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At the end of July, I decided to complete a “blogust” (or “blaugust”) challenge, in which I’d write at least 21 blog posts of at least 600 words each during August. And I did, hooray!

How did I do it?

I wish I had a more intriguing story here, but the reality is, the process was pretty mundane.

  • I wrote up a list of topics and themes I’d like to write about.
  • Most mornings, after a coffee, I sat for a few minutes to contemplate and decide on the topic for the day.
  • I outlined the basics of what I wanted to cover in the…

A guide for copywriters, UX writers, and anyone else writing for the web or a product

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This article is a companion to The secret to giving good writing feedback: How to work with writers to make sure your product and web copy is the absolute best it can be.

There is no such thing as good writing, only good rewriting.

–Poet Robert Graves

Writing is iterative and there’s usually never a perfect ending point—only a deadline. Experienced writers understand the editing process could go on forever and ever until the end of time, because there’s always something you or someone else might want to change.

If you’re a copywriter, UX writer, or anyone else writing for…

How to work with writers to make sure your product and web copy is the absolute best it can be

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This article is a companion to The secret to receiving writing feedback: A guide for copywriters, UX writers, and anyone else writing for the web.

For writers

If you’re a copywriter, UX writer, or anyone else writing for the web or a product, you can use this guide as a jumping-off point for discussions with your design, marketing, and product partners.

For stakeholders and design partners

If you’re a product designer, product manager, PMM, researcher, engineer, marketer, or anyone else in a position to give feedback to a writer, you can use this guide to make sure your input is clear and actionable.

Why does good writing feedback matter?

Writers learn from feedback…

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If you’re a writer who partners with designers, product managers, marketers, engineers or other people to write for the web, software, or apps, you might sometimes wonder how to raise visibility for your work.

In many companies, especially tech, writing teams are small, if there are teams at all. Often there’s only one writer, juggling the work of UX writing, marketing copy, content marketing, technical writing, and copy editing.

How does all the writing get done?

When there are few writers but a lot of writing to be done, project management often falls into one of two buckets:

  1. All writing is given to the writer/writing team, creating…

A guide for copywriters, UX writers, and anyone else writing for the web or a business

Photo by senivpetro on

If you’re writing a blog post, essay, or another long-form piece, you’re most likely taking your writing through various stages of editing. You might be familiar with developmental editing and proofreading.

But even short pieces can benefit from a structured review process.

Short pieces include landing pages, emails, and any sort of user education flows. It also includes microcopy like settings, menus, and buttons, as well as error messages and other notifications.

You might not think short items need developmental editing but stick with me for a minute.

Start broad, then get granular

Generally, we can think about editing as starting broad and getting more…

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You just need 5 minutes, before you start your work day

You can call it journaling, you can call it planning, you can call it anything you want. The reality is if you can take about 5–7 minutes to write down these four items before you jump into your work day, you’ll be better prepared for anything that comes your way.

This doesn’t have to be part of some hustle-culture 5 a.m.-club mega-morning workout. It really only takes a few minutes, and there aren’t any set rules.

Just try to do it by hand, writing with a pencil or pen on paper, instead of typing it out on a device. Connecting…

A list for copywriters, UX writers, and anyone else who writes for the web or a business

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Define your audience before writing anything

It’s impossible to write to an audience of “everyone.” If your brief or project doc doesn’t define the audience, you need to dig and find the answer. If you need to define the audience on your own, create a persona and write to that person.

Front-load the important information

Always start with the most important information your audience needs to know. Here, for example, I started with defining your audience, because if you don’t start with that, you can’t write anything.

If your audience only read the first line or two, would they know what’s most important?

Delete your first paragraph

If you’re writing an essay, a blog…

There are many different approaches to teaching and learning. Some people believe we each have different learning strengths, that some of us learn better by listening than by reading, or by observing rather than listening. Others claim that’s not true, that we all learn by doing.

The ways we learn

I’m not an expert in education, though I was a corporate trainer and also taught yoga and meditation for several years.

One thing that was underscored during my corporate training days was the importance of doing in addition to observing, reading, and listening.

And, of course, it’s impossible to learn yoga without actually doing…

Photo by Simon Launay on Unsplash

Sometimes inspiration comes from outside sources. Sometimes, those sources take a “tough love” approach and tell you straight to your face what you need to know.

As any copywriter knows, a strong headline can be a make-or-break moment with your product-and if you’re the one who wrote it, that headline can follow you throughout your career in the best ways possible.

But getting inspired to write that headline (or whatever it is you’re writing) doesn’t always float in like a little butterfly and land directly on your page. Sometimes you need a strong kick in the pants to get started.

If we have an in-house writer, why does it even matter if I can write well?

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There’s an old saying, Sloppy language is a sign of a sloppy mind. The saying has been attributed to a whole variety of people, but the underlying tenet is universal: writing helps you sort through your thoughts and ideas in a coherent way.

Writing and critical thinking are intricately connected. Good writing is good thinking. Clear writing brings clear thoughts.

The process of writing is central to the development of ideas, whether you’re a designer, marketer, programmer, project manager, or hold any other role.

When you write out your goals, business plans, project development plans, technical documentation, or define a…

Writer, editor, artist ✨ Group Manager, Copy @ Slack 💛 Still in SF 💖 Words and sometimes not-words 🖤

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