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Why a website should be part of every freelance writer’s arsenal

June 22, 2009

Having a website was absolutely essential to building my business. I now also have a blog, and they both bring in enough work to more than pay for their own overhead costs. My website and my involvement with American Independent Writers were the two biggest external contributors to my freelance success. Busting my butt nonstop to go after work was essential, but I don’t think it would have been nearly as effective without those two elements. ~ Kristen King

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In the twenty-first century, professional freelancers are expected to have websites. If you don’t, potential customers are probably going to avoid you like the troll under the bridge. It’s as simple as that.

Carving out your own personal bubble on the worldwide web has many advantages, not just drumming up clients:

  1. It serves as a ‘home-base’ for building your brand – Does anyone even know you exist? Especially if you’re new to the freelancing business, exposure is going to be important to you. Your website does just that. It increases your visibility and helps people find you when they’re searching for writers via the Internet. Furthermore, its design and your about/bio page (which should be included on your website) will speak volumes about your character. You’re no longer just a name, you’re a personality and a face. This helps potential clients tap into the ‘real person’ behind the services you’re offering, and is important for developing relationships and fostering trust.
  2. Let your writing speak for itself – With a website, you can demonstrate you’ve got talent by keeping an online portfolio with samples and published clips. And don’t forget, since your site is accessible around the clock, your promotions might land you a client while you’re sleeping. How’s that for easy marketing?
  3. Easy schmoozing and bye-bye bidding – You can spend a lot of time scouring the job boards for crap-tastic writing gigs that pay $10/hour or less. Instead, start advertising your website. It doesn’t take long to send the link out to all your friends, family and professional contacts. By cultivating relationships through referrals and word-of-mouth, you’re not wasting your precious time on dead-end projects that are just going to make you rip your hair out and start treating your dog Fluffy like your personal therapist.
  4. Everything is in one place, which saves you time and gives you peace of mind – When querying a potential client/publication/editor and you’re expected to provide samples of your work, wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to copy and paste your clips into your email, provide numerous links or worry about attachments? With a website, all you have to do is provide one link. All your clips are in one place and the person you’re contacting has the opportunity to learn more about you or look at several of your published samples if they so please. Talk about quick, easy and efficient.
  5. Validation, baby – Having a website will make you feel like a bonafide writer, totally legit. It gives you a vision of your professional accomplishments and goals.
  6. Everyone loses business cards – Here’s a likely dilemma. At a networking event you meet a potential client. You give them your business card. A couple months later, they have some work for you, but oh no…your business card got lost in the kafuffle. How will they know how to contact you? If you have a website and its had a chance to climb the search engine rankings, they can just type your name into a search engine and find your personal website (where hopefully you’ve included all your up-to-date contact info). Voila! Having a website helps people find you.
  7. Proof you’re an expert – Your website is the perfect space to prove your knowledge and highlight your niche(s). If you say you’re a technology writer, you can demonstrate it with your list of relevant articles, making yourself more credible.

So pay the itty-bitty monthly hosting fees and get yourself a website. Keep it up-to-date, banish all spelling and grammatical errors so your web content alone proves your skills, and let your personality and creativity shine. You can’t afford not to.

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One comment

  1. defeniately bookmarked



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