How Important is a Website for Freelance Writers?

by Anne Wayman

A guest post by Josh Olswanger of Thrive Web Designs, a Boise web design.

As most of you can already guess, being a freelance writer or for that matter, a freelance anything, should include having a website. A website is vital in the marketing of your services, building an online community, and simply existing to the online world. In today’s day in age, everyone goes online to find out information, so being accessible online is everything.

Back in the late 1990’s when the Internet was first getting started, it was pretty unique if you as a writer, business owner, artist or whomever, had a website.

Fast forward 10-15 years later, and if you are trying to pursue a freelance career, not having a website could be detrimental. Whether you’re a copywriter, an author or even poet, having a website online for the world to see should be one of your first steps in achieving new business and exposure.

Where do I start?

Being that writers are normally always adding content to their websites, most find that choosing a website that is updatable by the user is the most efficient. Luckily there are many different options for building your own website, and/or utilizing a website platform that is designed for you to go in and update your content without relying on a designer.

WordPress.com – WordPress is arguably the most widely used platform for websites and blogs online today. What started out as simply a blogging platform, has now cocooned into the most widely used website building tool.

WordPress allows you to build a free website and use thousands of free design templates. These templates help give a distinguished look to your website or blog, and are very easy to install. WordPress offers a thorough directory of website tips for setting up your site.

With WordPress.com, you are hosting your website on their servers, so your domain name would read “mydomainname.wordpress.com”


If you would rather have your own and unique domain name, WordPress.org is the route for you. WordPress.org is for people who want to host their blog on their own server. This gives you the advantage of leaving the “.wordpress.com” out of your domain name.

What is hosting you may ask? You can read more about web hosting.

I have my website setup, template picked. Now what?

Once you have you website template chosen, you can easily add new pages, put in your own content and images. The beauty of WordPress and their millions of choices available, is that if you want to use anything from a calendar, to a Facebook widget, they make a plug-in for you to easily place within your website without knowing any website coding language.

For freelance writers, artists, and like-minded individuals who are looking to expand their expertise online, the most cost-effective and efficient way to get you online is by utilizing a great service like WordPress.com and all of their resources.

What questions do you have about getting your own website up and running?

This article is brought to you by Josh Olswanger of Thrive Web Designs, a Boise web design firm helping nationwide small businesses, organizations, authors and musicians achieve professional and affordable website solutions and content creation.

Two newsletters:
Abundant Freelance Writing - a resource for freelance writers including 3x a week job postings.
Writing With Vision - for those who want to get a book written.

Image Attribution Some rights reserved by foxypar4

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

parul kachhwaha May 3, 2012 at 2:40 am

That’s real good post @!@very informatics
parul kachhwaha recently posted..Busy with TestingMy Profile

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Devaughn April 29, 2012 at 7:03 am

Great Site and great article on wordpress

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annew April 30, 2012 at 10:03 am

thanks

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HP van Duuren April 17, 2012 at 3:35 am

Thanks for your post Josh,

I do think that indeed a website (or just a Blog) can be an Important and Practical Tool for Freelancers because you can use it as a – Platform - for all kinds of Entreprenurial Activities, and things like showing links to Press Releases, or for example (especially for Musicians) a Touring Schedule
and things like that etc. etc.

On my - Writer’s Lifestyle – Blog in a post about using a Blog as a Platform to work from, you can also find some info about How you can Monitize your Blog with Writing Book Reviews.
HP van Duuren recently posted..Your Blog As a – Platform – To Work FromMy Profile

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Elizabeth West April 3, 2012 at 9:07 am

I’ve been using a Wordpress blog, on Anne’s recommendation. I like it a lot. There’s no way for me to host my own right now, or pay for anything (since I’m not working the day job any more). There are so many templates you’re sure to find one you can use.

Perhaps when things get better I’ll go to the Pro one. I’d like to be able to use the plug-ins that aren’t available on the free version.
Elizabeth West recently posted..Becoming and BlockingMy Profile

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annew April 4, 2012 at 7:34 am

I think you’ll like it better when you self-host… that day will come.

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Tony Hill April 2, 2012 at 3:28 pm

we are a web design company and think your article needs to be mentioned to our clients. So much work goes into the content on a site, but people want us to do it and the typography might be correct, but the vocabulary never is…..im a designer not a writer…bookmarked it

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annew April 3, 2012 at 7:46 am

Thanks… and if you need writers for the sites you design you know where to find them.

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Raven Alb J. March 31, 2012 at 4:45 am

Hello to everyone reading this message. My pen name is Raven Alb J. and I wrote a book titled “Why and How the Ice Age Ended & the True History of the Pontic [White] Race”. I wrote it in English. It was an immense work and I hate to write. On top of this English is not my native language, nor have I ever gone to any English school. As the title implies the book explains how and why the ice age ended and it is not a theory, but it was all figured out based on physics, logic and etymology. A daughter version of the book has been published as well titled “Ice Ages, Animal Extinctions, and the Great Flood Explained”. It is a concentrated form of the mother book and a lot easier to read for most people. By visiting the site IceAgeBook.com a lot more information will be gathered for people interested. Here are my problems. This book needs promotion by reviewing, blogging, tweeting, and any other available form of communication. I don’t know how to do any of the things, which are needed to get this book introduced to the world. Nor do I have any money, because I spend the last twelve years writing the book. I am terrible exhausted intellectually and need help with promoting this book. An intelligent ghost writer who has good understanding of things when presented and knows his/hers way on the internet can do wonders with this book. That is because everything in it is very new and based on real evidence and it will topple many theories existing today. This book will create a lot of interest once it gets off the ground. Anyone interested in making some sort of offers please contact me.

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Tim Bradley, Writer March 31, 2012 at 12:06 am

It turned out that my two brilliant site name ideas–In Other Words and Write Away–were already in use. So I went with http://www.timbradleywritingservices.com, which I created myself using the free service Weebly.com. I’d be very grateful for any feedback (and will gladly return the favor).

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annew April 2, 2012 at 5:52 am

Looks good, Tim although I only glanced at it.

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corinne March 29, 2012 at 2:36 pm

I agree, a professional freelance writer definitely needs a website. how else are you going to market yourself and showcase your work? I used to have a wordpress.com blog and have since moved my website to a self hosted on using wordpress. I find I like it much better and it give me more freedom.
corinne recently posted..Spinning Articles: Man Vs. MachineMy Profile

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annew March 30, 2012 at 9:51 am

And you’re google rank article is a good review.

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Maryann March 29, 2012 at 11:38 am

Here’s a more compreshensive link:
http://en.support.wordpress.com/domain-mapping/register-domain/
Maryann

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annew March 30, 2012 at 9:16 am

This one too… and the one above too… great resource you are.

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John Soares March 29, 2012 at 6:40 am

I strongly suggest that anyone truly serious about an Internet presence use self-hosted Wordpress for all the reasons Josh gives here. Most people who use something else eventually regret it.
John Soares recently posted..Wikipedia, Encyclopedia Britannica, and Freelance WritersMy Profile

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Sharon Hurley Hall March 29, 2012 at 6:52 am

Funny you should say that, John. I recently picked up a client with a Joomla based site. Since I’m used to WordPress, I’m finding the updates a bit cumbersome.
Sharon Hurley Hall recently posted..Putting You in the Picture About My Blogging SkillsMy Profile

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annew March 29, 2012 at 8:25 am

Sharon, I’ve done a few updates in Joomla and wondered why in the heck they used that instead of WP – not that hard, but I don’t see any advantage and it does make it difficult for those of us who use WP to update.

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annew March 29, 2012 at 8:24 am

I totally agree John. I’m glad I started with a self-hosted WordPress blog. I think someone must have suggested that or maybe I just saw the biggies using it. And it’s not that difficult.

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Liz March 29, 2012 at 12:35 am

I am a newly blogger, I am still practicing wordpress. Thanks for the info.

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Maryann March 28, 2012 at 10:00 am

Hi,
You can actually use your own domain name in a wordpress.com site (i.e. you can have a wordpress.com site without having “wordpress” in your web address)!

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annew March 29, 2012 at 8:19 am

Maryann, how do you do that?

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Maryann March 29, 2012 at 11:36 am

Here’s a helpful link: http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2006/10/24/domain-mapping-registration/

I bought my domain name from Wordpress, but it looks like you can use a domain name that you buy from somewhere else too. Either way, it’s a small fee ($10-15 a year).

Maryann

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Maryann March 29, 2012 at 11:39 am

Sorry, I meant to put my message here:

Here’s a more compreshensive link:
http://en.support.wordpress.com/domain-mapping/register-domain/

Maryann

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annew March 30, 2012 at 9:16 am

Thanks! Helpful for sure.

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