Have you ever considered writing content for a web designer? Not for high powered, fast paced web agencies, mind you, but the web designers who work alone, or with a small network of the same. These freelancers may wish to expand their services, offering content and editing, but often aren’t equipped for the task. This is where you come in. Offer them your freelance writing services!
In the last year, most of my writing income has come from working with an independent web and graphic designer. I’ve written site copy, done content edits, and proofread his sites. As part of his client maintenance package offerings, I’ve also written brand standards and other company content, and I create ongoing social media posts for one client. It’s been an interesting, informative, and profitable venture.
Freelance web designers, particularly those who are sole proprietors, may want to offer more complete services for their clients, but don’t want to hire on-site staff or an agency. You can offer them personalized and competitively priced services, helping round out their business offerings. Even if designers happen to be good writers, their focus is on site building. They create. You write. The partnership can be mutually beneficial!
Where are the designers?
Web designers are everywhere. Connect with them through local and national business organizations, community groups, social media, and through friends and colleagues. Here are a few places to start:
How do I approach designers?
First, make a list of services you offer. The possibilities are many. Consider the following:
- Site copy – entire site, new pages, splash pages, additional content
- Lists & such – infographics and other captions, sidebars, taglines, headings
- Editing – sharpen any site with small or extensive tweaks to bios, copy, etc.
- Proofreading – before site launches, be that second set of eyes to polish the content
- Other related site content – case studies, white pages, brand standards, creative briefs
- SEO – keyword research and marketing strategies
- Ongoing designer or client content – social media and blog posts, company and employee handbooks, press releases, advertising materials
If these services aren’t your thing yet, no worries. Read informative articles like these on keywords and brand standards to gain the skills you need.
Next, compose a letter of introduction to the designer. Share your information, services and skills, samples of your work, and the great possibilities of working together, whether for the occasional side gig or large projects. Don’t forget to highlight the benefits and income earning potential for them, too. I recommend not sharing rates upon initial contact. If possible, wait until you both discuss details and potential work. Finally, contact designers by your preferred method – email, snail mail, social media or professional networks, or cold calls.
What else should I do?
Once you make contact, follow up if you don’t hear back right away. Although immediate work is great, you may plant a seed that leads to a working relationship later. Make a habit of connecting with web and graphic designers on professional networks and share your services as usual. You know how it works. Even if these designers don’t want your services, they may know others who will.
Be your usual professional, responsive, and prompt self and interact with designers in the same manner as with your clients. Think long term; this could be a profitable relationship for you both for years to come.
Expand your horizons
This overlooked market offers great opportunities and income potential for freelance writers. If you’re looking for interesting work, I encourage you to reach out to fellow creatives in the design field. You’ll not only earn money but you’ll also gain experience and valuable insight through the process.
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Karen Lange is a freelance content creator who’s worked with a web designer for 10+ years. Connect with her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/karen-lange-86148917/
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Thanks so much, Jen! Greatly appreciate your input.
I specialize in writing website copy. I have found that many solo web designers need to be educated on how to sell the value of professional copy to their clients and how they can make additional profit by marking up your services.
Larger marketing firms usually already understand this and can also provide a more steady stream of work.
Writing “good” website copy can pay very well, BUT you need to learn what that is. It needs to attract Google as well as readers. It also needs to provide an engaging sales journey for a specific audience.
You have touched no a very lucrative niche.
Certainly, Kathleen, and as you mentioned, there’s more to it than can be covered in this space, so continually educating ourselves is key. Thanks for your input. Wish you well with your writing endeavors.
Very informative piece with great take-away value.