Behind every good website designer, stands an even greater content editor. Is that how it goes?
Well, in a sense…
We say this in a way to borrow a well-known phrase, “Behind every great man stands an even greater woman.” But truthfully, it doesn’t work that way. Not at all. Saying that people are partners automatically arranges how you see the relationships between the two. They are usually side-by-side, not one behind the other.
When I began a new business in web design, Bobbi immediately (and automatically) began showing interest in what I was doing. I may have sparked her interest by wanting her to see the first projects I was working on. Even though I started as a solo free-lancer, I did not want to exist in that world alone. As a website designer, I’ll have to admit, my main focus was on design and function. Website content was second on my list or priorities.
So, when I began making progress on those first projects, I started asking Bobbi to take a look. And she did, but as it turned out, she did not look at my projects the way I did. Bobbi has a much more critical eye on grammar, word-flow, and ease of reading. At first, this frustrated me. I wanted her to like the way I designed the website, not so much what the textual content was. In fact, she rarely gave any input at all on the way the website looked.
This led me to start publishing work that was not subjected to her scrutiny, and that was a bad idea. In my early days, after a website went live or was updated, Bobbi would catch errors. Often times a lot of them. It was then that I had to realize that subjecting my work to the painful process of editing was very necessary and exactly what was needed. As a partner (and loving wife) she was motivated in giving her points by one thing: my success. She wanted to see that my work was done well and not a source of embarrassment! Pshhh…yeah!
Designing websites for clients can go two ways. You either have a client who is really good at providing content for their website, while some clients just really don’t know where to start. We typically rely on the client to provide content, if and when this is possible. We always provide smart editing to client-supplied content for a number of reasons. One of them is to weave in standard SEO keyword features in the wording. Clients often know how to articulate what they do, but they may not necessarily know how to integrate what they are saying into getting their website found on searches.
Sometime we are tasked with researching content ideas and providing them to the client. This is not actually uncommon. How many times have you expertly done what you know how to do, but when it came to telling someone else how you did it, it somehow fell short? That is where we come in.
Content needs to make a connection with the reader. The words on the page of a website need to make an emotional connection with the reader. In order to capture, and keep the attention of someone who visits a website, the content needs to resonate with the reader – and quickly! Bobbi has these amazing skills of looking at content and being able to simplify and economize how we are saying something. This is extremely important in the success of any website project. The words need to be easily understood and make a connection. And for the love of all that is good, grammar errors are an absolute no-no!
I love our editor. She’s great on the eyes and the best editor around. I can’t tell you how many times she has looked at published works, that have obviously gone through the editor and yet, she still finds errors. Her brain is just wired that way. I still admit that it sometimes hurts to have her edit the work. It takes a little more time, and works against one of my flaws – wanting to rush things. Even this blog will not get published until it passes muster with Bobbi. But hey, when you have an editor looking like her, there are just way more reasons to appreciate her than not!