The most obvious reason–because every serious business has one! A website acts like your storefront. It tells your potential clients that you are in business and you are here to stay. The last thing a prospective client wants is someone who here today, gone tomorrow, along with their money! Remember writers–you are a writer in business!
Another important reason to have a website is to showcase your portfolio or writing samples. Clients looking for writers like reading recent work. Writing samples allow your clients to get a feel for your voice and style. It gives you credibility as a writer.
What to Include in Your Website
Let us start with the basics. Include your name, pen name, contact information, location, writing samples and any writing specialties. Do some research and find keywords that will drive clients to your site. Some strong keywords revolve around your writing specialty and where you are located. Many clients still prefer to work with writers that are located nearby. By the time you are finished with these starters, you will think of more items to add to your website. Feel free to check out my website to get some ideas.
In the end, make sure that whatever is on your website is geared towards making you look as professional as possible. So, ditch the pics of you and your cute beagle–unless you exclusively write a column about pet care, etc. Instead, add a simple and clear headshot of yourself. Have fun with it. Make it fun, easy to read and persuasive!
And lastly and most importantly, watch your grammar! If other businesses have typos, it looks bad. On a writer’s website it is a sign of an amateur. If you cannot do a good job on your own website, how will you be able to do a good job for a client?
How to Set Up Your Website
Website hosts typically have user affordable and user-friendly software with templates to help you set up your website. The styles and costs vary, but I recommend that you start with a basic website of about 3-5 pages. Pick a design and layout that best reflects your writing style and specialty. Be sure to keep your site simple and easy to navigate. Keep in mind that many clients view websites on their mobile devices. So make sure your site looks good on a mobile screen as well. As your writing career grows, so should your website. The more pages you add, the more traffic you will drive to your website. And that could mean more work!
When to Set Up A Website
In short, ASAP! As I mentioned websites are easy to set up. But equally important is the upkeep of your website. I usually try to update my website every month. I do this for two reasons: One, to keep it looking fresh and two, because with every day that passes, I get better at my craft and adjust my website to reflect that. As good as I think it looks now, I know it can look better in a few months. Additionally, it is a good idea to review your site from time to time to ensure that links on your pages still work.
I hope these tips have got you motivated and started thinking about creating or adding to your own website. Check back for more copywriting tips!
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