On Monday, I mentioned in passing a few characteristics necessary for a good writer’s business card. I’d like to follow that up by mentioning a few things that every writer absolutely must have on his or her website.
- At least three examples of past work: I make a point of linking to all my past clips from this website. You don’t have to be so thorough, but you should make it easy for a potential customer to see at least a few examples of your past work as proof of your skills as a writer. Even if you have to write something specifically to use as an example when you’re starting out, make a point of having three or four solid samples.
- A contact page: No matter whether you prefer for potential clients to email you, call you or send a carrier pigeon, make sure that you lay out your contact information clearly on your website. Even better, put in a contact form where a prospective client just has to type in his or her email address and message right on your site.
- Your full name: You’d be absolutely surprised how many writers’ websites I’ve looked at recently that did not actually list the writer’s full name. You don’t have to have yourname.com (although it’s nice if you do), but do put your name somewhere up front in big letters.
- A subscription option: If you’re writing and you have a website, it just makes sense to have some sort of regular content your clients can subscribe to. Blogs are rapidly becoming the most common option, but email newsletters can still be a good choice. Either way, offering something a reader can subscribe to helps you build a list of potential clients — they’re not necessarily looking for a writer today, but they may be back in a couple of days or weeks, especially if you keep sending out quality content.
- A mention of your specialty: What? You don’t have a writing specialty? Well, it’s time to get one. Your specialty doesn’t have to limit you — I would consider blogging my specialty these days, but I won’t turn down other work. Mentioning a specialty just helps clear up what sort of work you’re particularly interested in taking on.