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Your freelance writing website is an important tool that can attract new clients. It's how they find you when searching for writers. And it's where they go to learn more if they come across you via social media channels or after receiving a pitch from you. If that professional website isn't up to date or portrays a negative image, it could cost you great freelance writing jobs.

That's why it's important that you regularly review your freelance writing website and the copy it contains. I'm doing this now for my own site (ProBusinessWriter.com) -- updating old service pages, adding new ones, and making other edits where required.

Here are a few signs your freelance writing website might also be due for an update.

1. You've added new services (or cut some).

Clients won't know about your new writing services if you don't add them to your site. Many won't contact you to ask if you can handle project X or Y. They'll have a few writers in mind, they'll review websites and portfolios, and they'll narrow down their options. If it isn't clear you can satisfy their needs, you won't be one of them.

Update your professional website any time you add a new writing service (or complementary service like social media marketing for the blog posts you might write). But also don't forget to update your website if you stop offering a service. If you're no longer interested in writing annual reports, for example, pull all mentions of that service from your site.

2. You're making changes to business terms.

Similarly, you should update your website promptly if you change any business terms that would affect new clients. For example, you might make changes to your rates or payment policies.

In my case, I'm changing the default rights I sell for most of my work. Rather than basing rates on a default of ghostwritten work and offering a discount for bylined options, bylined work is now the default and I charge a premium for ghostwriting requests. I'm also emphasizing first right sales, so I'm adding information about publication rights to my site.

3. Your website doesn't attract your ideal clients.

If your professional writing website isn't bringing in enough clients, or it attracts the wrong kind of client, you might want to make some updates. Something in your copy (or what you're offering) isn't working. Reevaluate your target market, their needs, and their budgets. Then adapt your website copy to better appeal to that group.

4. Your website ranks poorly in search engine results.

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One of the most important jobs of your freelance writing website is to bring new prospects to you. And one of the best ways to do that is to have your site rank well in search engine results for targeted keywords. For example, I focus on ranking well for terms like "business writer." You would choose ones that apply to the kind of work you do.

If your website isn't appearing in the top ten results for a good number of your target keyword phrases, you need to work on that. Actually, I'd go so far to say that if you're site isn't ranking in the top three to five results you should give it another look and make changes. Make sure you're using the relevant keyword phrases in your copy, especially in headings. Make sure you're targeting keyword phrases that aren't over-saturated (it's very difficult to rank in those cases). And focus on building quality, relevant links back to your professional site.

5. It's been awhile.

Even if you don't notice any obvious problems with your professional writing website, give it a look if you haven't made any changes in awhile. Read everything aloud. Does it still work for you? Is it all still relevant? Is the writing style on your site still representative of the writing you do for clients? Could it use more dynamic content, like a company blog?

We don't always think to review our own websites. But if we let them sit too long unchanged, they can become stale. Poor designs can make them look dated. No dynamic content can make it more difficult to stay on top of search engine rankings. Old policies might be out of touch with what your clients really want today. You want your site to appeal to prospects long after it's created. So schedule in a review if you haven't done so in the past several months.

When was the last time you updated your freelance writing website? Do you think it's as strong today as the day it was created, or does it need work? If you're thinking about making changes, what changes do you plan to make? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, and indie author. She runs numerous websites & blogs including All Freelance Writing, NakedPR.com, and BizAmmo.com.

Jenn has 18 years experience writing for others, around 13 years experience in blogging, and over 10 years experience in indie e-book publishing. She is also an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

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