3 reasons why every freelance writer should learn web design

Oct 2, 2014

Emily Kate Pope is a content producer at General Assembly, an educational institution dedicated to creating a global community of individuals empowered to pursue work they love. GA offers full and part-time courses and workshops on the most relevant skills of the 21st century – from web development and user experience design, to business fundamentals, data science, product management, and digital marketing.

Are you struggling to find a way to level up in your freelance writing career? Sure you’ve contributed to a slew blogs, and yes, your unique style and precise skill has even landed you on a few noteworthy publications. But what’s next?

Learning a technical skill, like designing for the web, is a great way to leverage your current expertise as a wordsmith and build your professional repertoire--becoming more compelling and valuable to potential clients.

Not convinced? Here are 3 reasons why every freelance writer should learn web design.

1. Increase your versatility

As content continues to converge with technology, the case for writers to learn at least the basics of web design is only getting stronger—whether you’re contributing to a data visualization project, interactive narrative, or building a new format for digital storytelling, having a basic understanding of HTML, CSS, and web design principles will give you the necessary skills to work on a variety of web-based projects. Ultimately, you’ll be able to express yourself through a new medium--landing you more jobs that will challenge you professionally and increase your earning potential.

2. Build your personal brand

As a freelancer, your personal brand is part of your value proposition. It’s how you communicate what makes you different (better) than a less expensive option. Displaying a strong, consistent personal brand exemplifies your expertise and professionalism while building trust with current and potential clients.

With web design skills you can create an impressive digital portfolio from the ground up, or simply customize your content on a platform such as Wordpress. Basic front-end web development skills enable you to express your personal aesthetic while showcasing your technical skill in digital environment.

3. Communicate more effectively within multidisciplinary teams

If you’re writing for the web, it’s likely that you will have the opportunity to work on projects which include web designers and developers. Having a basic understanding of the medium on which your words will be supported (websites, mobile apps, etc.) can be immensely helpful in crafting the most effective copy and communicating with others working on the project.

Understanding what’s going on “behind the scenes” will make it easier for you visualize the final product, communicate your goals with developers, and understand technical limitations (or advantages) of your medium. In the end, this understanding will lead to improved collaboration and a better final result.

Don't forget to check out all the awesome classes at General Assembly around the country!