I’ve been writing monthly newsletters for an engineering firm for the past seven years, and the feedback I have received has always been overwhelmingly positive so I can only assume that I’m doing something right…

…which isn’t to say that it’s always been easy. Finding topics to write about and putting a fresh spin on it can be extremely challenging, but I’m happy to say that in the past seven years I haven’t missed publishing a single newsletter (which, by the way, consists of three articles).

Just because you work in a specific industry doesn’t mean that you have to be completely limited in what you write about, it just means that we’ll have to improvise a bit.

In this article, I’ll be sharing some pro-tips for writing for a technical publication.

But, before we start, it’s important to define your audience. Is it an internal newsletter, or is it for external consumption? Who are the different stakeholders? Being cognizant of who your audience is will determine the kind of content that you’ll need to produce as well as the tone and language used.

  1. Company news. Most companies constantly have changes taking place internally such as new staff appointments, important business partnerships and participation in community outreach programs. Of course, you don’t have to detail the minutiae of what goes on in the company. Stick to important big picture stuff that will be of interest to the stakeholders.
  2. Interviews. I simply adore doing interviews, getting unique perspectives on a variety of interesting topics.

    Photo by Joshua Ness on Unsplash

    Interview one of the chief engineers to get the inside scoop on the development of a new product, or sit down with the company founder and let her tell the story of the business’ meteoric rise to global superstardom.

  3. Product features. Has the R & D team been working on something really novel and cool? Do a write-up showcasing the product’s unique features, the design philosophy and how it will benefit users. You can always combine the product feature with an interview with one or more of the engineers involved in its development. People tend to love behind-the-scenes stories.
  4. Industry stories. What significant changes have been happening in the industry, and how will it affect stakeholders? Are there any trade shows or symposiums coming up that your readers might want to know about? Articles of this nature may require some investigative journalism, but it’s well worth the effort.
  5. How-to articles and tutorials. How-to articles are always popular. People are constantly looking for step-by-step solutions to their problems, so make these tutorials easy to understand. Add pictures if you can.
  6. Whitepapers and thought-leadership articles. Let your readers know that your organizations is the authority in the field by releasing relevant whitepapers and thought-leadership articles.
  7. Social responsibility pieces. People like knowing that they’re dealing with a business that has a social conscience, and not just some faceless and mostly soulless corporation. If your brand frequently involves itself with charities and social outreach programs, you can bet that people will enjoy reading about it.

Some headline ideas to get you started

As I said earlier, I’ve been doing this for a very long time and I don’t think I’ll ever tire of it. The trick lies in making your content compelling and engaging even if the subject matter isn’t.

Here are some headlines to get you started.

  • Inside the Mind of [Person’s Name]
  • An In-depth Interview with [Person’s Name]
  • We Sat Down with [Name] and This is What She Told Us
  • In the Spotlight: Introducing the New [Product’s Name]
  • Up Close and Personal with the [Product’s Name]
  • 5 Ways that the [Product’s Name] Will Save You Time/Money/Improve Your Life
  • [Company Founder/CEO’s Name] Shares Her Secrets to Success
  • [Company’s Name] Lends a Helping Hand (article about involvement with charity/NGO)
  • The Mighty Minds Behind the [Product’s Name] Provide a Glimpse Behind the Scenes

Still not sure how to tackle your tech newsletter? Don’t worry, you’re in good hands. You’ll find all my contact details here. Feel free to reach out and let me give you an estimate. My rates for newsletter writing start from as low as $150 for a 500-word article.

Posted by Charl Mijnhardt

Charl Mijnhardt is an established freelance writer with a special interest in wellness and mental health. He is also an experienced technical writer with many years' experience writing for the security industry. He currently lives in South Africa with his wife, Nastasia, and his cat, Gizmo. Hire him to write engaging copy for your website, blog, e-book, newsletter or marketing communications.

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