I love this post on branding for freelancers over at Freelance Folder. According to Jon, the following items are necessary for your freelance website:
* Portfolio – Resume
* Services offered
* Contact page
* Call to action
* A blog is optional, but highly recommended.
Whether you are a freelance writer, graphic artist, website designer, coder, or ballet dancer, I agree with the list – except that blogging is becoming more and more optional. You can throw up a static website, but if you aren’t updating it on a regular basis then the search engines will forget about it. That’s the beauty of a blog: It puts fresh, unique content on your website daily.
When it comes to developing content for your website, you can’t be chintzy. You’re in competition. Not only are you competing online with your local freelancers, but you are also competing with freelancers in your industry from all over the globe. So you want to what is necessary to push your website to the top of the search engine results for your important keywords. That’s why you must do the following before, and as, you build your freelance website:
- Keyword Research
- Plan the layout and architecture of your site
- Develop content that is interesting and engaging
- Make sure your website is search engine friendly
- Put bookmarking icons on every page of your website
- Use some form of analytics so you can track where your traffic coming from and what people are doing once they land on your website
- Connect with others online – other freelancers, competitors, people in related industries who might use your services or recommend you, and hang out in forums where your potential customers will be seen
If you’re going to put up a website, don’t just put up a website and think you’ve done your marketing. You have to market your website. Think of it as a separate store front and just as you would market your place of business, you have to market your website.