If you plan to begin working from home as a technical writer, you'll be happy to know that you likely already have a lot of the equipment you'll need to get started. The following are absolutely essential if you hope to establish as successful at-home technical writing business:
High-speed Internet: You'll need on online connection to complete a wide variety of important tasks, including sending emails, searching for work, and researching topics. For this reason, a high-speed Internet connection is essential. You could theoretically get by with dial-up, but spending the extra couple of dollars for high-speed will save you a lot of frustration.
A good quality computer: Whether you're a fan of laptops or desktops, it's important to have a reliable computer. A computer that overheats frequently, freezes for no apparent reason, or shuts down without warning is simply not acceptable.
Something to keep track of projects: A crucial part of being a freelancer is keeping track of projects and deadlines. You can use a computer program to help you do this or rely on an old-fashioned planner. The important thing is to find a method that works for you.
Printer: You may not have to print a lot of documents, but it's a good idea to have a printer connected to your computer just in case. If a client gives you formatting instructions for a project, you may want to print them off instead of constantly switching between screens. Many people also like to keep hard copies of important documents like invoices and contracts.
Phone: You may communicate with clients mainly through email, but many will also want a phone number to reach you at in case something urgent comes up or they want to speak about an upcoming project. Giving clients a phone number where they can reach you will also make your business seem more legitimate.
Fax machine or scanner: Fax machines and scanners are often used to send contracts or other documents that require signatures. If you don't have one of these, you'll have to send signed contracts by snail mail. That means if you're working under a tight deadline you may not get the client's signature until after the project has been submitted, something you want to avoid if at all possible.
Word processing software: An up-to-date word processing program is absolutely essential because it's what you'll typically use to prepare your technical writing projects. Increasingly, technical writers are also expected to use desktop publishing software to give documents a more polished and professional look, so you may want to invest in a quality program of this type as well.
Last Updated: 05/05/2014