Creating a website that attracts high-paying clients is no easy task as a freelance writer.
From webpage design to content and navigation, you have to ensure that your freelance writer website is both attractive and functional. After all, two-thirds of people would rather check out something that’s beautifully designed online than something plain.
The content also needs to be top-notch to position yourself as an expert in your niche and successfully sell your services.
Whether you’ve already got a basic one up and running or you’re starting from scratch, not to worry – I’m here to help.
Read on to discover the 5 elements that will take your freelance writer website to the next level and result in an increased number of page views, leads and new clients.
1. A Strong Visual Design
Firstly, 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if they think the layout isn’t very aesthetically pleasing. Therefore, a strong visual design is very important.
You don’t have to be the best graphic designer in the world, but you do have to try and view your freelance writer website through your visitor’s eyes.
You also need to choose a theme that will make everybody do the heart-eyed emoji. True story.
If you’re just starting out, WordPress has some free themes that are pretty plain but will get the job done. However, if you’re ready to start investing in your business – because let’s face it, you’ll get out of it what you put in – then you should check out some professional template providers.
(Pro tip: Bluchic offer fun, feminine WordPress themes. My ChicServe theme costs the price of one, very short article – but it lasts a lifetime. And that’s the gift that keeps on giving, right?)
In addition to a fancy-pants theme, you should also consider featuring a logo on your freelance writer website.
After all, your logo is the USP of your website. Multiple people can invest in your theme, but there’ll only be one logo that represents your personal brand.
Effective personal branding is so important if you want to stand out in the oversaturated freelance marketplace.
Plus, 36% of visitors click on a company’s logo if they want to reach the homepage.
Do you know what that means? Your logo needs to be clearly positioned in your website’s navigational menu and catch the eye of your visitor. It must also represent your personal brand and values in an authentic and coherent manner.
2. A Simple Layout with Minimal Loading Time
As well as consistency, simplicity is an important factor to consider when you’re building your freelance writer website.
Ever been on a website that has so much going on with it that you don’t know where to look? And it leads to you clicking away from it pronto just so that the nightmare will stop?
Often, less is more with a freelance writer website.
I mean, it kind of has one job – to communicate who you are and what you do to the world in the hope that people will want to work with you.
Don’t feel like you need to fill every bit of white or “empty” space that acts as a buffer amongst all your other website elements.
Why? Well, an overcrowded website understandably overwhelms a visitor. You want to ensure that yours is easy to process, which then makes the whole experience a lot more user-friendly.
Moreover, the less crazy graphics and features involved, the more functional that your website will be. I mean, you should be striving for the best possible performance and optimal loading times, because 39% of people are likely to stop engaging with a website if it takes too long to load.
(Pro tip: Self-hosting keeps a website’s loading times to a minimum, especially through the SiteGround platform. SiteGround has gone beyond the industry standards by keeping the load on their servers far below their capacity. This allows them to support each and every corner of the World Wide Web, including – you guessed it – your freelance writer website.)
3. A User-Friendly Navigational Menu
Speaking of the functionality of your freelance writer website, don’t forget to make the navigation aspect super straightforward.
How come, you ask?
Well, your top navigational menu is how you take your visitors to where they want to go. It needs to instantly catch the eye of your visitor and be accessible, as well as simple to use.
Plus, it’s a well-known fact that 50% of visitors use the navigation menu to orient themselves after clicking on a company website via a referral site.
FYI, most freelance writer websites have four core pages that make up their primary header menu:
- “About Me”
- “Portfolio” or “Projects”
Some freelance writers also have their own blog, which I heartily recommend for showcasing your niche expertise.
In addition to this header menu, you should ensure that you have icons that link to your social media profiles distinctly visible across every web page.
Equally, a search bar is an extremely useful tool to direct your vistor to where they need to go.
Whether these elements are present in the header menu, footer menu or on either side of any given page, they work together to make life easier for your visitor – and that’s what it’s all about, right?
4. Compelling, SEO-Friendly Content
Once you’ve nailed the design, navigation and functionality of your website, it’s time to craft some compelling content.
And because you’re a writer, this part needs to be kind of special.
After all, you’re trying to impress potential clients with your freelance writer website and persuade them to work with you. Therefore, you need to show them that you know what you’re doing!
It’s a well-known fact that mediocre copy translates into fewer leads. But great copy? You guessed it – great copy converts.
Moreover, you need to be methodical with the types of information that you include on your freelance writer website.
When it comes to your “Services” page, you need to include as much detail as possible. Why? Well, 47% of visitors look at this page before any other part of a website.
51% of visitors also think “thorough contact information” is the most important element that’s missing from many company websites. Ergo, be sure to include a contact form on your “Contact” page, an email address or a phone number (or perhaps all three) to boost lead generation.
Search Engine Optimisation
Then there’s the little matter of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
If you want your freelance writer website to rank well on Google, you need to ensure that your content is SEO-friendly.
As well as inserting relevant keywords as and when is possible, you should format your content in such a way that’s effortlessly digestible to the reader.
Include headers, sub-headers, bullet-point lists and images where it makes sense so that Google likes you as much as your visitor does.
(And that’s a win-win situation.)
5. Relevant Calls-To-Action
Last but not least, it’s a great idea to include Call-To-Actions (CTAs) to create a sense of urgency.
It’s all about using direct language to inspire your visitor act in a beneficial way for both of you.
Some popular examples include:
- “Subscribe to my newsletter”
- “Contact me”
- “Watch my video”
- “Find me on Instagram”
How come, you ask? Well, the purpose of having a freelance writer website is to try and build a relationship with your visitor. If you include appropriate CTAs and persuade your visitor to perform a particular action and continue communication, you also start to build trust. And trust is essential for converting leads into clients.
You can place these CTAs in your sidebars, header, footer, at the end of blog posts (wherever works).
Either way, make sure that you include a handful of them. I mean, you can never have too many opportunities to engage with your visitor, right?
Building a Freelance Writer Website That Sells
Building a visually-striking yet high-performing freelance writer website is challenging. However, it is possible. You just need to be prepared to spend the time, money and energy investing in the dream.
Oh, and don’t put too much thought into the SEO aspect in the early stages.
After all, your website should hold tremendous value for the visitor first and foremost. Your content and functionality should be top-drawer before you even consider your search engine rankings.
Essentially, optimise your freelance writer website with your ideal client in mind first and foremost – and it won’t be long before they come (virtually) a-knocking.
What do you think the most important element of a freelance writer website is? Let me know in the comments!