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Online Help Technical Writer - Craig Wright

Craig Wright

Hi, I'm an experienced technical writer based in Derbyshire, UK. I have used Atlassian Confluence to write wiki pages.

Got a wiki or planning on getting one? Looking for someone to create interesting, credible, and well-structured content? Get in touch - I've got just the skills you need.

Just because wikis are traditionally created as a collaboration, that doesn't mean you can afford to have poor writing and badly structured content. Any documentation that your business puts out, from a user manual to a wiki page, makes an impression on your customers. Get it right, and it will boost your brand and lead to reduced demand on your support staff. Get it wrong, and it will have a negative impact on your brand and won't give customers the user assistance they need.

Hire me as your wiki writer, and I'll make sure your pages connect with customers and create the right impression.

I've been a professional technical writer since 1997, and have created user assistance for software, hardware, and processes. While I have worked more with online help systems, I am no stranger to wikis, and I spent two years using Atlassian Confluence to document a software system. I know how to create pages that guide readers through the information in steps, so that they learn in a logical sequence, and I'm familiar with structuring documentation and providing navigation between pages. You can find out more about my background on my technical writer profile.

If you want to get right to it, click the button below to get in touch. Just tell me what you need and what your timescales are, and I'll get back to you a.s.a.p.

If you'd like to learn more about my approach to wikis, the sections below will help:

How I'll Make Sure your Confluence Wiki Wows

To make sure your wiki content makes the right impression, I'll follow similar principles to those I use in all of my technical writing work:

  1. Identify the audience and create a customer profile.
  2. Identify the needs of the audience.
  3. Research your product or service, either through demos or by interviewing SMEs.
  4. Plan the scope and structure of the content.
  5. Write from the reader's perspective. I'll focus on the 'when' and 'why' and not just the 'how', and I'll also include relevant examples and useful diagrams and images.
  6. Add navigation to help readers find related topics and other important information. This can be as links or labels.
  7. Send for review. Apply feedback.
  8. Publish
Wiki Writer - how to write a wiki

Content reuse features can save you a lot of money and effort in the long run, but not all wikis have them. Even if you use a wiki that has content reuse, such as Confluence, it is not always wise to use them. It really depends on who is going to be writing the bulk of your wiki pages.

Wiki vs Online Help

Are you wondering whether a wiki is right for you? Are you unsure about the difference between online help and wikis? Okay, then let me try and explain the difference and guide you a little bit.

Let's start by looking at what wikis and online help have in common:

  • They are a collection of web pages
  • They provide informative content (usually)
  • They use links to guide readers to related information
  • They can include media, such as video clips, images, etc.
Wiki Writer - Wiki vs Online Help

Now let's look at the traditional differences between online help and wikis:

  • Wikis are designed for collaboration. The pages can be edited on the fly, and the changes can take effect immediately.
  • It is more likely that non-writers will contribute to wiki content, so there are often less writing tools and they are simpler. A WYSIWYG editor is often all that is available.
  • Wiki pages tend to be longer than topics in online help systems.
  • Online help is usually written by technical writers.
  • Help authoring tools often have a wider range of advanced writing features that can make it easier and faster to write and update content. They are designed for technical writers, and so go beyond the WYSIWYG editor.
  • Online help is usually created and then published as a finished product. Its content does not change until the next release of the documentation.

Wiki or Help? Which is Right for You?

The key things you need to consider are:

  • Who is going to write your content?

    If you're using experienced technical writers, there are benefits to using a help authoring tool, as the more advanced features are usually provided out-of-the-box. Tech writers will know how to use the advanced features to save time and money.

    But if you are expecting engineers, developers, and others to contribute to the content, you're probably better off using a wiki, with a simple editor. However, just to throw a spanner in the mix - Paligo, the online CMS authoring tool, now supports markup, so that makes it easier for non-tech writers to write content too.

  • Cost.

    How much is it going to cost you to buy the product licences? Will you need to buy additional plug-ins (often the case with wikis)?

I can create effective content for you no matter which type of tool you use. Click the button below to get in touch, and we can discuss your project.