Tips for Getting Started Writing about Web Design

by Jake Rocheleau

June 22, 2012 in Business/Freelance

Building your skills as a web designer does not necessarily include writing abilities. You’ll need to practice for months before you can pick up enough grammar and vocabulary to accurately portray ideas in blog posts. Yet all through Google you can find hundreds of popular web design blogs with new content.

In this article I want to share a few tips for writers just getting started in the topic of web design. There are many different types of content you can write including tutorials, opinion pieces, design news, related content, tips/tricks, and so much more. You’ll need to be confident and ready to approach problems head-first. But with enough time and practice anybody can get into writing for the web.

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Read Plenty of Blogs

I have to share the #1 most important trick in my mind is to visit plenty of design blogs. Read through other articles that you find interesting. Pinpoint what others are writing about and how their formatting works.

Consider ideas such as how many paragraphs they write per section, headlines, anchor links, and other similar grammatical aesthetics. You don’t need to mimic these writers but you can at least understand their methods.

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It’s also true the more you read the more vocabulary you’ll pick up over time. This is paramount for any good writer, regardless of their topic. You need to understand how to express your ideas in the most proper wording. And the best way to accomplish this is by learning new vocab every day! When you’re getting into writing about web design then other blog articles are the perfect place to start reading.

Take Down Notes

If you can keep a small pocket notebook handy this is perfect for quick 1-2 line ideas. Often times I’ll come up with a great headline but forget to write it down somewhere. Keeping your notes on a computer is fine and dandy for some – but a physical copy of the information is even more useful.

chinese food and taking notes on scratch paper

Not to mention the act of writing something down can help you commit the idea to memory. So as you begin to brainstorm on topics it doesn’t hurt to write down some key words. Have a small list of 15-30 ideas you can always flip through to write about. Some will obviously be duds, but surely you’ll find a couple headlines which really stand out.

Practice Small and Grow

When first starting out it’s unlikely you can duplicate the works of bigger publications. There are plenty of web design articles pushing 3000+ words and this may feel like a exceptional goal, but it’s ultimately something to aspire towards. You can’t jump head-first into writing such an enormous post concept.

Even tutorials can be difficult working with since you need to understand the design/code and how to express this in writing. I recommend writing posts on a few ideas you have without any pressure. Don’t plan to publish these online anywhere, although you certainly could.

Start with smaller concepts and do your writing just for the sake of writing. Learn the process of how sentences arise in your mind and how you can build these into a whole article. To examine all the inner workings of writing a publication will take weeks if not months and feel very laborious.

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But this is truly the quickest way to adopt a powerful skillset in writing. You have to catch yourself making mistakes and try newer methods. Thankfully the field of web design isn’t as complicated as writing on topics of law or business. But there is still a lot of required information to keep in your head – and it’s true that not just anybody can sit down and write design articles on-the-fly.

Constructing Usable Topics

Each article you write should ultimately break down into a few smaller points. These can be sub-headings or even divided by a few paragraphs. But it helps to write these topics down and have something constructed which you can look over while writing.

Jotting down even 5 or 6 different ideas can go a long way towards building a successful post. You should try hard to stay on-topic and drive home your main arguing point. Another characteristic of strong writing is to ensure your ideas are conveyed in a simple manner.

productivity writing on the MacBook

Often you want to get ideas out to your readers as quickly and efficiently as possible. Use analogies and comparisons to make your point easier to understand. Also use plenty of examples and link to other websites which illustrate the topic perfectly. Images and other graphics will captivate readers and provide a nice break in the typical wall of paragraph text.

Conclusion

Hopefully these tips can get you thinking about the future of online publications. It doesn’t take a genius to get into writing – but it will take hours of practice. Do not be afraid to test run some new skills and ideas on your own time. This is possibly the best way to learn and mistakes will only increase your knowledge on the subject of writing and web design.

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About Jake Rocheleau

Jake is a digital researcher and writer on many popular design magazines. He frequently writes on topics including web design, user experience, mobile apps, and project management. You can find him all throughout Google and tweeting @jakerocheleau. Connect with Jake on google+

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