Why and how to improve your writing as a web designer or developer
16 January, 2022
Web design and development are huge nowadays with more and more businesses looking for ways to present themselves in an ideal way to the digital audience. This is exactly why web designers and developers are in demand right now.
To be stand out from the crowd, you need to be good at your job. However, your web design skills might not be enough to make you a professional at what you do. Hence, here’s why and how you should improve your writing as a web designer or developer.
Why should you improve your writing?
As a web designer or developer, it can seem pointless to develop your writing skills. After all, why would you need them? However, the reality is that you will actually need to write things here and there, both within your own work and in things related to it.
When you design a website or develop an app or program, you will need to use textual elements in different parts of your work.
In addition to that, you will need to possess relevant writing skills to communicate with your clients and keep your documentation in check. Lastly, you will need to promote yourself and your services which is when content writing and copywriting skills will be handy.
Which writing skills should you develop?
“Writing skills” is a generic term and could mean anything from poetry writing to technical writing. This is why you need to narrow it down to specific writing skills that you will need for your job. Denis Hollis, an expert from the writing services reviews site Writing Judge, explains, “I always recommend that web designers and developers learn at least four basic types of writing: copywriting, content writing, correspondence, and writing for the web.”
Here’s what each of these types of writing means:
- Copywriting and Content Writing: Both are used in digital marketing. Copywriting is about creating copy that advertises and sells products. Content writing is about creating content that informs, educates, or entertains an audience.
- Communication and Correspondence: Communication and correspondence skills help you write emails, project briefs, contracts, etc. All of these are necessary to act professionally.
- Writing for the Web: This type of writing involves creating textual elements for the websites you design.
Developing all of these skills will help you become better at your job and take your career to a new level in the long run. These skills are essential, yet many web designers and developers don’t possess them. This is exactly why developing these skills will also give you a competitive edge in your niche.
How can you improve communication and correspondence?
You probably already have some experience communicating with clients, but are you doing it correctly? What about the documentation you keep? Here are some tips to help you improve your communication and correspondence skills:
- Outline Your Emails: When writing emails, first make an outline. This will allow you to structure your emails in a more logical way and avoid rambling about things that aren’t related to your main point.
- Write as If You Are Speaking: To sound natural, imagine that you are speaking. Emails are just a written form of communication, so there is not that big of a difference between the way you talk and the way you write.
- Add a CTA to Each Email: To make your intentions clear, always add a single CTA to your email. For example, “Please, do write back soon!” encourages your recipient to send you an email in return as soon as possible.
- Use Templates for Documents: Keeping documentation in check can be tricky, so your best bet is to use templates. These can be found in abundance online. If you are new to writing emails, you can also have a look at some email samples online too.
- Write Multiple Drafts: Instead of sending the first version of the email you wrote, go back and edit it. You might even have to write another draft before you get to the final version. Just make sure that there are no mistakes and that your email makes sense.
- Master Different Tools: Though emails will likely be your primary channel for communication, you might also be asked to use a messaging platform like Slack. This is why it’s a good idea to master different communication tools.
- Only Communicate When Necessary: Remember that the person who is the best at communication is not just the one who communicates clearly but also the one who knows then to communicate in the first place. Don’t send unnecessary emails or text messages. They will only distract you from your work.
How can you improve content writing and copywriting?
Though content writing and copywriting are two distinct types of writing, it’s easier to discuss them together. Heather Monaghan, an expert from the custom writing reviews site Best Writers Online, says, “Copywriting and content writing often have a somewhat symbiotic relationship as they often aid each other in different ways.” Here are some tips to help you improve your content writing and copywriting skills:
- Be Consistent: Whether it’s copy or content you are working on, you need to be consistent. Support the claims you make and don’t contradict your own words. The consistency point also goes for any other aspect of your copywriting and content writing (e.g. posting consistently to generate a steady flow of traffic).
- Do Keyword Research: Before you start writing, perform keyword research. Keywords are crucial for your content to perform well. Likewise, keywords are needed for your copy too. Not only do they help your SEO but they also signal to your audience that they are reading content on a topic you are an expert in.
- Develop A Strategy: Having a plan is always a must, so you should sit down to develop your strategy before you start creating any content or copy. Think about the most basic things like your target audience and goals and then move on to more specific details like your content quality requirements.
- Grab Attention Quickly: Because information is moving so quickly nowadays, most of your readers won’t be taking a lot of time to pay attention to your content or copy. This is why you should always grab their attention quickly and make them click on your ad, open your article, like your post, and so on.
- Stick to Simple Words: You don’t need to use lengthy, complicated words to sound smart. Instead, stick to simple words. This will make your content and copy more accessible to all kinds of readers and will allow you to focus on providing value rather than making your text sound nice. Less is more.
- Proofread and Edit: Never skip the editing stage. Once you have finished writing, always proofread your work and edit it where necessary. Any mistakes will be detected by your audience, so remember that your reputation is on the line.
How can you improve writing for the web?
The last type of writing you should work on is writing for the web. As a web designer or developer, this skill is essential to your job and is definitely necessary no matter how you look at it. Here are some tips to help you improve your web writing:
- Know Your Audience: It goes without saying that you should know your audience. You need to understand who these people are, what they do, what they like and dislike, what they want, what they need, and so on. Only when you know and understand your audience can you create great web copy for the website you are working on.
- Focus on UI and UX: When writing for the web, always focus on UI and UX. Try to put yourself in your audience’s shoes and look at your work from their perspective. Is it clear what the different buttons are for? Are there enough instructional words and phrases located in all the right places to make navigation easier? Is your wording clear and understandable? By asking such questions, you will detect issues faster and resolve them before they can become a problem for your audience.
- Keep It Simple and Brief: As mentioned earlier, simplicity can go a long way in content writing and copywriting. However, this principle also works for web writing. Remember that you are a web designer first and foremost which is why you don’t actually have to focus on writing that much. It’s easier and more logical for you to keep everything as simple and brief as possible. Besides, by doing so, you will always get to the core of whichever point you want to make. This will allow you to avoid being too vague or confusing as you will prioritize only the essentials.
- Utilize Storytelling: Lastly, utilize storytelling in your texts. You are already trying to send a particular message through your design, so why not use the web copy to supplement this? Even small details here and there can add to the picture and help you create a better piece of work in the end.
All in all, improving your writing skills might take some time, but it will ultimately be worth it. Writing skills can help you become a true professional at what you do which is essential for career growth. Use the tips in this article to help you get started and begin developing your writing skills as soon as possible.
About the author
Lafond Wanda is a professional content writer, copywriter, content strategist, and communications consultant. She started young with her writing career from being a high school writer to a university editor, and now she is a writer in professional writing platforms— her years of expertise have honed her skills to create compelling and results-driven content every single time.