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 As a Freelancer, Do You Need a Website?

When I wrote the headline for this blog, my first thought was, “Duh, of course you need a website as a freelancer! It’s 2017, not 1997!” So I started to kill it and write another headline.

But then I thought about all the freelancers who don’t have a website — and I changed my mind.

Debatable No Longer

When I first went full-time freelance eight years ago, this might have been a debatable question. While the Internet was certainly a mature medium, it wasn’t yet an integral part of any marketing initiative like it is today.

But having been a marketing copywriter for my entire career, I knew that one of my first priorities as a full-time freelancer needed to be getting a website up and running ASAP. Fortunately I had a friend who built sites for a living and he created one for me for free. (Great friend, huh?)

And boy am I glad I did. Being able to point prospects to DonSadlerWriter.com so they could get the scoop on my experience and background and view samples online was a tremendous boost to my fledgling freelance business. It helped make me look like a much more established freelancer, instead of somebody just starting out.

Time for an Upgrade

Fast-forward a few years — or more like a decade in Internet time — and my free website was starting to look a little, well, let’s just say dated. So I decided to invest some money and have professional website designer build a new site for me that looked much more modern and clean. I also did some SEO work on the new site to improve my search engine rankings.

Again, that was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for my freelance business. I immediately started getting good leads from the enhanced SEO and prospects regularly told me how professional my website looked. One even said he called me first because the other freelancers’ sites he checked out looked “very amateurish.”

Having a Site is Just Table-Stakes

There’s a good chance you have a website for your freelance business. Congrats, but don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back. Just having a website is table-stakes nowadays. Meanwhile, if you don’t have a website, go back and read the first paragraph of this blog again.

And no, your LinkedIn page doesn’t count as your website. I went searching for another freelancer I know’s website last month because I had a good prospect for him and his Google results just took you to his LinkedIn page. If I’d been a prospect, I probably wouldn’t have contacted him.

Sorry, I digress. If you do have a website, does it look polished and professional — or like you had your 8th grade nephew build it for you? Is it easy to navigate? Does it explain what it is that you do in a clear and concise way without a lot of gibberish and fancy marketing-speak?

Don’t take your own word for it — ask others whose opinion you respect what they think. And be open to constructive criticism. Your goal isn’t to get a bunch of “atta-boys” but to gather input and suggestions for ways to improve your site.

No Excuses

It’s so easy nowadays to build your own website for next to nothing that there’s really no excuse for not having a site. If you’re not comfortable doing this, then hire somebody.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money — you should be able to get a well-designed, professional-looking site built for under $1,000. Trust me: If you don’t have a website, or if you have a crappy-looking site, this will be the best marketing money you ever spend.


Authored by Don Sadler
Don Sadler hung out his shingle as a full-time freelance writer in 2009 after working for several custom publishing companies over the previous 24 years. Visit
www.donsadlerwriter.com or contact him at don@donsadlerwriter.com.