“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
This famous philosophical thought experiment finds excellent applications in the digital landscape. You may be an excellent writer, capable of weaving together the most compelling copy on demand. But what good do such commendable skills do if no one is around to see them?
This is the primary reason why digital nomad writers want to create a freelance writer website; visibility. It serves as a platform through which you may showcase your skillset to the world and attract clients. However, it doesn’t come without challenges, so let us walk through this process.
How to create a freelance writer website
This question comes with two distinct sides; how to create one, and how to manage one to ensure it thrives. Let’s start with the former as we cover both.
#1 Brand your business
Starting with the fundamentals, before you even begin to work on a website of any kind, you must consider branding. In our context, you’ll be promoting your writing business through its name – so this presents your skillset’s first test.
Your brand name will differentiate your business from its competitors. It will encapsulate your brand identity, and it will substantially affect its marketability. Typically, writers might choose to use their own name, a wholly different moniker, or a combination of both. Think about your future prospects, consider the customer’s perspective, and flex your creative muscles – within reason.
#2 Choose a Content Management System (CMS)
Next, you’ll need to decide on a CMS; your website’s proverbial backbone. In brief, CMSs allow for website creation – and management, as the name implies.
Popular CMS options to choose from include:
Here, especially if you’re delving into CMSs for the first time, we’d strongly suggest opting for WordPress. It’s extremely powerful, user-friendly, and flexible, in no small part due to its massive plugin library. Moreover, it powers 40% of the internet today – so most developers have keen knowledge of it, should you need one. Finally, a vast range of professionals thrive on offering dedicated services for it, from WP Full Care for maintenance to WP Engine for hosting and more.
#3 Buy a domain and set up hosting
Speaking of hosting, with your name in hand, you should now begin to create a freelance writer website. First, you should pick your domain name and set up hosting.
As regards the former, consider the following starting tips:
- Have your name match your brand as closely as possible
- Avoid consonant repetitions wherever possible to make it easily memorable
- Opt for a .com domain for credibility
Of course, your exact domain name choices will ultimately depend on you – but those basics may warrant attention.
As regards the latter, thankfully, you have a wealth of choices. Those include:
- WordPress’s own WordPress.org
Here too, your choices will depend on your budget, needs, and expertise. Self-hosting might work for some freelance writers but not for others, for example.
#4 Pick a theme and fine-tune it
Now you may pick a WordPress theme and customize it to fit your needs and tastes. WordPress’s Theme directory offers over 4,000 themes to choose from, but here too, you may exercise some caution.
Namely, you may carefully examine your candidates as regards:
- Usability; whether your theme offers visitors an excellent experience via intuitive design
- Visual identity; whether its layouts and functionalities best represent your brand
- Performance; how much it affects website performance in return for its features
For new websites, most free themes of sufficient quality will do. However, we advise that you opt for a premium theme if your budget permits it. Doing so will both distinguish your brand from its competitors and ensure ongoing theme support.
Options for minimalist, affordable themes include:
Here too, your final choice will strictly depend on your tastes and brand identity. Nonetheless, remember to approach this crucial step with due diligence.
#5 Populate your website
So what’s left to create a freelance writer website? Not much; now, you’ll only need to populate it with error-free content and share it with the world.
For this step, you might consider such valuable content as:
- About and contact sections. Sections where you share personal and contact information, respectively. You’ll need a personal touch, and visitors will need ways to contact you.
- A Services section. A section where you explain the exact services you offer. Almost half of all visitors explore this section first, so make it shine.
- Your portfolio. A selection of your best works showcasing what clients can expect from you.
- Testimonials, if available. Social proof is extremely valuable, so you may use testimonials wherever possible.
- Your blogs. A dedicated blog section where you showcase your skillset. Beyond this purpose, blogging also works wonders for SEO, boosting your online visibility.
This part will take a while, creatively speaking, but will flesh out your website for day-one efficiency.
#6 Launch your website
Finally, with everything in order, you may launch your website. But it’s far from over; this marks the beginning of a whole new venture.
First and foremost, remember to closely monitor your website post-launch. Especially at first, you may identify shortcomings and issues to address. First impressions truly matter, so ideally, you should iron out any kinks early.
#7 Promote it relentlessly
With your site up and running, we may now return to the introduction’s premise. No matter how well-crafted and professional, your website needs an audience to serve its purpose.
You may promote your website through such means and across such platforms as:
- Your Google My Business (GMB) profile, if you’ve listed your business there for local SEO
- Social media profiles and posts
- Guest content on other websites
The sky’s the limit, of course, but it’s crucial that you share the word far and wide. That’s the primary reason to create a freelance writer website in the first place, is it not? In much the same way as with content publishing, consistency greatly enhances promotion efforts. Consider time management and automatic scheduling software and plugins for this step, should you need help with maintaining robust schedules.
How to develop and manage a successful freelance writer website
To wrap it up, we may now take a cursory glance through how you may ensure your website’s growth. In no particular order, remember the following.
#1 Prioritize excellent design
First impressions truly matter, so approach any and all design choices with utmost care. Your website will need to inspire trust, clearly communicate your services’ value, and offer a clear path forward. As it does so, it also needs to offer fast loading speeds, responsiveness, and ease of use to enhance SEO.
#2 Keep SEO in mind
Speaking of, SEO undoubtedly deserves your attention. This expansive set of practices will earn you Google’s favor no less than your visitors’, through content readability and value. Becoming an SEO freelance writer will take time and effort, but it will yield tremendous long-term benefits.
#3 Craft impeccable copy
Naturally, to create a freelance writer website that thrives, your copy must be impeccable – even outside of SEO. Your copy best illustrates your skills in action, and for many visitors it will inform their final choice. Triple-check your content and pages for errors, paraphrase wherever you need to, and let your work advertise your brand.
#4 Polish your portfolio and leverage social proof
In much the same way as your copy, your portfolio serves as a distinctly deciding factor. Carefully pick your best works that don’t just flatter you, but also align with your brand image. As you do, leverage social proof wherever possible and appropriate; people trust reviews and testimonials almost as much as recommendations from their peers.
#5 Maintain a consistent schedule
Finally, especially if you lean heavily towards blogging, remember to maintain a consistent publishing schedule. For visitors, it will act as further reassurance of your work ethic, professionalism, and dedication. Google appreciates consistency as well, as it directly informs SEO rankings.
To summarize, it’s not effortless or quick to create a freelance writer website. First, you’ll need to set one up, from its CMS and hosting to its initial content. Then, you’ll need to promote it ceaselessly, maintain a steady flow of content, and persistently showcase your craft through it. Hopefully, while brief, this article helped you prepare for both and clear your path to success.