Why 200+ Writer Websites Failed to Get A Single Client

Survey resultsLast week, I asked writers to tell me about their websites. And boy, did they! I got nearly 500 responses in under a week.

Wanted to share the data with you today because it points up some of the common mistakes writers make with a writer website.

First off, the big one: Over 40 percent of writers said they don’t have a website yet. No site at all.

That’s like trying to sell your freelance writing services while wearing Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak.

When you can’t get found online, you can’t be taken seriously as a freelance writer today. Especially by online markets.

On the plus side, more writers are getting a site up — another 40 percent said they put up a writer site in the past year. So most writers either have a fairly new site, or no site at all.

Since it takes a little time to refine your site and make it into that awesome, 24/7 inbound marketing machine you want it to be, that probably means most writer websites are still in a fairly nascent stage. Their site likely needs tweaking and perfecting to be effective.

Takeaway: It’s definitely not too late to get a site. Most writers are still newbies at operating a writer website.

The big problem with most writer sites

Let’s get to the nub of it, the point of having a writer website: Does it get you clients? Do they email or call you and say they were doing a Web search for a freelance writer and turned up your website?

A good writer website should be more than a virtual business card you tell prospects you personally meet to go online and view. It should help draw clients to you.

The news here isn’t good: Less than one-quarter of the website owners — under 24 percent — reported that their site ever got them a single client.

That means over 75 percent of those website owners wasted every dime they ever spent on creating and maintaining their website, and every hour they worked on it, too. More than 200 writer websites, and zero clients.

Time is always short for freelance writers, and often money too, so that really hurts.

Takeaway: If you’re going to have a freelancer website, it’s worth learning how to make it get you clients. Otherwise, it’s a waste of time and money.

3 Key places writer websites go wrong

Why is this happening? I’d probably need to look at the websites individually to get all the details, but the survey shows there are a few basic things many writer websites get wrong:

  • Don’t look pro. About half of all the writers with websites report their site is on a free platform such as free WordPress, Blogger, Weebly, Wix, or Yola. Freebie sites are alluring because of that great no-cost offer, but most have layout limitations, make you include ads for the platform, stick their name in your URL, or otherwise scream “I’m an amateur” when prospects take a look.
  • No photo of you. Prospects come to your site hoping to virtually “meet” you — to see your face and get a sense of who you are. But 28 percent of the website owners said they don’t have a single photo of themselves on their writer website. The Internet is an anonymous place full of scams, and without a photo to see, clients may think you’re bogus.
  • Selling off the blog. A distinct minority — about 13 percent of the website owners — reported their site is primarily a blog, and they’re selling off a “Hire Me” subpage. While I’ve seen a few successful bloggers do well with this, in general, if your blog isn’t going crazy with traffic and comments, this is a less powerful way to market your writing services than a focused, static site where you can write a compelling Home page that sells your services.

These are just a few of the design and easy-of-use considerations that go into creating a great writer website that I was able to track in the survey. When I do writer website critiques inside Freelance Writers Den, we cover many more best practices that go into creating a writer website that works.

Takeaway: There are some basics to design and layout of a writer website that many freelance writers don’t seem to know about. And those can make a big difference in whether your writer website gets found by prospects and comes off professional once they arrive.

Takeaway: If you’re going to sell off a blog site, you need to know what you’re doing and have a sharp, successful blog to impress prospects.

One bright spot from the survey came when I asked about writers’ use of social media. Nearly 87 percent of respondents said they have a LinkedIn profile, which can really help your writer site get found on search.

Building profiles on popular platforms such as LinkedIn — my top social site pick for writers looking to find clients — and including a website link over on that profile helps you rank better with the search engines.

Do you have a writer website? Leave us a URL so we can check it out, and let us know how it’s working for you.

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132 comments on “Why 200+ Writer Websites Failed to Get A Single Client
  1. Stefanie says:

    My site has been up for about a month, during which time (aside from recovering from a medical issue) I\’ve been tweaking and trying to put it together as best as possible. For being a writer, though, I have a huge difficulty writing about myself, so I\’m still trying to put together the \”About Me\” section. I feel like I\’m ready to start prospecting for clients, but I don\’t want to send out a website that\’s not going to be presentable and professional (which, really, is just an invalid excuse of procrastination, if I\’m being honest with myself, haha). I can write great copy for clients, but writing copy for my own site seems to be a challenge. I suck as my own client!Any tips for writing a stellar \”About Me\” section?

    • Stefanie says:

      My apologies for the random backslashes in my comment. I refreshed the page before I hit “Post Comment,” and they were in there on their own.

    • Carol Tice says:

      I’ve got a bootcamp on what to write on your website in Freelance Writers Den, Stefanie — and Henneke at Enchanting Marketing and Julia Rymut have a new book coming out on how to write your About page…I just got a sneak-peek at it!

  2. Nicky says:

    I have my website done, but am now realizing it may be overwhelming to those visiting. I plan on revising it. I want it to be simple and easy to navigate.

  3. I do happen to have a writer website, if you’re still looking over them; you need only click upon my name to view.
    Cameron Aubernon recently posted…My Sun Sets To Rise AgainMy Profile

  4. Sandhya says:

    How true! What a relevant and accurate post! It’s a fact! I was in the same place. Made a website but no visitors. Its hard to get traffic. Thanks immensely for your tips! Is it necessary to put up a picture though? Any help on how to drive more traffic to my website will be appreciated. 🙂

  5. Hi Carol,
    First, I was bewildered that I missed your survey that you mentioned then realized this is an old post you put up on FB.
    I have a site at caroljalexander.com. It has been up for a few years and I have tweaked it every time I hear a new piece of advice from you. However, I do not think I’ve ever gotten a client from it.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Then…something’s wrong! Not sure if you’ve been a Den member and done our Build a Writer Website That Works bootcamp…but it could help you make your website a stronger sales tool.

  6. Michele says:

    I finished redoing my website a month or so ago — http://www.michelemathews.com. I don’t have much on there for my portfolio because I have done more content mills kind of stuff. I now know those sites are bogus. Thanks, Carol and Freelance Writers Den for that. Those sites are now gone, too.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Well, if mill clips are what you have, pick a few of your best pieces and use them, for now. Replace them as soon as you can with something better.

      • kate says:

        Carol, I know this post is from ages ago, but I have a question regarding your suggestion above that if all you have is mill posts, to use them. How should they be presented on the website, i.e. should they be in the form of a PDF, or should you try to hunt it down online and then post a link, even though it will not have your byline?

        My other question is regarding all clips, not just mill clips. Don’t live links frequently become invalid, i.e. when the person running the site decides to move or alter the content? How can you preserve a post so you don’t have to keep checking to make sure it’s still there?

        • Carol Tice says:

          Good question, Kate — I prefer links because they provide the proof that you were published.

          But yes, you do have to check them…and getting PDFs of them is a good backup plan, because sites do disappear or re-architect their URLs now and then.

          If your mill work doesn’t have your byline, it’s of little use unless you can pair it with a testimonial from that client…it doesn’t appear you wrote it otherwise.

  7. Carol,

    I’m taking your advice and leaving my website for your review because I have yet to attract any clients with my website, and I think I know why (I set it up on a freebie site and it must come off amateur-ish as you suggested). I wanted to stick my toe in the pond before I took the plunge. Sometimes you have to hear someone else say it eventhough you know the truth.

    Thanks

    Boris

  8. Alicia says:

    Hey Carol,

    I’ve been looking through all your tips about what to do with your writer website, but I can’t find any information about how to actually land clients with it. Perhaps this is something you could blog about soon. I feel so many freelancers are transparent about this subject. Okay…so I have my website…now what? Not too many people have answered this question. Thanks!
    Alicia recently posted…6 Questions to Ask Yourself to Help Cut Unneccessary InformationMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Alicia, there isn’t a short answer to that. There are a lot of steps to take to optimize your site for inbound marketing — marketing-speak for “creating a website that actually gets you client leads”…which is why I created an entire 4-week bootcamp about it, Build a Writer Website That Works. It’s part of Freelance Writers Den’s 100+ hours of trainings members get access to.

      And I think you mean writers are opaque about it, yes? But hope that helps.

      Most writers think of their site as an online business card they send prospects they meet to, but that’s not what you want – you want an optimized site that lets the right prospects find you on search, and then quickly communicates you are THE writer for them. My course teaches about that.

      I do have one post here that should help you get started:

      http://www.makealivingwriting.com/put-writer-website-newbie/

      If you’re interested in the Den, be sure to be on the waiting list — often, I only tell that list when we open to new members.

  9. John Weiler says:

    Hi Carol,

    I know I’m responding late to this post, but I’d love to hear some feedback on my writing website. I’ve had the site up since June of this year and have yet to get a client from it. I literally just revamped it about a week ago, but still no bites.

    Would love some advice if you got the time. Also, hope you’re making it through the Rainy Seattle Winter. Lived there for six years…

    Thanks
    John

    • Carol Tice says:

      Hi John — Don’t feel alone, I did a survey on it and the vast majority of writers never get a client from their site…because they don’t know how to set up a site to convert.

      The free review day here was a very long time ago. I’m sorry I’m not able to provide free site reviews on a regular basis for the many writers who ask me, on comments, social media, and email, every week.

      BUT…we do site reviews inside my Freelance Writers Den community, and have a 4-week bootcamp on how to create a good site called Build a Writer Website That Works. If you’re interested in all that, get on the waiting list for the next open — I often only tell that list when we’re open.

  10. Wayne says:

    The more I view other writers websites the more insight I have seen on the value of a well designed webpage. I think a lot of writers are very good at writing but over think the basic website design.

    I like the term less is more. We don’t have to show someone everything all at once if your writing sparks interest they will navigate your site.
    Wayne recently posted…Origin of Common Popular Phrases and SayingsMy Profile

  11. Hi Carol, and thanks for this. I’m really conscious that I need to sort out my own writing site, and this all seems like good advice. I built the site myself a couple of years back and haven’t sought out a professional design ever since, which is the biggest obstacle to even simple things like putting up a photo, adding clips, etc. Thanks for the timely reminder to get my finger out! Julie
    Julie Sheridan recently posted…13 things I would change about SpainMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Yeah, I feel ya. I had a teen code my site in Dreamweaver when I first started…eventually I had to hire someone to get it into WordPress so I could work with it.

      Now it’s easy to change, as I did recently to revamp the focus away from articles and copywriting to ghosting books.

      I took a look — you definitely need a photo! The good news is it’s not that hard to transfer site data to a new platform…or to find someone who can do it for you. 😉

  12. Monica Shaw says:

    I think you hit the nail on the head with this post, particularly this: “When you can’t get found online, you can’t be taken seriously as a freelance writer today.” Too true.

    I’ve had my website at http://monicashaw.com going since 2008 (with a few updates along the way) and it’s the first thing I did when I decided to become a full time freelance writer. I credit it with helping me land my first gig, a science piece in The Telegraph – the editor asked to see my work so I sent him my website, which also included my CV – I know how you feel about CV’s, Carol (smile), but in this case it told the science editor that I actually had a science background and real research and academic writing under my belt. The next email I got back was the commission.

    Since then I’ve had many people contact me after stumbling upon my website (largely through Twitter) and it’s landed me enough work to actually make a full time living at this whole writing lark. It’s good fun, too, and it keeps me organised – I love having a place where I can refer to the articles that I’m most proud of.
    Monica Shaw recently posted…How to use your online writing portfolio with social mediaMy Profile

  13. Hi, Carol.

    Thanks for the opportunity to do this.

    My writer site is at http://www.chrislovietyler.com. I haven’t gotten any clients through it yet, but then it’s only been up for a few months.

    My biggest challenge has been figuring out *who* I should aim the site at. Primarily, I want to write articles (for magazines and online pubs), under my own name, and do copy editing work. But I’m also open to writing web copy etc. for small businesses, which I mention on my About page.

    It’s hard, because I’m in the early stages of my career and still trying to figure out what I should focus on!
    Chris Lovie-Tyler recently posted…Freelancing and artistic integrityMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Definitely an issue we’ll be talking about in the bootcamp, Chris!

      Nice clean-looking site by the way, so you’ve got a good start.

      Many writers are afraid to claim a niche for fear of leaving out some possible clients. But specializing is the only way to connect online, because it’s too hard to rank for general terms such as “freelance writer.”

      The alternative is to use geography as a modifier to help find local clients.

  14. MJ says:

    I’ve been going back and forth with creating a writer website. I’m a style writer and my blog (which I’ve had for 4 years) serves as my portfolio and though it’s on a free site, I bought my domain name. I have an about me page, press page, and a hire me page. Since this is what I specialize in, should I have a separate website?

    http://getfiercestyle.com/so-who-is-m-j/
    http://getfiercestyle.com/hire-me/
    MJ recently posted…Turning 32My Profile

  15. Wayne says:

    As new comer to the blog scene this was very helpful not only for me but my cohort in crime. She has been looking for tips on where to focus her energies in order to be effective obtaining work as a freelance writer.

  16. Fayola says:

    Carol, I definitely relate to using my website as a business card. I have had one inquiry from the site but I definitely mainly send people there to find out more about my services. Cash flow trumps web design right now though, so I guess I will have to work with my bare bones site for a little while longer. Thanks for the great advice.

    • Carol Tice says:

      There’s nothing wrong with bare-bones design…it’s better than a clutter mess with 5 different colors and 3 sidebars, like I often see.

      It doesn’t cost much to refine your SEO key words and do a little research in that area, so maybe look that direction.

  17. Willi Morris says:

    Mine’s still a work in progress! I did use your advice and specific sections for clients versus freelancers and added a portfolio page. Only getting about 700-900 hits per month, but I’m excited since it’s only about two months. The additional marketing of this site has landed me a client.

    Having a WordPress.com site was a nice start to gain followers, but having my own domain is awesome!
    Willi Morris recently posted…12 Business & Blogging Lessons from My First YearMy Profile

  18. Sudheer says:

    Carol,

    Thanks for your insightful articles. Invaluable. Much as I wish you’d review my blog, I cannot post it here, as the comment engine does not seem to accept blogger blogs anymore.

    Anyway, you’ve convinced me to add a photo, tweak the about me page (through which I received zero clients), and get my own domain. Thank you.

  19. Ebony says:

    Hey Carol,

    I appreciate the insight, most of the things I’ve read about previously. I’ve sacrificed hours of sleep to learn how to set up a blog/site that I would be proud of. I know how important having the domain locked in, which is my very next step. Being unemployed currently, it’s hard to come by $5 to register one unfortunately but it is top priority for me.

    It definitely does appear a lot more professional to have your site linked to your blog and not the other way around. I did make sure to include a “Hire Me” page no less and since it’s been up for just a week, I can’t judge if it’s turning away potential clients. I’m probably not getting much attention at all right now. The online marketing is a whole new learning curve for me, my baby steps are coming along! 🙂

    How does it look by the way?
    Ebony recently posted…Oh! Black Girls Are Dangerous!My Profile

  20. Jon Patrick says:

    What a great thread and fantastic sites shared by so many!
    I’m a noob – while I’ve been blogging for myself for 3+ years, only recently did I realize (purely by accident) that I could up my quality from my more stream-of-unconsciousness method and get paid for my work!
    hmmmmm.
    I just launched my freelance career, just completed (and got paid) for my first assignment, and starting my blog.
    Unfortunately, the information and recommendations about blogs are all over the map. Some swear it’s 100% required, others say they almost never get leads from it. Some say have a ‘hire me’ tab, others say that’s the wrong way to do it.
    As a blogger, my strength is getting ranked for keywords. After that, it’ll be tweaking and experimenting and seeing what works best for me!
    Jon Patrick recently posted…Getting Free Images for BlogsMy Profile

  21. TimLAdotnet says:

    Hey, I have a writer site! Check it out http://www.timla.net

  22. Hi Carol! I do have a writer website, and just switched from Blogger to Go Daddy. They have great templates to work with, and that makes it easy when you barely know anything about creating a website. One minute after I put up my contact form I received an email! It’s doing pretty well, and will do even better once I get my newsletter going.

    • Carol Tice says:

      I hear really mixed things about GoDaddy…glad it’s working for you! And you might be the first person who’s ever reported to me that a real client filled out one of those contact forms. I know I pretty much refuse to fill those out, and many other people do too, which is why I don’t recommend them.

  23. Hi everyone! I have a website up, but it not a self-hosted one. I have been blogging for about seven or eight months, and have a Hire Me page, an About Page, and a few others. I also have few readers. I love the ones I do have, though!

    I have revised my pages several times. I’d like feedback on what I should change, if anything.

    I plan on writing books and publishing them, too. Among these books is an autobiography/memoir book.

    I’m still figuring out this whole blogging thing, but seem to be doing better than I was when I first started!

    I’ve changed the theme, too, Carol – you were on it several months ago so you might not remember me. However, I am kind of unforgettable, so you might! LOL
    Lorraine Reguly recently posted…My True Story About How I Nearly DiedMy Profile

  24. Joanne says:

    Useful info as usual, Carol. I started blogging to promote my books a year and change ago (I have a blog http://wadadlipen.wordpress.com for another project going back to 2010 but a blog about me and my writing life is much-much more recent). More recent still is the idea of using a portion of that site to promote my services as a writer and editor. That aspect of things is still in expansion mode and may in time outgrow the author blog/site. But for now, it’s easier to keep it all in one place and is a way of introducing folks familiar with one aspect of what I do to the other aspects of my writing life. Been freelancing for much longer than I’ve been blogging, so I remain on a learning curve. Here’s a link http://jhohadli.wordpress.com/writing-editing-coaching-services or http://jhohadli.wordpress.com

  25. Rob says:

    I’ve finally gotten a domain name with my name only on it. I think that will help me in 2 ways: I won’t have to worry about what I write on my blog and I’ll be able to focus on promoting the work side of my life. Thanks for the post. I got the name 2 months ago, but haven’t done anything with it yet. This weekend for sure!
    Rob recently posted…What should you blog about?My Profile

  26. I have two websites. I used to have one and tried to sell my fiction and my proofreading services off the same one but that doesn’t work. People want one or the other, not both.

    My proofreading/copy editing website is http://www.puttputtproductions.com. My author website is http://www.rachelvolivier.com. They are both templates hosted through Yahoo.com because that was doable for me financially (averaging about $10/month each). In both instances I try to make them professional, yet true to me. I have learned that freelancing is a personality business. You don’t have to love your clients, but it helps to get along. And it won’t help if they think I’m someone I’m not.

    So, I know you’re busy. But if you have a chance, please take a look and let me know how I can improve.

    • Carol Tice says:

      I do think it’s tough to sell fiction and freelance nonfiction on one site, Rachel…I usually do recommend that be two sites. So think you’re on the right track there.

      I’m sorry that I can’t do more reviews on here…we’re on to the Link Party post today (check it out!)…but I will be reviewing students’ sites in detail as part of the Build a Website That Works bootcamp.

    • I just looked your site because it’s one of the few up here that is by a fiction writer. I’m thinking a lot about what you say about separating the types of freelancing you do into different sites, and also, I just love the audio snippets of your stories, with the cover art and everything. What a great way to get people hooked!
      Rebecca Klempner recently posted…Considering my last year of literary pursuitMy Profile

  27. Erin says:

    I’ve received a lot of compliments on my site, but no clients. It’s only been up a bit more than a year though, and my previous site was pretty hideous.

    This is a great topic, btw, and I’ve enjoyed reading both your suggestions and the experiences of other writers.
    Erin recently posted…What Are Professional Freelance Rates? Part IIMy Profile

  28. I have my author site separate from my two blogs. But I do have links to my blogs so that prospective clients can get a feel for my voice, should they want to get that far. I also have a LinkedIn profile with a link to all three locations. I’m not sure if I’ve gotten work from my site, honestly. I do have a hidden page with a list of reprints that I give to editors every time I submit an article, and I have had them email asking for certain articles that maybe I hadn’t submitted recently, but I’ve never asked them if they came from my site. The site has been up for a year or so and this summer I made a few changes per your advice on the Blast Off class audit that I did. You can find it at http://caroljalexander.com.

  29. Hi Carol,

    I’m actually a graphic artist and copy writer, so my current site is dual focused. It’s been up for about three or more years now and although I think it’s above average in design and usability I still don’t think it’s top notch yet. I’m slowly working on a new design (myself … gulp) using Adobe Muse which is more like the print design software I’m used to. In the new design I’m categorizing my three main types of customers right on the home page so that I can direct them to what they typically most want to see and I can talk to each group’s major concerns on a more individual level. My current site is more of a catch-all and makes me sound like a bargain marketing pro. Because of this I end up with far too many people that ask for a quote … and then disappear because they were hoping for cheaper. My ideal markets are 1) individuals such as authors or other freelancers, 2) start-up businesses who need identity/branding materials, and 3) small to mid-size businesses who either have marketing needs but not enough to hire someone full-time or they have a marketing team that is seasonally overwhelmed and just need that extra person now and then to supplement their in-house team. Any advice is much appreciated!

  30. Chrislyn says:

    Hi Carol!

    In reading your comments, I definitely have some work to do. My website is my name: http://www.chrislynpepper.com. I have another blog, but I find it easier to brand my name across all of the social media platforms. Plus, I’m more invested in making my name a success.

    I have had my website for a couple of months. I backdated several writing samples as blogs. I sent a link to one of my website pages with a description of my work experience and writing history to 15 – 20 businesses per day, 5 days per week. I post all of my blogs to Manta, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+. I’m just starting to guest post to market my website and services. Right now, I’m still nonexistent on search engines.

    After saying all that, I think I’m doing alright with my website. I have 3 paying clients from my website due to the aforementioned efforts. I made several contacts who are “keeping me on file”. I’ve had a few contacts who felt my rates were too high and wanted 0.02 (or less) per word.

    Other than email and social media, I have not marketed my writing services in any other way. I like how I altered my website design. My blog is on my homepage, but I only put writing samples and blog topics relevant to the writing work I’m pursuing. I have two static sales pages for marketing blog writing and content writing services. Perhaps, I should make one of them the homepage?

    If I move my blog to another tab and get a static page, would it attract higher paying clients?

    Chrislyn
    Chrislyn recently posted…Blogging Platforms: How To Choose The Right Service for Your Medical PracticeMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Likely it would, Chrislyn. Blogging is one of the lower-paid forms of freelance writing out there, so by featuring that rather than your copywriting, I think it communicates “lower pay” and also possibly less experience.

      Beyond that, simply posting links to your blog posts in social media isn’t a very aggressive marketing strategy. You’re definitely going to want to look at more proactive strategies — reaching out on email or InMail, sending query letters, in-person networking…that sort of thing.

  31. Dawn Witzke says:

    In a weird way, I’m glad to hear the statistics, because it means I’m not the only one who has never gotten a client.

    All of your advice has been awesome! My website is finally shaping up into something I don’t want to cringe at everytime I look at it. Although it’s still not quite there. I can’t wait until the bootcamp.
    Dawn Witzke recently posted…Color Your Website SuccessfulMy Profile

  32. Hey Carol,

    Wonderful post as usual. So far my site hasn’t gotten me a ton of clients. I mainly get leads from face to face networking, word of mouth, or LinkedIn. However, I still find that it’s helpful to point people to so they can see my work & get an idea of who I am.

    I’m forever making tweaks, but here’s my site: http://www.ashleighdjohnson.com
    Ashleigh Johnson recently posted…5 Things Copywriters Can’t DoMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Ashleigh, there are some basic elements missing from your site that are probably keeping it from helping you as much as it could. There is no tagline or headline for the Home page copy, for instance, (besides “Hey!” which isn’t helping anyone understand what you do).

      Aside from the one tab that says “copywriting,” there is nothing obvious that clues us in what you do or what you’d like US to do on the site. Correcting this stuff and making it clearer to prospects should really help!

  33. Alicia says:

    I took the survey, and I just have a few things I want to share.
    I created a “writer website” just in case I would ever need to refer someone to my samples. In reality, I’m not looking for private clients. I get enough work from other companies who bring the clients to me. I really liked this article and it gives a lot of good information, but looking at it from my angle, maybe a lot of these writers aren’t seeking private clients and have their website up “just in case.”

    I hear you, though. If I ever do want to market my services to private clients, I should definitely upgrade my domain and take out the “blogspot.”

    Thanks for sharing this information!
    Alicia recently posted…4 Reasons You’re Muting Your CharactersMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Guess I am running on the assumption that most writers who put up a site ARE looking to get clients…maybe that’s not 100% true, but I think it’s mostly the case.

      I don’t know that many writers these days who report to me that referrals bring them all the work they need. Seems like in today’s tough economy proactive marketing is more often needed.

      • Alicia says:

        I totally see where your coming from. It just seemed that by what your survey showed, more people would have these things down (like a picture, a professional looking site, etc.) if they were actively seeking clients. I was simply offering a new perspective as to why it seems writers are so bad at presenting themselves on their own website. Perhaps they really are! I really liked this post and the tips in it, so please don’t think that I’m saying anything bad about it or trying to contradict you. If I was actively seeking private clients, I would have answered the questions much differently, and I was just speculating that maybe there were more writers like me who took your survey.
        Alicia recently posted…How to Use Description as if You Wrote Fifty Shades of GreyMy Profile

  34. Karen Finn says:

    Hi Carol,

    Thanks for another fantastic post. I’m about to revamp my writer site as I’m aware it has a number of shortcomings. I’ve found a couple of clients via my website, but considering I’ve had it up for a couple of years, that’s not great. (I’ve had much more luck from my LinkedIn profile.) I think one of my main issues is that I write for the pharmaceutical & medtech industries but I desperately want to branch out to other subject matter. As a result, my site does not focus on the pharma/medtech sectors…however, my blog and all of my work samples are pharma/medtech-related. Do I bite the bullet and tailor the site to prospective pharma/medtech clients? I’d be grateful for any guidance on this and anything else you may wish to flag up as a big ‘no no’. My site is http://www.sayitbetter.co.uk. Many thanks, Karen
    Karen Finn recently posted…Talk of relaxing UK Bribery Act as GSK denies China corruption accusationsMy Profile

  35. Christina says:

    Hey Carol,

    Thanks for another great post. I’ve had my website up for about a year now, and while it has helped me get clients, it could do so much better. Right now I get most of my clients from my LinkedIn profile. Most of them check out my website before contacting me, so it’s only a supporting player at this point. It’s a self-hosted WordPress site with the Thesis theme. I know I need some sort of header, and I’m thinking of moving the blog to a subpage and writing a compelling home page. Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Here it is: http://www.christinawalker.net
    Christina recently posted…How to Get Results from Business Blogging: A Web Copywriter’s ProcessMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      I too have a high percentage of leads tell me they started on LinkedIn. But without a robust site for them to click through to FROM LinkedIn, I think it’s no sale. I don’t see the website as a supporting player really but as an essential element that closes the sales from LinkedIn leads.

      NOBODY would take you seriously on LinkedIn if there was no site where they could go learn more about you!

  36. Hi Carol,
    Thanks for your feedback. Hope you have connection with expert bloggers contributing in commercial site building. Can you suggest some names of blogger’s forum where I can approach to have some solutions.
    Humayun Kabir Chowdhury recently posted…Maersk Line Wins China Freight Industry AwardMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Are you saying you’re looking to hire paid bloggers? If so, email me — I run a job board for my Freelance Writers Den community which has 800+ members and would be happy to post a listing for you.

  37. Wow, Carol, great post! Those stats really shock me, though. When I started my biz 5+ years ago, the first thing I did was develop a website for myself. It was just a pretty pitiful (I can say that now) 1-page static self-hosted WordPress site, but I did get business from it and also had somewhere to direct people who asked about my services.

    I have continuously tweaked and updated my site, and today 99% of my clients come from my site, my other social media outlets, search engines, repeat business, and referrals.

    Now I can even afford to have a professional web designer on my team for myself and for my clients. We are still making changes to the site as I still learn from others.

    As I always tell my marketing clients, there is a BIG difference between being “a writer” and having “a writing BUSINESS”!

    You and your blog have been so helpful to me along the way. Thanks!
    Pamela Hilliard Owens recently posted…Tribute to Pulitzer Prize Winning Playwright August WilsonMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      You’re welcome!

      I think a lot of writers put up a site because they hear they have to have one…but they don’t really understand WHY or what the site is supposed to do for them, or how to make it do it. Which is why we’re having a bootcamp!

  38. Hi Carol,
    Your observations and evaluation is very critical and definitely would give guidance & insight to new freelance writers. I have developed a site : http://www.linershipping24.blogspot.com/ which is basically an informative & knowledge sharing site on international shipping business. I have had my professional experience to work in international shipping company for about 30 years. On the basis of my practical experience, I tried to write most of my articles published in my website. I am facing problem of poor trafic/visitor to my site and also have not got clearance from Google Ad sense to publish their advertisement. Would request you to please visit my site & offer your valuable comments so that I can upgrade my site & overcome present problem. thanks & best wishes.
    Humayun Kabir Chowdhury recently posted…Maersk Line Wins China Freight Industry AwardMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Well…my focus is reviewing writer websites, Humayan…sounds like yours is a commercial site that aff sells things related to international shipping. You’re sort of out of my area of expertise there!

  39. Eleanor says:

    Good article. I have had clients visit my site but I think one of the problems is that the blog is the front page. I think a static page would work better..perhaps the ‘About Me’ page.

    Take a look http://eleanorgoold.com/

    It’s great seeing other people’s pages too.

    All the best,

    Eleanor
    Eleanor recently posted…The Art of Letting Go and Moving ForwardMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Having a blog as the home page is always a big risk, Eleanor, because you don’t control what prospects see first.

      They just see whatever your last blog post is. And often that topic or headline might NOT be what you want as a first impression!

      Unless your blog is a happening thing that’s earning for you, I always advise putting it under a tab. But this whole issue — selling from a blog vs writer site with a blog tab — is something we’ll be parsing in great detail in the bootcamp.

  40. Shauna says:

    Carol,whenever I try to add my site address in the box above, I get this message:

    A feed could not be found at http://www.shaunalbowling.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

    Can you tell me how to fix this? Do I need to do something within my website?

    • Carol Tice says:

      Not sure…sounds like my CommentLuv doesn’t like your site for some reason. Don’t know what SimplePie is…maybe something your site uses?

      Maybe you don’t have your feed URL set up? It’s something in your Settings you could check. But you may need to consult with a webmaster type to straighten it out.

  41. Erica says:

    Carol, all of your advice is spot-on. My first writer’s website was atrocious. A strong word, but an accurate one. Last month I scrapped it and invested in WordPress site with a premium theme. I also paid extra to keep it ad-free. I keep my blog separate as it’s less formal, but I do link them together and to my LinkedIn profile.

    http://www.hayes-writing.com

    What I like: The look, feel and organization. It’s very clean and speaks to my target audience, SMB tech companies and non-profits. It’s also very clear how to contact me.

    What needs to be improved: Contact information (I only have a form at the moment); About Me page (the content needs work); and that I don’t have a picture. I’m actually an extremely private person online and need to hire a professional photographer to take quality photos that don’t show my entire face.
    Erica recently posted…5 Creative Myths, BustedMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      It only takes a second to add an actual live email link at the top of that form page! Most people hate to fill out forms, so you really want to provide an alternative or you are likely losing many people.

      I think it’s a hard era to be someone who wants to be “extremely private” and also get freelance clients. People want to see you, and wonder what you’re hiding when they don’t. Best of luck on finding a photo that works for you!

  42. Hi Carol,
    Thank you for all of your helpful posts.
    I recently revamped my website. I made it easy for visitors to get a feel of who I am, what I love to write, and what I can ultimately offer editors.
    Here is it: http://hlvilla.wix.com/heathervillawrites
    I look forward to visiting other writers’ websites…
    Best,
    Heather Villa

    • Carol Tice says:

      Hi Heather –

      Have to tell you I have yet to see a site on Wix that I think looks professional. You’ve got .wix in your URL and big ads for Wix plastered all over…it’s distracting and makes you seem like you’re not serious about your career.

      Also, you’re talking about yourself in the third person there…that doesn’t work online. We all know you wrote it, first off. Second, it distances you from prospects instead of engaging them in what feels like a direct conversation. The latter is what you want. Speak directly, like you’re in a coffee shop or at a client meeting, and talk about how you solve clients’ problems. Having looked at hundreds of sites, I want to tell you first person is what works. When I was first taught that principle I was really hesitant and used to the third-person resume style…but once you try first person, you’ll never go back. It’s SO much better.

      Third person comes off pretentious…you’re like the queen speaking in the royal ‘we’ or something.

      • Hi Carol,
        You are so generous to offer each of us feedback. It’s helpful to read all of your comments. I have no idea how carve time out of your day to help each of us, but I thank you!
        I’ll certainly take your comments to heart, and I’ll be happy to share my new and improved website with you in the future.
        And I’ll “write” in first person!
        Heather Villa

  43. I’m not sure if mine is working or not. I’ve had one or two clients contact me out of the blue. Most people who come to my blog are, via my analytics, coming because they are typing my name or my old company name specifically.

    Right now I hate my blog. I already write 500000 posts about SEO and social media and blogging for clients. The thought of writing even more posts about SEO and social media and blogging for my blog is filling me with dread. I’d much rather spend my time on my single mom blog. So I am seriously considering taking down the blog on my writer website, moving the posts to guest post platforms and linking “Hacking the Single Mom Life” back to my website. I’m also thinking of changing the theme. Right now I have a nice, normal, mobile-friendly, boring, functional, boring theme. I have a membership site where I can get some premium themes and I’m really considering putting it to good use.

    I also feel like I want to do something FUN with my front page. I feel boring, stiff, and stilted. I almost feel like posting a silent video of a Sarlack (from Star Wars) and putting “FEED THE CONTENT BEAST” on there or something. Because I’m a giant geek, and I feel really stilted trying to hide that fact. I know my about page is pretty client-focused but I’m on the fence about whether that’s too boring and stilted too. On the other hand, I’m scared if I start having fun with it nobody will want to hire me.

    Any input is appreciated. What do y’all think? Should I keep what I’m doing or go the direction I’m thinking? (I also know I need to update my portfolio a bit).
    Carmen Rane Hudson recently posted…Don’t Become an Abandoned BlogMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Sounds to me like you know exactly what to do here, Carmen! Writer websites need to reflect the writer’s personality, so that you attract the type of clients who’d like to work with someone like you.

      And definitely kill the blog you hate and link to the one you love. Prospects just want to see you understand niche blogging, really. I always say as long as it’s not about porn or radical religious views or something that might alienate a large portion of prospects, any niche will do. I hear tattoos is a great topic…

  44. I’ve managed to avoid most of the major mistakes; I put up my first website several years back, added photos to the current one a couple of years ago, and am using an independent domain name rather than a free site (I remember also being warned against free gmail et al. e-mail addresses). I actually have two domain names now: http://www.houstonfreelancewriter.com is the primary, and in the successful-writer tradition I have also registered my own name, http://www.katherineswarts.com (the main reason that’s not the primary is that it’s too easy to misspell when entered apart from a link). Recently, I have combined both domain names, formerly two separate sites, to lead to the same main site, and have rewritten the home page to better reflect my current brand as well as cleaning out the “clutter” pages that are no longer relevant.

    That’s still a work in progress, so I welcome suggestions and evaluations. Previous site versions have indeed offered a dismal return on inquiries, let alone clients. My thought is that the problems are two: insufficiently clear branding (at the moment I want to focus primarily on product, specifically faith-based inspirational e-books, and on other projects relating to that topic); and failure to offer web-surfers an easy find on exactly what they’re looking for.
    Katherine Swarts recently posted…Confused and MisusedMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      I think you’re smart to make it one site — you want to concentrate your SEO juice in one place instead of having less in multiple places. Makes it easier to get found.

  45. Linda H says:

    I’ve a website — hamiltonwriting.com — that’s worked to get me many clients, both freelance and resume writing. It was a great working website, but a previous so-called web developer I hired, then fired, hacked it spiraling me into the abyss of darkness. I discovered it almost a year later due to my ignorance about Google Analytics and other issues. I’ve hired two web developers to help revamp it since it was “sealed”, and it’s slowly starting to rebuild, but the ongoing maintenance is huge and extremely time consuming and like many writers, finances are tight.

    I’ve been struggling with other work-related issues, so the focus on the website has been lax. And I’m aware that I need to rewrite my Services page to separate my resume services from my freelance services. But I’ve gained a lot of resume clients from it and it’s starting to draw new freelance clients. With changes it’ll improve and start getting me more clients.

    One thing I noticed a long while ago before the hacker, my blogs drew a lot of readers. Had I not been hacked I likely would have generated a good readership to propel the freelance writing even more. Getting my blog regenerated will be a plus.

    Great post, lots of good reminders for all levels of freelancers.
    Linda H recently posted…What Do You Say When an Interviewer Asks — Why Should I Hire You?My Profile

  46. Shauna says:

    Carol, my website has only been live for 2 weeks (as of today!). I’ve been tweaking it pretty much every day. I bought my own domain name and have built the site through Weebly. However, I opted for their Pro version rather than the free version due to having more options available to me. I feel it makes the site look more professional. The design is completely mine and I’m pretty proud of it, especially since I am very tech-challenged. The address is: http://www.shaunalbowling.com.

    As of today, I haven’t received any clients. I have included my site address on my LinkedIn account and am in the process of creating listings on Yelp, Superpages and About Me, so I can back-link to my site. Then, time will tell!

    • Carol Tice says:

      Congrats on getting your site up, Shauna! I think we don’t expect it to get you any clients in the first 2 weeks…it takes a while for search engines to find it.

      I took a quick look…and have to tell you that I could not tell from scanning it that you are looking to get hired as a freelance writer! A tab called “Professional services” doesn’t tell me what you do.

      You don’t have a tagline beyond your headline, which offers a chance to tell us where you are and what you do, as in “Seattle freelance writer” (my tagline). So there’s lots you can do to help yourself here.

      Building listings on Yelp et al…I’ve never heard of that helping a writer site. Instead, build a LinkedIn profile and be active on there, because that is the preeminent platform where prospects look for freelancers.

      These are exactly the kind of basics we’ll be going through in the class, to make sure writer sites are set up to quickly communicate what’s important — I want writing work! — in a way clients can understand and find appealing.

      • Shauna says:

        Carol, I appreciate the feedback. My ‘About Me’ page mentions I’ve started my own freelance business. Also, the link I’ve included in Yelp (which is going thru verification) leads directly to my Professional Services page. I haven’t specified my geographical area because I prefer to telecommute. I don’t want to be limited to the Orlando area.

        I had considered calling my Professional Services Page ‘The Write Solution’, which is the name of my business and is the header on that and my rates page. Do you think I should change it?

        • Carol Tice says:

          The problem, Shauna, is that prospects aren’t going to make it onto your About page because you’re flunking the 3-second test. You only have about 3 seconds to orient prospects and help them understand what goes on on your site. Otherwise, they leave. Right now, they leave.

          Don’t be clever with tabs like “The Write Solution.” First off, right/write puns are old, old, old and stale at this point. Everybody does them. And “solutions” is a word so nebulous and useless that I once wrote a whole essay about how much I hate it, called “I’ve got a problem with solutions.”

          You can’t imagine how boggled and disoriented new prospects are when they arrive on your site and how much you need to take them by the hand and spoon-feed them the key info. We will be talking tons about this in the bootcamp!

        • In regard to the “write/right” issue, I have used “Anything worth writing is worth writing right,” which at least is easier to translate to the verbal and isn’t strictly a pun–a tongue twister, maybe, which may well be just as bad. Tricky thing, this matter of being clever yet not corny.
          Katherine Swarts recently posted…Confused and MisusedMy Profile

  47. Hi Carol,

    Thanks for an excellent post.

    I have had editors contact me for magazine articles, authors and publicists contacting me for book reviews and unpublished manuscript critiques, as well as clients giving editing assignments.

    I’m unsure whether my writer website http://www.angiemangino.com brought me clients, or if they came from social media interaction, since I established the site concurrent with establishing a platform on social media a few years back.

    • Carol Tice says:

      When you get a new client, always remember to ask: “How did you find me?”

      You need that marketing data to see where you’re getting results, and where you need to improve.

  48. I know my website needs work, but it has gotten me three clients: one who Googled me to find my site after I wrote an article for him on Textbroker but told him I’d have to charge him a lot more if he wanted future work from me, one who found me by searching for something like “seo writing michigan,” and one who Googled my name after seeing a guest post I wrote for another client.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Awesome! I think there’s no feeling quite like the one when a client says, “I found you through Google.” It’s sorta magical, that in that enormous world of websites and the Internet, you really CAN get found by prospects…if you know what you’re doing in setting up your site.

  49. John Soares says:

    Carol, I’m one of the freelance writers with an active blog that requires a prospective client to click the “Hire Me” tab:

    http://ProductiveWriters.com

    My blog has a substantial number of subscribers and gets quite a bit of search traffic and comments (20+ per post). More importantly, I’ve gotten several good clients through my blog, probably because all the posts have helped me overall in Google search results.

    While this has worked fairly well for me, I agree with your advice that most freelance writers should have a static page that sells their services.
    John Soares recently posted…Find Your Freelance Writing Niches with This New CourseMy Profile

    • Pat Matson says:

      Hi John. Just wanted to let you know I could not read your copy because your Social Media box was on top of them, and scrolling doesn’t help. I thought you’d appreciate knowing that.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Yeah, your blog rocks, John, so a Hire Me tab can be all you need.

      But for most folks, I do recommend a static site.

  50. Great post. I have had a site up for about a year now and have gotten a number of clients through it. I have also found that it is helpful when I send out LOI”s to send prospective clients to learn more about me. My website is definitely a writer website with a blog attached, not selling off a blog. But I found that I have gotten a lot more work since I started blogging in my specialty area (content marketing) because it gave me great SEO when someone searches for content marketing writer. My site is http://www.jennifergregorywriter.com and to see my blog click on the link Content Marketing blog.
    Jennifer Gregory recently posted…3 Common Myths Writers Have about Content MarketingMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Blogging is definitely one easy way to help your writer site keep updating, which Google likes to see and favors in its rankings. There are other ways to do it though…you don’t HAVE to have a blog on your writer site.

      This blog WAS initially on my writer site, but it was spun out of there in 2009 or so to its own site. And I haven’t had any problem ranking for my search term or getting leads. I’ve found other ways to keep my site fresh — and we’ll be going into the alternatives for that in detail in the bootcamp.

    • Karen Finn says:

      Hi Jennifer,

      I just wanted to say that I LOVE the way you’ve done your website. It’s not too cluttered, it’s straightforward, it’s easy to read, and it has an overall user-friendly layout. I’m in the process of giving mine a major overhaul and you’ve given me some much-needed inspiration! Karen Finn
      Karen Finn recently posted…Talk of relaxing UK Bribery Act as GSK denies China corruption accusationsMy Profile

    • I’m also a fan of Jennifer’s site. I love the friendly picture, good organization, and the nice, clear content.

      My own site has been up for a while now. It’s only brought me a couple gigs directly, but it’s won me quite a few readers for my magazine fiction and essays.

      Most of my work thus far has been for Jewish companies, publications, and individuals, and I want to expand into mainstream venues. My Jewishness (and very Jewish website) both gets me jobs and bars me from others. I think my site need an overhaul to accomplish that goal.

      L’shana tova (have a good new year) everyone out there!
      Rebecca Klempner recently posted…New Jewish year, new books by Jewish authors!My Profile

    • Thank you so much for the kind words about my website. I am glad that you liked it! I hired a website designer for about 300 and she did it all. I was very pleased.
      Jennifer Gregory recently posted…3 Common Myths Writers Have about Content MarketingMy Profile

  51. Amel says:

    I find this very interesting, Carol. My “site,” if you can even call it that, is in pretty bad shape (see http://www.precisiontext.blogspot.com/). My own father told me that it is in bad need of an update. I use a free blogger site, do not display my photo, and have a single post that I put up in 2010. It is not really even a post but an invitation to contact me. My clips are also way outdated and do not reflect the work I am currently doing. And believe it or not, the site gets me tons of inquiries and business. Despite everything I am doing wrong, I believe the reason my site attracts clients is because I specialize in specific niches that are in high demand…Islam, Middle East politics, and Arabic translation. So, I think another part of the equation is that you must set yourself apart from others regarding the services you offer.

    Although revamping my website has been on my to-do list for a really long time, I am simply too busy to take care of it at the moment. When I do, though, do you have a suggestion on something I could use in place of a personal photo? I do not really feel comfortable posting my photo on-line. I have thought of using a cartoon image (inspired by your logo) or something different altogether, such as landscapes from the Middle East to reflect the theme of my work.

    Another thing I wonder about is what to blog about for an audience of potential clients. What kinds of posts could I be writing to show them that I have the expertise required to manage their projects?
    Amel recently posted…50 Markets that Pay Freelance Writers More than 50 Cents per Word – Including 27 Markets that Pay up to $1 per Word and MoreMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Hi Amel — there really is no substitute for your photo. Either we can ‘meet’ you or we can’t. A cartoon of you would be a second-best scenario by a long way.

      My take on blogging to get clients is that you do NOT have to blog about their topic. I have gotten many paid blogging gigs on various topics that have nothing to do with freelance writing! But I’m passionate about helping writers and love writing this blog, which is why it’s successful.

      It’s more important that the blog stick to a niche you like, and that it get engagement from readers — that is what companies look for, that you understand how to do that. That’s all.

      I think too many writers make the mistake of trying to write a blog about marketing or something else that isn’t their favorite thing, and the blog goes nowhere, and they hate writing it. And that doesn’t get you hired by anyone.

      As far as not updating the blog because it’s still getting you clients as is…that’s been my boat, too. Ed Gandia and I have talked about how outdated our writer sites are, and that’s why. We get lots of leads off them now. If it ain’t broke, it’s not a top priority to fix it.

      I did finally update the copy to focus on book gigs, as I mentioned above…and I think that was an important step. But as far as redesigning the whole thing and making it look prettier…dunno, I get leads from it every week as is!

      It’s if your site is NOT getting you leads that you should prioritize a revamp.

  52. Daryl says:

    How’s my website working for me?

    It’s only been up for a few weeks, and I’m definitely still in the “tweaking” stage. As a result, there’s still quite a bit of customization to be done, and it’s far from a finished product. As a result, I haven’t yet started to aggressively market my services, but I hope to finish all the the minor details (e.g. list building, I’ve already signed up for Mailchimp, and integrating social media, etc) within the next 1-2 weeks.

    My only main problem is the amazing level of customization available, to the point where I’d really like to find out which theme and settings suit me the best (I’m using self-hosted wordpress) but there are so many options that it was difficult to choose!
    Daryl recently posted…Free Guest Post or Article From Me!My Profile

    • Daryl says:

      Whoops…my site is http://darylgeorge.com/ if anyone wants to take a look!
      Daryl recently posted…Free Guest Post or Article From Me!My Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Just a few weeks is definitely still in the experimental stage, Daryl! We all keep tweaking as we go.

      The irony of it all is that I’m not all that happy with my OWN writer site. It DOES get me clients…but it could be better. I’d like to make it cleaner and whiter at this point instead of so much green. I think it looks a little dated now.

      I’ve at least recently rewritten the copy so it does convey the type of writing gig I want these days — book ghosting. And I got my 2 print books into the sidebar so they’re featured. So hopefully I’ve upped my odds of attracting that sort of client now. I did actually get a nibble earlier this week for that, but they didn’t have much of a budget. So I keep looking…and I guess that is a sign my rewrite is helping.

      People are always asking me how long I worked on my writer site before it was ‘done.’ To which I always respond, “What makes you think I like it NOW???” And mine’s been up since about 2008 or so.

      Writer websites are not a static document. They should always be changing and getting improved, as your career moves forward, you get more clips, and your interests change in what writing you want.

  53. To answer your question, Carol, I do have a website – which has been live for 11 months.

    I forked out good money getting a professional web developer to do it. But it was well worth it. Through the business I got directly through the site, it has already paid for itself. And now it is generating a return over and above the the initial investment.

    The two main gripes I have about writer websites are (i) painfully thin content – surely a professional copywriter would be able to offer lots of reasons why the visitor should hire them and (ii) poor web page and site structure – which you’ve touched on above.

    These are two things I’ve worked really hard to avoid. And so far it’s paid off.

    However, that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m a great copywriting businessman. And that’s why I still regularly visit your blog.

    People can check my site out at http://www.writeonline.biz.
    Kevin Carlton recently posted…Two crafty conversion tricks copywriters can learn from eCommerceMy Profile

    • Very nice site, Kevin–clean, professional, informative–I can easily see why it’s paying off for you.

      I revamped my website completely after taking one of Carol & Linda’s bootcamps and it has definitely paid off. I recently landed a job after the potential client was directed to my site by a current client and really liked what he saw and read there.

      I’ve also found my online portfolio invaluable in sharing samples with potential clients. I always send out “freestanding clips” in response to a request from a potential client or editor, but I also mention that additional samples are available online. It’s worked well for me.

      I continue to refine my site as I learn and grow as a freelance writer, but I’ve been very pleased with my return thus far.

      Carol’s advice is sound!

      • Thanks for your feedback Lori.

        Yes, I still see my website as a work in progress too. In fact, I’ve already got a list of website improvements to fill 2–3 sheets of A4 paper.

        So far, most of my new business has come through organic search queries. But I’m also sure the fact that I now have my own professional website is what has helped me to push up my rates.
        Kevin Carlton recently posted…Two crafty conversion tricks copywriters can learn from eCommerceMy Profile

      • Carol Tice says:

        Well, thanks for the validation, Lori! And super-happy to hear your site is getting the job done. 😉

        I think a lot of writers throw up a site and treat it like an online business card they can send prospects they meet to read. But it should be an inbound marketing machine for you that finds you prospects you’ve never met.

    • Carol Tice says:

      At least you’re in the successful minority whose site is actually bringing them leads! So you’re doing a lot right there. 😉

      It’s depressing to see how many sites have never gotten a client…but I’m hoping with the Build a Writer Website That Works training we’ll be able to help a lot of freelancers turn that around.

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Kevin- I took a look at your blog, and I really like it.

      The only thing I would change is on the about page, where you refer to yourself as “we.” It sounds a little strange, since the text says that a client would be most likely working with Kevin Carlton. I think you can still sound professional and business like if you just switch to the 3rd person.
      Rachel recently posted…The Secret to Success: Teach Your Child to Celebrate FailureMy Profile

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