Written By Alexandra Romanov

How to Get Writing Clients With Your Own Website

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 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.

Welcome to the modern world of the writer. Long gone are the days when everything was handled through the postal service. Now it’s all through online communication 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 have editor friends at major publications that will toss a pitch, no matter how great, if there is no website. A website is that important.

A great writers 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.

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You only need a few things to start immediately:

  • Your name
  • A hosting company
  • A website builder

Your name is easy. Using your professional name, or even pen name, leads to name recognition. Try to get your name with either a .com or .net address. I recommend going through 1and1.com or Godaddy.com for the hosting. These companies are reliable, inexpensive and will have you up and running very fast. In a matter of minutes you will be able to build a great website.

Finally, you need a website builder. I recommend doing it yourself and going through WordPress. WordPress is simple to manipulate, has outstanding templates and that makes it easy to customize your site quickly.

That’s it. Once you have your hosting, you set up the WordPress on it. WordPress is free through both of those hosts and is pre-installed into your account. You just click on a button and you are ready to access your hosting through the WordPress website. Now you are ready to build.

How to build your website quickly

Choose a template. You want one that is simple to navigate 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 spend.

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 about yourself. Using third person 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 sunny. This is only the welcome page. We’ll get into the details on other pages.

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 and you 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. I prefer categories for ease of use. Titles such as Healthcare writing, Technology writing, Business writing 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 per tab is the minimum, 3 are ideal and 5 the maximum.

When you include your samples, follow these two rules:

  • At the end of the sample, tell where and when it was published. If it’s available online, a link to it is nice.
  • NEVER put up an unpublished sample. The minute you do it is now published and will not be usable as unique content.

One of the reasons I recommend WordPress 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.

Finally, you will want to include a service page that details your writing services, the types of writing that you do and your pricing. WordPress makes it easy to have contact information on every page in a block. This is important for Internet clients.

Including a list of former clients is great but not essential. Because you will occasional be doing ghosting work, you will want to include a line specifying that due to the nature of ghostwriting not all clients are listed. Never include a ghosting client without their permission.

The other reason that I so highly recommend WordPress 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 to it. Be sure to place a link to it on LinkedIn and Facebook. Add it to 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.


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