If you’re a freelance writer (or trying to be), you need to create a freelance writer website. In fact, when I first started blogging, I began as a freelance writer portfolio.
As a freelance writer, you need a place to call your own. While using LinkedIn or another gig platform might be a great way to land freelancing clients, this isn’t a good long-term strategy.
In a perfect world, clients will come to you as a freelance writer.
Doesn’t that sound magical? It doesn’t have to be a pipedream! It’s all possible if you have your own freelance writer website. In this guide, I’ll set you up with the perfect strategy for creating a freelance writer website that converts.
Do I need a Website as a Freelance Writer?
First, you’re probably asking if you need a website as a freelance writer? In short, yes. If you’re trying to make money online, you need to start thinking yourself as a business.
Businesses have websites.
You’re a business, so you need a website. Yep, it’s that simple.
Why you need a website as a freelance writer:
- Professional – First, you look professional as heck. AKA you can charge more because you’re worth it and you’re legit.
- Lead generation – Having a place to attract clients and show off your talent will help you land gigs, stand out, and even bring clients to you.
- Blog – Having a blog of your own that you OWN (in other words, not on Medium or a page builder) will mean you always have bylined, kick-butt work that can be linked to.
- Professional email – Having your own domain will give you access to a super professional email address. No more sending clients pitches from email@example.com, am I right? Instead, email from firstname.lastname@example.org. What an improvement!
- Credibility – Having a place to post your thoughts, your work, and your achievements will help you build credibility in your field.
In other words, having a website as a freelance writer is just a way to market yourself. And the writer who knows how to market his or herself will always land the job over the writer who doesn’t, no matter the experience level.
Should I Start a Self-Hosted Freelance Writer Website?
Next, you’re probably overwhelmed at the sheer number of places to build a website online. If you’re new to building websites, this can be downright intimidating.
Luckily, you have me to spell it out for you.
If you’re a freelance writer trying to make money online, no matter your experience level, you need a self-hosted website. Why? Because you own your own content 100%. A self-hosted website also looks super professional.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with page builders. But they’re super limited, and having .wix.com or .wordpress.com tacked onto your URL is like having a billboard painting NEWBIE on your website. Yikes!
Having a self-hosted, professional website is super inexpensive and super easy. Frankly, there’s no excuse not to have your own self-hosted freelance writer website.
How to Set Up a Freelance Writer Website: Step-By-Step
Now let’s get to the good stuff! Here’s the simple guide for setting up your own freelance writer website. The good news is you need no tech experience to get started. It’s soooooo easy, trust me.
First, I’d recommend using HostGator as your hosting provider. I’ve been using HostGator for YEARS to host all of my websites, and they never let me down. They’re affordable and ideal for beginners.
Better yet, they even have one-click WordPress installation so you can literally set up your website in one click. What more could you want?
FYI, this is an affiliate link. That just means I might get a small commission if you use my link at no extra cost for you. In fact, it’s more affordable to use my link. Thanks for using the brands I use and trust!
Step 1. Choose Your Plan
Once you’re on the HostGator website, you’ll have 3 different options to choose from. I recommend just using the Hatchling plan if you only need one freelance writer website!
Step 2. Register Your Domain
Next, it’s time to register your domain. This is your URL, so I recommend going with a .com address if you can. Another alternative if .com is taken is .co which looks great with freelancer websites.
You don’t need to choose anything super fancy! My freelance website is just my name: SamanthaTetrault.com. In fact, simple is best!
When in doubt, just go with your name. If you’ve got a super cool business name, however, go for it! Just make sure it’s easy to spell and remember.
Step 3. Enter Your Coupon Code
To get that sweet, sweet discount, make sure you enter the coupon code SAMANTHABILITY at checkout.
The longer plan you commit to, the greater the discount. I recommend going for the 1-year plan if you’re not sure! That’s the one I use!
BONUS: Use code SAMANTHABUNDLE to bundle your domain name, web hosting, Domain Theft Protection, auto-renew, and a lot more in a single price! Yay!
Pretty simple, right? Now let’s get to the fun stuff.
Step 4. Install WordPress
Installing WordPress is super simple. Once you’ve signed up for your hosting plan, you can log into your HostGator account.
If you’re not already prompted to do the one-click WordPress install, you can go to your customer portal. Under your hosting package, you can select “Install WordPress” under the Control Panel.
From here, you’ll be able to Install WordPress by filling out the form. Start by selecting your domain name, and then leave the install/path blank.
Fill in your admin details and blog information and you’re good to go! Click “Install WordPress” when you’re finished. You can change all of this later!
Now your freelance writer website will propagate. This can take up to 48 hours, so don’t stress if you can’t log in right away.
Designing Your Freelancer Website
Once your website is ready to go, it’s time to install a theme. This is your WordPress design that makes your website look gorgeous.
While you can find a lot of free themes on the WordPress marketplace and even by Googling, I recommend spending a couple of dollars on this if you can. There are some that are made specifically for freelancers and business owners, but you can also just go for a blog theme.
You can see how I designed my own freelance writer website below! Think about the type of impression you want to give your prospective freelance clients. As a marketing writer, I wanted to show off my bold, edgy style.
What Pages Does Your Freelance Website Need?
Your freelance writer website needs a few pages before it’s ready to go live. Luckily, this shouldn’t take too long. You are a writer after all!
I’d recommend at least having these pages on your freelancer website before you go live and begin sending it to clients:
- Home – Of course your website needs a home page, but consider this one of the most important pages on your freelancer portfolio. This is the first thing most visitors will see, so make it good! I like to use it as a chance to introduce myself, talk about my accomplishments, and direct visitors to relevant pages.
- About – This is your chance to really make yourself stand out. While you shouldn’t write a novel, you shouldn’t shy away from being honest about who you are and your writing experience. Be friendly and personable! People connect with stories, so tell yours.
- Services – It’s a good idea to also list and explain your services. What do you specialize in? What’s your niche? You might also want to list starter rates. If you’re not sure what to charge, I have a guide to what to charge as a freelance writer you can check out.
- Portfolio – Of course, you also need to share your best samples. Limit these to the BEST work you have, preferably published on another website and with a byline. Don’t overwhelm prospects with samples! Stick to the best of the best.
- Contact – Finally, you should also have a contact page. This should have an easy-to-use contact form as well as an email address. You might also link to social media profiles.
Though it’s not necessary, I’d recommend also including a blog on your freelance writer website. Why? Blogs are a great way to drive traffic, communicate with your audience, and prove that you know your stuff!
Attract Clients to Your Website
You’re ready to go! Now that your website is set up, looks professional, and has all the right pages, you’re ready to start attracting those clients.
Don’t shy away from promoting your own freelance writer website! You can share it on social media, LinkedIn, and even on job boards.
With your own freelancer website, you’re unstoppable! Do you have your own freelancer portfolio online? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to check it out!