I’ve gotten countless emails from readers who wanted me to review their writer website and offer feedback to help them better position their website to attract more clients. I’ve also coached dozens of writers to ensure their website is well set up to attract clients.
The more writer websites I review, the more I start to realize they have some things in common.
You probably will never have a perfect writer website. You don’t need to. However, making some mistakes will completely cripple your writer website, suck the life out of it and make it totally ineffective at doing what you want it to do the most – attract clients.
Now, I’m a huge advocate of blogging to attract premium clients to your writing business, and I have a proven and perfected system for optimizing your blog to attract clients, which you should definitely check out, but below is a quick summary of some of the most crippling mistakes I’ve seen writers make when I review their websites.
1. No Indication of the Services You Offer
When I get the occasional request from the “freelance writer” who wants me to review her site and then head over to the site to see that there is no indication that she can be hired, I often wonder and ask myself “what’s the point?”
Are you really a freelance writer if you can’t even tell people how to hire you?
Saying “I’m a writer and this is my writer website” is not enough. You have to take things a step further and create a services page, clearly highlight the services you offer, declare boldly that you are a freelance writer and ask them to reach out to you for work.
Being a freelance writer is nothing to be ashamed of, and nobody will reach out to you or want to hire you if you don’t let them know how to.
2. Not Properly Clarifying Your Services
Another mistake is listing 20 services you offer without a description of what each service entails.
The more services you include on your hire me page, the more confusing it becomes for clients who want to decide which of your services to use.
When you include the following services on your page for example:
- Content writing
- Web copywriting
- SEO writing
- Technical writing
You have most likely established which is which in your mind, and that’s not much of a big deal since you are the one offering the service. However, most potential clients have no idea what’s the difference between content writing and SEO writing in your own context, or which of the two they need.
The same goes for all of your services, and even in the rare case that a client knows which is which, they sometimes struggle to decide on what they need.
Clearly explaining each service you offer, letting clients know which of your services they need based on what situation will go a long way to make it easy for them to hire you.
3. Not Emphasizing or Affirming the Need for Your Services
Not affirming the need for your services also goes a long way to cripple the effectiveness of your writer website, and it is something that needs to be fixed, quickly!
Most potential clients are not fully convinced about the need for good quality content in their business, and some of those that do probably do not value good content enough to want to pay your rates.
Including social proof in the form of testimonials, case studies, results you have gotten for other clients and what they think about your services will go a long way to establish your credibility, while affirming the need of your services.
This can be difficult for new freelance writers, especially when you haven’t worked with any client before. A very effective way to affirm the need for your services is to reference studies that show the effectiveness of the services you offer.
For example, if you are a freelance blogger you could easily use this study that says that businesses with a regularly updated blog generate 126% more leads compared to businesses without a blog. A case study writer could reference this study on how a business used case studies to get 185% more sales, and a copywriter could reference this study on how changing a single word led to a 60% increase in conversions, proving the needs of hiring an expert copywriter that can help you use the right words.
Studies might not be conducted by you, or about you, but relevant studies, used smartly, clearly emphasize the need for the service you offer.
4. You Writer Website Does Not Have a Blog
“You don’t need a blog as a writer!”
You’ve probably heard that a lot from some writing experts but I can assure you that, in reality, it is nothing more than feel good statements most writers are waiting to hear. Just because it makes you feel good doesn’t mean it’s right.
It’s 2015 for God’s sake and you are still asking whether a writer needs to have a blog?!
Millions of people who aren’t writers by profession have a blog, so why not have one yourself?
Anyway, here’s the business case for adding a blog to your writer website: a blog helps you establish more credibility by serving as live samples of your work. Clients can easily see dozens or even hundreds of articles you have written, which further enhances your proficiency and encourages them to reach out.
More importantly, many of your articles will be shared on social media, linked to and eventually get to rank for various terms in the search engines, leading to more traffic on the long run. If done right, this means you can be getting clients through an article you wrote on your blog years ago.
Also, having a blog is no guarantee of success; so setting up your blog and ignoring it, or simply just updating it is dooming yourself to fail. You have to strategically leverage your blog to promote your writing services. This is an approach that has added six figures to my bottom line, and something I teach in details in Stop Pitching Clients.
I have had it happen to me and I know other writers who have, too. You definitely have no excuse for not adding a blog to your writer website.
5. You’re Making it Difficult to Reach Out to You
Every hindrance you put in the way of a client reaching out to you could cost you a potential client.
Consultant Neil Patel conducted a study and realized that reducing the number of fields potential clients have to fill before reaching out to him increased conversions by 26%.
Sometimes, asking for more isn’t better. Do you really need the address/country/phone number of potential clients, on their first contact?
Unless it is absolutely necessary, don’t ask for it – or it would cost you clients!
This is two-sided as well.
You also need to make sure that, as much as you are comfortable with, you should give clients enough options to allow them reach out to you; this means you should list your Skype id, email address and business phone number on your writer website if you feel it would make it easy for clients to reach out to you.