Do you have a product or service that’s technical in nature? Software, hardware, web-based, mechanical, electronic? Do you want to explain it, document it, and tell people about it? I’d like to speak with you. Email me at email@example.com.
I’m a freelance technical writer — a versatile content creator for technology products. Over the years, I’ve written about thousands of technologies and products: marketing materials, manuals, help, blogs, web content, and more. I’d like to do that for you, too.
“He’s blessed with… a gift for words.”
I had the privilege of working with Jeff for sixteen years. He’s blessed with an ever-present curiosity, an engaging manner and, most importantly for his profession, a gift for words. He was often called to translate the nearly indecipherable text of patents and technical materials into clearly stated value propositions that individuals could digest easily. While participating in interviews with technical staff, he asked his questions with persistence and tact, penetrating into the gist of the invention. Jeff is a most diligent and trustworthy colleague who always delivers beyond expectations.
— Phil Stern, Managing Director, Chartline Capital Partners (former CEO, yet2)
“I would happily use Jeff again for technical writing of any kind…”
I highly recommend Jeff Walden as a technical writer based on his work with AlphaPoint. Jeff worked diligently to document our public APIs. He generated most of the documentation directly from code samples, saving valuable time from our understaffed developers. He was also able to accurately summarize the complex instructions that external developers would need to properly code to our APIs. I would happily use Jeff again for technical writing of any kind and wholeheartedly recommend him to others.
— Keith Dallara, VP, Technical Operations, AlphaPoint
I’d like to hear about your upcoming projects, even if you have no immediate need for a technical writer. Please email me at:
Connect with Jeff:
Sales Materials: Sales and marketing materials take many forms. This is a capabilities paper I created specifically for one company dealing with the oil and gas industry.
Programmer’s Guides: A programmer’s guide is a more technical cousin of a user guide and tutorial. These can easily be implemented as electronic documents. I worked with senior management and engineers at Adobe on the PostScript Language Reference Manual, second edition. The book runs 580 pages.
Help: There are several ways to implement Help systems — as user guides, as tutorials, and as a knowledge base of informative articles. This is part of a Help system I authored for yet2, the first on-line markeplace for technologies and intellectual property.
Brochures: Every business can use a brochure to explain who we are, what we do and why should you use us? A brochure can be a simple one-color three-fold, like this one — or it can be much more elaborate.
Books: Many companies publish respected industry references or handbooks, corporate histories, or arrange for “third-party” books about their products. I’ve authored several books in addition to the many manuals and other documents I’ve created. You can find me in the Library of Congress.
Classic End-User Guides: End-user guides offer “Step 1, Step 2” procedures for operating the product. This is a user guide I wrote for Apple Inc. on behalf of Acius (now 4D SAS).
Articles and blog entries: I’ve written many articles and blog entries on behalf of clients. Sometimes these appear under my own name and sometimes under the name of an officer or manager of the client company. Articles and blog entries have appeared on the websites of clients — but also on other websites, such as this one in Embedded Systems Engineering, in Hardware Massive, and in Forbes.
Technical docs: Over the past few years, traditional user guides have migrated on line as help and forum systems, but there continues to be a strong need for more technical types of documentation. This is a PDF page from an API — application programmer interface. I can produce this type of documentation as a set of html pages, too.
Open Innovation (OI) Packages: Open Innovation is an exciting new opportunity for monetizing technologies and know-how. You can also use Open Innovation to find and acquire technologies that you may need to complete a project or to bring a new product to market quickly. I’ve arguably found the value proposition and written up as many — or more — of these Open Innovation technologies as anyone on the planet. If this is an area of technology marketing you want to move into, please contact me and let’s discuss your objectives.
Determine a main contact person inside the company who can answer any technical questions (or who can point me to the person who can). This may be the most important tip. It’s just as true when generating marketing materials as it is when preparing the most esoteric of technical documentation. I will do my best to minimize the amount of “inside” time I require (access to change logs, task-ticketing systems, and release notes all can help), but there always will be questions, and someone will have to answer them.
Freelancers generally don’t work at a desk inside your office. Freelancers maintain their own offices and work off-site. Luckily, over 90% of my entire career has been spent “working off-site” like this, so I have a lot of experience doing it. Even so, we’ll need to stay in regular contact so that you can be sure of what I’m doing.
Let’s talk on a regular basis, by phone, Skype, or in-person. Weekly or bi-weekly is good. A short project may need only a quick conversation and a delivery at the end. A longer project also should include periodic check-ins along the way. You’re entitled to know exactly what I’m doing on your project — no buts.
Plan for a thorough engineering review of materials (especially for documentation) before the conclusion of the project. Accuracy is part of my job, but it’s also part of yours.
Do you want me to attend a meeting? Sure! Of course, if you’re on the East Coast and I’m on the West Coast, it might be difficult for me to drop in casually on the Thursday morning staff meeting. Phone or Skype may work best. If you need my physical presence, and we can do it in a cost-effective and reasonable manner, by all means, let’s get together!
When code thunders towards a beta release, when the staff shoulders into 100-hour weeks, and the investors clamor for a firm ship date… that is when one of the junior engineers asks, “Are we planning any help pages?”
Bring in sales materials and documentation earlier than you might think — in cahoots with Marketing, Development, and QA. I’ve done a wide range of writing that startups need — sales literature, articles, press kits, as well as technical docs. I’ve been a magazine editor, so I know what editors want. An early start on documentation is even more important with small staffs or developer-entrepreneurs, who can be too familiar with their product to see what a new user sees.
I’ve freelanced at, and worked for, several startups. I know the schedules and the pressures. I am a mentor for startups with the regional economic development group. I’d love to talk with you about what you need for your new products.
Every company today runs as lean as possible. Major releases stretch the capacity of in-house staffs. With subscription-model software, mobile apps, and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications — all of them updated constantly — there is always a trickle of changes and improvements that need to be captured and explained, but maybe not enough to justify another full-time employee. I can help you there.
Another way I can take some load is by working with your staff to generate supportive product literature, articles, news releases, and a wide variety of other materials that you may need only occasionally. Whatever you’re planning, the odds are I’ve done something very much like it. You benefit by getting up to speed quickly in a cost-effective way.
Open Innovation monetizes a company’s intellectual property assets — patents and other technologies — through licensing or sale.
As Editorial Director for over 16 years for yet2, a top, world-spanning Open Innovation consultancy, I have a great deal of experience in presenting technologies and needs for the Open Innovation marketplace. And not just in one industry: for hundreds of companies in hundreds of industries over thousands of technologies, all different. For big companies and small.
Is your company moving into Open Innovation? Please contact me, and let’s talk about how best to present your technologies for licensing or to articulate your needs in ways that don’t compromise your identity and negotiating position.