My first freelance writer website was rough.
It was basically just a couple of paragraphs about me with some outdated, disorganized writing samples.
That’s right. No headline. No photo. Nothing unique.
But, when I started to take freelancing seriously, I knew I needed a better website. If you’re ready to take freelancing seriously, you need to beef up your website too.
If you’re not sure where to start, here are 65 tips to help you improve your freelance writing website significantly and start getting more clients:
- Use a REAL picture of yourself on your website. Seeing a human face on a website helps build trust.
- Break up your website copy with white space, headers, and bulleted lists when possible.
- Start a blog to keep your website updated with fresh content.
- Make sure your website is responsive.
- Use Bluehost for hosting. Then, use WordPress to build your website. Even if you’re not a developer, you’ll be able to find a theme that’s easy to use.
- Build a strong brand by getting a logo and using a consistent color scheme.
- Show your real personality throughout your website copy – it’ll help you attract the clients you actually want to work with!
- Use strong call-to-action statements.
- Showcase your best portfolio pieces.
- Under each piece in your portfolio, show the results that the piece got (conversion rates, social shares, etc.). After all, clients aren’t hiring you to just write words – they’re hiring you to get the results they want!
- Craft a kickass headline that helps visitors immediately understand what you do and why they should hire you.
- Define your niche clearly on your site.
- Create marketing personas and use them to plan your website content and blog posts.
- Don’t bore readers to death on your About Me page. Be relatable, and let prospective clients know why they should work with you.
- Make it easy for a visitor to quickly understand exactly what services you offer.
- Showcase your best client testimonials. If you don’t have any, get some from clients who have been happy with your work.
- Make sure all of your blog posts are useful to your target audience. Remember – quality is better than quantity.
- Use SEO key words strategically in your website content and blog posts.
- …But don’t stuff key words in unnaturally. Gross.
- Include links to your social media profiles and encourage visitors to connect.
- Make sure your website loads fast.
- Reply to the people who take the time to comment on your blog posts. Not only are you showing that you really care – you’re building connections that could be of value in the future!
- Put something silly in the footer of your website. It’s a great way to add a bit of personality.
- If you have a form on your site, avoid including a billion fields for people to fill out. I’ve done a bit of research on the optimal number of fields, and a lot of it has shown that 3 is the magic number.
- Don’t include drop-down menus on your forms.
- Stop writing copy like a sleazy salesman. Educate.
- If you have a landing page, make sure your main call-to-action element is above the fold.
- Use high-quality images. You can get them for free at Pixabay or shell out some cash for a wider variety of pictures at Shutterstock, Thinkstock, or iStockPhoto.
- Include your contact info, and make sure it’s easy to find.
- Cut out pretentious, difficult language. You’re not a fucking poet, okay?
- Use the Hemingway editor if you’re not too sure about the quality of your content.
- Don’t use too many call-to-action statements at once. When people are overwhelmed with choices, they tend to choose exactly none of them.
- Perform A/B tests on everything from button colors to copy placement.
- Use CrazyEgg to gain a better understanding of how users experience your website.
- Use Peek for a free user evaluation of your website (it’s AWESOME).
- Use design tactics to draw your visitors’ eyes to exactly what you want them to see.
- Create a sense of urgency.
- Make sure your visitors can get where they need to go in 3 clicks or less.
- Use colors that stand out from the rest of your site on your call-to-action buttons.
- If your clients ask you a lot of the same questions, you might want to consider creating a FAQ page. It could save you some time later.
- Include social sharing buttons on your blog posts so your visitors can share as needed.
- Use the Yoast plugin in WordPress to improve your SEO.
- Write about benefits – not features. Think about what your prospective clients really want when they hire you.
- Address and overcome common objections in your website copy.
- Keep your design elements consistent throughout your website and marketing materials (eBooks, email campaigns, etc.)
- Write in a relatable, personable tone. No need to sound like a robot!
- If you don’t have samples to build a portfolio, write some and post them there. This is one of the only times I’ll tell you to write for free.
- Add your rates to your website. Yes, it’ll drive some prospects away, but you didn’t want to be underpaid anyway, did you?
- Get your website content done and then improve it over time. If you spend too much time perfecting every element of your website, you’ll never launch it.
- Explore other successful freelancer writers’ websites, and get inspired by what works for them.
- Make sure your home page is clean and simple. No cluttered images or hard-to-read words.
- Write in the first person on your “About” page.
- Have fun with your design! You don’t have to pick a boring-ass business name and logo – make sure your website represents your awesome personality.
- Write meta descriptions for your blog posts and pages.
- Get creative with your blog posts. If you’re going to write about tired topics, try to at least put a new spin on them.
- If you’ve written for content mills, do not post those pieces in your portfolio. If you do, you’ll set yourself up for more shitty work.
- PROOFREAD! If you have a hard time self-editing, you might want to hire someone to do it for you (that’s what I usually do).
- If possible, add pictures of your clients next to the testimonials they provide. Just check with them first to make sure they don’t mind!
- Find a theme that’s easy to use and offers the functionality you need. (For this blog, I used Highend.)
- Define your Unique Selling Proposition by asking yourself why clients should hire you instead of another writer.
- Write a guest post for a popular website and link back to your freelance website in your bio.
- Don’t be afraid to showcase your sense of humor and some memorable facts about yourself on your About Me page.
- Don’t choose cheesy stock photos. Some stock photos are okay, but it’s best to stick with pictures that look more authentic when you can.
- Simplify your navigation. No one should have to guess what the options on your navigation bar mean.
- Update the rates you advertise on your site regularly as you build credibility.
There ya go, friends. Hope you learned something useful.
Got anything else to add to this list? Let me know in the comments section!