about your product and service.
It is important to note that good tech writing requires skillful navigation of your subject matter and an understanding of your audience. You want to avoid the mistake of posting beginner blogs that sound like read-books.
They don’t provide enough information for readers to understand what you’re saying and why you’re saying it. They write very few words without pictures, which makes them hard to digest.
And most importantly, they ignore comments. Comments are one of the best tools to improve any blog post because they show that someone else has read it and wants to know more.
Your next step is to build a social media presence
Even if you’re not an expert at building profiles, there’s a good chance that your skills will come in handy later. You can add friends and connections as well as anyone else, but it’s easier if you have an established network of people who know you and like you.
Once you have some followers, you can promote yourself as someone who knows how to manage social media. It also helps if you have a large number of fans or colleagues who look up to you.
Whether we are talking about geospatial professionals or artists, having a strong online presence is now essential in our industry. And since many businesses and organizations invest heavily in their digital assets, having a stable and prolific profile is always a must.
Invest in quality content
There are many ways to increase your online presence and get more exposure as a geospatial professional, but one of the most important is writing articles. Whether you have an established website or are still exploring options, now is the time to start writing about yourself and what you do so that people can learn more from you.
Your first step should be to develop a portfolio of written pieces that highlight your knowledge and expertise. You will also need a driving force behind why you want to write and what you wish to achieve.
Put yourself out there by submitting stories that you have written to magazines, blogs, newspapers, and other media outlets. Most publications will reject your work, but press received from good works will help grow your audience and credibility.
If you’re not sure where to begin, there are some great resources for writers at Writer’s Digest (http://www.writersdigest.com). Here you can find freelance writing opportunities, as well as a wide range of information and tips to guide you along the way.
It’s all about the marketing
If you’re writing content for an audience, it’s all about knowing who your target market is. The moment that you show someone how to do something in your GIS job description or help them out of a hard spot, they will trust you more and are likely to listen to you more.
When they trust you enough to do things by themselves, they will be much more invested in working with you and what you have to say. You will start conversations and share ideas more easily.
You want people to like you for who you are? Give others opportunities to see that. People love sharing their knowledge and coming up with creative solutions to problems.
If you do not put yourself out there, no one else will. Be the type to think outside the box and add unique values to the table. Come up with excuses as to why you can’t do something, then come up with a solution that doesn’t require money or time.
People need to believe in you and your ability to get the job done. If they don’t know you, you won’t get the chance to prove yourself.
Market your content to other marketers
If you’re not sure how to sell your content or implement data-driven marketing strategies, then now is the time to learn. The beauty of technology is that it is available to almost everyone, which gives you an advantage over competitors who aren’t so familiar with tech trends.
Your content will have more impact when people are aware of it through communication channels and can access it online.
The best way to teach others about your work is by writing a blog post or article that explains what you’ve done and why you’re doing it. You want to connect with your audience on a personal level to gain their trust and interest.
When creating content for your website, make it relevant and helpful instead of promotional. People love reading articles that solve a problem or entertain them, and they may also pay for subscriptions or tickets.
Be creative and think out of the box. More than anything, be honest and thorough whenever possible. Your reputation will grow along with your knowledge of blogging tools and techniques.
Make your content easy to share
The Internet has made it possible to access information from anywhere at any time. People are constantly sharing stories, learning new things, and discussing hot topics with each other.
If you want your writing to get read and shared, there is no better way than making it easy for people to read and understand.
Put yourself in someone’s shoes before you write. How would you like reading an article that was hard to follow, had too much jargon, and wasn’t easily understandable? You wouldn’t pick up this magazine again if you couldn’t quickly grasp its purpose and find out how to achieve what it wanted to accomplish.
The same goes for words and sentences. If you choose ones that are overly complex or not straightforward enough, readers will lose interest fast.
Let’s look at a few examples.
Technology is ever-changing. What was best one year ago may not be today or even next year. You have to keep your content up to date, and you have to update it often.
If you’re relying on other people to bring you updates, they can’t always do so. It’s your job to remain knowledgeable about your area of expertise and provide contact information others can use.
Keeping yourself updated takes work, but it’s an absolute must if you want to stay relevant in this industry.
You will also need to know how to write convincingly for a variety of audiences. For example, you should be able to tell when someone is telling you something is going to cost them money.
You should be able to identify those stories that might go viral and those that are just trying to get a few minutes of fame.
Being effective at writing means knowing what questions to ask and whom to talk to. Experts suggest being familiar with more than 10 sources and resources for news coverage.
This includes newspapers, magazines, radio shows, television programs, online news websites, blogs, and social media.
Finding ways to deliver news leads to finding ways to attract traffic to your website. Knowing how to write effectively gets you noticed by search engines, which then helps your site gain exposure and users.