So, in this post I’m going to teach you exactly how to build a freelance writer website from scratch.
But I want to explain why you need one in the first place. Because not all freelance writers are convinced they need one for some weird reason;)
Why you need a freelance writer website:
It’s simple: you own a business. If you can’t be found online today, you don’t exist. You must not be legit. You must not be very serious about your business. (I might even go out on a limb and say, you seem a bit like a fraud or scam? Ever thought it was fishy when you couldn’t find a business’s website online?)
A website is going to allow you to market yourself in ways that nothing else can. First of all, it provides bona fide evidence that you know how to write website copy and can help others with theirs because your own web copy will prove it.
Also, a large percentage of clients require you to have working WordPress knowledge to write blog posts for them. Building your own website on WordPress is going to give you that working knowledge that you need for them. You’re going to need to know how to use it anyway.
Another way to think about this is, why would you not create a website?
The cost to start a freelance writing business? Is the cost of your website. That is the lowest startup costs for a business EVER!
Plus, all your website hosting costs are tax deductible business expenses.
So, if you know you need a website and you haven’t built one yet, take a few minutes right now to put one together. Do it while your energy is high and you’re excited about it. You can bookmark this page for later, but if you keep avoiding it, you’ll never do it. Right now is a good time. Got 5 minutes?
How to create a freelance writer website in under 5 minutes:
- Go to Bluehost’s Home Page and click on the “Get Started Now” button. See that? You’re doing it! (And it’s not as hard as you were thinking).
2. On the next page, it says to Select Your Plan. Select Basic. You can always upgrade later.
3. Type in the domain name you want for your business. If you’re not sure about your domain name yet, a popup box will come up allowing you to go forward without a domain name. You get one free domain with your purchase, so you don’t have to use a separate site for that.
4. Create your account with Bluehost. All very straightforward.
Then scroll down a little and choose your plan. You save money if you buy several years’ worth of hosting up front. That $3.95/month? That’s the introductory rate, so go with as many months as you can. You can also add any extra features like SiteLock, which hides your address from everyone on the internet (I talk about protecting your identity in this post):
Scroll down a little more and enter your payment information. Read through and accept all the terms and conditions. Remember this is an investment, not an expense.
Then, click submit. You’ll be asked to verify your purchase and create your password. That’s IT!!!
Congratulations! You have a freelance writer website!
Now, you’ll want to install WordPress right away, since you’re on a roll here. Get ‘er done while you’re at it.
How to install WordPress to your Bluehost Site
This is too easy. It’s a one-click install.
Now that you’re logged into Bluehost, click on the “cpanel” tab at the top of the page.
Then, click on Install WordPress and follow the directions from there!
You’ll choose the domain you want to install WordPress on (probably the domain you just created). Or just call that number at the top of your screen and have someone at WordPress walk you through the process. I have faith in you though.
The next page should just confirm your admin information and give you the terms and conditions. After entering and reading through that, simply hit “Next” and it will start happening. The top bar will show you the progress.
Then, you’ll be all set! You’ll be able to log into your WordPress site with the login and password provided at yoursite.com/wp-admin.
That wasn’t so bad, was it? You have a freaking website now!
Now, it may take a little while to figure out how to navigate WordPress, but it comes with playing around and maybe watching a tutorial or seven. And almost any question you have can be answered with a simple Google or Youtube search.
I will come back soon with a post about the Make Theme and how I use it to build pages on my website. Many entrepreneurs use Divi, but I’ve found Make to be satisfactory for drop-and-drag capabilities. You can simply search your Plugins for the Make Theme by Theme Foundry to get it installed. A plugin is just a tool you add to your website backend that makes everything easier for non-developer people to do. In other words, instead of learning code to design your website, plugins can do most of it for you.
The other plugins I would suggest having for your freelance writer website (just install them and figure them out later):
- Akismet: spam filter.
- All in One WP Security: security for your website.
- Google Analytics: see info about your site’s traffic, most popular posts, and audience behavior.
- Magic action box/optin forms/SumoMe: choose one of these free plugins to add an opt-in form to your website. I have all three connected so I can have multiple opt-in boxes.
- Photo Express for Google: this is a lifesaver plugin that gives me access to my smartphone pictures for blog posts.
- Shareaholic: adds icons to your posts to encourage readers to share them on social media.
- Updraft Plus-Backup/restore: backup your website. Just do it. Websites gets hacked every day.
- WP Edit: This allows you to put extra features on your text editing toolbar.
- WP Google Fonts: Gives you access to a ton of fonts, not just the four WordPress comes with.
- Yoast SEO: This plugin helps you optimize your blog posts for search.
That’s about it for the basics of setting up a website! That’s all there really is to it. Feel free to play around to get a feel for WordPress.
If you used this post to build your own website, would you come back and share a link so I can see it? I love to see what others are creating! Any questions, drop a note in the comments!