Samples on of your writing on your website is a great way to keep marketing 24/7. And if you don’t yet have a website what the heck are you waiting for?
How samples help you market yourself
The reason samples are so important is that they demonstrate to the potential client that you can actually write. Our clients typically don’t know a thing about how writing actually happens. The ability to actually see your samples is hugely reassuring to them.
Even editors and publishers who want to hire writers and presumably know something about the process find samples helpful in sorting out applicants.
Since all three are looking on the web for their next hire, putting up samples increases your odds of getting hired.
The three ways of getting samples for your website
Here are the three primary ways you can get the examples of your writing on your site.
Writing for free
Ah, you say, but you recently told us we shouldn’t write for free. Yes, in general I don’t like writing for free; this is an exception.
When you can get pieces of writing placed in well trafficked blogs on your subject matter(s) or in your niche(s) you’ve got samples that will not only draw people looking for writers in that niche, they’ll be reading your work! Who do you think they’re likely to contact? This kind of strategic free writing can make great sense.
Links and .pdf copies of published articles
A list of credits if you’ve got them to published articles and posts gives you great credibility. The very best ones you can, with permission, copy into your website as a page or post. Often even clients who you ghostwrite for will allow you to post on your professional website. Ask, and remind them, it does provide the info they wanted told, and links back to them as well as show off your work.
Some writers feel they benefit from turning all or some of their articles into .pdfs for posting. I personally would rather use links, but that does require at least occasional checking to make sure the link is still working. Your choice, really, or mix up methods.
Samples you write for your own site
If you don’t have samples, write some! Yes, it’s perfectly okay to provide your own examples of your writing. In fact you can do this even if you have some of the more traditional ones. It can also be helpful if you want to move into a new area of writing.
As long as you make it obvious you’re not trying to pass the work off as published, you should be fine. A simple “written as a sample for my website” probably toward the top of the page, will make it clear what you’re showing.
Easy to maintain
Once you get a samples set up on your site it’s easy to add new ones almost as they happen. Put them to work for you showing off your chops.
Write well and often,