What Are Design Writing Clients Looking For?
1. Original (but Reasonable) Design Ideas
If you don’t have any original ideas of your own, find another niche. You don’t become a fashion blogger without some sense of fashion, and you don’t become a great design writer without having a good grasp on design. If you like the subject but are having writer’s block or otherwise need to get unstuck, here’s what you can do: look at a few of your favorite websites and figure out what you like about their layout and what you don’t. How would you improve it? This is a great exercise to “grease the wheel” of your design sensibilities, so to speak.
You don’t need to write with a lot of personality when you’re writing product descriptions for a hardware catalog, but readers of design blogs and sites want to be entertained. A lot of design comes down to subjective, emotional judgments, and you need to play into that with subjective and emotional language. Don’t just say that baby blue and white go great together; instead, talk about summer skies. Have a sense of humor and wit when writing about aesthetics.
3. Knowledge of the Field
Whether you’re writing about interior design or web design, know the tools of the trade and avoid any assignments where you don’t. Most of the people reading your design articles will know the difference between eggshell and cream, so learn that difference for yourself. Learn what new developments are happening in your own design niche and focus on delivering the clients in that niche the very best that you can deliver.
Working as a freelance writer means that you can pick and choose just the articles that interest you. It’s tempting to grab every assignment that you can, but this will leave you with less time for the ones you really love, and it will have you spreading yourself thin over the entire design field, which is actually quite broad. Find a niche to specialize in, and you’ll be able to be the very best within that category without burning yourself out.
Gilbert S is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.