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Ten Reasons Every Writer Needs a Web Site
by Beth Erickson
I received a very interesting e-mail the other
day. It came from an extremely talented writer who wrote something that went
"On the advice of a career coach, effective
immediately, I am closing my website. At this point in my writing career, it's
money better spent elsewhere."
I was stunned. How can a legitimate "career
coach" advocate closing a website especially when a website is a powerful
weapon in every writers arsenal?
As I pondered what shed written, I could think
of ten reasons why EVERY writer needs a website. Here they are:
1. Your website builds credibility. Having a
website presence places you as an expert in your field. A writer who takes the
time to write and maintain a website is a writer who takes their career
seriously. Not only that, having a web address on your business cards looks
2. Your website is a wonderful place to house
your clips. Every query you send out can provide your URL along with links to
your clips. Face it... a web site is like a billboard advertising your writing
services. Its available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, plus it provides
more information about you and your writing than any query could possibly
3. Owning a website makes applying for online
writing assignments a breeze. Keep an updated resume on your site. When you
query online publications, place the resume URL in your query. Also include your
home page. Then your site will do most of the work for you.
4. Keeping a separate page on your web site for
various resumes gives your assignment searches flexibility. Create one URL for
your resume that focuses on your article writing abilities. Create another one
for your fiction pursuits. Maybe you want one web page solely for your
copywriting achievements. Each page can hold links for corresponding clips.
Creating multiple resume pages focuses your querying efforts like a
5. Owning a website is inexpensive. You can
easily find a reliable hosting company for as little as six bucks a month. Plus,
the cost of owning it gets lower when you consider that the cost is tax
deductible (if you use it solely for business purposes).
6. You can sell writing projects on your web
page. Once you have a nice flow of traffic visiting your site, you can diversify
your income by writing booklets, articles, reports, books... and selling them.
You can even sell e-books and forgo effort of packaging items, or running to the
7. Maintaining a website creates a hub where
clients, other writers, and potential customers can congregate and "meet" you.
When you have a website, Im sure youll create an e-mail link on every page so
visitors can contact you. Answer every e-mail you receive. Youll make
invaluable contacts, youll network with other writers, but most of all...
youll make friends. Writing can be a lonely profession. But not so when you
have your own "cheerleading section."
8. A website may make you newsworthy. And when
your name is in front of your potential customers on a regular basis, youre
more apt to obtain their writing assignments. Whats newsworthy? The answer to
that question is only limited by your imagination. Make your site the best
source of information your clients need and youll find yourself
9. If you want to write books, using your
website to create a message board, "e-mail list" or e-mag may make finding a
publisher easier. Showing a potential publisher that youve taken the time to
create an audience for your subject, showing them that youve got a few thousand
potential readers waiting for your messages on a regular basis just may tip the
scales in your favor when it comes to considering your proposal.
10. Owning a website and attracting traffic
towards it is a big step in acquiring a readership. Fiction writers will find
attracting a readership invaluable. Post chapter samples of your newest project
online. Request feedback. REALLY get to know your audience. Youll be surprised
how your perception of who will read your work differs from reality. When you
know your audience, inside and out, you can tailor what you write to fit their
needs. Then everyones the winner. The reader receives something they need.
Youll sell youre writing.
As you can see, these are some very compelling
reasons to own a website. But if these havent convinced you, heres five more
bonus reasons why you should own a website.
1. You can anticipate the questions potential
customers will ask and provide answers on a FAQ page. Youll save a ton of time
if you dont have to repeat the answer to the same questions over and
2. You can stay in contact with your readers.
Have an area where readers/clients/visitors can sign up for updates, news, etc.
Then keep in touch with them on a regular basis.
3. You may acquire international clients. I live
in Minnesota. Ive written articles for people in Europe. Folks from Africa have
purchased my books. I know I wouldnt have met these people without my web
4. You can convey the image you want to project
on your web site. Want to look like a small company? Fine. Create a page that
makes you look warm, cozy, and local. If you want to compete with the "big guys"
make your page slick, professional, and concise. Its completely up to
5. Finally, your competition probably has a
website and is already landing e-assignments. Know your competitors. Write
better than they do. But most of all, squeeze everything you can out of every
dime you put into your promotion efforts. Creating and maintaining a web site is
a wonderful way to reach as many potential clients for just a little investment
of time and money. Your competition already knows this. You should
But most of all, creating relationships is the
key to succeed as a writer in this millennium. A website enables you to create a
very nice relationship with every one of your readers. Writing is a solitary
profession. Interaction with people Ive met through FilbertPublishing.com has
become an unexpected delight as I make my way through this crazy
© Copyright 2002, Beth Erickson
Beth Ann Erickson is the author of Jumpstart Your Writing Career and The Almach both available at http://booklocker.com. Shes also a busy copywriter, speaker, and publisher of Writing Etc., the free e-mag for writers. Check it out plus receive the free e-booklet "Power Queries" at http://filbertpublishing.com.
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