Creative? No Problem! – Professional Writing, Creativity, & You

Source: Steve Petrucelli

Source: Steve Petrucelli, “Ghost Writer” Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0

Close your eyes and envision yourself as a professional writer at work. What do you find yourself doing every day? Do you see the field of professional writing as boring, consisting of slaving away laying out phone books or writing dull instruction manuals no one will ever read? Are you under the impression that professional writing is selling out and abandoning your creativity for a paycheck?

If you have any of the misconceptions listed above, think again! Professional writing is a field where you can embrace your creative side, while earning a paycheck doing something you love. Contrary to popular belief, professional writing isn’t just laying out phone books or writing manuals. The field itself is incredibly diverse and there’s a niche for just about anyone, with plenty of opportunities to exercise your creativity.

Here are just a few of the more creative aspects you may encounter.


Think about the last time you encountered issues with a product. Maybe an app wasn’t running properly, or perhaps you just wanted to know how to use some of the product’s advanced features. Where did you go? I’m willing to bet that you went online and looked it up. Companies have caught on to the fact that people turn to the Internet to find information, advice, or instructions for products. One of the best ways for companies to utilize that fact is through blogging.

Corporate blogging is a way to connect with consumers and help them find the information they need. Since blogging is a very different style of writing than say, your traditional instruction manual, it’s an excellent way to exercise your creativity while working as a professional writer.

Useful Skills

It’s nice to have a working knowledge of HTML and CSS, but Content Management Systems like WordPress make it not so necessary anymore. The more customized you want your content the better it is to know how to code.

Videos, Podcasts, & Screencasts

Coming up with creative and informative ideas, writing scripts about them, and recording those ideas, is another opportunity to be creative. Since most people seek out information on the Internet, this gives organizations (and professional writers) a chance to show off their writing, editing, and/or animation skills.

Consumers love using audio and visual tools to learn how to use products or how to do something. It’s an approachable way to share content and information with others, and more companies are utilizing these tools to engage with their customers than ever before.

Useful Skills

Knowing how to use tools like Adobe’s Framemaker or Flash can be really helpful. So is having a basic knowledge of recording and editing video and audio.

Designing Documents & Websites

Content not only has to be well written, it has to look great too! Professional writers are responsible for not just creating the written word, but they’re also responsible for designing readable, informative, and visually oriented documents and websites.

Whether it’s coming up with visually engaging brochures, a beautiful looking website, an informative infographic, or anything else, really, if you know your way around a graphic design program and can create usable, visually stunning content, you’re going to be a huge asset to the organization you work for.

Useful Skills

Adobe Photoshop and InDesign (and the entire Adobe Creative Suite for that matter) have become industry standards. Knowing how to use these programs to create visually appealing documents and websites will be of benefit to you!

Don’t Check Your Creativity at the Door!


Source: Christy Sheffield, “Create” Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0

These are only a few of the ways writers may be expected to show off their creative sides in the professional world. If your workplace doesn’t “do” any of the above, there may be other more creatively bent things you can do, or you can take the initiative to start up a blog, make videos/podcasts/screencasts, or become more active in document and website design.

Website Layout/Design: Key Tips that will lead to Success and Potential National Attention

The Internet has enabled users to publish and promote their work in new and dynamic ways. A visitor to the Internet has many choices of websites, blogs, etc. to view for information on a desired topic. Because of the vast number of options, designers of websites must make their work easy to read, follow, and access. Therefore, learning to create exciting web pages with dynamic content and an intriguing design/layout will lead to long-term success.

Website Content

The first step to creating a website is to think about the content that you want to include on the site. Identifying the content helps you to also develop the general direction and concept for your site. First, consider the end goal of your site. What do you want visitors to take away from your site? Then consider the various types of information that will help visitors reach that goal. Research information on those topics and then start formulating how to order and organize them. For example, if you wanted to create a website about tourism in Florida to help people plan a trip, you would want to identify the major tourist destinations in Florida and then research information about each destination. After gathering all of the information about the destinations in Florida that you want to highlight, you would be ready to design your website.

Website Design/Layout

Some general tips for website design/layout include the following:

  • Accessible: Make your site easy to find
  • Navigable: Keep your site easy to navigate
  • Informative: Make your site easy to understand and useful
  • Up to date: Keep your site current
  • Engaging: Encourage visitor interaction by soliciting feedback


The most essential page of a website is the homepage. The homepage must be welcoming, informative, and include navigation links/bullets so that users can easily navigate from page to page. One easy way to accomplish this goal is by including a navigation bar at the top or sides of the homepage. The navigation bar should also be included on all of pages of the website as well so that users can easily change from page to page.


A neutral background works best. Avoid photos or heavy patterns for a background because your text will get lost. Let’s go back to our Florida tourism website. Even though Florida has many beaches, it is not a good idea to put photos of the beach as your website background because your text is likely to get lost in the busyness of the background.


Avoid fonts such as Blackadder ITC and Pristina because they can be difficult to read. Fonts such as Times New Roman, Calibri, and Arial are good choices because they are easier to read.

Website Design Tools

Designing and laying out a website can be a daunting task. Fortunately, there are many software programs that can assist users with website creation. Additionally, there are some free online tools that work well. One such tool is Wix. Wix is a free website creation program that allows users to lay out pages and optimize them for search engines such as Google. One example of a website created with Wix is This site is for a sales coaching company owned and operated by Mj Callaway, CSP. Mj successfully designed a website about her business that is easy to read and navigate by using Wix.

One example of a successful blog is Cat in a Wedding Dress. This blog was created by my cousin and features wedding venues, photographers, florists, etc. in the Pittsburgh PA area. My cousin’s blog was so well organized that The Today Show found a blog entry about my cousin’s third generation wedding dress. As a result, my family was featured on The Today Show on February 12th.


Creating websites and blogs that are organized, navigable, and informative will lead to success. Using headers, navigation panes, neutral backgrounds, and legible fonts will keep your readers coming back for more because you will earn the reputation for having a knowledgeable and desirable site on your chosen topic. Who knows, your website or blog may even be featured on The Today Show someday.