Are you holding back from getting started with freelance content writing because you don’t have a writer’s website?
Stop – because you don’t actually need one.
Does having a writer’s website help? Yes! But it’s not necessary.
Even if you do still want a freelance writer’s website, there are ways to get a portfolio site or a simple writer’s website that are much easier than going all in and building your own site.
Let’s walk through why a freelance writer’s website is nice to have, but not necessary.
4 reasons why you don’t actually need a freelance writer’s website
1. You can get freelance writing work without a website.
Just last week I helped a writer get her first client. That writer does not have a website. Her new client never even asked to see her website. It never came up in their conversations.
I see a lot of freelance content writers get fixated on the idea that they need to have a writer’s website before they can start getting clients.
Sorry, but that’s just not true. Having a website helps, yes, but much less than most writers think it does. Keep reading to see why.
2. You can use your LinkedIn profile in lieu of a website.
You can lay out everything a client needs to know about you on your LinkedIn profile, including all of your clips (aka your writing samples).
3. Most writer’s websites get very little traffic.
Here’s another reason to optimize your LinkedIn profile BEFORE you invest time into a website: If your LinkedIn profile is even somewhat well-optimized, it’s probably going to get more visitors than any website you create will get.
Like 10x more visitors.
This is THE big secret most people don’t talk about when they talk about writer’s websites: Most writer’s websites are getting almost no website visitors.
4. Having a writer’s website helps with earning more, but much less than everybody thinks.
When I did my survey of freelance writers, I learned that writers who earn $45 or more per hour are more likely to have a website, but they’re actually not much more likely to have one than the writers who are earning less than $15 per hour.
77% of the writers earning more than $45 per hour had a website; 64% of the writers earning less than $15 per hour had a website.
According to that data, the high earners are more likely to have a website, yes. But having or not having a website is not THE thing that’s allowing writers to make a living or not.
And here’s the kicker: When I asked writers where they were getting their work, their website came in 5th place. 5th place!
How to get a freelance writer’s website without the time and expense of building a custom site
So maybe you’ve read all the points about… but you still want a freelance writer’s website anyway.
You just don’t want to have to learn how to build a writer’s website yourself. And you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars getting someone to build a custom site for you.
Well, I have good news. There are several website builder / portfolio builder tools that make creating a website for yourself super easy. If you’ve got enough skills to lay out a simple ebook in Canva, you can build a website.
Here they are, ranked by how much I recommend them:
True Writer’s Portfolio Sites
Free version: Yes, for ten articles.
Plus version is $5 per month and Pro version is $10 per month. You’ll need the Pro version to use your own domain name.
I’ve listed this first because it is far and away my top choice. In fact, if you want to just stop reading right here, and start getting your site set up on Journo Portfolio, I’m okay with that. And I don’t even have any affiliate links on this page.
Here’s what you get with a Journo Portfolio site:
- Gorgeous, modern design
- Pre-built themes and sections
- Subscribe and contact forms (integrates with MailChimp)
- Built-in analytics or connect to Google Analytics
- Your own custom domain name (you.com)
with a site that lets you:
- Publish blog posts
- Backup online articles
- Automatically import articles
- Invite people via email to come look at your site
- Set privacy options, so only certain people can see your site
and is optimized for the search engines and is mobile-friendly.
You can see sample portfolios here.
Honestly, many freelance writers may well never need anything more than a Journo Portfolio site. I still love custom sites, and obviously I have my own, but if you just want to spend time writing, not fussing with a website, this is your solution.
The price is also extremely competitive. Even a low-budget freelance writer just starting out can probably find $10 a month for their site.
Maybe when you become a content agency you’ll need a custom site, but honestly, Journo Portfolio offers enough that most freelance writers won’t outgrow it until their businesses are driving significant revenue.
If you want alternatives to Journo Portfolio, look into:
It’s free, which is nice. You can also use your own domain name, and they give you basic analytics about how many people have looked at your site.
The paid version is $9.99 per month. Their sites are pretty basic, (see some here), but hey – it’s free.
A lot of writers are drawn to this website builder. It’s a good choice. The designs are gorgeous, it’s easy to use, you can use your own domain name (you.com). It’s $12 per month for the basic plan, or $18 for the business plan, which includes a way to accept payments and you get a business Gmail account.
The ability to accept payments *might* be a reason to pick this over Journo Portfolio.
Writer portfolio sites that are connected to writer directories or content services
It’s free to have a Contently portfolio, it’s a breeze to set up, and you just might get some work out of it. Set up a Contently portfolio site even if you have your own custom website.
It’s free, but it’s more suited to journalists than content writers. MuckRack’s business model is actually to sell public relations people access to journalists. So I’m sure they’ll appreciate you adding another journalist to their directory. Still – it’s free.
It’s another way to be visible, and the more visible freelance content writers are, the more likely they are to get work.