What your website should have

We're all aware that the internet has changed the way writers can market and promote their work. The possibilities for building an audience and finding new paid assignments are numerous thanks to social media sites like facebook, twitter and linkedin. Although such sites are great on many levels and each offer advantages for writers to network and further their careers, a website dedicated to the writer and their career is a must for optimising their online presence and establishing themselves as a professional.

The first step is obviously to claim a domain for your site. You can get cheap and easy to use websites from hosts like tripod.com.

Once you have your site the next step is to decide on the look and feel of the site. It should reflect your style, look professional and be easy to navigate.

Now for the content. This is probably the hardest part as you want to give your visitors everything they might need but without it overwhelming them.
Here's a list of the basics you might want to include:

  • Your contact information. You don't necessarily have to put your full address and phone numbers (remember safety first always) but an email address or contact form is a must.
  • A bio. Give basic background information about yourself and your career so far.
  • A photo of yourself (professional headshot is best). People like to see who they are dealing with.
  • Testimonials/endorsements from past clients.
  • A sales page for your products with an easy to use 'add to cart' feature.

You want to make everything simple for your readers so they can navigate your site with ease. Also if you include links to other websites on your pages make sure they open in a new window so that your readers don't lose your site when they click.

Some useful widgets you might want to include are:

Share widgets are available for most other social media sites too or alternatively add a bar to your website using a widget like the free tool bar from http://www.wibiya.com to make it even more interactive.

What other features do you think are must haves?


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