Which Comes First? The Copy or the Design?

website-copywriting-and-designIf you have ever worked with a creative agency to mount a new website, you’ve probably been asked to provide the website copy up front. This can be daunting to someone who is unfamiliar with building a website, or to a person intimidated by writing. (That’s why we get brought in so often.)

Different agencies work in different ways: some want the copy up front, while others provide a template “look” first and then build the copy based on the template.

Which should come first: the copy or the design?

I find this dilemma similar to the age-old question “Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?”, and as with the chicken query, both can be correct.

I don’t know how other writers work, but I recognize that I am not the most visual person. That’s why I work with words and leave the design part up to my expert partners. I find it much easier to create the copy once I have a visual for how the site will look. Then I know where the headlines fall, the copy blocks are, and how much sidebar, callout or link copy to include.

But this is not always the case. I am more often asked to create the copy first, which then goes through the approval and editing processes. Then when the design template is chosen, I have to go over the entire site again, adding text here and there, or revising text where it didn’t quite fit.

It used to be that the templates were simple, so writing the text first made sense. Now the templates and designs can be quite involved and often complicated. Knowing what text elements are needed, and where they fall now becomes a larger puzzle.

As a writer, I know I’d much prefer the one-step process of seeing the design and knowing what text elements were needed so I can provide it all in one fell swoop.

Are you overwhelmed with the task of writing your website copy?

I can understand how you, as a business owner, can be overwhelmed by your agency’s request for website copy. There is not only the design to consider, but also how to describe your business, reflect your brand, and speak to the consumer in a way that creates action, while always considering the keywords you need for search engine optimization.

If you’re stuck, or getting frustrated with the phrase, “We’re waiting for your copy,” contact All the Buzz. We’ll walk you through a simple interview process and then put the puzzle together for you to create compelling website copy.





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