August 20, 2012

Pros and Cons of Contract Technical Writing

Challenges of Freelancing Technical Writing 

I believe pros and cons are the respective word, what are pros for me can be cons for you and vice verse. It is up to you decide what is going to be pros for you and cons.

Most of us believe that staying home and working is the best job in the world. It can be, but everything has pros and cons attached to it, including freelance tech writing. When you decide to work from your home there will be good and bad things about it, but there are good and bad things when working in a brick and mortar office too. Things will not always be smooth and problem free, that is just part of life.

List of pros and cons  I can remember doing contract/freelancing technical writer:

  • You will have to do sales and marketing job as well i.e to keep getting contract to keep you fully occupied. This may include writing and replying mails, some cold calls, reply to the calls etc..
The big challenge for contracting is the uncertainty of getting the next contract. But in some situations, having a so-called "full-time job" really isn't much more secure than contracting. Who the heck has secure jobs these days?                                        

  • You will have to be a Doc manager also to negotiate important factors like cost and time. The client will always love to get work done at minimum cost in minimum time with the best quality.
  • You will have to manage your taxes or hire a good consultant for calculating your business related expenses and taxes.
  • You will have to be your legal manager. Read carefully consulting contract and before signing MOU and NDA be sure contract build is not one-sided.
  • Many time requirements of product change and so the product. Sometimes you may have to do lots of re-work without pay, if your contract is not in place. Try to get a freeze version and any charge for anything diverting from it.
  • Sometime client may ask you to use your hardware and software for authoring, so have a licensed version of hardware and software what normally used for authoring.
  • You will be Moving from one company to another frequently is interesting but has its challenges. New people, new industries, new technologies....
  • You may get a chance to work on  varieties of projects  the same day, you may end up working for the different company on different tool for different kind of write-ups. So you can gain more knowledge.
  • Some time payment may be delayed so have a sufficient backup.I must say have at least six month backup.
  • You need to maintain good PR, be courteous and professional, have a good sense of humor, be flexible, and always give more than is expected.
  • Higher pressure as you are paid by the hour. You don't work, you don't get paid.
  • For every client that pays you a reasonable hourly fee, there will be ten who expect you to work for pennies (or worse, for free).
  • Sometime contract terminate in between there can be many reasons for that, so better be prepared for this kind of situation as well.
  • Your work can imbalance your work and personal life if you allow.
  • To avoid communication problem get very specific and detailed instruction from the client.
  • There is no one who tells you to start working when you not feel like to. So you need a lot of self-discipline.

For technical writing service and training contact ApraDocs Information Developers, New Delhi.Call 7840741999

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