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A Freelance Writer’s Website Overhaul: Do Any of These Problems Plague Your Site?
1. Remove all Ads: Not only does it scream unprofessionalism, it’s the wrong target market. Your site’s target market should be B2B (other businesses). The ads displayed on the site for ebooks on Amazon, etc., are targeted at consumers (B2C). So get rid of them.
2. Your Freelance Writing Website: The “Must Haves” (IMO): As I wrote in the post, How to Start a Freelance Writing Career in Less than 24 Hours for $0, following are the things that every freelance writer should list on their site – in my opinion.
(i) writing samples;
(ii) a short bio; and if you want
(iii) your rates (some do, some don’t).
I always err on the side of providing rates, that way, clients have all the info they need to make an informed decision when they’re on my site. After all, either they can afford you, or not.
I’d add two more things to this list: (i) a “Services Offered” page (make this a main tab/page on your site; don’t bury it on the “Bio” page of your site); and (ii) a “Contact” page (again, make this a main tab).
Re Your “Services Offered” Page: This can be part of your “Rates” page obviously, but I have a separate page on New Media Words named “Pricing.” It lists all the SEO writing services we offer, along with our rates because some visitors come specifically seeking this information. So, I make it easy for them to find.
Re the “Contact” Page: List all the ways clients can contact you. This includes all social media accounts, phone numbers, email addresses, Skype, etc.
Writing Samples Tip: Make sure your writing samples reflect your niche. As I advised you in the comments section of the post you sent in that sparked this post:
One more thing I thought of for you, as you want to do health writing, you should target prospects in that niche if you’re not doing so already. I’ve always believed that targeting a niche makes it much easier to land jobs. Make sure you have great writing samples (in this niche) and put them on your site.
That’s it – these five things are more than sufficient to start with.
3. Remove all Posts: The way your site is set up now, it’s like a personal blog. Again, only list the five things above on your site to start. If you want to add a blog or newsletter later on – great! But, only blog about stuff that will help potential clients reach their goals.
Remember, your audience is B2B – other business owners. They want to know about things like how to get more traffic to their sites, how to convert social media leads into paying clients, how to create content that drives sales, etc. They don’t want to know about your personal travails, or things that have to do with freelance writing.
By the way, Twitter is great for finding useful information to blog about – or just link to on your blog.
4. Professional Bio: Your bio should be a bit more professional and less “folksy” in my opinion. I’d remove the following in particular:
My passion for chocolates has led to my becoming a certified Professional Chocolatier and a love of hair care and hair care products, a certified Cosmetic Scientist. I am a contemporary artist at heart, painting and decorating unusual surfaces turning them into objets d’arts.
My love for jewellery design led my winning the prestigious Diamond Trading Company Botswana (DTCB), Shining Light, Diamond Jewellery Designer Award for 2008-2009
It adds nothing to your professionalism or your desired niche (health writing). If you want to keep this info, add a “Personal Interests/Hobbies” section. Keep it simple; following is how I’d set this page up . . .
I am a public health and communications consultant and freelance writer specializing in health-related topics.
Masters: Public Health (Community Health Sciences/Health Education and Promotion)
Masters: Communication Arts (Specialised in Advertising)
Bachelor of Science: Advertising Design
5. Remove ALL Links to All Sites: Eg, EzineArticles, InkwellEditorial.com (thank you for having it there though!); WritersinCharge, etc. Every link. Again, the job of this site is to attract clients – for you – NOT send traffic to others.
I’m no design guru (as my SEO writing company’s site reflects), but in my opinion, a site should be clean, professional looking and only list what’s necessary, as we discussed above.
FYI, you don’t have to be a web designer to create a professional-looking, functional site. For example, HostGator is my host company of choice. They have hundreds of “point and click” templates you can choose from with clean lines that would work great for a freelance writing site. Here’s one I like.
Look for the graphic to the left on HostGator if/when you log onto the site to see what I mean — and just follow the directions from there.
Most host companies have easy, build-your-own-site options like this. And it’s not hard at all. Just remember, a website doesn’t have to be expensive to look great. If you keep the “clean lines and professional copy” rule in mind, you’ll be just fine.
As I’ve stated, my SEO company’s website won’t win any awards, but it gives prospects all the info they need to make an informed decision. And that’s really all you need just starting out. You can always have a site redesigned later if you want. But don’t let not having money stop you from getting one at the starting gate.
7. Change Name: While the name of your site is inspiring, it sounds like a name for a spiritual advisor or something similar.
Instead of doing all the above, why not just register a new domain name – something that says “freelance writer (who specializes in health content)” — and start fresh? Just something to think about.
Examples of Websites of Freelance Writers Who Specialize in Health
I did a general web search, and following are some sites I came across that you can get some ideas from. When I had this site designed back in 2009, I spent hours looking at the sites of others in my niche to come up with ideas of what I wanted mine to look like. It helped a lot.
http://www.webhealthwriter.com: Not fancy, but simple and effective.
http://www.healthfitnesswriter.com: This is the site of and health/fitness article writing service. See, their site is not fancy (in fact, it’s very simple), but it is effective.
http://lisa-m-evans.weebly.com/index.html: This freelance health writer set her site up on the free platform, weebly. I don’t advise using free platforms, but if you’re in a pinch, it can work – as this site illustrates.
Learn more about why not to use free web hosting platforms here. It details some trouble I had with wordpress – and what got me away from using “freebies” when it comes to my online presences forever.
I know this may seem like a lot of information to digest, but in reality, all I’m saying is to keep it simple. If you:
(i) Keep your target audience in mind; and
(ii) Give them ONLY the information they need to make a purchasing decision . . .
Then you’ll be fine. Where many freelance writers get stuck is trying to make things letter perfect. You can’t. There will always be something to be done – especially when it comes to your site.
I procrastinated on getting my old site redesigned for probably 3-5 years before I finally did it in 2009 – and I still have pages in the old design that need to be migrated over. But, if I’d waited until I could do everything at once, I’d still be “stuck on start.”
The things I’ve laid out here can literally be accomplished in one day. Ok; it’ll probably be a long day – but at least it’d be done. THEN you can start marketing with confidence for clients.
P.S.: Get your freelance writing business on the web — quickly and cheaply!
Aspiring freelancers, internet marketers, bloggers, affiliate marketers, etc., all need websites these days. And, many of them have no idea how to go about it.
I still get asked simple questions all the time like how to register a domain name and what’s the difference between a domain name and a web hosting company. I was just as new when I was trying to get my first website up. So, I understand the confusion all too well. This info answers all of your questions — and then some.
P.P.S.: You can now order any of our products (like the SEO copywriting course) and take up to 6 months to pay.