What To Include In Your Freelance Writer Website

Do you really need a freelance writer website? We’re going with a resounding “yes” on this one.

Some writers will argue that a website isn’t necessary. While it’s technically possible to “hack” your way to landing clients without a portfolio or web presence, treat that scenario as the exception—not the norm.

And hey, why not have a place online where your name, niche, and services are on display for potential clients? A good website is the equivalent of a 24/7 marketing machine that can produce leads for you in your sleep.

I’m slightly burnt out on the buzz around shortcuts and hacks in the freelance writing space as a whole, so let’s talk about doing things the right way from the very beginning, shall we?

Let’s start with the facts. A solid website is a great way to build your online presence from the ground up. It’s actually one of the best ways.

We website is something you control completely, which helps you build credibility and traffic over time. You’re in charge of its content, its keywords, and even the kinds of clients it sends your way.

Social media might seem like an easier way to network and build street cred, but make no mistake: relying on social alone is a bad idea.

Your website is yours. Social platforms are owned by big companies that can disappear overnight (along with your following), ban your account, or other scary things.

So, a website is a good thing. Agreed?

Let’s dive in and cover all of the bases—and examples—of a complete freelance writer website.

If you google “Writer’s website”, a lot of random sh*t pops up. Information overload!

Rather than present you with 100 options to get “inspired” by, I’m just going to tell you how I do things, and you can copy me—or fight me in the comments.  😉

Remember: this doesn’t have to be complicated.

As long as you have the essential info, you don’t need bells and whistles to impress potential clients.

Here’s what to include if you want to make a quick, effective freelance writing website that has everything it needs:

 

1. Name & niche

Let the world know who you are! Your name might be displayed above or below your niche title, depending on how you design your homepage.

For example, on my website, my name is above my niche in a larger font. I did this because I’m marketing myself as the resident expert for women’s fashion copy.

Michelle Christina Larsen - Freelance Writer - Fashion Copywriter

State your niche on the front page of your site, above the fold (that means it’s visible before you scroll).

This all-important piece of information is the cornerstone of your freelance writing career, so it will need to take center stage. Anyone who visits your website should know what kind of writer you are within two seconds of the page loading.

Yup, two seconds.

Here are some random examples:

  • Small Business Grant Writer
  • Luxury Travel Content Writer
  • Amazon Listings Expert for Women’s Beauty Brands
  • B2B Sales Copywriter
  • Holistic Wellness eBook Ghostwriter
  • IT & Software Marketing Writer
  • Conversion Copywriter

The combinations are nearly endless. Don’t be afraid to narrow down and make yourself highly visible to a specific market.

Your niche will also serve as the keyword phrase that you use to optimize your site—but more on that later.

Don’t have a niche yet? Don’t panic! Read this super-helpful post on choosing your writing niche.

 

2. About page

Even for a writer, this section can be a challenge. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to say about ourselves.

Here’s a little hack most people won’t tell you: Your About page isn’t just a place to talk about yourself—it’s actually a mini sales page. It’s a chance to convert incoming traffic into lucrative collaboration.

That means your About page is actually more about your client than it is about you.

Avoid going on a tangent about how you started writing when you were ten. Instead, use your bio to position yourself as an expert in your niche and call out some of the real problems your ideal client is facing in their business.

Paint a picture of what it’s like to work with you by calling out the benefits you bring to the table.

How do you make the client’s life easier?

How do you increase their bottom line?

What do they no longer need to worry about once you’re on their team?

These are some of the things you can address when writing an effective About page.

And, of course, infuse it with your “brand’s” personality. If your niche is more serious in nature, like health or law, you might strive for an authoritative voice. If you’re in fashion or other lifestyle niches like me, you might aim for a more colloquial, modern tone.

At the bottom of your about page, include a call to action. You can assume that anyone who reads the whole page is pretty hyped to learn more or even ready to hire you.

The most obvious CTA would be “Work with me”, leading them to your contact page.

You might also link them to policies or your portfolio.

This might be a good time to point out that all pages should be accessible at all times from the top menu of your site, but CTA’s at the bottom of each page can help drive visitors in a specific direction once they’ve consumed one page’s content.

Make sense?

Good! Let’s move on.

 

3. Services

Include a straightforward breakdown of the services you include. This helps potential clients find out whether you offer the kind of content, copy, or other offerings they need.

Your services should relate directly back to your niche.

Be wary of listing too many, even if that seems tempting. Those who list every service under the sun look like they’re just scrambling for work—not legitimate experts in many different things.

Some examples of specific services:

  • Product description copy
  • Email campaign copy
  • Long form sales pages
  • Short form sales pages
  • Cornerstone blog content
  • Video scripts
  • Social media captions
  • Press releases
  • Etc…

This could be on your homepage or a separate page of your website.

You may want to describe how they relate together and upsell your services, too.

For example, if you offer content writing services, you could upsell with additional services like meta description copy and social captions for each post. That may make the client’s life easier, rather than hiring a separate writer to do SEO & social.

When you’re writing out your services, keep in mind that it’s all about your client. What do they need?

Finally, note that you don’t have to include your rates on your website—but you do need to know what your rates are before a client asks.

Here’s an example of the Services module on my homepage. I actually have too many listed here and I typically only do about three of these regularly. After almost a decade of experience, however, I have a portfolio of samples to show for each of these categories.

Everything You Need To Include On Your Writer's Website - Freelance Writing Tips 3

 

4. Writing samples

Here’s where you get to show off your best work.

Don’t just toss anything/everything into your portfolio, though. Curate your samples and upload work under two filters:

  1. Samples that fall under your niche
  2. Samples you’re extremely proud of

I separate my samples by category so that they can be browsed the same way my Services are listed. This is one simple way to streamline the experience of your site.

It’s tempting to upload everything you’ve ever written—it feels good to see it all in one place, after all—but the aim of your website isn’t to stroke your own ego. It’s to show your current ideal client that you can execute the kind of writing they need.

As for displaying actual samples on the page, I use a gallery plugin in WordPress that lets the client browse easily and click through to enlarge if they want.

Everything You Need To Include On Your Writer's Website - Freelance Writing Tips 4

If you don’t have any samples yet, don’t worry.

To get your first few gigs, you’ll create samples for your ideal client—something hyper-relevant to their industry and the kind of content they need—just to prove that you know how to do the job.

Once you land your first few writing jobs this way, you’ll be able to build up your website with real, published samples.

 

5. Testimonials

Testimonials are powerful quotes from previous clients that vouch for your work. They can make a huge difference in the amount of trust you evoke when someone visits your website for the first time.

Think about how many times you’ve Googled a restaurant name, book title, or even potential employer’s name to learn more about them before you decide how to interact.

Someone else’s experience can really shape the way we enter into relationships with people, places, and things.

Once you complete your first few freelance writing jobs (and wow the pants off your client), be sure to ask them for a testimonial. Be direct about your intention to display it on your website for social proof. 90% of the time, they’ll be happy to write you a few sentences to use.

These may be displayed on your homepage or on their own separate page (especially if you have a lot of them). Many WordPress website layouts offer built-in widgets to display them:

Everything You Need To Include On Your Writer's Website - Freelance Writing Tips 5

Much like samples, don’t worry if you don’t have these yet.

But unlike samples, don’t try to create fake testimonials before you get real ones. That’s massively misleading and a big ol’ no-no.

Once you complete your first few freelance writing jobs (and wow the pants off your client), be sure to ask them for a testimonial. Be direct about your intention to display it on your website for social proof. 90% of the time, they’ll be happy to write you a few sentences to use.

 

6. Contact information

Include a clear way to contact you, whether that’s your email address or a contact form.

Your form could be at the bottom of your homepage or on a separate page.

If you’re using a contact form plugin (Ninja Forms is a favorite of many) make sure you test it a few times to make sure it’s working smoothly.

You can also include instructions or fields for visitors to include additional details about their project. This will help you quickly field requests as they arrive.

Finally, add a line to your contact information letting visitors know how long they can expect to wait before they get a reply.

 

7. SEO Optimization

Remember how I mentioned above that your niche will be used as your website’s keyword phrase?

A specific keyword phrase will help the right clients find you. You should weave it into your site’s text and image elements. Use variations and the exact phrase in a way that’s natural and non-gimmicky. Modern search algorithms know when you’re just stuffing keywords onto a page.

When used correctly, your keyword phrase will signal Google to send ideal clients your way. They’ll arrive stoked to work with you because you’ll be the solution that pops up in search when they type in their problem.

Here are a few places you should be using your keyword on your website:

  • Title
  • Headline/caption on the homepage
  • Bio/about page
  • Services breakdown
  • Image file names of images you upload
  • Image alt tags

SEO is a complex topic, so I urge you to do some research and perhaps enroll in some free online classes (or just watch some YouTube videos) to stay up to date.

Having good SEO in place can ensure your website continues to function as a 24/7 marketing machine on your behalf.

 

8. Optional: Photo

While some writers will claim this isn’t necessary, a photo can help you make a personal connection to a potential client once they arrive at your website.

Whether or not you want to include one is up to you.

If you do add one, aim for a look that’s both professional and has a bit of your personality infused.

This probably goes without saying, but don’t post a blurry selfie or an awkward/random shot of you doing something unrelated to writing.

A clean white background and a smile goes a long way—but feel free to get creative and pose with your laptop or some other prop related to your niche.

If you’re unsure about your photo, you can use Photofeeler to let others judge how “likable” you look. Not surprisingly, looking “likable” can help you out when you’re trying to get hired on the internet.

I included this photo on my homepage with a link to my bio. I’m not wild about it, but it’s on-brand and it shows that I’m a real person:

 

9. Optional: Blog

I don’t have a blog on my portfolio site, but many writers do.

This is a long-term content marketing strategy that can help establish you as an expert.

Adding a blog to your site and regularly writing posts that relate to your niche can also increase your visibility in search and really help your Google ranking.

To top it off, a blog can also further solidify that sense of trust and connection when a new potential client lands on your website.

Of course, the blog posts need to be extremely high quality, optimized, and relevant. Look for topics on Reddit, Quora, and on social media that people in your industry are talking about right now, and craft awesome content around them.

It’s a lot of extra work and the ROI isn’t always immediate, but it can pay off in the long term.

 

10. Optional: Policies

Policies are usually bulleted points that paint a clearer picture of what it’s like to work with you, including regulations, your workflow, and what you expect from clients.

You might add these to an FAQ, directly on your contact page, or in their own section called “Policies” or “Work with me”.

Your policies don’t need to be on your website, though as you build your career, you may discover some frequently asked questions or common concerns that you can address.

Your actual freelance contract will have more detailed information about working with you.

I included some information about working with me directly on my About page because I want potential clients to be clear on my M.O. before they get in touch. These details live under a section of the page called “Who I collaborate with”.

One of the biggest things I point out, for example, is that I don’t work with clients who cannot provide solidified documentation of their target customer.

You’ll likely develop policies of your own as you grow your career and have various collaborative experiences.

Just remember that policies are yours to design! This isn’t the 9-5 anymore. You’re the boss, and you get to craft the way you work and set expectations.

Let’s land this plane, shall we?

Now that we’ve covered the bases, here are a few final tips on building an awesome, effective freelance writing website:

  • Empower yourself with Google and YouTube tutorials along the way. This might sound obvious, but some people give up when they can’t figure something out. Don’t be one of those people. You can 100% learn how to build a website in one day with a little digging around on the internet.
  • When you’re choosing a web host, just skip the which-host-is-better debate and go with Siteground. They are the absolute best.
  • When you’re buying your domain, get your full name if it’s available. If not, try pairing it with your niche/title.
  • Don’t forget to infuse your personality into your website. You can do this through a color scheme, fonts, and imagery. As you can see in the examples above, I’m aiming for a modern, fun, feminine site that appeals to fashion clients. Adding personality shouldn’t overwhelm you. Start small. This will evolve over time as you build your freelance business.
  • When you’re building your website, keep the experience of the visitor in mind. Remove any unnecessary text, images, or clutter that will keep them from consuming the information they need and taking that next step (contacting you about a project).

 

Want to see results in your freelance writing career? Then you’ve gotta take action!

I recommend grabbing a cup of coffee and ticking off these boxes one-by-one, right now. You’ll have a shiny new writer’s website before your head hits the pillow tonight.

If you have any questions about building your site, drop us a comment.

We want to help you succeed.

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Want to hang with other writers like you? Join us in our Facebook group, Wi-Fi Writers Club

Freelance Writing Tips - Day Job Optional Newsletter

Michelle Christina Larsen is the Co-founder of Day Job Optional. Strong coffee, strong wi-fi, and absurd inside jokes are some of her favorite things. She spends most of her time penning copy for fashion brands, doing zany DIY projects, and planning the next stamp on her passport. In her spare time, she founded a holiday marker's market, a daily drawing blog, and an independent clothing line.

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