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One Website Or Two? Ask Anne The Pro Writer

Hi Anne,

I have an existing website that I use for my books. I’m just beginning to do freelance writing. Is it a good idea to use the same site to market my freelance writing?

Thanks,
Deidre (in comments)

Hi Deidre,

This is a real ‘mileage will vary’ question. A case can be made either way. I think I’d hang the decision on several factors:

  • If the books you write demonstrate the kind of writing you do, you might be able to market yourself from the book site.
  • If the book site has it’s own domain name you might be able to market yourself from that site. 
  • OTOH if you can capture your name as a domain name, even with some variable like writer or ghostwriter after it, it can make a great deal of sense to use that to market yourself.
  • Having two sites that link to each other can be a small bonus.

Think through what you’re trying to accomplish with both your book site and any site you’d create to market yourself. If there’s a lot of overlap one may do. It never hurts to have more than one site, except for the extra work, of course.

Does this help at all or have I just confused you more?

[askanne]

[sig]

Image from http://www.sxc.hu

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • One website or two is a question I’ve asked myself since I first decided to have a web presence in 2010. My original site had two different banner headers to reflect the “freelance writer side” and the “emerging fiction writer side”– the idea being that there is overlap between my audiences. I’m a writer of all things holistic and metaphysical. I cover everything from acupuncture to zen to energy medicine to shamanic journeying. I also enjoy writing on topics of interest to emerging writers–so we all don’t have to recreate the wheel and pull our hair out in the process. I already had name recognition in the marketplace– with readers and some editors. After a year witth this website doing fairly well with visitors and leads for new work, the way search engines operate and what people expect with a website shifted (that’s another story I researched, email for details karenmrider.com/contact.php) People want to find what they want, fast and effectively– my “covers all bases” site, though well organized was overwhelming and my leads dropped off. Was I a copywriter for holistic biz? a magazine freelancer? a fiction writer? and just who was I TALKING TO through my site and WHAT ACTION did I want these visitors to take while at my site?
    REvision #1 was launched last fall. It’s worked well for me, but I’ve learned more since writing two articles for The Writer as well as Writer’s Digest, on effective websites for writers without big budgets. One website or two– answer these questions to arrive at that answer:
    Who is your audience?
    What are you selling, marketing, offering?
    What do you expect people to do at your site? (primary goal, secondary goal)
    Does the nonfiction you write have anything to do with the other writing you do?
    Will your book get “lost” on a freelance focussed website (or vice versa)
    Contact House of Design, Shaila Abdullah is phenomenal or Mark Hollis of Hollis Internet Marketing– get some ideas for how your site can be organized. Trust your gut and happy online marketing of YOUR writing!

    • Karen, that question, what action do I want my reader to take, is critical. Thanks

  • Deb

    Diedre,
    I am in a similar situation, and I can really see the value in Anne’s guides (and all the advice offered on this site). I also agree with Ron about marketing totally separate interests and talents separately.
    I currently provide Computer Services and Technical Writing, but I plan to write Fiction as well…I will have two sites, and maybe a pen name…but that is ANOTHER question for Anne!

    Deb’s last blog post..Free Anti-Virus and other Utilities

  • Hmm, interesting, but basic marketing. You’re selling products, if the one product would distract or not support sales of the other product, then you market them separately. If they have some beneficial synergy, market them together. If they don’t help or hurt each one’s sales to be together then you can market them together or apart, as you wish. Perhaps, you market them together to support a greater product.

    For example, you might have many diverse talents, including writing. If you were marketing yourself, you would discuss all of those talents, including all writing styles.

    Otherwise, in general I expect that the great majority of freelance writing employers are engaged in commercial, for-profit ventures and seek writers who demonstrate awareness of the concept of making money. Thus, if the books you’ve written were, say, fairy tales, romance novels, philosophical rants, or emotional blather, you may consider whether they truly support your freelance marketing.

    But, of course, if you intend to market your freelance talent strictly to employers seeking fairy tales, romance novels et al, then, by all means, include those books in your site.

    My default decision would be to not include any books that reveal too much of your personal characteristics, opinion, and personality — you are taking the very real chance that the employer, with many candidates to choose from, decides your fate based on whether they agree or disagree with your book.

  • Isaac

    Good guides to use.

    Isaac’s last blog post..The Power of Words: Sometimes Good, Sometimes Bad

  • Hi Anne:

    I’m interested in the decision of whether or not to have multiple sites. Friends have asked me what I thought. These are good guides as we work out what we’ll do. By the way, I’m a bit proponent for securing names. I bought mine and my brother’s for future use.

    Thanks,
    Shari

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