Just a few days ago I posted about the importance of having a website as a freelance writer. Today I am offering a few simple tips to develop your website, which will ultimately help promote and grow your business.
The first step to develop your website:
You must decide if you are going to use free hosting, or paid hosting.
Personally I use paid hosting as you purchase a domain name as well. It looks much more professional and has more capabilities and themes then free hosting. Most professional businesses and companies will have paid hosting, and you can claim it back on tax.
Once you have decided on your domain name and hosting package, it is time to buy it and get down to the nitty gritty.
I used GoDaddy to purchase my domain name and a hosting package. As part of it they have a wordpress builder. You pick the theme and style you want, and then tweak the colours, design, pictures and pages to suit the look you want. It has many helpful videos and articles for if you are not very tech savvy (definitely me).
Alternatively, if you have the funds you can pay someone to build your website for you.
The essentials to develop your website:
When it came down to the details and how I should organise my website, I found I was a bit lost.
So I researched and looked at countless other freelance writer websites and made a list essential components of what the most popular and successful ones contained:
- A professional headshot.
- Easy to navigate menus.
- Simple layouts.
- Seven main pages (Home, About, Services, Blogs, Portfolio, Contact, Testimonials).
- Each page has a “Call to Action”.
The pages you should include:
Seven may seem too many pages for you to initially include, and that is fine. If you don’t have a portfolio yet then make sure you build up your blog posts to showcase your work instead. Just be sure to add a portfolio page later, as you build your client base and publish works.
The same goes for a testimonial page. You may not have any reviews when you first start out, but you should have the capability ready to go so that when the clients start rolling in they can leave a testimonial.
A Home Page:
A home page, or landing page, is essentially your business card. A potential client will see this first and decide if is worth their time and effort to continue looking around your website. Therefore it is important to grab their attention, and make a compelling argument as to why they should hire you.
Be sure to include a “Call to Action” on your home page. For example, asking them to contact you for a free quote, or to browse through your website.
An About Page:
This is where you create compelling content about who you are and why your client should work with you.
It is also a great idea to include a professional headshot on your about page. It gives your clients a face to go with the name, makes you more relatable and creates a professional look for your website.
A Services Page:
A services, or hire me page, will be one of the most visited pages on your website.
Think about it. When you are looking at business’s online, you tend to go to the about page, and then navigate over to services. You want to know what they offer, and their costs.
Your “Hire Me” page should include all the services that you provide. For example:
- Blog writing
- Product Descriptions.
You can add whatever services you offer and also what topics you have expertise and sound knowledge in.
Some freelancers will also have their rates displayed here. Personally, I do not. The reason is freelance writing is a dynamic trade, and my prices tend to change depending on the scope of the project, the topic, the client and how much time I have.
A Blog Page:
This is simply the page where all your posts will be displayed. It is a great idea to create a content schedule and stick to it. It will help keep your webpage updated, and looks good to potential clients when they browse your website.
A Portfolio Page:
As I mentioned above, this may not be a priority when first starting out. You may not have any work to display, but when you do be sure to create a portfolio page. It is a great way to showcase your work and attract clients. There are Plugins you can use on your website to create a visual of all your work.
A Contact Page:
I think this one goes without saying! You need to be contactable so prospective clients can get a hold of you for quotes and to hire you.
A Testimonial Page:
When you are looking to hire services or a business for yourself, do you look at what other people are saying about them?
Word of mouth is powerful advertising, which is why a testimonial page is a great way to market your business. If you have a Facebook page, then your clients can leave a review there. However, it is also helpful to have a testimonial page on your website.
Points to remember:
- Don’t clutter your site with all the bells and whistles. Simple, easy to navigate sites are more effective and user friendly.
- Put your contact details on every page.
- Have a Call to Action on every page.
- Update your content once or twice a year to help boost your visibility and search-engine ranking.
- Regularly post blogs.
Other freelance writer websites:
Here are some fantastic examples of freelance writer websites that you can look at and get ideas: