The Noob Tech Copywriter Diary. Entry 3, where I didn’t expect the unexpected


September 25th, 2020, posted in learning, our_people
by Adelina

Dear diary,


Who knew the thing I read about in Working with Coders by Patrick Gleeson would be something I’d be doing myself?


It’s now September, and I’m about to reach a month of working as a tech copywriter. I began the first week of fall by doing more UX design, but this time, no more screaming from my eyes. I am now, officially, a person who wears glasses just for the computer. Goodbye, Figma-induced headaches! Anyways. I spent a couple of chill hours making several pages, and then worked on the first article in this series, and posts for UPDIVISION’s social media pages.


The next day, I was given a task I knew few things about: writing user stories with another colleague. To put it simply, for those of you unfamiliar with programming, user stories are essentially instructions for developers on what an app is supposed to do. That is oversimplifying it, but we’ll be here a while if I get into details. Now, I had already read several user stories while testing that e-commerce platform, but writing them myself proved to be way more challenging. I based it all on the screens that had already been made (funny enough, some were made by me), but as I wasn’t 100% familiar with all of them, I had to ask lots of questions. Overall, I found my first time doing user stories really interesting, but just as confusing.


Mobile and Desktop! Play nice!


For the next couple of days I got to play around with Mailchimp a bit more. At first, Mailchimp seemed easy and pleasant to use, until my colleague and I realized everything looked awful on mobile. This led to many troubles of trying to make the desktop newsletter look good, while not breaking anything on the mobile version. Left an extra space for some text so it looks nicer? Oops, it’s all screwed up on mobile.


Aside from arranging things, I worked on some of the copy for the newsletter, which was a refreshing break from the technical issues we had. Now that I mention writing - remember the landing page I was working on? This marked the 3rd (!) week I was working on it for. I never thought I could move around the same things so many times, or write headlines for the same thing so many times. I was never satisfied with my contact section headlines, so I wrote 14 total, but still hated them all. I realized me and the landing page truly had a love-hate relationship. But you know what? It was finally finished. And I was very happy with the final result. No, none of the 14 contact headlines made it in the end.


Ooooh, what does this button do?


I spent the rest of the week doing a nice blend of writing user stories and working on the UPDIVISION newsletter. My colleague and I kept having issues with mobile optimization, and we couldn’t figure out why a piece of text was black, although she had set a color on it. Mailchimp turned out to be a whole other universe for us to discover. Just like writing user stories was for me: as simple as they might seem to be, if you want to write proper user stories, you need to understand every bit of the app. And I didn’t. This meant several calls and messages to our designer, who kindly explained everything to me: what does this button do? Is it a button at all? Where does this take? How do you get to this? And other existential questions.


I began next week with half a day of user stories. The funny thing with these is that you tend to think you’re almost done, then you realize there’s an entire menu of options left that you have to write individual stories for. Then you have more questions to ask and modifications to make. But it all worked out in the end. Or so I think.


I finally got back to writing, as I needed to make new posts for UPDIVISON’s social media pages. As I was out of free articles to view on a major tech news site, I had to do some extra research to find new sources. And find, I did. Enough to write a good selection of posts for the following 2 weeks, plus some extra. Between you and me, I dodged an article because it had too much tech info in it, but maybe I’ll tackle that one day. You just wait and see. Alongside social media posts, I also edited and published the 2nd article in the Noob Copywriter series, which means we’re getting closer and closer to present day here. Huh, that was very meta.


Tech Knowledge is power.


Remember the e-commerce platform I tested out a few weeks ago? I got to write about it for UPDIVISON’s portfolio. For the first time, I wrote a project story in just a few minutes. This made me realize how important it is to understand what you’re writing about - the last time I had this task, for projects I was unfamiliar with, I spent more than half the time trying to understand what they do. But as I had tested all the functions the e-commerce had, it all flew smoothly.


The better chimps of MailChimp


As we were trying to figure out how to best optimize the newsletter for mobile, I realized we could simply move the whole thing to a better-suited template. And it all finally clicked: it looked good on mobile, and we found out why that text portion was still black. It was missing a # for its color code. Who knew? (We didn’t)


Aand, this wraps up my 3rd entry. Thank you, dear diary, for listening. I wonder what’s up for me next - and I hope this time I write good headlines right away.


What I’ve learned

  • A good understanding of what you’re writing about goes a long way
  • You can always find a solution
  • MailChimp should just let us paste in HTML and call it a day
  • Writing user stories is fascinating


Tune in next time for more of my ups and downs as a tech noob. Who knows, maybe this time everything goes well.

About the author


Artsy kid navigating the world of tech for the first time and trying to learn as much as possible about it. My biggest passions are video making, writing, and TV shows I can cry to at 2AM. I also really love IKEA.

See more articles by Adelina