For freelancers, the decision to have your own website may not happen right away, there are hurdles getting started, alternative website options, but once done you can have a centralized place to promote your work and more.
Hurdles Getting Started
When first thinking about having your own website:
- Cost: Hiring a third party to do can be expensive and hence not considered worth it.
- Not technical: While doing it yourself can be less expensive, one may not feel comfortable with their skills for customizations or doing something different.
- No time: Regardless of cost or technical abilities, it still can take time to own and maintain a website, and feel it’s not appropriate at the given moment.
- Just getting started: Maybe the freelancing activity is more of a hobby, still practicing or working on a portfolio and not ready to be made public.
Alternative Website Options
Of course, there are other options for getting exposure on the web without having a website.
- Social networking sites: Another option is to just start promoting from a social networking site. While this can be ok, it can be difficult as you can’t always control the way it’s formatted or you end up with a site of distracting ads, maybe not appropriate for something you’re trying to be more professional about.
- Distribution sites: With many of the self-publishing/releasing options, you can have an author or band page. Good for displaying what you’ve released with them but are usually limited in options, are one or a few pages, and cannot integrate with other types of things you do.
- Blog: Having a blog can be low cost and a good way to connect with social networking sites, or starting off with a hobby, but if using for more professional intentions, they’re more of a complimentary piece to the main item, your website.
10 Benefits for Freelancers Having a Website
If you think the time is right or close to it, here are 10 benefits you can get from doing so:
1. Integrate Multiple Activities
Such as an author promoting books from different publishers or different formats. Even though each may have their own author page, they won’t be integrated unless you do so on your own website.
2. Control the Layout and Content
When you have your own website you can format it however you want, review, make tweaks and so on. This allows you to focus on the areas that are most important and not worry about an overnight layout change, such as what’s on the header, background colors, text formats, etc. Similar to layout but more relevant for the actual content shown on the page. With distribution sites this can be ok as they’re promoting your work, but with social networking sites you’ll get loads of other content from all kinds of places.
3. Multiple Pages
With you own website you can have as many as appropriate to help describe or explain what you do. Keep it simple or expand as needed.
4. Online Biz Card
While paper business cards probably still have their place in different areas, for freelancers it’s not as relevant, easier to just tell someone your website to check it out. Most likely they can do at the same time with simply bringing it up on their phone or tablet. From which you can go in many more different directions than a paper biz card.
5. Launching Point
You can use your website as a general launching point for any of your other activities, such posting blog articles and working with social networks for additional promotions.
6. Low Maintenance
Once the site is up and running, generally you need to do little to it other than an occasional update, such as a new event, release, or blog posting.
7. Low Cost
While one can pay a lot of money to have a website developed for them, the DIY approach is much cheaper and relatively not too difficult. There can be a learning curve though depending on whom you use, but considering that millions have already done, there are loads of options or forums to help you on your way. That said, the actual cost is just that of the domain and website hosting, usually far less than other aspects of your freelancing niche.
8. Collaboration Options
Often times when creating an idea or product, you’re doing it alone and need to be focused. With a website, as this is more on the promotional side, it’s not as big of deal and probably can be more helpful with someone else helping out. This could be for technical expertise, format and style ideas, or testing it out in different browsers or formats.
9. Search Engine Results
With having your own website, while you obviously won’t be placed at the top for all your keywords, you should for your actual website name, such as your name or whatever you’re calling your work.
10. User Feedback
This can be viewing the visitor traffic, seeing which pages they were interested in, where they came from, which links they clicked on, or receiving contact messages.
Yeah, having a website isn’t exactly a new thing, but for anyone that’s not familiar with it or has been more involved with other things, it can be. Traditional options range from charging for extra pages, including ads, to consulting, or with using what’s considered the more expensive enterprise solutions. Freelancers need something in the middle, being simple to set up, flexible to change for their niche, and low cost both in time and actual money involved.
And what can a freelancer get from having their own website?
- More Promotion Options: You can go into detail about a book, album, product or service you have, have an area for upcoming events, and launch a blog for occasional updates such as a new release.
- More Traffic Options: This could be from search engines, links going to your website from industry sites or social networks, and direct traffic such as from a blog posting delivered to an email list.
- More Revenue Options: With having a website that has either ecommerce or links to where people can purchase, the foundation is ready for visitors to purchase or support your endeavors.
Getting up and going isn’t easy as freelancer, having a streamlined website can be a big help to have your promotion activities working for you and giving you more time to work on something new.