The First (and Most Important) Step in Writing Your Professional Website

Hopefully you’ve spent this week moving your career noticeably forward. We started off talking about how to solidly improve your writing, followed by choosing your writing focus and then buying yourself a domain.

Today, we’ll go into what to put on your new (or future) domain. But first, I want to talk about the power of momentum.

Think about the last time you had a big family celebration and maybe ate a little more than you should have. The more you ate, the more sluggish you felt, right? Perhaps by the end of the meal, you wanted to lie down for a nap, or maybe slump in front of the TV.

Here’s why: Too much input. You can’t process it all at once. So, it slows you down.

On the flip side, when you do things that require output, they get easier the more you do them. The more you run, the faster you get. The more you tidy your house, the cleaner things stay. And so forth.

The same holds true for launching a writing business. Intake is important. So yeah, you’ve got to study and read a little bit. But output is what moves you forward.

That’s why today is all about writing your website. Even if you didn’t get a chance to buy your domain name like we talked about yesterday, you can still go ahead and write your site.

You may be wondering … am I really ready to write my professional writer’s website?

Well, if you’re serious about making money as a writer, then yeah. Yeah, you are.

And, you know what? Your first draft might stink. The whole website might stink. But you won’t know until you put it up there. Then you can improve, correct, and move forward — which is a whole lot better than standing still. (On the flip side, your first draft might ROCK, and it’ll launch your writing career faster than you ever dreamed possible!)

One trick I like to use is to write my own websites at a psychological distance. That’s where you write your site as you’d like it to read one year from today. Imagine a full year has gone by, and you’ve gained experience and made money as a writer. What would your website say?

If you’re unclear what to put on your site in the first place, read this article by AWAI President Rebecca Matter on how to plan your freelance website content in under an hour.

And don’t forget, you have access to all the information you could ever need to get your site started just by searching and reading AWAI’s free archive.

Right now, I invite you to write your homepage. Here’s an easy format to follow:

  1. Begin with a headline. Choose something captivating that grabs your reader’s attention. (Don’t cop out and use “Welcome.”)
  2. Follow with a line that tells the reader who you are and what you do. It’s your USP (unique selling proposition). Tell the reader what writing service you offer and how you deliver it. (E.g.: “I research and write case studies crafted with superior attention to detail.”)
  3. Follow with a few bullets that tell clients what benefit they’ll get. “Case studies help prospects see firsthand how your service can make a difference in their lives.”
  4. Finish with a call to action, whether that’s “Email me” or “Call me” or something else.

If you run into trouble, try this speed technique: Set your timer for 30 minutes and be determined to have something on the page by the time the buzzer dings. From there you can edit and revise. But at least you’ll have something to work with! (Did you do it? How did it go? Tell me about it here.)

Hopefully, you’ve got one leg up on your new writing opportunity. Take the time to put that homepage copy online, even if it’s the only page you get up all month. (You’ll need to get a web hosting plan if you haven’t yet, FYI. To choose, I recommend reading user reviews from a neutral source like PC Magazine.)

Tomorrow, we’ll do the final thing needed to establish you as a writer who can take on paid projects.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »

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Published: September 3, 2015

9 Responses to “The First (and Most Important) Step in Writing Your Professional Website”

  1. If in the beginning had been but "The Word," no better the 'now' than what the BEST words can proffer up front in the eventual scramble that all words will someday be spoken.

    Guest (Chris Morris)

  2. Dear Ms. McHorse:

    I am following and learning through your instructions. I have a website that I would very, very much appreciate your opinion. The message today indicated to contact you. I am attempting to get a small business loan for my copywriting company. Please take a look at Thank you and I look forward to your response.

    Sincerely, Keith Wayne McCoy

    Real McCoy

  3. Writing that Tells the Story you wish you had the time to write.
    We are International Disaster Relief and Development online copywriters.
    We have lived and worked internationally in Africa & Latin America. You will enjoy experienced silent partners who have the perspective and training to tell the story you wish you had time to write.
    •Webpage Copy: Doing good work is great-- but the world is full of skeptics. Your webpage will speak to many different audiences and overcome their doubts --then move them to action with just the right message.
    Contact Us when you are looking for Powerful Writing that Builds Support and changes lives.

    Anita in CA

  4. Hello Mindy, Thank you for the tip. At this very moment, I am working hard to set up my website.I hope to finish 10 pages of content before I publish it I regitered for the program MONEY MAKING WEBSITE with Nick.I attended webinar every tuesday.
    Next week will be a review Website.I will let you see my site once I finish.
    May God Bless you and all the staff in Barefoot Writer.
    jennie ( Barefoot Writer Club, PWA, ITWPA)


  5. I did my website, but it took me a lot more, anyway, I'm ready to make it a money making machine, what d you suggest? Am. I missing something?

    www.cecallidesign dot com

    I'm eager to know what is that little tweak that will make my website rock!


  6. I've been busy studying but this series has started ideas crystallizing and I plan to put it all together and go into action tomorrow.
    FUNDAMENTALIST SCIENCE Getting to the heart of what makes science great.

    I'm a fundamentalist Christian and a fundamentalist about science, too. Fundamentalism is simply sticking to the founding ideas that are what an idea is all about, and rejecting anything added that gets away from that winning formula.

    For science, it's... [etc.]


  7. Thank you so much for the articles you wrote this week. I bought my domain (OMG!) and I'll spend this Labor Day weekend on a labor of love - building MY WEBSITE! Unfortunately for me, I have a major work conflict which will prevent me from attending this year's Boot Camp, but I am so completely focused on success that I will do whatever is necessary to put myself out there and get it done. I look forward to meeting you at NEXT YEAR's Boot Camp! You gave me the PUSH I needed to get started!

    Mel Woods

  8. I'm almost ready to launch my site. You nailed it...TOO MUCH INPUT. Johnny 5 Alive!

    Renting a cabin with my lady and our dogs over the long weekend. We both need it! We need to decompress a bit.

    But the laptop is coming with me, and I will keep working and writing!

    You also nailed it regarding OUTPUT. I am finally moving forward!

    Oh, there is still studying to do. Courses from Gordon Graham and Nick Usborne await. But I am moving forward.

    But I am moving forward. It feels good!

    Garth Osborn

  9. I can say that you have a done a great job here to share that The First (and Most Important) Step in Writing Your Professional Website. You have found it after some research and hence no doubt at all that it's going to help us all. I am here to look for some data with regard to one of my resume writing services. I hope it helps me to get encouraged and found a solution for my issue soon.


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