• 3 min read

Choose a topic

Technical writing - How can you find topics to write?

Getting started might be the most daunting step if you’re new to writing. Let me tell you my secret. Each time I wrote content on this blog, it came from the following list:

  • A concept that I’ve learned.
  • Software or hardware that I’ve created.
  • A technical problem that I’ve solved.

If you carefully observe these three scenarios, you’ll see one common thing: It’s about topics that I already know.

Go ahead, and pick a topic that you already know. A common mistake, something that I’ve made a lot, is selecting a new subject. If you do that, you’ll have to learn two things at a time: writing and the topic.

Type of content

Choosing a topic will also help you determine how to write your content. There are various types of technical content. Let’s take a look at them briefly.


In tutorials, as a writer, you act as a teacher, and the reader acts as a student. Your students follow your instructions and perform steps to achieve some end.

Audience: You’re writing a tutorial to help people get started with something.

Things to remember

  • Make sure that all the steps in the tutorial work. Remember, you’re the teacher responsible for your student’s success.
  • Make sure that your reader sees results as soon as possible.
  • Provide only necessary information. Tutorials are to help people get started. Extra information distracts the reader.


The guides are to help readers solve a particular problem.

Audience: Your audience is someone looking for a solution to their problem.

Things to remember

  • Guides are a series of steps, just like the tutorial.
  • Focus on helping your reader by solving their problem.

Deep dives

Deep dives, sometimes called explanations, are writings that help the reader understand the big picture about a particular topic. They’re discussions that illuminate the subject at hand.

Audience: Someone interested in learnings details of how things work.

Things to remember

  • Don’t instruct; Provide facts and details.
  • Give background information and context.


Fire up your favorite text editor and do the following:

  • Choose a topic from the ideas presented in this chapter. If you’re short on topics, I’m curating a topic list where you can choose a topic that suits you.
  • Think about what type of content you want to write: tutorial, guide, or deep-dive.