Think tech writing has to be boring? Feel like you’ve hit a wall or run out of challenges? Maybe it’s time for a creative new direction.
Here’s how one of our writers did it. After years in tech writing, Tina wanted to advance her career while working from home on her own schedule, challenging herself by researching new fields, and finding compelling insightful ways to present topics for today’s growing B2B cloud ecosystem.
Tina came to IOD’s global talent network with a strong technical, management, and marketing background. But she was looking for more independence—along with a supportive team that would take care of customer interactions and management so she could focus on what she loves and does best. Five years later, it’s a love affair that’s still going strong.
Here’s what Tina has to say about why IOD was a perfect set for her skills and interests.
Background & Freelance Challenges
What was your background before you came to IOD?
I started my career as a technical writer. For close to a decade, I wrote user and service manuals for many types of products—both hardware and software. I always aspired to write clear and concise deliverables that help the reader quickly learn how to use the product and troubleshoot issues that may arise.
I then began to take on business management roles, starting as a team leader and ending up as CEO of a startup in the field of speech recognition. Along the way, I gained a lot of hands-on experience in team management, product positioning, sales and marketing, business development, and fundraising.
How many years have you been working as a freelancer? What challenges have you faced?
Around ten years ago, I decided to strike out on my own and leverage my writing and business skills as a freelance business and marketing writer. I helped early-stage companies find the best market fit for their product and then wrote the collateral they needed to raise funds and otherwise get the attention they needed to progress. My deliverables ranged from marketing briefs to business plans, investor presentations, one-pagers, and website content.
Although it was kind of a scary decision to become independent, I very quickly realized that freelancing was a great fit for me. There were, of course, a few challenges, such as juggling multiple projects on my own, non-billable time invested in admin and customer management, no one to consult with when I ran into obstacles, and so on. But I was always busy; I loved working with entrepreneurs who were passionate about their ventures; and everyone paid on time 😊.
Did you face any challenges as a woman in the tech industry?
In my experience, the tech industry is quite merit oriented. I felt that my skills and potential were noticed and valued, and a number of people (including men) played significant roles in helping me climb the management ladder.
The one area where I had to learn to be assertive was compensation: Women often settle for less than their male peers are earning. But if you do your homework and know what’s coming to you, you’ll get it.
Working with IOD: A Win-Win Situation
How has working with IOD helped you overcome some of these challenges?
About five years ago, a former colleague introduced me to IOD, which was still in its early days. IOD became one of my many clients, and I wrote several blog posts and white papers each month in domains that were new to me: cloud infrastructure, DevOps, cybersecurity, data analytics, and more.
I quickly fell in love with working for IOD. I was happy to let the IOD team take care of customer management issues, allowing me to focus on what I love the best: researching topics and writing informative and compelling articles. They always gave me the flexibility I needed to fit the IOD tasks into my busy work schedule.
Why do you love working with IOD and how has it helped you grow professionally?
A couple of years ago, I decided to reduce my work scope significantly, and it was an easy decision to work exclusively for IOD and its customers. With IOD’s well-managed workflows and cloud-based collaboration platform, the tasks unfold smoothly from brief to final draft. And if there are wrinkles, I know that the IOD operations and editing teams are there to help me make sure that, at the end of the day, the client gets the right deliverable.
There is no question that I have grown professionally through my work with IOD. I have learned a great deal about the fascinating cloud ecosystem. And, after many years as a solo practitioner, I have editors to look over and improve my drafts. What a luxury! Now and then, I also get to mentor writers who are new to IOD, and I love being able to share my methods and experience with them.
What advice would you give to professional freelancers looking to get into tech?
No matter how experienced or busy they are, I would highly recommend that freelance writers check out the possibility of working with IOD. It is a win-win situation: The writer gets to do interesting work within a highly supportive and professional organization, and IOD’s customers get well-targeted content that meets their sales and marketing needs.
Make IOD Part of Your Success Story
In some ways, Tina’s experience is unique: She was a seasoned techie with a solid background in a wide range of technologies. That gave her the ability to hit the ground running, creating long and detailed content for IOD, such as white papers and e-books.
But that’s only one path to independence as a freelance technical writer. IOD’s success formula means taking great writing—compelling, passionate, and original—and merging it with solid expert content. That means many writers can begin working for IOD if they have strong writing skills and a willingness to learn—and then grow their technical expertise on the job with the guidance of experienced writers and managers.
If you’re passionate about writing, then no matter what your background happens to be—deep tech, marketing copywriting, journalism, or blogging—working for IOD could give you the opportunity to do what you love and get paid for it.
IOD serves some of the most well-respected brands in cloud, DevOps, data engineering, cybersecurity, and AI, creating meaningful tech content that strengthens your brand and converts traffic into quality leads.
IOD’s agile teams of vetted tech experts and professional editors work together to build you a rich content library, including technical blogs, white papers, e-books, tutorials, product comparisons, thought leadership, and more.