What would you do if a prospect asked to see your writing portfolio right now?
In the perfect world, you’d point them to a link that shows off your best work. Why? Every potential client wants to see samples of your writing to find out if you’re the right fit.
You’ve got an online writing portfolio, right?
If you’re laughing nervously now because you don’t, or you have one but you know it needs help, that’s OK. I’m going to show you how to create one.
Your writing portfolio is one of your most important marketing tools to attract and impress potential clients.
Point a prospect to your portfolio, and you want to capture their attention with an attractive and appealing design and great writing so they hire you.
If your writing portfolio is confusing or uninviting, the prospect might click away and never return. And it doesn’t have to be that way.
Here are some ways to design a dazzling online writing portfolio:
Years 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:
Can I make a confession?
I’m not a tech expert. I don’t know my PHP from my HTML or SQL or any other of those terms that the “technically inclined” seem to spout a thousand miles a minute.
I’m a writer. And if you’re on this site, so are you.
If you’re like me, you could probably make some improvements to your writer website.
When you’ve got a self-hosted WordPress site (and you definitely should), having the right plugins can make the difference between spending hours trying to do a simple task — or being able to accomplish it in one click.
After an extensive search and personal trials, I’ve come up with a list of WordPress plugins that are a definite *must* for any writer website.
Here are the free plugins that will make your life easier (some of them have premium versions, but the free versions offer plenty of features for you):
If you’re here learning how to make a living as a writer, you’ve probably already got your writing skills down.
But even the most skilled writers can struggle with the design side of their blog.
Internet users are bombarded with information, and each mental transaction taking a toll on their brainpower. Presenting content so it requires minimal effort from your audience is not just considerate–it also improves your chances that reader will subscribe and return.
What common design errors drive your blog readers away? From my experience as a user-experience expert and Web designer, these are my top five: