Setting up a Professional Website as a Freelance Writer

I doubt there's a single case where I wouldn't suggest that a freelance writer set up a professional website and portfolio. Do you have one yet? You can take a look at mine currently at If you'd like to share your own professional site, leave a link in the comments.

But what if you don't have a professional website yet? Where do you start? There are a few decisions you'll have to make. Here are some of them to help you plan your own site:

Resume vs Portfolio

There's really no need to have a resume unless you're actually searching for a "job." As a freelancer, what you need is a portfolio, and a site that details your services. You can still include a lot of the same information (like past clients), but you can do so in more detail (such as case studies if you'd like). Your professional site and portfolio are also designed to be more dynamic... while a resume can quickly go out of date, a prospective client should be able to look at your website always knowing the information is reasonably up to date. The real highlight of a professional site is that you do get to include your portfolio directly to showcase some of your work.

Blog vs Website

Should you set up your professional site as a standard website or in blog format? Personally, I say go with what makes you comfortable on this one. If you prefer setting up a static website, go for it. If you're more familiar with a blog platform, you can make that work too.

One thing I really love about WordPress in particular is the fact that you can adapt it easily to do just about anything. You can use it as a traditional blog, or to run a static site (or even a combination of the two). I use it to run a combination for my PR firm's site actually, and it works really well for that.

Other CMS Options

Deciding that you don't want to use a blog platform to set up your professional freelance writing site doesn't mean that you have to do things manually. There are a lot of content management systems out there that will allow you to update your website from anywhere online quickly and easily. If that sounds appealing to you, you may want to check out CMS Made Simple (my favorite), Joomla, or Drupal.

Rates vs No Rates

Another choice you'll have to make regarding a professional website is whether or not to include your freelance writing rates. I've found that business increased a good deal when I included them, but some people prefer to have potential clients request a quote to get rates. Either can work for you. Quotes, for example, may be best if you don't have standard rates, but instead estimate each project separately.

What other decisions do you find yourself facing when setting up your professional freelance writing website?

Profile image for Jennifer Mattern

Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, consultant, and indie author. She runs numerous websites & blogs including All Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Pros, NakedPR, and Kiss My Biz.

Jenn has 25 years' experience as a professional writer and editor and over 20 years' experience in marketing and PR (working heavily in digital PR, online marketing, social media, SEO, new media, and thought leadership publication). She also has 19 years' professional blogging and web publishing experience (including web development) and around 18 years of experience as an indie author / publisher.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names and is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

Subscribe to the All Freelance Writing newsletter to get freelance writing updates from Jenn in your inbox.

7 thoughts on “Setting up a Professional Website as a Freelance Writer”

  1. Thanks for the post! I set mine up just last month and I think it is beneficial in landing gigs. I used a WordPress template and used a host that allowed one click installation (SUPER simple). I did a static page and then seperate pages for my rates, samples and contact me. I am going through an SEO class right now to try to get it a better ranking. Moving in small steps… 🙂

  2. Hi Jennifer!

    Fellow DP member here who followed,with high expectation, a link to take a look at your blog. You didn’t let me down. 🙂 Thank you for this post, as I have recently put up a blog for my own writing. There are not too many helpful places for doing this as a writer.

    You mentioned to leave ours if we liked, so I am assuming it is ok to leave a link in here. If you get a moment I would love to hear what you have to say!


  3. This is a great post. I try to get my clients to understand this, especially writers 🙂

    Super, duper!
    Maria 😉

  4. I have had a site for a little while now. I don’t think it has changed how many clients I get but it has given my writing a place to be.

  5. Whether or not a site helps to bring in more clients depends almost entirely on how well the site itself is optimized and marketed. For example, I market my PR firm’s site a good bit, and the more traffic I build to it, the more clients come through it. With my writing site, I optimized it to rank really well for my primary keyword phrases, so I have to do much less other marketing. So that’s a good point I don’t think I mentioned before… if a site is set up but just sits there or doesn’t do anything to really push your services well, it’s probably not going to help much. At the same time, it can take time to see significant effects from it.

  6. I set up my website during January, using Dreamweaver, but it’s still very
    much under development, as I am very new to online freelancing, and am
    on a steep learning curve.

  7. As I only consider myself a blogger, not a writer, I’m only going to say that for the first 3 points of your post, WordPress is by far the best free solution available. Very configurable, it can easily turn from a basic blog into a static website, design portfolio, image gallery, link directory and even e-shop. Also, your blog post will definitely act as a portfolio in the eyes of your readers, or potential customers. With each day, I;m more and more amazed by this platform.

    Thanks for the good reading Jennifer!


Leave a Comment