Do I Need a Website as A Freelance Writer?

Writers want to write.  Creating and managing a website detracts from writing.

I understand some writers embrace technology and already have a website, but for other writers, the technical side is daunting and complicated.

Do I Need a Website as A Freelance Writer?

For some writers, developing a website seems intimidating and even unnecessary.

Sure, it may only take an hour to set up a basic website, but then what?

For some writers, developing a website seems intimidating and even unnecessary.

The thought of owning a website may lead to more questions.

What about the design? What about branding? Do I need an email marketing plan? 

Do I need technical skills or a computer background? And where do I get photos for the website?

Honestly, can’t I just find clients through job boards and email or mail (gasp!) my samples? I don’t want to make it complicated!

Sounds overwhelming, I know.

However, your website doesn’t have to include all the bells and whistles right away. You can keep it basic, but having a website as a freelance writer will boost your business, and here’s why.

1. Your Customers Search Online

Even as short as 20 years ago, a writer could have a successful freelance business without a website.

That option is no longer a viable business plan. We are twenty years into the new millenium now, so yellow pages do not exist. The Internet is the first place a business looking for a professional writer will search.

Additionally, many of your customers are going to be online business owners.

If you write B2B (Business to Business), the business owners expect you to know how to write for search engines.

As you develop the content on your website, you will begin to understand how to optimize your writing to attract the search engines.

This tactic refers to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and potential clients will want you to understand that skill.

Your website demonstrates your ability to write for the Internet and establishes your credibility as an online writer.

2.  Your Website Serves As Your Portfolio

Instead of keeping your samples on your computer somewhere waiting to be used as attachments in an email, potential clients may want to see your work before they hire you.

A great place to display your portfolio for clients to see is on your website.

Create a page that displays your writing samples.

Showcase your work with publications you’ve written for, samples of your writing, or links to websites for work you wrote online.

In addition, the website itself will be a testament to your writing style and quality. Each page of content on your blog or website serves as a writing sample.

Having your work openly available on the Internet makes you vulnerable as all your words are displayed as evidence to your writing ability. Scary, huh?

3. Your Website Establishes Credibility and Authority

In addition to being able to display writing samples, a website establishes credibility and authority. Both are buying triggers and motivate a purchase. A potential client needs to trust you before he or she hires you.

Credibility can be established through your content, your expertise, the length of your online presence, and how serious you take your writing business. Authority comes from guest blogs that reference your website or publications you wrote for.

You might also consider listing the companies you’ve worked with and linking to them. All of these self-promotion and marketing techniques come from your website.

Other ways to establish credibility and authority include publishing your awards and recognitions on your website.

Perhaps most importantly, publish your client testimonials as a way to gain trust. Some writers dedicate an entire page on their website to listing testimonials.

4. Your Website Establishes Your Brand

As a small business owner, your brand becomes an important marketing tool.

Whether your brand comes from your name, your style, or your logo, make your brand simple and memorable.

You communicate your personality through your writing brand.

You become the “health writer gal” or the “eBook guru” with each page on your website. A website can further enhance your brand and connect you to clients.

Brands conjure up mental connections for customers. Create a positive experience that connects your writing with your business and brand, leading them to hire your services.  The likeability trait acts as a primary purchasing trigger.

If your website visitors like you, they’re more likely to hire you. Exuding personality through writing will only help potential clients connect with you.

5. Your Website Leads to More Effectiveness & Efficiency

Finally, your website can help make your business more effective and efficient. Instead of emailing clients or making phone calls, a website provides a place potential clients can visit to find out about your writing skills.

Visitors can discover your freelance writing business thousands of times a day.

How do you obtain contact information from your visitors? A simple Contact Me form accomplishes this.

Or, for a more advanced option, develop a newsletter or a small digital gift, and pass that on with a Subscribe button.

This captures an automatic lead, and a prospect’s information gets emailed to you instantly. From there, you can create autoresponder messages based on their interests.

Besides communication, payment collection can also be automated through PayPal links, shipping cart plugins, or other automatic financial applications.

6.  Your Website Displays Important Business Policies (Legal Stuff)

As a writer, your website may be your most important business tool. However, there some legal items to attend to if you start collecting contact or other personal information.

Place your policies, procedures, and disclosures right on your website so a client can read them ahead of time.

Besides some of the legal jargon required by law, your website can include FAQs and rates. This makes it easier for prospects to learn everything they need to know before they hire you.

Consider adding a “Why You Should Hire Me” type page to attract clients that include not only your experiences but your personality. Make this your sales pitch.

As you can see, having a website (or blog) is essential for freelance writers. Build a simple blog at first and you can always expand from there!

A website will help you build and grow your business and help you find more ideal clients.

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Julie is a freelance writer with over 10 years of writing and blogging experience. Her passion includes helping others find writing inspiration, hone their writing skills, or provide tips on getting paid to write. Find her on Inspired to Write.

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Yea, i think a freelance blog is a great tool for writers….Reply to Sebastian
Great post Julie! I agree, a website is a must if you want people to take your business seriously 🙂Reply to Andreia