Help Articles and Blog Posts
Craig Wright, Technical Writer
Help Articles and Blog Posts
Craig Wright – Technical writer and copywriter
Divert customer support requests with better help articles
If you are overburdened with customer support calls and support tickets, it’s a good idea to look at the quality of your help articles.
Many customers will turn to you help centre for information before they call your customer support. Calling support is often a last resort. So if you can make sure your help articles give customers the information they need, you divert queries away from support.
As a help desk article writer, I can make sure your content meets your customers’ needs and helps to reduce your support costs. If you need articles for another purpose, such as blog posts or for features in trade magazines, I can help you with those too.
Making sure your articles hit the mark
You want your articles to be informative, accessible, and helpful, right? To achieve that, they need to include key information, have a clear flow, and provide customers with a workflow. The information needs to include context as well as instructions, and you may need separate articles to explain more complex concepts.
I’ve written content for many help centres and know how to create articles that are well-structured, clear, and engaging. In many ways, an article isn’t much different to a help topic – articles tend to be longer and more self-contained.
Is it possible to turn user guides into articles?
Wouldn’t it be great if there was an easy way to use the same content for your product manuals, online help, and help desk articles? Well, actually there is a way to achieve that with both Flare and Paligo.
At the time of writing, MadCap Flare has limited support for outputs to help desks and similar platforms, but it can output to Desk.com (Salesforce) and it has a ‘clean HTML’ output that makes it easier to import/copy content into other platforms.
Paligo has a wider range of support, and can output to Zendesk, Freshdesk, and Desk.com (Salesforce). It connects directly to the help centre and publishes the content as articles. I have used Paligo to publish directly to Zendesk and the process was smooth and easy to use.
Of course, your content needs to be written in a way that makes it suitable for all these different types of presentation. That’s where my skill as a technical author comes into play.
Blog posts and articles
Blog posts are a great way to connect with your customers and target audience. If you’re missing this opportunity because you don’t have the time to write, I can help you.
To create articles that work for your business, I figure out:
- Who are your potential readers? Where do they look for content, and what do they need to know?
- What message do you want to put out?
- What angle is going to hit the sweet spot between what you want to say and what customers want to read?
- What’s the best narrative for your readers? How do we capture their attention and get them to contact your company?
You’ll find examples of blog posts right here in my own blog. They are mostly aimed at fellow technical writers and content designers, but they do show different styles of articles, including editorial and how-to posts.
But it’s not all about blogs. I’ve also written articles for the ISTC Communicator magazine (see the image above). If you’re looking for content for trade magazines, such as a case study, just ask.