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Creating a Freelance Writer Website to Market Your Skills
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
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
Advanced Wordpress help
Create your own website
Do you have blog?
Many freelancers find that a blog drives customers to them. Do you agree?
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
SEO, report, news, marketing
SEO, news, marketing, sales
blog post, marketing, social media
SEO, marketing, information
Niche skill content (technical, etc.)
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Writing online has become a career for many freelance writers. It is not a scam, but a real job which takes hard work and dedication.
© 2014 Paula Atwell