There are six pages every freelance writer’s website must have to succeed:
- Writing Services
- Writing Samples
You can add other pages – or a blog! – as you want/need them; however, those are the six you must have on your site.
The first four are pages you should put up as soon as you get your site. The last two can be added on as soon as you get them (not every writer starts out with writing samples or testimonials right off the bat).
Blogs are optional. Not every freelance writer’s website needs a blog. Only create one if you absolutely truly want one and plan to update it consistently. The only writers who have to have a blog on their site are those interested in becoming freelance bloggers. If your niche lies elsewhere – like copywriting, for example – don’t pressure yourself into getting a blog. You don’t have to have one.
Now, let’s take a look at those pages…
Your Home page is like your About page, but it should convey what your site is about overall, not just about you. It can – and should – be short.
Make your Home page as concise as possible and direct your visitors where you want them to go (like to your Services or About page).
Your About page is about you, but it’s about a very special part of “you” – the business part of you.
Everything that you say about yourself should actually be, subtly, about your target audience. Show off the aspects of you that would be helpful to them.
All writers “love writing.” Potential clients don’t care if you love writing – they want to know that you can and will help them with their needs.
If you include fun facts about yourself in an effort to make yourself stand out or show off a bit of your personality, they should be facts related to your preferred writing niche. If you love dogs and have a background in training therapy dogs, then that’s great!…If you’re looking to write articles about dogs or therapy tactics. If not, then it’s not relevant to your business’ About page and should be saved for your personal site (if you have one).
Get as specific as possible with this page. Writing vague statements like “I create unique online content” won’t help you or your client.
My services page outlines my four most popular services, detailing what type of clients would need said services, and shares how I can help. If the services you offer are fairly simple to understand, then this is a good approach. Sometimes you only need a few well-crafted sentences to convey exactly what it is you do – and for who.
Whether or not you include your rates along with your services is up to you. There are good arguments on both sides. Don’t be afraid to make changes, as needed. Try posting your rates on your services page, and if it doesn’t draw in the clients you desire – or causes unwanted complications – then you can always remove them later. Or vice-versa.
Make your Contact page one of the main tabs on your navigation bar. Don’t hide it.
Using a contact form can be nice. It makes things easy for both you and your potential clients. I like Contact Form 7 for WordPress sites.
However, contact forms, no matter how great, can sometimes mess up. Or, some people just don’t like using them (for whatever reason). So it’s also a good idea to write out your preferred e-mail address on your contact page for people to use.
And don’t forget your social media accounts, if you actively use them! Make yourself as easy to contact as possible, giving potential clients multiple ways to get in touch with you.
As soon as you have some writing samples under your belt, create a Writing Samples page!
Although I offer other services besides blogging, I’ve chosen to focus solely on my blogging samples because that’s the work I most enjoy and hope to receive more of. As you get more established, this is something you might want to keep in mind. Whatever samples you display of your work is going to attract the same type of clients as the work you did previously. Make sure you share work you actually enjoyed doing, or you may end up getting a flow of clients asking for you to repeat projects/genres you hated working on. (I absolutely can – and have! – written about the benefits of forklifts, but I didn’t enjoy doing so, so I don’t feature that work as a sample so as not to be asked to write about them again!).
Show off the work you’re most proud of, and most enjoyed doing.
Make your Writing Samples page your own. Whether you choose to display them as a list, or add some flair with pictures, is completely up to you.
Again, as soon as you get some testimonials, set up a page for them!
Feature positive comments from prominent clients along with their picture (to prove they’re real people).
You can never have too many testimonials! But try to keep your best testimonials – from your highest-paying or most-enjoyed services – toward the top.
Testimonials are your social proof that you actually know what you’re doing. They show the world that you really can do what you claim you can do. That other people have tried your services and walked away pleased.
And there you have it! The six pages you need to succeed on your freelance writing website. 🙂
As you get more established, you might want to add in other pages for mentoring, a podcast, books/products, or whatever. But those are the six basic pages that every freelance writer should have in order to set off on the right foot.
Need More Help Getting Started as a Freelancer?
You’ll also have to think about contracts, invoices, and administrative tasks. Not to mention pitching, managing clients, and a host of other activities!
Luckily, Samar Owais of Freelance Flyer and I have combined our 20+ years of freelancing knowledge in order to create The Real Freelancer’s Resource Vault: a collection of freelancing tools, templates, business documents, and e-mail scripts to help you establish and grow your freelance business.
It’s everything you need to get started as a successful freelance writer, all in one convenient spot! 🙂
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And best of luck out there. I’m rooting for you!
Lauren Tharp is the owner and creator of the multiple award-winning LittleZotz Writing. She’s written hundreds of posts helping freelance writers to become BETTER freelance writers.