How to Build a Freelance Writer Website That Attracts Jobs
Sell Yourself and Present Your Work With These Tips and Tricks
Whether you’re considering getting a start as a freelance writer or you just quit your boring 9 to 5 job to pursue a full-time career as a freelancer, creating a website is a must. Like any business, having a website that showcases examples of your best work and offers visitors a chance to get to know you is one of the greatest marketing tools at your disposal.
If you’re anything like me, the idea of creating a freelance writer website in order to drive potential customers to your services is a little overwhelming. After all, we’re writers and not web designers, right? …Right?
Fortunately, I’m here to tell you that your strengths as a freelance writer are valuable and will be needed in creating the perfect freelancer website to advertise your services. Will there be a little learning involved in the process? Of course there will. Are you in any way ill-equipped to get started? Absolutely not. As a freelance writer, you are well-versed with the idea of taking risks. If you weren’t, you wouldn’t have achieved the level of success that you have up until this point. That being said, let’s get started!
Why You Need a Freelance Writer Website
If you consider yourself a freelance writer and have yet to build your own freelance writer website, you’re essentially a rock star without a manager. While you may think this is an odd comparison, let me explain.
Yes, you may have the talent and gusto to succeed as a freelance writer but you lack one very important component to land gigs: advertisement. Rock stars all begin their journeys to stardom as a complete unknown talent until a label discovers them, puts them on the map, and a manager advertises their talents and books their gigs.
While there may be a little something to be desired in my analogy, I think you get my point. Without a website, you’re essentially a struggling artist that may land a gig here and there, but with a freelance writer website, you could really sell yourself. Good advertising strategies are the quickest ways to landing jobs with high-paying clients and your website is the best means of doing so. That being said, let’s get to discussing how you can build your very own freelance writer website and start landing gigs like the rock star you really are!
You Don’t Have to Be a Tech-Savvy Web Designer
When I set out to build my freelance writer website, I had little to no knowledge of web design. Still, I had the number one tool needed to successfully build a freelance writer website: determination.
If you have no idea where to get started in building your own freelance writer website, never fear! The first step in learning any valuable skill is to admit you know nothing about the subject. This means that if you find you currently have no experience in web design and don’t know the first thing about building your own website, you’re in exactly the right place to get started learning! Congratulations.
So, what’s the first step in setting up your own freelance writer website? I’m glad you asked. Let’s get to the steps you’ll need to take.
Get a Domain Name and Web Hosting Provider
The first step to take when building your own freelance writer website is to secure a domain name and web hosting provider. When taking this first step, I ask (or beg) that you bear one thing in mind above all else: professionalism.
Think of your freelance writer website like a business website (because it is) and make every decision in design and setup with professionalism in mind. If you hope to attract attention to your website and win those big clients, you have to present yourself as the working professional that you are. This means avoiding free blogging platforms when creating your website. Seriously, it is one of the biggest mistakes you could possibly make when building your own freelance writer website.
While it may seem like the best choice to go with a free blogging platform and save money where you can, a domain ending with .wordpress.com or .blogspot.com is about as far from professional as you can get. When clients see this type of domain name, they’ll assume you aren’t willing to spend the money to present yourself in a professional light. Invest your money in places that count by paying for a professional .com domain name. To go even a step further, be sure that your domain name includes your legal name. As a freelance writer, your name is your brand and this should be easily recognizable in your domain name, whether it be yournamewriting.com or yourname.com.
With a .com domain name costing no more than $10 to $12 dollars per year and a good web hosting provider costing somewhere under $100 per year, the fees associated with setting up your own freelance writer website are far from steep considering the amount of advertising power you receive through maintaining one. Again, it is important that you view your freelance writer website as a business investment. When you look at it that way, the costs associated with your domain name and web hosting provider are meager at best.
Once you have a professional domain name and have chosen a web hosting provider, your website is officially live. Congratulations! You are one step closer to having your own freelance writer website and pulling in real clients interested in your talents. But there’s still several steps you’ll want to take seriously before you start marketing your website.
Get a Professional Design For Your Website
If you’re anything like me, getting a professional design for your freelance writer website is both the most exciting and most overwhelming part of this process. Nevertheless, now that you have registered your website, it is time to work on the design.
When it comes to designing a freelance writer website, you’ll want to make sure that your design is clean and inviting to potential clients. Rather than throwing your efforts into selecting a design that is bold and colorful (choices that may be great for other types of websites), your freelance writer website should be strictly professional, informative, and engaging. After all, if your website is clunky, disorganized, or difficult to navigate in design, you’ll only be hurting yourself.
There are no small number of really great looking design templates out there to choose from but you’ll want to narrow your options down to those that are all business. WordPress is a great resource for finding themes that are based around a “portfolio” style website which is great for any form of freelancing website. These vary from themes with plenty of space to add your own images which is great for freelance photographers or graphic artists and there are themes more suitable for including a portfolio of your past writing projects.
While WordPress offers a slew of free themes, I’d ask you to remember that your freelance writer website is a business investment. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you put up the cash for a paid theme that comes packed with features that make it easier to build your freelance writer website. These features include drag-and-drop website building features and easy-to-use element adding that makes personalizing your freelance writer website easy, even if you have no previous experience in coding.
Once you have picked a professional theme for your freelance writer website, simply install it, and make the necessary adjustments to personalize it. There are a number of different elements that every freelance writer website should have. Let’s talk about that next.
Create the Perfect About Me Section
Of all of the pages your freelance writer website should have, your About Me section is perhaps the most important. As a freelance writer, you know that landing gigs is all about marketing yourself to potential clients. Without an “About Me” section on your website, those potential clients will have no sense of knowing who you are and what you’re about. Make it easy for them to learn about you, your experience, and what you have to offer them!
So what should the perfect About Me section include? Most obviously, you’ll want to include content that makes potential clients feel as though they have a connection with you. This increases the likelihood that they’ll end up hiring you. The first things a client wants to know when they view your About Me section is who you are, what kind of experience you have, and whether or not you are reliable.
When drafting your About Me section, include information about your past experience. Do you have a decade’s worth of experience as a freelance writer? That’s something you’ll want to include. Have a degree in marketing or advertisement? That’s valuable information for potential clients to know. Your About Me section is one of your greatest opportunities to sell yourself. As with any product or service, you should create your About Me section with winning customers in mind.
To form a greater personal connection, detail what writing means to you in a broad sense. Is writing something you’ve always had a passion for? Has writing gotten you through some of life’s darker moments? Show potential clients that writing is more than just a paycheck for you. When passion is observable in a freelancer, clients are much more likely to hire. After all, who doesn’t want someone on their side that not only excels in their chosen occupation, but also has the drive to bring their best attitude to every project? I think we can all agree on the answer. Craft an About Me section that clearly establishes you in one camp or the other.
Highlight the Services You Bring to the Table as a Freelance Writer
The best freelance writer websites possess a clear outline of the services offered. When clients land on your website, they expect finding the services that you provide to be easy and quick. The worst freelance writer websites have no clear section highlighting the services offered, forcing clients to search through multiple pages and lines of text to see if you offer a service they’re looking for. More often than not, clients won’t even bother to hunt for this information. This means that in order to build a freelance writer website that attracts jobs, you’ll want to make sure your services are front and center for potential clients.
While it is important to have your services highlighted on the front page of your website so that prospective clients can find it easily, it is equally important that your services are easily found on every page of your website. After all, there is no guarantee that clients are finding your website directly. If you end up doing a good job of marketing your website, it is highly likely that clients will be directed to your website via a link. These links could direct them to any page on your website and, still, they’ll expect finding your available services easy. For this reason, it is highly recommended to include a “My Services” tab on the navigation bar. This way, clients will be able to easily view your services at anytime, regardless of what page they landed on.
Add Testimonials to Convey Your Value
It’s a simple fact: testimonials are one of the best ways to win clients. All business websites, freelance websites included, have to feature testimonials to have any success in landing new clients. Why? Your potential clients expect to see them.
According to a BrightLocal’s 2013 Local Consumer Review Study, 79 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. This clearly shows the power of featuring testimonials on your freelance writer website. Think about the last time you searched for a service or product online. I’m willing to bet that you checked to see whether or not there were positive reviews. If not, this influenced your decision not to hire or buy. If there were, you probably proceeded with the purchase without much thought. This works the same when selling your freelance writing services.
Testimonials provide real, human social proof of the quality of your services. Having this type of social proof benefits you well beyond just landing clients. It also helps when you’re setting your prices. A freelancer with no social proof for the quality of their services will have a much harder time charging a client $300 for a blog post as compared to one with social proof. Your potential clients are just like you and it is vital that you place yourself in their shoes when creating your freelance writer website. What would you want to see? If you’re the type of person who always checks for reviews before purchasing a product or hiring a company’s services, extend this same convenience to your customers.
Feature a Portfolio of Your Previous Work
Along with social proof, a freelance writer website that attracts jobs also provides proof of quality through a portfolio of work. This is one of the most important parts of any freelance writer website. Don’t be one of those freelance writers that overpromises and under delivers. Potential clients are viewing your website to determine whether or not you have the talent and skill to handle their work. Don’t make them guess; show them! It is recommended to provide samples of your previous work for any and all services you provide. Similarly to reviews, samples of your previous work act as proof of the quality of your services.
To get a better idea of what I mean by this, I ask you to imagine this: when shopping for a certain product online, you come across an item that peaks your interest but find that there are no images of the product itself. Would you still purchase the item considering you couldn’t see its quality? I’m willing to bet not. Would quality reviews of the product alone be enough to convince you that it was the right product for you? Maybe, but you’d definitely have to give it some thought. Don’t make your clients have to go through a guessing game on the quality of your services. Feature samples of your work and show them the kind of top-notch work you can deliver.
Give Your Clients a Way to Contact You
There are few things as quick to turn clients away from a business website like a scavenger hunt for contact information. If potential clients have come so far as to be interested in getting your contact information, it would be a shame for them to turn away simply due to the frustration of not knowing how to contact you. Again, this step in creating a freelance writer website that attracts jobs is all about making it easy for a client to hire you.
Make sure that you create a Contact Me page that clearly displays your contact information or possesses a contact form where clients can email you directly. The best freelance writer websites will feature a combination of a contact form, email address, and phone number. Offering potential clients multiple methods of contacting you makes things even easier for them!
Finally, it is vital that you have an easily visible contact form on your website’s My Services page. This is the page most likely to convince a visitor that you’re worthy of their business and you’ll want to make sure that reaching out to you is as easy as one, two, three.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
If you’re unfamiliar with search engine optimization (SEO), you’re missing out on a valuable method of getting your website in front of the eyes of potential clients. All of the steps addressed above work to convince a web visitor to hire you but that means nothing if they can’t find your website in the first place! That’s where SEO comes in.
Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing your website for the highest degree of visibility on search engines. While cold pitching your services may go a long way in attracting jobs, it is equally important that you attract the interest of clients organically. That’s what search engine optimization seeks to do.
When taking the necessary steps to optimize your freelance writer website for search engines, you’ll have a much better chance of ranking highly. Considering the fact that the websites listed on the first page of Google are the ones most likely to receive clicks, that’s where you want your freelance writer website to appear. When a business owner searches for “freelance writers near me” or “freelance writing services”, you want to make sure that your website appears front and center. Once a client clicks on your link, they’ll be directed to your website and the rest of the steps outlined here go to work! If all goes well, you’ll win that client.
I will be writing a more in-depth explanation of SEO, best SEO practices, and more pretty soon. If you know nothing about search engine optimization and want to learn more about how it can benefit you, check out that post which I’ll link here as soon as it is posted!
It’s All Up to You
Now that you have all of the necessary information to build a freelance writer website that attracts jobs and wows customers, it’s time to get started! Feel free to use this article as your guide. The best thing about freelancing is that your success is in your own hands, it’s all up to you. Will you achieve your dreams of landing great writing gigs, forming close professional relationships with clients, and making a living off of what you love? It’s all up to you.
If you need further guidance on the subject or want to hear more about my experiences creating my freelance writer website, feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com! I’ll be happy to assist you in any way possible.
The world of freelancing can be a difficult, yet rewarding one and we have to stick together. In the meantime, I hope this guide provided some useful tips and tricks that you can use to get started. Good luck in building your own freelance writer website!
Originally published at: https://reneerosewriting.com/how-to-build-a-freelance-writer-website