What Every Freelance Writer Website Has
It’s one of the most commonly asked questions about launching your freelance writing business: “What should I have on my website?”
There are a couple of things that every successful freelance writer website has, but I'd encourage you not to stress out too much about investing time and money into building your freelance writer website when you first get started. I know plenty of people, myself included, who have been very successful at building their freelance career without a website. Yeah, I said it -- without a website at all.
I did not have a website for my freelance writing services for the first three years of my business. I didn’t need one because I was leveraging tools like referrals, Upwork and LinkedIn and I didn’t need to have the extra expense and headache of putting together a website.
Ultimately, a website does help because it is an extra place for you to store your portfolio and information about you, but it is a huge mistake to think that putting a website online means that clients are going to be banging down your door wanting to talk to you. Far too many people fall for this myth and get frustrated when they put all the money into putting together a website, launch it and then they hear crickets.
What Every Freelance Writer Website Should Have
Every freelance writer website should have a couple of key things so that clients can find more out about you.
The first of these is your portfolio. Your writing samples should be clearly and easily displayed. Don’t make your clients download one more thing from your website. No one wants to download stuff. Try to make it easy for your clients to see your work. A portfolio is a great way for your clients to tell right away if you are the right fit for them or not.
How to Contact You
The second thing that every successful freelance writer website has is information about how to contact you, whether it is filling out a form for discovery call, submitting a contact form for more information, or signing up for your email list directly. The website exists for one reason: to get your clients to get in touch with you about a freelance writing project. If you don’t have a way for them to contact you that is very clear, then they are probably not going to follow through on it.
On my website, it didn’t help to just have a phone number or my email address to send me a message. I used a contact form as a very specific call to action to help encourage people to take that additional step of reaching out and contacting me.
So, you may need to play around on your website with what it is that you use as your call to action in your contact, but you definitely want something that tells the client a reason why they should get in touch with you and exactly how to do it.
Now what a really great freelance writer website has is content - not just content that tells all about you or displays your writing samples, but actual content about your industry.
Why is it important to be writing the kind of content that you are selling? If you are a white paper writer, you should have your own blogs on your website, talking about the strategies behind the white papers, for example:
How to successfully outsource to a whitepaper writer?
What goes into a whitepaper?
Why are white papers widely read?
What You Don’t Need on Your Website
Something that you might think that every freelance writer website has are rates. In the industry, you will see only about half of the people posting their rates on their freelance writer website. Many don’t do it because they create customized quotes for their clients. Others like to put their rates on their website because it helps people to opt out, to see whether you are too expensive and then they won’t waste your time reaching out to you with projects.
I found that I prefer to keep my rates off of my profile. It might lead someone to think when I put up a generic rate that the rate applies to all projects, and that's not true because there are different skill sets and levels of work and time that go into various projects. So, I ask people to contact me for a quote or for further information. I usually like to talk to my clients first before I'll even agree to do a project. That’s a great way to weed out people who aren’t willing to get on the phone with you or to provide you with more details about the project.
The three most important things to include on your site are your portfolio, a way to contact you, and content. All of these things show to prospective clients that you are highly knowledgeable in the industry. They help to position you as an expert in the field, but they also go one step beyond by helping your prospective clients find you via Google and search engine optimization.
Don’t sweat it over putting together a freelance writer website. If you don’t have the money, the skills or the time right now, put that energy into getting clients. Once you begin to bring clients into your business, you can use that money to invest in your freelance writer website.
For more information about growing your Upwork profile, presence and reputation, subscribe to my YouTube channel, Freelance Freedom.