Websites For Freelancers
Why do I need a website?
As a hirer of freelancers I am always frustrated and irritated in equal measure by the CVs and covering letters that are usually so similar that they often blend into one regurgitated list of qualifications and attributes – that remarkably meet all your requirements; and even more astonishing they are listed in the same order as they are listed in the job advert.
Having read the CVs all I could guarantee was that they had been on the right team at the right time; so faced with a number of ‘grey men and women’ I would take to the internet to find out more on the candidates.
If your CV hit my desk and I Googled you, would you stand out?
As I’m deeply entrenched in the wide world of the web there was a good chance that the candidates I was asked to filter had a mature digital identity, and – although not always the case – the majority of the candidates had something to look at. With the CV you get a rather sterile list of qualifications and experience but you don’t get to see their specific contributions; but with a personal portfolio-style website you get to fill in the gaps left by the CV.
How do I get a website?
Using the principles employed by the Work 4 Coffee movement I’ll tell you exactly what I would do in your situation, I will assume you have no prior knowledge of building your own website.
Visit WordPress.com and follow the 4 step process to create your own WordPress blog. You have the option of a free web address which will look like yourname.wordpress.com or you can add your own domain with out the wordpress (yourname.com) from £15 a year. You then select an appropriate plan ranging from Free for life up to Business at £250 a year. You can upgrade at any time so I’d plum for the Free plan to get me started.
Add content, there is no substitute for good content on your site. This may sound obvious but make sure the content is targeted to your industry, and taking a leaf out of the WI’s books I’d remain non-sectarian and non-party political.
Try and get into a routine of posting regular content; set yourself a realistic target of posting every week or every other week and make sure you always have the ability to capture any ideas for future content that may come to you.
What happens next?
Those three steps will get you a website (for free if you choose that plan) hosted on WordPress.com, they’ll look after all the security and updates to the core product so you can focus on content. If you’ve used your full name in the URL then in a short space of time you should start to climb the Google rankings.
You can stop there or if you want more control or want to move into something other than a simple blog then you may need to consider a different approach and move away from the site hosted by WordPress.