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 ProBusinessWriter.com. 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 while a resume can quickly go out of date, a prospective client should be able to look at your website always knowing the information is reasonably up to date.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?
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