Not every freelance writer is a webmaster, but it is worth your time to learn some basic practices in order to set up a website. Like most commission-based careers, freelance writing careers require constant promotion to find new clients and drum up business. Existing clients are wonderful to have, however due to the normal ebb and flow of the business world; eventually you will lose some current clients and need to find new ones.
Creating a Simple Website
If you can do it yourself, creating a simple website takes very little time and money. Your costs include a hosting fee and a domain fee. These vary, but you can get both cheaply. Hosting fees are billed monthly and domain fees are billed yearly.
Choose a Domain Name
The best domain name should have your name or your company name in the URL.
Choose a Platform
I prefer WordPress, but there are several simple platforms that you can use for free. Once you choose your platform, you have the framework for your site.
Content for a freelance site is pretty simple. Since you are a writer, you can write it yourself. So, what do you need?
- About page listing your information and experience
- Profile page listing links to your work, sort of an online resume
- Fee schedule listing your fees for the various jobs that you can do
- Samples of your work
- (Optional) Blog describing the work you are currently doing
- (Optional) Single pages each describing in depth what is included in each type of work
- Contact page to allow prospects to contact you without giving out your contact information
What Samples to Include
Depending on your current customer base and industry, you may have trouble supplying samples. The first step is to ask your current customers if you can use their assignments for your samples. That is the easiest way to get samples.
If you cannot use completed work as samples on your site, then you will have to create samples. A best practice is to create at least one and preferably two samples for each type of writing that you do. As you continue to work as a freelancer, you can update your samples with more current work. Each time you learn a new skill such as how to write a press release, add a sample to your inventory. Each new skill makes you more marketable.
Once your website is complete, you can market it to prospects and list it on all of your marketing materials.
Paula A is a freelance writer available for projects at WriterAccess.