5 Best Practices for Building Your Writing Website

Image showing a writer on work

Writers who want to cultivate their own private clients must have a website. It serves as a resume, sales pitch, writer’s bio and more.

If you’re a freelance writer and don’t yet have a website, or if your site is outdated, here are the essential pages that make a great writer website for landing your own clients.

1. Showcase Your Published Pieces

Clients will be hesitant to hire a writer who hasn’t previously either been published or written for other clients. Therefore, you should include a page on your site that shows where you’ve been published.

When listing credited pieces, every writer wants to post their most prestigious works. Not every writer has Pulitzer Prize-winning pieces in The New York Times, though. List a few of your best works, but don’t fret over whether they’re in well-known publications.

Every writer has to start somewhere, and you need to begin where you are. Post a few of your bylined pieces regardless of how prestigious they are. As you get published in more recognized pieces, you can update your list of published works.

If you’re regularly published in one source, you may want to show that you’ve been published a lot but also demonstrate that you’ve been published in multiple venues. You can do this by listing a few different places where you were published at the top, followed by a longer list below your top few that shows your multiple publications. Scott M. Brodie does this on his site.

To incorporate graphics into this page, you should post the cover of any magazine you’ve been published in. If you have pieces in multiple magazines and journals, showcasing the covers of all of them both enhances the visual aspect of your website and looks impressive.

2. Mention Past Clients (with Permission)

Private clients will also be interested in what companies and businesses you’ve written for. Thankfully, it’s often easy for content writers to find recognizable companies that they’ve worked with in the past.

For instance, Crowd Content lists the following businesses on their homepage: RingPartner, BigCommerce, Shopify, Hootsuite and Rack-a-Tiers. If you’ve written for any of these businesses — which a lot of writers on Crowd Content have — you might be able to list these on your own site.

Depending on your site’s layout and your particular focus, you might list them alongside your published pieces or on a separate page.

Before listing any client, you should first ask for permission to do so. Most content writing jobs are a form of ghostwriting, and some companies may not want it known that you wrote for them.

Some companies and editors, however, will be happy to let you say that you worked on a project for their company.

3. List Your Services and Specialties

With your credentials established, you can now include a page on the services you provide. This should be an outline of the types of writing you do, and it should note any specialties you focus on. If you’re new in your career, this page might list a lot of different subject areas and formats, as you aren’t yet established in any particular field.

If you’re a veteran of the industry, you might only have a few specialties and be able to portray yourself as more of an expert.

When thinking about specialties, don’t just consider subject areas (e.g. insurance, finance, education). You can also set yourself apart by specializing in a form of writing, such as blog posts and articles, product descriptions, white papers or ebooks. One of the beauties of the writing field is how vast it is.

There are many ways you can narrow the focus of what you write and find your place within the field.

If you’re going to list your prices, this page is a natural place to do so. Whether to do so is a personal decision that every writer must make. Untamed Writing lists the pros and cons of listing rates.

You’ll weed out writers who won’t pay your rates and increase the likelihood that people get in touch with you, but you are stuck at that price, can’t negotiate different amounts with different clients and may loose some people based on a quick judgment of your prices.

Not listing your rates may net you fewer serious inquiries, but you’ll be able to make more tailored offers to those who do contact you.

4. Create an About You Page

Finally, your site should have a page about you. Not only is it standard practice to include an “About Us” or “About Me” page on a website, but you’re ultimately what potential clients are interested in. They’re considering hiring you for your writing ability and expertise, so you need to establish yourself in both those areas.

Your “About Me” page isn’t just a place to tell your personal story, but it’s the place to establish your credentials.

Mention any degrees, industry experience, certifications or professional memberships you have.

You’ve already listed where you’re published and what clients you’ve written for, which lets you focus on other qualifications on this page.

5. Let Potential Customers Contact You

how to build a writer's website

Finally, you need a way for potential customers to contact you. You can simply have them email you or set up a contact form on your site. However you decide to have customers get in touch with you, don’t forget this step. If they can’t reach you, all other parts of the site are for naught.

With a website like this set up, you’ll be ready to begin pitching ideas to private clients. You’ll be able to show them what you’ve done before — and ask them for their business.

Do you have a website? Are you just starting to make one? 

Share your tips and questions in the comments section below.


Article by

Rob Toccs writes on education, finances, hotels, real estate and technology. Whether you need a blog post, white paper, article or tweet, Rob will be able to capture the proper tone and style. He always provides entirely original, no-fluff content on time. Rob holds a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree.

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