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Creating a Freelance Writer Website to Market Your Skills

Updated on September 23, 2014
Paula Atwell profile image

Paula Atwell is a freelance writer with WriterAccess, webmaster, member of Pinterest Party on FB and the owner of Lake Erie Artist Gallery.

Where do you want to work?

If you are new to writing commercially, you may want to hone your skills through an internship or with a mentor first. Or you can apply to a few of the freelance writer companies online. I am a writer on WriterAccess. Based in Boston, WriterAccess is somewhat like a freelance writer's agent. They connect writers with customers and handle all of the transactions, support and marketing.

Writers are are accepted in a specific level, then can get promoted with time and experience. I like that I can communicate with the client on the site, but don't have to take care of problems. Every writer's site has varying criteria, which gives writers of different levels of experience and special skills and knowledge several places they can write.

If you prefer working directly with clients, or are coming from a niche industry where you are well-known, you may want to seek customers yourself without a middleman.This plan involves hitting the pavement and networking, albeit not necessarily in person.

Starting out as a freelancer

Getting started as a freelancer is a little bit like being the freshman rookie on a high school football team or a pledge in a sorority. You have to pay your dues. Freelancing, while not technically a commissioned sales job, nevertheless requires marketing your skills and experience to potential clients until you build up a customer base and solid reputations. There are numerous ways to find work, but all of them have "sales pitch" in their application, introduction or implementation.

This need to market means that you have to have a company landing page or "face," at least on the Internet. The best place to have this face is on your own domain as opposed to Facebook or a group domain such as Blogger. It is not that difficult to set up a simple website, and more people will see it than if you hand out your business card. One of the advantages is that a webiste is an online business card. You can direct people there to see your portfolio and your resume if you wish.

The importance of a website for freelance writers

Fiction and non-fiction writing requires inspiration.
Fiction and non-fiction writing requires inspiration. | Source

What do you need on your website?

A website that supports your freelance writing career can be minimalist. It needs to:

  • look attractive and professional
  • give people a way to contact you
  • show samples of your work
  • describe your areas of specialty
  • list pricing information

Do you have blog?

Many freelancers find that a blog drives customers to them. Do you agree?

See results

Adding a blog to your website

Since you are marketing your skills as a writer, having a blog on your website can be an asset. It gives you an opportunity to show off your skills with posts and advertise your knowledge when you discuss the career of a writer. Freelance writing is a very different job than technical writing, fiction writing and speech writing. While there are some overlapping skills, a freelancer is more of a generalist or has a very specific niche that they are known for such as marketing, SEO or horticulture. Most freelancers have varied job experience that they can apply to their writing.

Many freelancers use their skills as ghostwriters, writing for someone else as a blogger, author or website creator. You can use your blog to highlight your skills or discuss specific features of your niche.

You can also link to your work on other websites as long as your customer doesn't mind you claiming it as your own work. For ghostwriters, that method is not a possibility.

It's a Freelance Life

Keep them laughing

If humor is your thing, then a video can be a good way to display your work. This video makes me nod my head and laugh every time I watch it.

How to present writing samples

If you want people to hire you to do work for them, you need to provide them with samples of your work. It is a good idea to publish samples on your website and/or link to examples of your work on other sites. If you are published, links to your published works are a good addition to your resume.

You can create a portfolio of your work on the site such as the one I made here. My portfolio is constantly being updated with new work published. Your blog is also proof of your writing ability as well as your personality.

If you don't have published work in all categories, perhaps your clients do not want your byline, then create your own samples for your site. Samples do not have to be actual published work, just samples of your ability to do work. You can present them as samples or templates of what your work looks like.

Sample content for your site

Types of Content
Usage
Article
SEO, report, news, marketing
Blog post
SEO, news, marketing, sales
Product description
sales
Copywriting
marketing, sales
Humor
blog post, marketing, social media
Press release
marketing, news
Whitepaper
marketing, information
Web content
SEO, marketing, information
SEO content
SEO, marketing
Social media
marketing
Niche skill content (technical, etc.)
marketing, information
Your website should have samples of as many of these types of content as possible. The more broad-ranged your skill-set is, the easier it will be to get clients.

© 2014 Paula Atwell

Comments

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    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 2 years ago

      It is rewarding to have work acknowledged by potential clients. Your advice will help writers to show their best in pursuing work.

    • Paula Atwell profile image
      Author

      Paula Atwell 2 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      Thanks. Freelancing is harder when you start out, so different than starting a regular job.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Good helpful advice Paula. Welcome to Hub Pages, I am sure you will do well here. Voted up.

    • Paula Atwell profile image
      Author

      Paula Atwell 2 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      @Jodah Thanks. I am not a newbie although I haven't been active here for a while.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very important information and right on. Welcome to HP and thanks for the following.

    • Paula Atwell profile image
      Author

      Paula Atwell 2 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      @billybuc Thanks. Everything old is new again, I guess. :)

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 2 years ago from Singapore

      Many tips I am surely going to use!

    • Paula Atwell profile image
      Author

      Paula Atwell 2 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      @Chitrangada I don't think we ever stop learning plus the Internet is always changing.

      @midget38 If I have helped you, then I am glad. :)

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 2 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      This is great and I'm sure to bookmark this for reference.

      Up, sharing and pinning.

    • Paula Atwell profile image
      Author

      Paula Atwell 2 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      @CrisSp Thanks for visiting. :)

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Paula,

      This is an excellent piece of writing. Honestly, I can easily describe it as amazing.

      I loved every word. Graphics were superb. This hub was helpful, informative and I found it very interesting.

      Voted up and all the choices because you deserve it.

      You have such a gift for writing. Keep writing no matter what.

      Sincerely,

      Kenneth Avery, Hamilton, Alabama

    • Paula Atwell profile image
      Author

      Paula Atwell 2 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      Thanks, @kenneth . I enjoy being a writer.

    • WritingInRichmond profile image

      WritingInRichmond 2 years ago

      Fantastic article with great advice. Very timely as I just registered a domain in hopes of getting a site running in the near future. I have been teetering on whether to use WordPress or some other HTML based site builder. Really liked your site. Are you happy with WordPress?

    • Jasdeep-Singh profile image

      Laddi Singh 2 years ago from (Punjab) India

      Thanks you for sharing this valuable information. I have also bought a domain name and hoping I will have my own blog in future. Have bookmarked your article for reference. Voted Useful.

    • Paula Atwell profile image
      Author

      Paula Atwell 2 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      I used Wordpress quite a bit. It takes a bit of learning but once you learn it, it is fairly easy to use. I have written several posts about Wordpress on Writing-Online.org

    • Paula Atwell profile image
      Author

      Paula Atwell 2 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      @Jasdeep Good luck with your site. :)

    • Craftymarie profile image

      Marie 2 years ago

      Great advice, Paula. Freelance writing can work out to be a very good option for some people. I agree about setting up a site for yourself. I set up a Wordpress site this year and I'm not all that technically minded. I did find it a bit of a challenge at first but it has gotten easier with time and there is lots of help available online. I don't regret it at all.

    • Paula Atwell profile image
      Author

      Paula Atwell 2 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      @Marie I think that Wordpress is a bit difficult at first. However, I like it a lot once you get to know it. Worth the learning curve. We have some tutorials on Writing-Online.org.

    • Craftymarie profile image

      Marie 2 years ago

      Thanks, Paula. I will take a look there. I chose WordPress because it gives you almost unlimited options for what you want with all the plugins available etc. and I did not like the fact that free blogs and websites normally come with a big list of restrictions. So I do think it is the way to go :)

    • Paula Atwell profile image
      Author

      Paula Atwell 2 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      Yes, if you want to really have control over your site, you definitely need to get away from most of the free ones. They have hidden ads and lots of other issues. Although you can get a lot of free plugins for WP that are fine.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Paula,

      You are most welcome. You are a fantastic writer.

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 2 years ago from Lakewood New York

      Thanks for sharing your knowledege, very useful and interesting information. I've always wanted to bring up a web site just to blog, but have not done so yet. I haven't really found my niche, I'm just enjoyng writing about what I know.

    • Paula Atwell profile image
      Author

      Paula Atwell 2 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      The nice thing about your own site is that you have complete control over it.

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      PurvisBobbi44 2 years ago from Florida

      Hi Paula,

      What a useful hub for writers to learn how to advertise themselves as writers by showing their talents. Very well put tips and the video was a great addition to your writing.

      Thanks,

      Bobbi Purvis

    • Paula Atwell profile image
      Author

      Paula Atwell 2 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      @Bobbi Thanks for the feedback. I am always willing to listen to constructive criticism in order to improve my work.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 2 years ago

      Very helpful ... thanks!

    • Paula Atwell profile image
      Author

      Paula Atwell 2 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      @Kim Hey Kim, thanks for visiting. :)

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Another great hub to bookmark and learn from. I like your freelance site, Paula. It will help me to know how to set up my own site. Thank you so much for this helpful hub.

    • Paula Atwell profile image
      Author

      Paula Atwell 2 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      @Phyllis Thanks for reading. I think a website gives you authority, sort of like a giant business card.

    • profile image

      Ruth Cox 2 years ago

      Great advice for those wanting to break into freelance writing. I have my first ghost writing gig and am having fun trying to be somebody else's voice, it's an interesting challenge. And it pays!

    • Paula Atwell profile image
      Author

      Paula Atwell 2 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      @Ruth Cox Good luck with that. Glad you were able to stop by. :)

    • LisaMarieGabriel profile image

      Lisa Marie Gabriel 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      I found this very interesting I hadn't considered the marketing side of things. Thank you.

    • Paula Atwell profile image
      Author

      Paula Atwell 2 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      @Lisa You're welcome. Marketing is necessary for pretty much every business.

    • kalinin1158 profile image

      Lana ZK 2 years ago from California

      Great article! I wish I could bookmark it so I could come back to it again and again. I don't have my own website yet - I've been dreading it for a long time, but it seems like it's inevitable. You can present yourself as a professional writer without a website. Right? Thanks for the advice!

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