In this article, Yuval Keshtcher from UX Writing Hub shares his journey into marketing and how to create effective UX copywriting content
- Q: How did you get into content marketing and UX copywriting?
- Q: What should a UX writer do to bring value to clients?
- Q: How long does it take a project to happen?
- Q: Could you show an example of how the testing can affect the UX copywriting and user experience?
- Q: How does a UX writer utilize data to make decisions?
- Q: How does UX copywriting support the clients’ brand?
- Q: What skills does a UX writer need?
Q: How did you get into content marketing and UX copywriting?
In the beginning, I was transitioning from graphic design to UX design, and I did a lot of content marketing related to my process of doing that transition. So basically, I got a lot of interesting traction for my freelance UX design, career UX design business, and articles I wrote.
Many audience members know about content marketing and content marketing for UX design. The community exploded and became big. But it wasn’t that common to talk about these topics and ideas back then.
So when we built a small community, it started as a Facebook group, then an email list. But at some point, we grew our committee of writers to be more than 100,000 people. And when many people ask us if we’re doing any training at all, we’ve collaborated with industry leaders of our community and built our own unique training program.
Since then, many people that are building other programs, and now we’re as well, so there’s an interesting market for exciting training. We are considered the leading one since we have an expelling Bootcamp, the training academy that takes you for six months, where we give you hands-on training on writing.
So it’s the first program in the world that connects you with real clients to have real projects in your portfolio and gives you a mentor that will guide you every step of the way and give you feedback on your assignments.
We grew during the last two, and now we’re planning to open more programs for writers in tech, and it’s going to be pretty exciting.
Q: What should a UX writer do to bring value to clients?
So, first of all, when a client reaches out to you to do a u-turn project, that’s a really good position because a lot of clients don’t even know what UX writing is, and many freelance UX writers need to kind of promote the idea of UX writing.
If the client already knows that they need your exciting project, and they reach out to you, that’s good because you’re already going to have a lot of freedom with your professional work. So that’s good.
The first thing you need to do is research to analyze the project’s current status. Do you need to define the scope of the project? So is it a B2B dashboard? Okay, so if it’s a b2b dashboard, and you need to work on the copy of a product, like HubSpot, for example, or lattice.
So you need to understand, are we building a new feature right now? If you’re building a new feature, we need to work with the designers, research team, and product managers.
Then the copy from the first day, that’s a good place to be because then you have a seat at the table; you’re in the first stages of building that feature.
Most of the time, product teams will reach out to you and say, “Hey, we want you to put some copy in this B2B dashboard or in this screen,” and that’s a problematic place to be. But still, you need to manage to work with it with this place.
So let’s say you get a bunch of screens that are poorly written, and you need to make them work. So there is a lot of research you need to do on your end about what’s the other features of the product. What’s the path? What’s the context of the user? Where are they in the user journey?
For example, what kind of actions did they perform until that point, and which kind of actions do we want them to perform from now on? Are we trying to make them premium users right now? Are we trying to make them use maybe a new integration?
You must do research that analyzes the technicalities of the product and the design of the product, and only then will you be able to write that screener in a way that will be compelling and will help the user, and maybe you can help suggest some different features.
Like sating, “Hey, I’m not sure if the screen is communicated too well enough, so maybe we should kind of redesign the flow a bit,” because you are also product designers.
A lot of people call themselves also content designers. So they have the chance to also make different design suggestions and redesign the actual product. So it’s a lot of also teamwork to talk with the designers to ask them if they make sense to talk with the developer and ask them if it makes sense to develop it.
So how much the client is ready for doing UX writing, and what part of the timeframe of the sprint you’re going to this project is the answer to your question.
Afterward, you need to do research to analyze the current status of different features, maybe commercial competitor analysis as well. Only then you’re already ready to actually write the interface.
The next step after that is to test it. So to offer maybe different copy suggestions, see what performs better. Do some A-B testing, and then implement the whole product and see what works better. So that’s, in a nutshell, a good process for you and is an effective practice.
That’s why if anyone in the audience has some kind of copywriting agency, marketing agency, or feels like it can be a really good idea to offer UX writing as some kind of service that you offer, be a bit more involved in the product.
But to be that involved in the product is worth so much more money for your agency. So you can, instead of a cooperative project, you can take a UX writing project, and you could charge much more money for that.
Q: How long does it take a project to happen?
So it depends on the model that you decide to do with your client. So one thing that you can do is to do UX writing part-time or work full-time as a UX writer.
I don’t know if it’s something that you care about. But in America, UX writers earn as much as six figures a year. So that’s a good place to be, you can work for the biggest companies in the world, like LinkedIn, Google, Facebook, and Apple, and basically, everyone needs you.
To make the product communicate a bit better, so you can work full time and earn a decent amount of money in working EyeTech, which is great, especially in content marketing. In many ways, salary-wise and otherwise.
If you work as a freelance UX writer, so you can work in two modules. You can do project base or hourly base work. If you do project base, you define some kind of ongoing project like we’re going to launch this new feature. So that will be the project, or we’re going to do some kind of content audit for the product.
In the hourly base project, you can say, “you can have me as a freelance and my freelance services for one day a week.” And then basically, you step in their sprint or sprint in their process, and you give them one day, a week, eight hours, something like that.
Then it’s a retainer, like an ongoing retainer that you set your hours basically not doing it project-based, because a lot of companies, startup companies, most of the time, have like more and more and more things. So the project base doesn’t work that well for them.
They prefer to have you on a regular basis every week, or every month, or maybe bank of hours, something like that. So there are a lot of different modules that you can go with, and if you have an agency, of course, you can just do the freelance models on a larger scale.
Q: Could you show an example of how the testing can affect the UX copywriting and user experience?
Yeah, so basically, it’s a big challenge. It really depends on the technological capabilities of the team and how ready they are to invest in testing. So it really depends if it’s a web-based product or if it’s an app. So you need to learn from the analytical tools out there.
Maybe there are different bottlenecks where the content does not perform that well, or it performs a bit better. So you need to learn how to make data-driven decisions in your design. You can have manual feedback sessions with your team and ask them if this copy makes sense.
If you don’t have a lot of resources, you can implement different tools that will help you to do those testing, or you can do some user surveys or any of the basic UX stuff that you do in order to learn from your users about your products to provide them better user experience.
Q: How does a UX writer utilize data to make decisions?
It depends on your team. If you work in Google, for example, you have UX research in your team. So you can just tap on their shoulder, get the insights, get the data, or request some kind of research.
And if you work for a small startup company, like if you don’t work with Google, but like for a small startup or medium-sized company, you can do the research yourself. Okay, it really depends on your team.
So lots of times, different companies, big companies that were for Latin funny, know that they need UX writing projects, but they don’t. They’re not sure that they want to hire a UX writer. So they have a lot of capabilities, and they have a lot of research.
They will invite you to step in, ask all of these questions, and learn from their team about what’s going on. So it does not necessarily depend if you’re freelance or not. It really depends on the team.
Q: How does UX copywriting support the clients’ brand?
There is something in your writing that we call voice and tone. So it’s not new, it’s nothing new; you had the client, had their brands already, they had their brand values, but the mission of the UX writer is to help that brand stands out in the product itself.
So you can go to different websites like Dollar Shave Club or Casper. And you can actually see it while using that product. While shopping in Dollar Shave Club, you can see in the voice and tone of the product that it’s on-brand.
So the UX writing helps the copy of the product, even if it’s a b2b dashboard, to be on-brand. Even if it’s for a company like Atlassian, or QuickBooks, which might be kind of like, grayish and not that colorful, in a way that you can be that funny or stuff like that.
With UX writing skills and best practices on your sleeves, you can be on brand, helping people to achieve their goals using your platforms, even if it’s like a very complicated B2B product. The idea is to make it intuitive and easy to use while keeping it on-brand as well as providing a better user experience.
Q: What skills does a UX writer need?
In the UX writing sector, I recommend finding some kind of a niche. If you’re a UX writer, and you’re doing it for years now, so fancy kind of a niche, you can work for healthcare products. I know you’re excited to do only health products.
So, of course, there are huge technologies right now around like IoT devices, digital products, and stuff like that.
So you can see a lot of writers that develop the skill set only to write healthcare products, which is interesting because it’s a niche within a niche. And when people would look for a writer that is extremely skilled in writing those specific products. So that can be a great career move. Good UX writing best practices can help you glare more as a UX copywriter.
There are so many niches right now and so many new technologies that it’s enough if you’re a sweater and you want to work in the car industry, so maybe you can analyze how Tesla is doing their dashboards and stuff like that and how they’re written.
Maybe you can think to yourself, how can you work for a company like Tesla at some point or another automotive company that has its own technology. So the opportunity is really big right now; I think this field is going to explode.
So many writers are going to need to do UX writing in their companies. Because it’s less, I think that the world is transitioning to less like sales in marketing copy and more like an in-app copy.
Let’s say that you work for a SaaS product that the company gives away for free. So your marketing copy will lead them into the product. But your UX writing copy will make them upgrade to premium, which is probably the most important part for every startup company.
So I feel like the transition is moving from like, we will still have to do marketing to lead people, but we will also need great writers to make people stay. The great writing of marketers will invite people to the party, but the awesome writing of the sweaters will make them want to stay.