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Why you need a website for your writing
Date Added: July 7, 2012 | Author : Jesse S. Somer
You're a professional writer and run your own small business providing writing services to the wider community. Whether you've been doing this for a long time or you're just starting out, there are several reasons why having a website will put you a step ahead of the competition. |
What makes a good writer? It's their style. There are a lot of different kinds of writers in the world: journalists, creative writers, copywriters, science specialists, biographers, scriptwriters, poets, and children's authors. The main reason having a website will work for you is that you get to share your unique style and areas of ability to the world. You get to show prospective clients who you are.
Let's imagine a graphic designer who needs someone to write the text for a children's book that they've just drawn the pictures for. Traditionally, how would they find a writer? Asking colleagues, word-of-mouth suggestions, and networking? If these options run out they'd look in the Yellow Pages telephone directory, or possibly some local advertising. What do you find in the phonebook under 'writers'? I'll tell you because I've looked for them before. You usually get a name and a phone number. That's it. Then you make the phone call.
If you get through to the actual writer (depending on the size of the company you may only speak to a receptionist), all you have to go on are three things:
1.The tone and style of their voice. Someone may sound nice, but that doesn't mean that their writing's going to be any good.
2. Their word. Everyone wants business (unless they're so popular they can afford to turn new clients away!), so each person is going to do their best to sell themselves. How do you know if they're telling the truth?
3. Their price. Are they over-priced for their abilities and experience? Just because they're cheap doesn't mean that they'll meet your deadlines. Are they worth it?
However, you'll now see that in the Yellow Pages some writers have website addresses. These people aren't futurists; they're living in the present. Straight away I can go to their website and discover so many things about the person or organization. What helps as a client, is the genuine insight I get into the writer's content and style. Their website doesn't have to be fancy or complex to impress me. On the contrary, their site's simplicity tells me something of their character.
Depth of identity is what it's all about. A good writing business's website will have several components. The first is of course samples of their writing. What better way to know if someone is right for a project than by seeing writing from previous jobs? If you're looking for someone to write poetry on your wedding invitations, you can peruse their portfolio. Instantly customers will know if you are what they've been searching for.
Secondly, on your website you can have photographs that give visitors even more of an idea of who you are and what you're about. Have photos of yourself, your family, your company, and projects you've completed. You could even have pictures of your work processes, giving people a view into the structure of how you go about your art. Colourful photos can also add a positive atmosphere to your online persona. I'm always much more inclined to work with or buy from someone or some place that affects my senses. Insight emotional responses from people and again you're so far ahead of age-old business cards, mail pamphlets (admittedly these can have colourful photos, but if so, are quite an expense), and local Newspaper advertisements. Traditional methods of business are not to be ignored, but take some of the overhead cash flow and use it to create an online presence. The payoff far exceeds the outlay.
Next, your website can have frequently asked questions answered before they've even been asked. This gives prospective users of your service a look at the depth of knowledge and wisdom of experience you have. They discover what you know, and what you're especially interested in. If their need coincides with your professed expertise, bang, you've hooked the proverbial bite. Again you could feasibly answer important questions on a mail flyer, but think of how many you'd have to print and send to get the worldwide access that your website by nature is equipped with.
What next? You can add links in your website's sidebar to other reputable sites that you relate to, work with, or just see as inspiring or helpful. This can show people that you're genuinely passionate about your field of work. If I see a writer has a bunch of links related to cool authors I like, or to other websites that they've had a hand creating, I can feel I know the person even before I speak to them. That is of course presuming that I ever have to. If the job is small, I could simply communicate via the website's inherent email address. A good site will have the writer's fee, so unless I'm keen to haggle I can hire them instantly without ever lifting up the phone. What a time-saver.
Having a website is really important today. Don't get caught up in all the technical jargon and garbage that some people think are integral new technologies. All this stuff has already been figured out by the tech-heads to make it easy for normal people. Keep your website clear, concise, and inspiring. Via a simple and effective approach, people will feel more comfortable relating to your online 'identity'.
That's the key: Show your customers who you are, what you can provide, what you charge, and all of their fears and doubts are automatically alleviated. You could even have a testimonials section on the site where former clients express their opinion about your work. How much more authentically genuine and transparent can one be? If you're more proactive you could even set up a blog connected to the website where you can relate and communicate to the public.
Let's not get ahead of ourselves here. Keep it simple and easy. If you want your writing business to excel, get a website. Then, share your real self with the world. People appreciate a person or business that lets us truly know who they are.
About the Author:
Jesse S. Somer is a creative writer working at M6.Net: 'The web-hosting company for humans.' M6.Net is working hard to help humanity experience the power and freedom to develop their own part of the Internet.