10 Writer Websites That Kick Butt and Get Clients
Carol Tice | 88 Comments

10 Writer Websites that Kick Butt and Get ClientsHave 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. NOTE: Pat’s site is no longer live.
  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 Gandia – The 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. An update is coming —  Yes, I’m aware that a few of these sites are no longer operational, and that mobile has come along and changed everything since I did this post. So stay tuned for a new, updated set of great website examples coming to this blog soon!

Grow your Writing Income. Freelancewritersden.com

88 comments on “10 Writer Websites That Kick Butt and Get Clients

  1. Pattie on

    I’ve been searching the web all day to learn about “simple” website design options for writers. These examples annotated with your astute comments are invaluable. Thanks!

  2. Bradley Marschke on

    I have read so many of your blogs and this is one of my favorites. I am not new to writing, but I am new at trying to make a career out of it. I am striving to be able to be on a list like this haha. Thanks again!

  3. Jon Lee on

    I don’t think this has been asked directly, so here goes. . .

    Since at least one of the listed avenues for low cost website creation and hosting requires an altered URL (i.e. not purely wwww.domain.com), would the only relevant drawback to going directly onto WordPress be that it would preclude you from compiling your own opt-in list? I know WordPress-hosted sites cannot be monetized directly, but I am wondering if these are problems in the real world.


    Jon Lee

    • Carol Tice on

      Self-hosting on WordPress to me is always the best option, Jon, but I find many writers are overwhelmed by trying to learn it all, which is why I recommend using a provider like Writer’s Residence or OutstandingSETUP. And I believe you can pay a bit extra to have their name taken out of your URL at WR. On NAIWE, I think you can’t. But many writers are doing just fine with those sites, and using their taglines to attract the types of customers they want.

  4. Robyn on

    I am very new to the world of freelance writing. I am a former high school English teacher. Maybe I’m just a stickler, but if you’re trying to sell yourself as a writer, isn’t it important that you not have grammatical errors on your own website? Somebody needs to tell Oscar that he needs to change “ran a massage therapy business” to “run a massage therapy business” on his “Why Me” section.

      • Robyn on

        Thank you! I like that.
        I agree that my grammar nazism not only makes me look like an asshole, but it also hinders my creative process. (Like right now, right this second–I had to stop writing so I could find out if it’s naziism or nazism. Sheesh… It’s either way, in case you were wondering.)
        For some reason typos and errors drive me insane. If I see one, I get so distracted, I lose all focus. And yes, I will reply to a long, very serious e-mail with one smartass comment about the typo in the second paragraph. I’m that girl.
        **One time when I was still teaching, this teacher sent out an e-mail to the staff about needing serving bowls for prom…except she spelled it bowels, not bowls. I replied ALL (of course) and wrote, “What are serving bowels? Yucky!” Yeah, I got a call into the principal’s office for that one.**
        I don’t know why I’m like that. I just am. I can’t help it!

        But anyway, I’m stickin’ to my guns on this one. My opinion is: Okay, okay, having a typo on a blog, or tweet, or Facebook status is one thing…but having a grammatical error on your “Why [Choose] Me” page on your own website for your freelance writing business is just not okay. It’s like having typos on your resume…but worse. I found this article about typos being bad for brands and businesses… And it’s like totes the truth. For reals.

        Sorry for being a douche.

  5. Rob Havercroft on

    As a freelance writer in the process of writing and designing my site, I found this really useful and inspirational. And you’re right to include your own site, Carol – it’s simple, professional and engaging. Thank you!

    • Carol Tice on

      Well, it’s about to be redone…so stay tuned for a new post! We’re in the coding phase. I’ve been wanting to do an update to this post for a while, so I’m on the hunt for more great writer websites to feature.

  6. Ambika on

    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 MinutesMy Profile

    • Carol Tice on

      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.

  7. margaret on

    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.

  8. Rose on

    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 on

      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.

  9. Trevor on

    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 on

      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!

  10. Kate on

    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 on

      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.

  11. Jeff O on

    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 DESIGNMy Profile

  12. Karen on

    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.

    • Holly Antle on

      Karen, I’m a rookie writer, too. I’ve only been freelancing for about 8 months now! For my portfolio, I’ve done a few things to fill it out. I use my own blog posts as articles. I sometimes write articles specifically FOR my portfolio. For example, let’s say that I’m about to go after a big client in a niche I don’t have a lot of material in, so I’ll write a couple of articles in that niche to just add to my portfolio.
      Holly Antle recently posted…Understanding Content Marketing, part 1My Profile

  13. Lucie on

    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 on

      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.

  14. Jessi Chapman on

    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!


  15. Julia McCoy on

    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 ReadersMy Profile

    • Carol Tice on

      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 on

        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 on

          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 on

            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.

  16. Ryan D on

    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.)

  17. Susan on

    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 OutlookMy Profile

  18. Miles Weston on

    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.

  19. Amanda Cleary Eastep on

    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…

  20. Anne on

    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 recently posted…Common Misused Words In EnglishMy Profile

    • Carol Tice on

      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!

  21. Kimberly Rotter on

    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.

  22. Marisa on

    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.

    • Marisa Swanson on

      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.

  23. Rob on

    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.”

      • Kate on

        Seriously?? Most of the sites mentioned are lacking in one thing or another. Of note is Oscar Halpert’s site. You say is picture is one of your favorite author photos? His shirt is too big, it looks like he just picked it up off the floor without ironing it, and he looks like he needs a shave. In addition, on his bullet lists, he has periods after clauses. Now, Oscar might be a nice guy, but his copywriting skills leave a lot to be desired, because I found several other errors on his site. Which leads me to question your judgment and your ulterior motivation for choosing the people you mention on this list. I won’t be returning to your site.

        • Carol Tice on

          What works on a writer website is partly a matter of personal taste, Kate, or Vinil, or whatever your name really is. It’s my experience that business-casual works well in converting clients. Maybe it’s not your style — feel free to go with a shot from JC Penney and see how it does for you.

          Copywriting doesn’t have to follow grammar rules — not sure if you knew that.

          I have no secret agenda in featuring these sites, I just felt each showcased a particularly strong aspect or two of creating a strong writer site.

          I actually have plans to do a new post with a fresh collection of writer sites, so the 65,000 other writers who DO return to my site each month can check them out soon.

          • Kate on

            My name is Kate, as it says.

            I know all about copywriting. I am a copywriter. I was being kind in only pointing out one error on his site. And by the way, copywriting DOES have to do with attention to detail and proper grammar.

            Here’s another, at the top of his blog page:

            …A few weeks ago, I met at guy at a networking event …

            I’m not out to get Oscar. I’m questioning your judgment at highlighting an inferior copywriter. My suspicion is that, as long as Oscar pays his dues for your “course,” he’ll continue to get special treatment.

          • Carol Tice on

            I’ve no idea if Oscar is a current student of mine — I don’t believe he is, Kate. Best of luck finding other sites to learn from.

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