You decided to begin a freelance writing business to pursue your passions of working from home and making money from home. There’s just one problem: you don’t know where to begin.
Should you start a website, should you create a one-page online portfolio, should you blog, should you just count on social media and email to get a foot in the door?
I had the same questions plaguing me with overwhelm when I first started freelance writing.
Don’t worry, this blog post will walk you through step-by-step how to start a website for your freelance writing business.
Why Start A Website for your Freelance Writing Business?
Notice I didn’t say “Start A Blog” because you are doing way more than starting a blog. You’re creating a professional presence for your freelance writing business and yourself.
There’s a couple reasons starting a website will kickstart your writing business even before you try to send a single pitch to a publication.
- There’s a professional place you OWN on the Internet that’s dedicated to your work and your business.
- There’s a professional place you OWN where potential clients can contact you, learn more about you and your number one goal, request writing services (make mullah).
- There’s a professional place you OWN where you can focus on building your writing portfolio (blog) and growing as a writer and a person.
- There’s a professional place you OWN to network with other writers and potential clients for the future.
Are you convinced yet that you need a website for your freelance writing business? If so, follow the steps below (including a video tutorial about SiteGround) and you’ll be off to making money from home with your writing in no time.
1. Choose A Domain Name through SiteGround
SiteGround makes it super easy to purchase a domain name for just $15.95 a year. You simply type in the name you want your website to be called and press “Check Domain” to see if it’s available.
You can also purchase a domain name from another hosting company, but it’s easier to have your domain and hosting come from the same company, like SiteGround.
A lot of people are hesitant to purchase a domain name because of the cost. Well, this is when I break that $15.95 a year down for you. If you’re a coffee drinker like me, then you know how much a specialty coffee drink costs at your favorite coffee shop.
Even if you only treat yourself to one specialty coffee drink a week, that’s only 3 weeks without a coffee drink. Make a small “sacrifice” for yourself and your business. Purchase your domain today from SiteGround and get to work!
What Should My Domain Name Be?
Here’s some possibilities:
Since you’re creating a website for your freelance writing business, then you may want to put the word “freelance” or “writer” along with your name as your domain name. These are keywords that can help you rank on Google. For example, JaneDoeFreelance.com.
Some people use just their full name for a domain, like JaneDoe.com. I think this is a good professional option.
On the other hand, some people create a unique domain name that has nothing to do with their name or freelance writing business and it works for them. It really all depends on the person.
2. Choose SiteGround for your Self-Hosting Service
I use SiteGround for PurposefulWriter.com and I only have great things to say about this company. I hosted through GoDaddy for two years before switching over to SiteGround, and so far their customer service has been outstanding.
I was super nervous at first to switch over to SiteGround from GoDaddy. However, they literally did all the work for me and eased my nerves completely. If you have any troubles at all with SiteGround, simply contact their amazing customer support. You’ll have whatever you need fixed in no time.
It’s more affordable and easier than ever to begin today. With SiteGround you can get your site up and running for $3.95 per month ( about $48 for the first year). It literally takes less than 5 minutes to start your website for your freelance writing business today.
Tutorial: How To Purchase A Domain Name And Website Hosting Through SiteGround
3. Install WordPress Through SiteGround
I’ve been using WordPress my entire professional writing career (since 2009). I truly believe it’s a user-friendly platform and it’s an easy-to-learn blogging platform. If you’re wondering how to install WordPress after you’ve set up your hosting and domain through SiteGround, then there’s a tutorial below.
1. Go to “My Accounts” and click “Go to cPanel”. Press “WordPress” under the AutoInstallers section.
2. Press “Install Now”
3. Enter your site information
4. Signing Into WordPress: Go to “My Accounts” and press “Installations” and press “Go to Admin Panel” under WordPress.
You’re all set up to start customizing your first freelance writing website!
4. Choose A Professional Theme
When you’re first starting your freelance writing business it’s best to keep this step as simple as possible. You can use a free theme or choose to pay for a theme.
I chose a free theme at first, because I didn’t want to commit to paying for a theme when I wasn’t sure about the brand of my freelance writing business. After a couple months, I purchased a feminine theme with lots of white space.
You don’t want too many intricate designs and fonts distracting the person who visits your site.
5. Create A Professional Gravatar
A professional Gravatar is an image of you that is assigned to your email account. It’s important to set up your Gravatar so people can connect your freelance writing business with a person. Every time you comment on another person’s blog post or reply back to a comment on your own, this image will be a part of your name (business brand).
1. Go to www.gravatar.com and press “Create Your Own Gravatar”. You will be creating another WordPress site with this Gravatar, but that’s okay. Put in the email address you use for self-hosting. Create a username and password and write them down.
2. Copy and paste the link Gravatar.com sends you to confirm your email account. Upload an image of yourself.
3. After you upload your image from one of the four options below, then you can crop it to your liking. Voila! You’re done.
6. Create An About Me Page
Creating an About Me page is a vital step in starting a website for your freelance writing business. Here are sections you want to include in your About Me page:
- Your name
- A short bio
- A photo
- What you do for businesses or individuals with your freelance writing skills
- A way to contact you
7. Create A Services Page
The Services page on your website will break down what you can do for potential customers. Potential services could be:
- Ghostwriting articles about advancements in technology
- Helping businesses create profitable content marketing
- Creating SEO content for lifestyle bloggers
- Writing SEO website copy for small businesses
And the list goes on.
In case you skipped to the bottom, here’s the step-by-step process to start a website for your freelance writing business:
- Choose Domain Name through SiteGround (scroll up for the video tutorial)
- Sign Up for Hosting through SiteGround
- Install the WordPress plugin through SiteGround (scroll up for the tutorial)
- Choose a Professional Theme
- Create A Gravatar (scroll up for the tutorial)
- Create An About Me Page
- Create A Services Page
I hope this post was helpful to start a website for your freelance writing business. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or if this post helped you.
Jessica Kromer – Purposeful Writer