10 Writer Websites That Kick Butt and Get Clients

Have you been wondering how to create a standout writer website that would impress clients and get you hired?

You know you need one. Without a site, it’s like you’re invisible. You just don’t seem legit, especially if you’re going after online markets.

I’ve talked about writer websites before, and do reviews weekly in Freelance Writers Den, but today I thought I’d just show you some fine examples of successful writer websites. These sites have a few things in common:

  • They have clean, uncluttered design.
  • You can get a good sense quickly of the type of writing the writer does.
  • The clips are presented in a way that’s easy to read.
  • It’s easy to figure out how to contact them.

Some of them were done very affordably, too.

Take a look for yourself. There’s a lot of variety in the approach in these sites, and they each have some particular strengths. They’re in no particular order:

  1. Mary Yerkes – An example of what you can accomplish with the basic WordPress blog site you get when you join the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors (NAIWE). Clean, simple, and gets the job done with some clips and a really inviting photo that makes her seem happy, professional, and accessible. If you don’t want to learn a lot about WordPress and which host would be best for you, this NAIWE site offer is a turnkey solution. Plus, you get a whole writer support organization thrown into the deal.
  2. Yolander Prinzel — I likes this site’s all-in-one home page approach (which you’ll notice I sort of adapted for my own site). Note how some of the client mentions are live links to clips, and how she plays up her expertise as a financial writer in her “about me” box. Love the testimonial right at the top, too. Only thing missing here is a nice shot of her for the home page.
  3. Oscar Halpert – This is one of my favorite writer photos — check out how friendly, approachable and yet business like Oscar is looking here. Also take in his great, concise landing page copy. Shows he knows how to sum it up, one of the big skills pro writers have over amateurs. Most writer sites have too much blather instead of showing they can pack a powerful punch in few words.
  4. Kristi Hines – The popular Kikolani blogger’s own writer site is a top-ranked one for the search term “freelance writer.” Hines put it all on one page, and it’s clearly working for her. If you have more than one skill, check out how Kristi presents herself smoothly as a writer, blogger, and photographer.
  5. Sally Bacchetta – A fairly busy-looking site, but packed with clips, and a top-ranker for “freelance writer.” A basic head shot is enough to make her seem friendly and relatable.
  6. Emily Suess — The Suess’s Pieces blogger takes a risk with the rotating header, as some people won’t be able to see Flash elements, but she makes it work with a great photo that really shows her personality. A top-ranked site for “freelance writer.” For copywriters, she shows you how to lure prospects by crushing the copy on your own site, with her great headline, “Say it with me.”
  7. Pat Howard – Dig his young attitude in the photos, which also plays into one of his specialties: TV writing. Nice testimonial page. Great example of how to show your personality on your site without oversharing or seeming unprofessional. A simple, effective site.
  8. David LaMartina – This writer recently joined the Den and got his site done by Sean Platt’s new WordPress design/hosting/support company, OutstandingSETUP. I’d been hearing about this company but hadn’t had a chance to check out their work, and now that I have, all I can say is WOW. Real nice for $17 a month, eh? If you’ve been considering shelling out hundreds to a designer to custom-make your site, you might want to think about this as an alternative. I find many designers are in love with flashy things and don’t know a lot about conversion, where OutstandingSetup’s team understands what your site needs to have, and leaves out the distractions. This is a visually pleasant, clean, simple site that gets the job done on a budget.
  9. Ed GandiaThe Wealthy Freelancer co-author recently told me he hasn’t updated his writer site in years. You can see why he doesn’t have to, as it’s got everything you need. Especial awesome here: His free-for-subscribers product that’s focused on his prospects, The Software Marketer’s Lead Generation Report. Can you say “Way to build a prospect list?” Also his landing page headline immediately shows he gets his software-company audience: “Results-Driven Copy and Strategy That Resonate with Today’s Overmarketed (and Hard-to-Impress) Technology Buyer.”
  10. Carol Tice – OK, obviously, I’m biased here. But I did work hard redoing my site, and I do get a lot of nice gigs through it. I’m particularly pleased with my resume page, which is now a tab called Where I’ve Been.

Seen any good writer websites lately? Leave us a link and tell us why you like the site.

P.S. Need feedback on your writer website?  In Freelance Writers Den, writers get complimentary website reviews and take our 4-week bootcamp, Build a Writer Website That Works. Find out what’s in the Den by clicking below:

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58 comments on “10 Writer Websites That Kick Butt and Get Clients
  1. Glori Surban says:

    Great sites to and great writers to emulate! Thanks Carol!
    Oscar’s site is my favorite. So simple… :)
    Glori Surban recently posted..This Introvert Wants to Enter the Den

  2. Rob says:

    Interesting mix. Some 3rd rate actor stole my name, so I was unable to make my name my blog address. However, now that I’ve gone commercial on my blog, I’m thinking of starting a subdomain for my portfolio. Do you think that would be appropriate? It would be robschneider.myexistingdomain.org

    The longer I read your blogs, the more I want to try out your den mother services. As you manage to say without sounding seriously egotistical, your website “kicks butt.”

  3. Marisa says:

    While I think having a site is better than nothing, it seems to me most of these have a lot to be desired in the design department. They seem very flat and two-dimensional, and only a couple would I mark as simple and easy to get right off the bat what the writer can do for you. Emily Suess’s site is the best in my opinion in that it has a design that is young, fresh and what most websites look like these days. The rest seem quite dated. I’m in the process of finishing up my site that I built for free via WIX. I don’t mean to promote them directly, but I found they have many templates that can provide a great looking site for freelancers that, I think, makes them competitive with younger up and comers.

    Once I have the site up it will cost something like $12 per month for the domain, that’s it. AND I can control the SEO settings of my site too fairly easily.

    I just want to throw WIX out there as a possibility since I haven’t seen it mentioned on here and think it’s a great alternative to a professional designer.

    Maybe when my site is up I’ll come back to this and post its address so people can see what I’m talking about.

    • Rob says:

      Thanks for the reminder about Wix. They have amazing templates and it’s user friendly. Why isn’t it more popular? I agree with you – some of those sites do look flat. I was kind of surprised 2 or 3 of them were even included as examples to follow.
      Rob recently posted..How to Improve Your Writing with Grammarly

    • Vinil says:

      I feel a better option than wix is self-hosted wordpress.. There are so many wordpress themes and wordpress is so flexible that you can make it into anything.. For some reason, I am not a big fan of wix..
      Vinil recently posted..Few Basics You Must Know About the Security of an Ecommerce Store

    • I know this is way late, but I’ve just published my site and for anyone who comes across this post, feel free to check it out in terms of what Wix has to offer. I’m not a Wix employee, not trying to promote them, but did a lot of research on which self-website-building platform companies offer the best, most modern-looking templates. I’ve not done the SEO on it yet, but there it is.

  4. Some of those examples are absolutely fantastic! But to some I would say… “White space is your friend.” One of those sites has over 350 words on the home page; another has over 250. Too much! I understand that you chose them for having all of the most important elements of a great site. But let’s not forget to pay attention to the elements that detract in addition to the ones that add value.

  5. Ali says:

    I believe you also have a separate ‘writer site’ just like Kristi, do you really recommend it for all the others, Carol?
    Ali recently posted..Finally, Master The Art Of Writing Killer Headlines In 25 Minutes

  6. J. Delancy says:

    Some of them appear jammed-up. Too much writing in a small space. What I like is the fact that they all appear to be well managed and very functional, which is a big seller.

    Thanks for giving some examples of how basic a site can be and still generate business.
    J. Delancy recently posted..The Last Taboo: The Truth About Senior Citizen Sex

    • Carol Tice says:

      There’s definitely a variety of approaches here. I personally prefer less copy and more whitespace…though I have a hard time cutting it down on my own site!

  7. Kristi Hines says:

    These are great portfolio examples – I was very surprised to find mine in there too! I’m into minimalism, and wasn’t sure how that would translate when it came to attracting clients. But so far, the design has worked well as I get most of my requests through that site vs. my blog. Thanks for featuring it! :)
    Kristi Hines recently posted..40+ Tips on How to Become a Social Media Rock Star on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+

  8. I liked most of them. I think that some of them are a bit typical, dusty writers’ sites (sorry). However, 90% of them are great and I spent a long time looking through them and what they offer.

    I’m quite impressed.
    Anne @ A Blogger’s Books recently posted..Common Misused Words In English

  9. Agree with Vinil. I use a WordPress template I purchased, and although it took me a while to figure out where to stick my widgets (yes, it was as painful as it sounds) and I still need some design help with my background, I’m happy with the set up.

    Carol, your blog has been the biggest help to me in relaunching my freelance career, especially the posts on improving your website and writing LOIs and queries. Many, many thanks…

  10. Also, thanks for sharing the other writers’ sites! Emily’s rocks. I know we deal in words, but Marisa has a good point about design. It is an important element on our sites as it makes the first impression before our words have a chance.
    Amanda Cleary Eastep recently posted..Someone Tell the Librarian—Are You Doing These 3 Things to Enhance Your Internal Communications?

  11. Mark says:

    All great sites, but if I may, *insert subtle self-plug here* http://systemato.com/services/content-writing/

  12. Missy says:

    I see what you mean about Oscar’s photo. It’s a nice mix of friendliness and professionalism.
    Missy recently posted..oDesk Scam Artists: Signs Writers Need to Look For

  13. Miles Weston says:

    This was rather interesting and I thoroughly enjoyed working my way through it.It has motivated me to do a better job of my own blog, as I tend to find it quite difficult to come up with any good ideas to post to be fair but it has certainly broadened my horizons. I was curious what plugins you may use to help your SEO and if you can share any tips on that subject I would be very grateful? I would appreciate any advice on how to get a wordpress blog to rank as well as yours. Keep up the good work.Kind regards.

  14. Cash Tilton says:

    Great article, great examples, great inspiration for my own new site. Thanks.
    Cash Tilton recently posted..Call Her “Ms. Wizard”

  15. Evin says:

    Carol, I love you site and your articles. GREAT advice. Keep up the good work!

  16. Susan says:

    Fantastic list! And such a needed resource. I recently revamped my online portfolio (I blog at a different site) and went for a super clean, minimalist design. I ended up doing the same for my blog and services for writer’s website as well.

    One thing I felt truly revolutionized my portfolio was having a straight-forward client list. Before I had a very long list of every project I’d ever worked on. I’m a generalist writer who specializes in travel, but I have a very diverse set of clients. It was impossible to figure out what I was doing and with who.

    Instead I created a simple client list that anyone could easily skim. Then on the right-hand column, I built out a widget that read “Get my clips by specialty” so someone could easily click on “travel writing” or “custom content” or “TV promos”.

    It’s also improved my mindset. I loathed my portfolio before, so I was never updating it or sending it out. Now I’m proud of it and it’s easy for me to see how much I’ve accomplished as a writer.
    Susan recently posted..How Snow Skiing in a Bikini with a Toddler Helped My Career Outlook

  17. Ryan D says:

    Thanks for sharing the writer sites. Extra kudos to Kristi Hines, Sally Bacchetta, and Emily Suess for the mobile-friendly sites. This is especially important if readers come to your site from social media or email – around half of that traffic comes from mobile. (And responsive WordPress themes are the norm now.)

  18. Julia McCoy says:

    Great information! Thank for sharing these freelance writing sites.

    I do think however that copywriting agencies have gotten a bad rap over the years due to all the low quality content that keeps cropping up. Hiring a writing team versus hiring a single freelance individual writer is simply a no brainer. When hiring a writing team, personally I think it adds more value to the client because not only do you have a quality writer, you also have an editor and a content coordinator. This to me ensues the most quality.
    Julia McCoy recently posted..How To Bond (Personally) With Your Blog Readers

    • Carol Tice says:

      I’d like to point out that Julia appears to work for a writing ‘team.’ Hiring one can also be a way to spend a lot, and for writers to earn less.

      Many companies don’t have the budget for this, and manage their own editing in-house just fine. I always advocate writers be part of an agency type setup only when it gives them access to a major client they could not freelance for directly.

      • Julia McCoy says:

        Hi Carol,
        I do maintain a writing agency, and writers are paid over $1.2-2K monthly in my agency. Your entire argument was based on the presumption that agency prices are high. Have you heard of $15/blog? Well, we charge that rate. Our prices are lower than the standalone fastidious “copywriters'” rates.

        • Carol Tice says:

          So writers are paid $15 a blog post and making $2K a month? That math seems to add up to having to write more than 130 posts a month…where I make a similar amount writing 15 or 20 posts.

          Or that writers are getting $8 of that, and need to write 250 or more posts in a month to earn that rate?

          You’re not convincing me going through an agency is a better way to go here as a freelance writer, especially yours…going with a really low-pricing agency isn’t an improvement over using one that gets professional rates from clients.

          • Lynn Swayze says:

            I am part of a writing “team” (more like a glorified content mill) and am paid a bit less than $15 per article. I’m pretty sure that a portion of the people I work with aren’t native English speakers. It’s tedious work that leaves me little time to pitch to new markets and not enough money to afford mentoring that I need. Perhaps writers should produce work that does not need so much editing? Or maybe it’s that low pay necessitates an editor because no one can produce good copy at such a low rate. Personally, I’d rather work as Carol suggests than continue to do this for the rest of my writing career.

  19. Hi, all!

    I too have been pondering about the creation of my own website. As a freelance writer, I’m ready to move up in the world from my meager beginnings of just making ends meet. Recently, I’ve been creating a blog sequence about the steps to take for someone who knows absolutely nothing about web design (me) to come out shining.

    The above blog post left me with a great idea of what I can shoot for!

    :)Jessi

  20. Lucie says:

    Carol, I loved your site design…perhaps the best of all. But I have a question: what should someone who’s really just starting put on their site? Someone with only ten clips and no testimonials, etc.? My blog is personal and unrelated to my limited freelance work, so I am not planning to include it on the new site I’m trying to design. Appreciate any advice!

    • Carol Tice says:

      Really? I think of mine as sort of barely functional. But perhaps a good example for other writers who don’t want to doodle around with site design all day!

      If you have 10 clips, put them up. We all pitch with what we’ve got, and improve from there.

      Why no testimonials? See if you can get some – they make a big difference in convincing clients they should hire you.

      Your blog can be personal and still a good sample, if it covers a niche topic and isn’t a rambling personal-journal type. You can always just link over to it, it doesn’t have to be part of your writer site — mine isn’t.

  21. Karen says:

    I’d like to see some examples of rookie writer websites. I need to set up a site but I’m not sure what to put on there in the way of clips. I’ve been doing content writing, am pursing my MFA in Creative and Professional Writing and did a lot of professional writing in my management job for 15 years. I do article writing for an online tech marketing firm and those are bylined, but that would only be clips from one company.

  22. Jeff O says:

    Thanks for the article. Here’s another site that’s super nice. Simple, clean and clear.

    (I didn’t make the site (and I’m not Emily (She’s a friend)))

    Jeff O.
    Jeff O recently posted..GRAPHIC DESIGN

  23. Loz James says:

    Great post Carol

    If I may be so bold – my own website totally kicks butt and definitely gets clients :-)

    Cheers!

    Loz

  24. Kate says:

    I just found you! I am a designer who also freelances as a writer for education content. I have been trying to figure out if I should get paid through my business –and use the same website– for my writing too as my biz description includes content and publishing. When you get a check, is it made out to you or your company? Do you have an article about this?

    • Carol Tice says:

      Hi Kate — if you’re a sole proprietor and don’t have a federal Tax ID number, it really doesn’t matter if they check has your business name or your own name on it. It’s all tracking through your SS#.

      If you incorporate the business or start using a federal Tax ID for it, then checks should bear your business name. If you switch, send clients a new tax form with the ID info and note that they should use your business name and that tax-ID number. Recommend getting one — it’s free — as it helps convince the IRS you’re a real business and not a hobby.

  25. Trevor says:

    This article has helped me more than any I have read so far, thank you Carol for combing the web for the best examples. It is helpful to see how each person created a site that fits their unique needs, and to imagine what design elements might be suitable for my future writing site. I now understand how, for my situation at least, having a separate writer site can make you seem much more professional than a tab in your business or personal blog.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Glad this helped Trevor!

      In Freelance Writers Den I’ve got a 4-week bootcamp called Build a Writer Website That Works that helps you create that kind of killer site for yourself that becomes an inbound marketing machine. Is my favorite bootcamp we’ve done so far!

  26. Rose says:

    These look terribly generic & forgettable though. I’m confused. As a writer don’t you want to stand out with something professional yet beautiful that reflects you? Not trying to offend anyone, I’m genuinely curious.

    • Carol Tice says:

      I’m sorry we bored you with these 10 sites, Rose, all of which get their owners a steady stream of clients, and many of which rank near the top of searches for “freelance writer.” Which is why they were presented — they are sites that get results.

      No doubt your website is more beautiful and effective than any of these, and you’re fully booked as a result. I’d love to take a look, but it appears you haven’t shared a site address.

      Certainly, web design is subjective. I chose these sites because I think each has outstanding features other writers might want to incorporate into their sites, and I know they get clients. And because I think each has elements of design & usability that others would do well to emulate.

      I’ve reviewed many “beautiful” sites that had poor usability, confusing copy, and/or SEO problems, and failed to get clients. Many designers go nuts creating pretty shiny things that don’t convert a single customer. Those sites may be pretty, but they were a complete waste of money.

      It’s not a beauty contest — a writer website has a job to do. These sites do it. If you know sites that do better, please provide links so we can all check them out.

  27. Deependra says:

    I am thinking about a new blog. Can u please write a guest for my blog also.
    Please Carol!

  28. margaret says:

    Browsing your site has been very helpful. I was building a website as part of a class assignment, but I was curious as to how professional writers did it. I liked Oscar’s header very much (I wanted to sign up, lol), I thought Yolanda’s resume was awesome but her page itself would never have caught my attention, but then again, I am just a passerby not a business professional in her market on the prowl for talent. Of all the sites the one I actually read in its entirety was Pat Howard’s. I think it was the sound of the word’s in my head… they were catchy like a college cheer. Whatever it was, it worked.

  29. Julie says:

    I realize now that marketing myself as a writer is very different than trying to market myself as a business. After viewing some of these sites, this is what I think I need to do. Then, I can hopefully clean up my network mess as I earn more as a writer.
    Julie recently posted..The Power of Infographic Marketing in a Blog Eat Blog World

  30. farhan rauf says:

    Hi Coral,
    Thank for sharing this informative list. I visited 5 websites from your list for the first time and they are amazing. Just wondering how difficult to have a content writing clients when these gurus are doing so well :)
    farhan rauf recently posted..Jewelers SEO and Social Media Services – Driving Sales to Your Online Jewelry Shop

  31. David Geer says:

    I looked at this list a few times to get a sense of what I liked and what I might want in my own site. Thank you, Carol.
    David Geer recently posted..Software KVM (Keyboard, Video, Mouse) Multiplies Features, Replaces Hardware KVMs

  32. Ambika says:

    Hi Carol,
    Been following your blog for quite some time.
    I have been writing on a wide range of topics and I set up a multi-niche blog some time back where I could write on anything and everything I wanted to.
    Got a fairly good response on that. But I don’t think I’m getting enough for my efforts.
    I don’t know if I’m thinking along the right lines but I’ve been thinking of taking up well paid writing gigs now ( and start selling my own eBooks shortly).

    I guess I need to set up a portfolio website for that. Could you guide me about the same?
    Ambika recently posted..Lithium-Ion Chargers with Silicon Anode to Charge Portable Devices in 10 Minutes

    • Carol Tice says:

      Ambika, I think the sites linked above give you great ideas on how to set up a writer website and show your portfolio.

      For more, inside my Freelance Writers Den community we have a 4-week class on this — Build a Writer Website That Works…and there’ll actually be an opportunity to join coming up shortly.

  33. Not a fan of Sally’s blog, because of the faint gray type that web designers, for some unfathomable reason, seem to favor nowadays. The first thing I do when I install a WordPress theme is darken the post font. If your business is words, then people must be able to see them clearly.
    Robert Traynor recently posted..Dissing the Lexic or Making Sense of Nonsensical Spam

  34. Seb says:

    We think our author website is cool, but we’ll leave the judging up to your vistors.

  35. Dawn Vesco says:

    I appreciated the honesty and simplicity of the real process of Jeff Goins website.

  36. Hi all. I’d love some feedback on my newly designed site. Please take a look and share your thoughts. Best, Natalie

6 Pings/Trackbacks for "10 Writer Websites That Kick Butt and Get Clients"
  1. [...] Your site is a writing sample that shows how well you write website copy. Take a look at these 10 examples for some ideas on how to write compelling short [...]

  2. […] 10 Writer Websites that Kick Butt and Get Clients […]

  3. […] Just to clarify here: Do not ask an experienced writer to produce one article for you for free to make sure they have what it takes to write articles for you. That sets off warning bells, because they think you want them to work for free. If you need to see a good portfolio, check out these freelance writers portfolios. […]

  4. […] that lets people know that you offer freelance writing services – see Carol Tice’s 10 Writer Websites That Kick Butt for […]

  5. […] There are more copybloggers than legit jobs out here but it is possible to make a living from it. First and foremost, you want to have some writing clips. Set up a free website and put some of your best work up. Check this out for examples of writer’s websites. […]

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