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Freelance Writers: How to Get Writing Clients With Your Freelance Writing Website
By William Ballard, Freelance Writer and Author
You walk into a networking meeting and hand out business cards, send out pitches to magazines and clients, or apply for online jobs looking for a freelance writer. The first thing that the potential client is going to do when they finish reading the pitch or looking at your business card is to go to your website. Do you have one?
Welcome to the modern world of the freelance writing. Long gone are the days when everything was handled through the postal service. Now it’s all through online communication (emails, Skype, etc.) and that includes your website. The potential clients want to see your samples and they want to see them now. Your website is the final pitch in any proposal that you make. I know of editors at major publications that will toss away a pitch, no matter how great it is, if there is no website behind it. A website is that important.
A great freelance writer website is quick and really very easy to create in less than an hour. Once created the only updating you need to do is to occasionally refresh the samples you have on the site.
(Tip: I also highly recommend starting a blog and posting to it regularly as this creates more samples)
Why Wait? Get Started Now!
You only need a few things to start immediately:
Your name is easy. Using your professional name, or even a pen name, leads to name recognition. Try to get your name with either a .com or .net address. I know of a one stop fits all for these three things. I highly recommend going through Weebly.com for the hosting. This company is reliable, inexpensive and will have you up and running in no time. In a matter of minutes you will be able to build a great website. (Don't have the time to build and design it yourself? Let me help you with that!)
Finally, you need a website builder. As I have already mentioned, Weebly is an all in one service. There is no need to work with anyone else. I highly recommend building and designing your site yourself and going through Weebly. Weebly is simple to grasp, has outstanding templates, and makes it extremely easy to customize your site quickly.
That’s it! Once you have your hosting that you set up through Weebly you are ready to go. Weebly is easy to master over WordPress, or anything like them. You just click on a button and you are ready to access your hosting through the Weebly portal. Now you are ready to design.
How to Design Your Website Like Pro
Choose a template. You want one that is simple to navigate through and professional looking. Save the bells and whistles for your personal site. You want something that shows you to be serious and well worth the money those clients are going to be spending.
Once you have your template chosen, you are ready to insert copy into the site. You want a static front page. This means that the front page always stays the same. This is the default setting so you don’t have to do anything.
Welcome visitors to the site and tell them a little bit about yourself. Using third person language is generally seen as the best approach. Include how long you have been writing, the types of writing that you do and where you are physically located. Be brief, bright and passionate. This is only the welcome page. We’ll get into the details on other pages in future blog posts.
You will want to have a list of links or tabs to direct the visitor of the site to the other pages you have; your template will set this up for you and you will only have to name them. You can list the next page as ‘samples’ and include a drop down list to the titles of your samples, if that is the way you want to go about doing it. I prefer categories for ease of use. Doing a sub-header such as Freelance writing, Copywriting, Web Writing and Blogging and so forth make it easy for a potential client to quickly see the type of writing that they are looking for instead of wading through tons of samples. 2 samples a sub-header is the minimum, 3 are ideal and 5 are the maximum.
When you set up your samples page, follow these two rules:
One of the reasons I recommend Weebly so highly is that it has a great writing platform that you will copy and paste your samples into. Not only will this give you an additional editor in the form of the sites spell and grammar checking, but it also has great Google indexing.
(Note: You can also upload documents from Word into one of Weebly's "elements" which turns it into a link where site visitors can click on it and it will open in their Word program)
Finally, you will want to include a service page that details your writing services, the types of writing that you do and your pricing. Weebly makes it easy to have contact information on every page in a block (or what they call “elements”). This is important for Internet clients.
Including a list of former clients is great but not essential. Because you will occasionally be doing ghostwriting work, you will want to include a line specifying that due to the nature of ghostwriting not all clients are listed. Never include a ghostwriting client without their permission!
The other reason that I so highly recommend Weebly is because Google indexes them frequently and that adds a whole new level of marketing to your arsenal. When someone is looking for a freelance writer with your qualifications, you will appear in the search results.
Beyond that you will want to go to every single writing site you are a member of and add your website link to it. Be sure to place a link to it on LinkedIn, Facebook, and your Twitter account. Make it a habit to post it when you make forum comments. Any time you can, include your website address. As with business cards, the more people who see it, the more likely you are to get a new client.
In closing, I just want to let you know that I will be doing a series of blog turtorials to help create, design, and grow your freelance writing website/blog through Weebly.com soon. Stay tuned.
Have any questions about designing and building a website through Weebly? Ask your questions in the comments below.
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About the Author
William Ballard is the author of, "8 Tips to Freelance Writing Success (Article Writing Series)" and "3 Steps to Blogging Success: Discovering Your Passion, Finding Your Audience, and Developing an Income Stream (Article Series)".
He has been writing professionally for over 10+ years and has much experience within the industry, both in publishing and in freelance writing. He has successfully self-published over 10 books and eBooks. Visit his Amazon Author Page to see list of his most recent projects.