I often recommend writing technical articles in my blog in order to position myself professionally as an expert and thus also pass on existing knowledge. Now many of you have asked me what my tips are for writing such articles and how best to start.

Reading tip: How to find a professional topic

Find the topic

Determining the subject is often the hardest and you will have to think about it for some time. In total, you have seven options:

  • Case studies and project reports
  • Reports on new concepts
  • Overview contributions
  • Reviews
  • Field studies and market analyses
  • Controversies (“Pro & Contra”)
  • Book reviews

Case studies and project reports are used to map the solution of a problem as practically as possible. For example, you can write about the introduction of agile methods and use a case study or project report to record the implementation and success of this implementation in detail and in a comprehensible manner and to map it in writing.

Reports on new concepts are intended to introduce the reader to a new area. Although you will find only a few sources here, you can build up the topic very excitingly, as you are one of the first to deal with it. For example, when you write about cloud agility, you not only hit the current nerve of the times, but can offer real added value to many companies with your specialist article.

Overview contributions are primarily intended to bundle several topics in one article. Such overview sposts are extremely important because they give your readers a general understanding and the basis for follow-up articles. For example, an overview article could deal with agile methods in general and refer to other technical articles specifically on various methods such as scrum.

If you have gained experience in a topic yourself, you can use this as a basis to write an exciting, practical technical article based on testimonials. Especially when it comes to topics such as the implementation of agility in companies, case studies are very popular, as you can draw attention to tips and errors in implementation and can be used as a best practice in your own introduction.

Field studies and market analyses describe the systematic evaluation of existing data at a given area and time. For example, in your article, you can discuss the successes of introducing agile methods and back up your results using a field study in some agile companies. This allows you to significantly increase the value of your item by providing your readers with a basis for review.

Controversies (“Pro & Contra”) are especially useful when you delve deeper into an issue that has room for manoeuvre. For example, you could write about the introduction of scrum in business. In the course of your article, you can then give a recommendation for action regarding the implementation of this agile method based on a controversy.

There is a lot of literature to be found in some thematic areas. Often so much that your readers can’t or don’t want to read every book on a topic. If you have read a book whose content you find significant and appealing, you can write book reviews that bundle and clearly represent the most important cornerstones and information of this literature. This gives your readers access to important information without them having to read the book themselves.

Now you should look for a topic for your post. You can consider: What experiences from practice do I have and what can I report about? If you can’t think of anything, I have a few topic suggestions in the following link.

Reading Tip: Topics of Digitization

Find a trade journal

Next, you need to find a corresponding magazine and download the author guidelines. It also makes sense to read some of the magazine’s articles and capture the style accurately. I always recommend writing for a handful of magazines more often, as it depends mainly on the style and with each new newspaper you have to adapt to the new style.

You can either find newspapers via Google or you can ask colleagues or authors for tips for trade journals. Often the magazines have a focus. If you write to match the center of gravity, the article is usually easier to accept, but you can also submit something next to the center of gravity at any time.

Tip: Take a look at Fachzeitungen.de

Planning technical articles

Now you should plan the technical article. To do this, you first write a short summary of about 250 words and also specify the intermediate headings. Also think about it: What added value do I want to give readers? Maybe tips or a checklist or an overview as a picture?

Now send these 250 words to the magazine and ask very nicely if the topic would be exciting for one of the next issues.

Write a technical article

If the editor responds positively, start writing the article.

This definitely starts with a captivating introduction, after all, you want to convince the reader from the very beginning of the reading. The best way to achieve this is to arouse emotions. In order for the reader to finally read your text to the end, it is also important that cliffhangers return continuously and follow a common thread. The best way to achieve the latter is to install meaningful intermediate headings.
First and foremost, however, you should definitely adopt the writing style of the page you are writing for, but at the same time remain authentic and true to yourself. After all, your own writing style is also your personal trademark in some ways. In order to implement this balancing act in the best possible way, it is best to read several articles of the editorial staff and try to develop an understanding of the structure and the choice of words. Then you should apply this to your item, paired with your own style. For example, you should consider the following regarding the adjustment:

  • language, e.g. German, English, etc.
  • Address of the reader, e.g. You or you
  • short sentences instead of difficult-to-understand and long nestings
  • Avoid too frequent word repetitions
  • explanations of abbreviations or technical words

In this context, it is often also a good place to use interactive elements such as checklists or tables. The incorporation of these elements in your article allows readers to perceive information clearly and at a glance. Setting bullet points can also bring structure to the article. In addition, it is also worth a good interplay of text and images, as it also emphasizes the article graphically and makes it appealing.
At the very end, you should close your article with a meaningful end, e.g. in the form of a conclusion. The course of your text should always be based on the end, as you usually pronounce important aspects such as recommendations for action. This means that at this point you release the reader’s hand, which you ideally took at the beginning of your article, i.e. in the introduction, and provide him with enough information to send out for his own actions.

Overall, all of these measures can significantly improve the quality of your article, as you can add some value to your readership.

Conclusion

In addition to a good feeling, a specialist article can also be a real turbo for your career as well as a personal brand. I recommend sending the PDF of the article to various well-known experts upon completion. Surely someone passes it on and it will one day give you an exciting opportunity.

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I blog about the impact of digitalization on our working environment. For this purpose, I present content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday work. I am a manager in an SME myself and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the chair of IT Management.

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