I have this blog for CDB, but I have a website, too. I tossed that site up quickly using a WYSIWYG editor. It's bright orange, relatively featureless and not too exciting. I think about changing it up and making a more effective statement every day. I never find the time to do it. By the time you read this, however, that may have changed.
Occasionally, I spend some time checking out other writer's sites. I like to "keep tabs" on the competition and also wonder if I might find some inspiration for my eventual site redesign.
I do copywriting and write alot of content, so I understand how important a good sales pitch is. However, I simply cannot motivate myself to write the kind of things I am seeing from other writers.
They'll supply a list of clients. As someone who does a lot of ghostwriting, I don't like that idea. I am sure many of my clients wouldn't mind if I asked them, but I would prefer to let the world continue to think that they wrote all of that great stuff on their sites.
Some writers will provide something akin to a resume. My current, to be honest, does a bit of that. I don't care for that strategy, either.
I was almost a professional student for a long time. Multiple stints in grad school, etc. One thing I learned during those years of study was to immediately be suspicious of anyone who tries to impress you with their degree collection. Sure, an educational background will give some clue to a prospective client that one is capable of constructing complete sentences, but it doesn't really seem like the most relevant thing to me.
My work history is varied and maybe even interesting. How many writers do you know who have been an industrial laundry dryer room operator, a radio announcer, a roofer, a teacher, a corporate division head, a paper pusher in government, the coach of a top-ranked collegiate debate program and more? Sure, a prospective client might see that as proof that I am well-rounded and able to communicate with virtually every audience. Again, I doubt that is the most important thing to them.
My problem is that I have been on the other side of the table as a content buyer and as a webmaster. All of those things that seem like great marketing hooks really don't mean that much when you are looking for a writer. In my estimation, there are three primary considerations for a buyer: price, trust and quality.
Anyone can write a great resume. Anyone can recite their virtues and create an appearance of competence. Those in online business recognize this. They are smart enough not to be taken in by a nice website and a great bio. They might need someone to write a powerful sales letter to help them move product, but they are not the target audience for that kind of long copy with its hype.
There are thousands of freelance writers with websites adorned with banner graphics featuring quills, fountain pens and inkpots. They discuss a love of writing and assure customers the highest level of care and attention. They spend a great deal of their space pitching prospects on the idea of hiring a writer in the first place. They all promise appropriate rates and amazing quality.
I don't use quills or fountain pens. I use a black wireless keyboard with half of the letters worn out. I think that most of the people who find me are pre-sold on the idea of hiring a writer and are out looking for a good fit for their project. They are looking for price, trust and quality. The trick is that they know better than to take someone's word on their ability to meet those three requirements.
So, today I might just rebuild my website (finally). I think it's time to market my freelance writing from a slightly different angle.
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