12 Great Writer Websites That Magnetically Attract Clients

Writer Websites That Attract Great Clients. Makealivingwriting.comYears back, I did a post about great writer websites. It turned out to be one of my most popular ever.

But over time, websites change. So do best practices in website design (hello, mobile-responsive design!). Writers get staff writing jobs and shut their sites down. Links break.

And writers still need ideas, examples, and inspiration to create their writer website…so I’ve put together a sequel.

This time, I’ve collected a dozen different flavors of successful writer websites to show you. Got notes below for you about what I love about each (and what I’d tweak).

I’ve done a multi-hour training about writer website best practices inside Freelance Writers Den (and many of the sites you’ll see featured below are from current or former Den members who’ve taken advantage of that course). But to give you a super-quick overview, the important elements of a successful writer site include:

  • Clean design — No flashing or rotating items, nor too many different colors or boxes.
  • Easy to connect — Your email/phone are easily visible and links are clickable.
  • Photo of you — This helps reassure people you’re not some Internet scam.
  • Portfolio — The #1 thing prospects want to do on your site is read your clips.
  • Testimonials — These are a huge factor in convincing prospects to contact you.
  • Personality — Your writer website is a writing audition, and a chance to give prospects a sense of what it’d be like to work with you.

With that crash course in writer website design in mind, here are a dozen writer websites (in alphabetical order) that show the variety of approaches you can take to implement these fundamentals. As you’ll see, websites can always be improved, so I’ve got some wish-list tips on how even these could do better:

  1. Dale Cudmore — Dale is sending away the wrong sort of clients for his business, with a clear definition of his niche and a strong show of personality right in the introduction. He also puts his portfolio right on the home page. He’s got the contact form I believe no one wants to fill out, but all in all, a strong presentation with a clean look, nice friendly shot of him, and a great, simple blue-and-white color scheme.
  2. Cutthroat Copy — Jorden Roper throws a young, sassy blogger vibe in this vibrant, mobile-responsive site. Killer photos (helps if you look like a model)! She also sneaks in some good SEO with “Dallas freelance copywriter / blogger & writer in her home-page meta (the text that shows when you mouse over the tab in your browser). I’d like to know more on her About page about how she got into copywriting.
  3. Enlighten Writing — Mahesh Raj Mohan gets visitors oriented with his tagline, “Freelance writer and content marketing strategist in Portland,” and quickly defines his ideal clients as authors, marketing managers, and business owners. He does a nice job of weaving a story out of his resume on the About page, but I’d like to see his contacts less hidden away and the body-copy font on subpages a bit bigger.
  4. Jennifer Gregory — Way to state your niche — ‘The content marketing writer” — and wow prospects with a powerful ‘proof’ bar of past client logos. I’d flip her photo over so she’s facing her copy instead of away from it…but it’s a tiny thing. Nice use of mobile layout.
  5.  Juliann Schaeffer — Den member Juliann goes for the topic SEO with ‘freelance health writer’ and a URL that’s got ‘health writer’ in it, too. Super-friendly, happy-but-professional photo just makes you want to give her a call. This one doesn’t have super-flashy design, but wins with a cute little logo that makes it feel pro, along with great head shots with the testimonials.
  6. Karen Smock — A member of the Den and Den 2X Income Accelerator, Karen’s site wins with great graphics that express the industries she knows, and a nice photo of her, plus basic city-focused SEO keywords in the tagline that’s always worked well for my writer website. Strongly orienting copy quickly lets visitors see if this is the writer for them. Nicely organized portfolio — this could only be better if testimonials had head shots instead of company logos.
  7. Lori Murray — I usually hate sites with a left-hand sidebar, which has been proven to not perform as well as a right-hand one (and with the age of mobile, not as well as no sidebar at all). But experienced pro Lori makes it work with a very simple contact sidebar and a home page that’s a visually grabby portfolio. What I’d change: “writing & communications” (her tagline) aren’t terms I believe prospects search on, as much as terms like “freelance writer” or “communications strategist.” A little refining might draw more leads. And how about some logos on that solid-gold client list! (Thanks to Den member Leslie Shortlidge for the referral to this snappy website.)
  8. Sarah Asp Olson — A Den and Den 2X grad, Sarah uses a top bar to keep contacts visible, and has a fab headshot and strong keywords prospects can see right off, along with a terrific set of past client logos providing social proof right above the fold. I’d add a little Home page copy to help folks navigate, if it were me, but her two big “Who I am” and “What I do” buttons help direct traffic.
  9. Silicon Valley Tech Writer  — This site, from Den 2X member Millie Lapidario, is the first site built on SquareSpace that I’ve featured in these great-website lists (to my knowledge). Love the graphic at the top, sleek mobile layout, and short, punchy headlines. To top it off, she nabbed a highly SEO-friendly URL that’s just gotta bring traffic. I’m not usually a fan of writing your About page in the third person, as first makes more of a direct conversation with prospects, but if it’s working, it’s working.
  10. Sonia Quinones — This one gets my award for best copy headline: “Content that puts more money in your pocket.” I usually hate rotating graphics, but this one that serves up an array of portfolio samples is kind of fresh. Nice all-in-one home page with a testimonial at the bottom, too.
  11. Sylvie Tremblay — Another Den 2X member, Sylvie’s site grabs attention with a social-proof bar right where the experts say it should be — up at the top. With her tagline, “Freelance science & health journalist and copywriter,” she instantly helps visitors understand if she’s their writer. Great second shot of her on the About page, and nice contact bar on top from ManyContacts, a solution I hadn’t previously seen.
  12. That Copywriter Girl — You know I’m a sucker for a writer who’s gotten a cartoon done of themselves, and Den grad Mallory Hall rocks that approach here, along with a snappy branding URL. She even makes pink work, a color that I think usually says “unprofessional.” Her tagline, “freelance writer and blogger,” could probably be niched down a bit more to get her found more frequently on search. Body-copy font could be bigger, especially on subpages, but I’m picking a nit.

I hope these websites help you launch or improve your own site! If you’re looking for support getting up a quick website, you can check out my recommendations for that on the ‘Products I Love’ tab at the top of this blog, or join the Den and take the bootcamp Build a Writer Website That Works.

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50 comments on “12 Great Writer Websites That Magnetically Attract Clients
  1. Thank you so much for featuring my site! I just saw this and it made my day. I totally agree about the importance of a good website and strong SEO. I am #2 on Google for the search term “content marketing writer” which has made a big difference in my business. I get a lot of business from people finding me through my website and cold emailing me. Reading your posts years ago taught me the importance of SEO for writer sites and it has honestly been one of the best moves I’ve done.

  2. Ravi says:

    Hi Carol Tice

    Not sure, do you care of this comment or not because of my delay commenting. I would have asked this when this post was published, but hope you would answer.

    * What is your suggestion for a new freelancing aspirant to create a website name?

    Is it good to buy a domain under our own name or a name like magazine, book tiles etc.? I know you have a domain with your name (caroltice.com), but sites like this one. And many freelance writers have the same, but mostly they post about writing advice in their sites. I doubt about do they have multiple sites for multiple niches.

    For example you only maintain this site for advising writers to improve their careers. But not about a niche other than writing.
    How do you get clients with this site when it is not about their content?

    * If we have a domain with our name and another domain with a title like magazine or services (to write about a niche), what should we mention when we write guest posts for publications like HuffPost, Forbes…?

    • Carol Tice says:

      Ravi, the answer to most of these questions is “It depends…” On your goals, types of writing, why you’re guest posting, whether you have an idea for a blog topic you’re passionate about, and much more.

      This blog is a business of its own, and isn’t my main focus for getting freelance writing clients. My regular gigs blogging for Entrepreneur and then Forbes (about 3 years apiece, posting 3x a week for Entrepreneur and weekly for Forbes), were better referral engines for freelance gigs.

      This blog is about my passion for advocating for fair writer pay, and helping writers find decent income and avoid scams.

      Afraid I’m not really able to deliver free coaching via blog-post comment, and I’d need a lot more details to really be able to advise you. But if you’re earning some now and want to double your income, you might check out my Den 2X Income Accelerator — http://freelancewritersden.com/join-den2x

  3. Sheila Viana says:

    Hi Carol!

    The link for “That Copywriter Girl” is not available. In fact, the domain is parked at Godaddy

    Regards,

    Sheila

  4. Mahesh Mohan says:

    Thank you for featuring my site and for the feedback as well; I appreciate it! 🙂 It’s also great to see all the other excellent copywriter sites out there.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Thanks for having a fun site, Mahesh — I love how your branding ties into the themes you bring up in your copy. I’m jealous! Just getting by with my boring old name here since 2005….

  5. Great resource. I have been doing web design for some time now, and am sure to learn a few more tips from the profiled websites. I have bookmarked your site as it is a great resource for a budding freelance writers like me.
    Kind Regards,
    Pinchas.

    • Carol Tice says:

      There’s web design, and then there’s webdesign for solopreneur service businesses, that CONVERTS. I’ve learned there are tons of flashy designers out there, but many don’t understand how clean and simple our sites need to be to convert well. They want to throw rotating headers and animations and dropdown menus and a lot of clutter on that really detract. I hate it when I look at a writer site someone has clearly spent thousands on that’s never brought them an inbound lead…and have to tell them it really needs to be done over. These examples are all clean and uncluttered, but showcase the variety of ways you can lay it out, and personality styles you can show in your copy. Glad you found it useful!

  6. Flora says:

    Thanks for the lists. It will surely help us who are new to writing and can pick some ideas but not purely plagiarize. This will also help us increase and develop our websites to perform well and can be a user friendly bizniz sites. Felt awesome to continue and rise my skills.

  7. John Adam says:

    Thank you. This post is really going to help me, since I am new to blogging and content marketing. I would like to recommend one more writer : briangardner.com. I love his writing, code snippets and his freebies.

  8. Tiffany says:

    These are great website examples. I need to start over with my freelance writing business. A combination of illness and crippling self doubt have set me back quite a bit over the past few years. I need to get back on track…a website seems like a good place to start

    • Carol Tice says:

      My experience IS that the self-doubt is even more crippling than illness…let’s bust the fears. Usually that’s really what’s standing between you and the writing career you want.

  9. Rob says:

    Just when I was starting to get depressed, I noticed not all of them gave everything away on their home page. I think what I need to do is direct attention to my portfolio and testimonials on my home page, which is short, but perhaps a little wordy.

  10. Ravi says:

    Whenever I read a sales page saying, “You must have a video to double your sales,” I laugh at the line as I never feel comfort web pages which have videos, especially when they play automatically.

    I may have different reasons for it: slow internet connection, system issues…, but I hate them especially they auto-play. If you are reverse to me, use a video as you wish but don’t make them auto-play.

  11. This is perfect timing for me as well. I recently joined the Den (on Wednesday I believe) and am going through the write website bootcamp. On top of that, I very recently decided that I need to really focus on improving my write website rather than focusing solely on my blog (www.singlemommywarrior.com) I’ve been going through each of these websites and seeing what I need to do to improve my design and copy. I wish I could afford a custom website, but I am having to make do with a free WordPress theme for now.

  12. Mary says:

    Wow, Carol…this is an awesome post! What a fantastic source for inspiration and reference. Kudos to all the freelance writers for an amazing job putting their sites together.

    Thanks for sharing!

  13. This list (like the last one) is a great inspiration for how I can improve my own site. Thanks to Carol and all the listed.

  14. Jeffrey Hill says:

    Love it. Great list of writer’s sites that inspire, and there’s plenty to learn from here!

  15. This is one of the most helpful posts I’ve read in a while. Thank you! I’m in the process of revamping my site, and this couldn’t have come at a better time. It’s always nice to see ways that other writers are working their sites!

  16. Lindsey says:

    This is a super helpful post — thank you. And, congrats to everyone with such great sites. Carol – do you have any thoughts on first person vs. third person websites? I see mostly first person here (with a few exceptions), but wondering how people decide between the two.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Lindsey, I’ve heard from a few writers who target BIIIG companies — Fortune 500 level — where apparently third person seems to work.

      Other than that, my basic rule is…don’t talk about yourself in the third person on the Internet. It’s distancing. Also, we all know YOU wrote it. 😉

  17. Karen says:

    Impressive website, for sure!

  18. Naomi says:

    Perfect timing on these resources, Carol. As a newbie, I’ve struggled this week with this to-do list task. These examples give me a better blueprint to improve it. Thanks!

  19. Mallory Hall says:

    Thanks so much for featuring my site, Carol! I’ve worked so very, very hard on it, and I’m happy to hear your thoughts. I’m going to check out the other websites you listed to see other ways in which I can improve. Thanks again!

    • Carol Tice says:

      You know I’m a sucker for a cartoon. 😉

      I like the variety in this set — from hip and young, to girly yet professional, to manufacturing-oriented. Shows there are a lot of ways to win at this.

      The big message is — let your writer site express your personality! I think it helps you attract the kind of clients YOU will want to work for.

  20. Mike Betts says:

    Each of these examples has a unique and valuable lesson…especially for us newbies looking to build quickly and effectively. The only other point I’m looking to better understand is what templates and/or models can translate into execution speed and cost efficiency.

  21. Rohi says:

    Fantastic resource, Carol. I’ve bookmarked this post and will check out all of them. Your comments about each site is a tutorial in itself.

  22. Perfect timing for me! My big task for today and the week ahead is to revamp my writing portfolio site (meant for potential employers) into a freelance writing site. Just today I was looking at a copywriter’s site to get ideas but was wishing for more examples. Thanks!

  23. Thanks, Carol.
    Cutthroat Copy is my favorite! She rocks…

    Jennifer

  24. Jorden Roper says:

    Thanks so much for featuring my site, Carol! I’m definitely going to check out the other writer websites here to see what I can learn from them.

  25. Jon Clayton says:

    Carol, this is an excellent and useable collection of websites that other writers can use to check their site against. Very practical. Thanks!

  26. Hi Carol

    This is a smashing cheat sheet for any writer creating their first website or doing a revamp. Because, let’s face it, we steal most of the ideas for our own site from other people.

    I’m also a bit jealous really, as I’m still stuck with that teeny tiny font, which was popular about 5 years ago. Nevertheless, my site still gets a steady flow of queries. Nevertheless, I should be doing something like Dale to filter out the tyre kickers, as I still get far too many duff leads.

    Yeah and the other thing…

    I’m targeting very specific niches (cloud computing, security and big data) with my next website version. I remember how one of your Den recordings mentioned these markets and how lucrative they can be. So when I was approached to do some of this stuff, I grabbed the opportunity with both hands and didn’t let go.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Great to hear on cloud/security/big data — definitely great niches, Kevin!

      But…why are you stuck with teeny font? You can change it in CSS…

      • I did actually increase my font sizes. So if you think they’re small now, you should’ve seen them before.

        The problem I have is the space I’ve got to work with. If you increase the text size too much, it affects the whole balance of the site.

        However, I simply cannot justify the cost of a responsive redesign right now, even though I could do with a few more visuals and conversion features. I’m not convinced the type of client I want would look for my services on a mobile phone. I want clients who take their content seriously – and treat copywriting as a professional service and NOT a commodity.

        Though I could be wrong about mobile sites for writers, I’m not KISSmetrics – with loads data at my disposal. Sometimes you have to trust your instincts. And they’re mine.

        • Kevin, WordPress has some nice, simple free templates that I think would work well for a site like yours. I’ve used their twenty sixteen template for a couple of sites. Frankly, both need work. But they’re not bad looking either. And they are responsive. Of course, you then need to deal with the weird trend towards gray text, which is still best fixed via CSS (something I still need to learn to do; I keep changing the text color to black for each page).

          • Hi Janet

            My current website is almost completely custom. That’s because I wanted very specific features on my core business pages. Basically I specified a layout to my web developer, which made it immediately clear to both search engines and humans precisely what my website was about. (It certainly worked, as it’s got me tens of thousands in business.)

            The problem with most WordPress templates is that they don’t provide the layout I want. So, as you say, moving to a new theme will require bucketloads of work – not just on CSS, but all the PHP code as well.

            A lot of responsive themes are even worse. They make it so hard to get all your key messages across without having scroll right down the page. It’s also harder to stand out with most themes, as they all look so similar.

            I’ve got a quote from my web developer – and it’s going to cost me a fair packet. Eventually, I’ll splash the cash. But, as I’m changing the direction of my writing business, now isn’t a good time.

            • Well you know a heck more about this than I do! Makes sense to wait until you change direction to see if you have new needs. As Emily Litella would say (and I feel a little like her now), “Never mind!”

            • Carol Tice says:

              Yeah, I personally loved the pre-mobile era in terms of web layout — but the reality is most sidebar-format sites look like crap on devices. And the stats are that more and more people are looking at our sites ON those devices…so we must change.

    • Jude Scinta says:

      Carol…your service to writers reaches new levels everyday. (Even in times when your own life is so busy…you’ve written about your move to a new home recently.)

      Thanks so much for this list…and congrats to those who made it!