For most online businesses the only place, where they can create an impression on their customers, is their company website. It plays the same role that an office building does for offline businesses. Just like an intimidating corporate workplace, a thoughtfully designed website may alone be enough to seal many sales deals for you. Therefore, as a freelance writer it is imperative that you utilize this contact point as effectively as possible. Your website may be the difference between you getting $20 or $200 for the same article.
Here are 20 reasons why you, as a writer, just cannot afford to go any further without your own website.
1. Develop Your Own Brand – Get Acknowledged!
I am sure your mom cooks delicious food, most moms do, and you believe it would sell for much more than that famous food franchise in your town. But in reality, it doesn’t. People would pay much more for that tasteless food brand and proudly boast about it than spend money on your mom’s masterpiece. This is the advantage of having a brand. You may well be a great writer, but you would keep on writing for $20/article because no one knows you. You are just another writer. You can, however, change that if you have your own website.
2. Get the Rates You Truly Deserve
This is the most important one, isn’t it? We all write for money and would never want anyone to pay us pennies for our hard work while building their own empire with it. Unfortunately, as long as you don’t have your own website, chances are that you would keep working hard to build empires for others. Your own website will give you the chance to interact directly with your customers and ask for the rates that you truly deserve.
3. It’s Your Playground, Design it the Way You Want!
Words alone cannot convince many customers to hire you. It is the overall experience and aura that you need to create around your work that would eventually get you a major project. This can only be achieved with your own website. Design your website the way you feel most comfortable. Make sure it compliments your writings and contributes to the overall user experience.
4. Be the Expert Everyone Wants to Read
You must have seen experts in different fields expressing their thoughts on various matters of their industries. Most of the times, they don’t say anything special. But they still get applauded, appreciated and, most importantly, paid much more than others. With your own website, you will have the perfect platform to establish yourself as an expert in your niche. With a few well written and marketed articles, you will see flocks of people coming to you for consultancy and other business opportunities.
5. Credibility – The Most Valuable Asset Online
With all those online frauds and scams going around, credibility is the most valuable asset for any online business. A well designed and maintained website gives you that credibility as a writer. Your customers would feel much more assured when dealing with you, knowing that you are an established writer, who has invested in developing his own website and is serious about his work.
6. Don’t Make Your Customers Wait for Samples!
Let your website be the most effective advertisement of your work. Whenever a company is looking for freelance writers, it looks for samples of their work to know exactly the quality they can deliver as writers. With a regularly updated and maintained website, you will give yourself the best chance to skip this step, as your website will be a running sample of your skills.
7. Forget Freelance Job Websites, Work on Your Own Terms
If you keep working for content mills and freelance job websites like Elance and Odesk, the best you can hope for are $20-25/article projects. But they too would have so many bidders on them that you are unlikely to be selected for any of those projects. Having your own website rids you of all this junk and gets you uncontested projects where you can dictate your rates to the clients.
8. Your Website is Your Lab, So Experiment!
You can’t be too adventurous when writing for your customers. But you can afford the luxury to experiment on your own website. Your website will give you the space to try new things and explore new writing styles. Don’t be afraid to do that as it is one of the major benefits of having your own website and it usually contributes positively to your writing repertoire
9. Make Your Website the Heart of Your Marketing Plan
Your website can well and truly be the main driving force behind your marketing plan. You can drive traffic to your website through various marketing techniques like guest blogging, SEO article writing, blog commenting etc. Without a website, of course, you will not have the platform to utilize your hard work.
10. Build Your Own Audience
One of the major benefits of your own website is the unique set of visitors that you attract. Once you start publishing valuable content regularly, you will see a loyal set of visitors building up for you as well. You can secure them permanently by developing your website mailing lists.
The more loyal visitors you get, the more impact each of your website posts will have.
11. Secure Your Social Media Following with Your Website
Even without a website, you may have a significant social media following on leading websites such as Twitter and Facebook. However, you are at a big risk of losing this advantage with a single policy change from these social platforms. Secure your social media influence by driving your followers to your website. Once they become loyal visitors, you are at a much lower risk of losing them even if something happens to your social media profiles.
12. Diversify Your Business, Increase Your Earnings
With your own website up and running, you will come across numerous possibilities of diversifying your revenue generation channels. You can publish eBooks and whitepapers or start paid consultancy for your visitors. The possibilities are limitless.
13. Use Your Audience to Build Your Business
This is what your own website enables you to do. Once you start getting success, people would love to write for your website to get their name attached with your brand. Use this to build your own business. The more quality content your website has, the more value it will deliver to your readers.
14. Tell the World What You Want them to Believe
I am not asking you to lie to your readers. Be honest, but don’t be stupid. Even if you are a new writer, you don’t need to tell everyone about it in each of your posts. If you write well and give your readers value, they would not care how young or old you are. All that matters is that you know what you’re talking about. This, of course, can only be done if you engage readers through your own website.
15. Your Website can be a Customer Magnet
You can keep asking companies and websites for work through emails all you want, but you’re not going to get many responses. Instead, make the clients come to you by making your own content rich and value driven website. Companies look to hire writers who can give value to their readers. Your website is the perfect place to tell the world how you can deliver that value.
I recently wrote a guest post on how to create and sell an eBook on a website.
16. It’s Your Own Website, Write with Freedom
Unlike writing for others, where you are bound to write what you have been asked to, your own website gives you the space to express yourself openly. Write with freedom and write what you want. Write on the topics, you feel, are best suited to your writing style. Give yourself the best chance to impress your readers, who might include potential customers as well.
17. Create Partnerships & Grow Your Business
Having your own website will give you the chance to partner with leading content marketing agencies that are always on the hunt for quality writers. Without a website, they might well treat you as a $20/article writer, but with your own website to showcase your abilities, you can confidently deal with them as a company and get much more rewarding deals.
18. The Perfect Platform for Your PR and Marketing Activities
Think big! There are numerous entrepreneurship websites and magazines waiting to cover stories like yours. You can be their next cover story! Your website is the perfect PR platform that you can use to engage leading news websites and magazines. Without it, no magazine or PR agency would waste their time on you.
19. Hire Great Writers and Develop a Winning Team
There’s only so much that you can do as an individual writer. Even if you have lots of projects and clients in your hands, your growth as a writer would be limited if you keep working alone. Having a website will not only give you the right platform to interact with quality writers but will also give you the opportunity to make them a part of your team. A winning team is the secret behind every successful business enterprise.
20. Use Your Website as a Learning Platform
Like everything in life, there must be room for improvement in your writing skills as well. Your website can be the most effective platform where you can learn about improving your writing. Engage with your visitors and listen to what they are saying. Loyal visitors are your best critics as well. Without a website, your skills will rot in isolation and you will hardly grow as a writer.