Top Five Excuses for Not Having a Website (And Five Solutions to Nix Them for Good!)
Try and think of a business these days that doesn't have a website …
It’s hard! Even die-hard brick-and-mortar businesses have websites.
No matter the size, businesses can’t exist without one if they want to attract clients, and compete with competitors.
And that goes for you too …
As a freelance writer, you’re a business providing a service to clients. You need a website.
If you don’t yet have one, there are likely five reasons — or rather, excuses — holding you back.
Today, I’m going to dive in and resolve each one for good — so you can get your website up once and for all.
Website Excuse #1: I Don’t Have a Well-Defined Niche
Of all the excuses, this one is probably the most valid. You want your website to attract your ideal clients …
And when they find you, you want to demonstrate your value and expertise right away. Having a well-defined niche takes care of both.
So if you’ve been dragging your feet on choosing a niche, I’d like you to set a deadline. Give yourself one week to decide. And if you need help, check out this free webinar from Inside AWAI. We walk you through choosing a profitable niche so you can cross this reason off the list once and for all.
And remember, just because you choose one today, doesn't mean you have to stick with it for life. You can always change direction, and with your website up and running, you’ll be able to easily change the content to reflect your new focus.
Now that you have a well-defined niche, it’s time to write your website’s content. And this step could lead you to the next common roadblock …
Website Excuse #2: I’m Too Modest
Many of us were raised to be modest. Not to brag or be boastful. But when it comes to you selling yourself and your writing services, you’ve got to put those feelings aside. It’s time to bring out the big guns.
It helps to remember it’s not really about you …
It’s about your clients. The problems they’re having … the solutions they’re looking for … and what you can do to help them.
Spend some time inside the mind of your potential clients. What industry are they in? What are their goals? What types of copy and content are they using to market their products and services?
With good copy, it’s about the reader … what’s in it for them. And it’s about a strong Unique Selling Proposition. What do you offer your ideal clients? What value do you bring to the table? Whether it’s your experience, your passion, your training … be specific, and make sure it aligns with your prospect’s wants/needs.
Think of yourself as a professional service provider who offers an extremely valuable service. Your job is to write the best darn copy you can to sell their services to their ideal clients!
But what if you don’t have any real experience? Let’s go ahead and tackle that next …
Website Excuse #3: I Don’t Have Any Experience
This one is often the hardest for aspiring writers to wrap their minds around … they’re afraid to go out and represent themselves as a professional, and to ask for professional fees.
But the reality is, if you’ve done the work needed to acquire the skills, you ARE a professional. Even if you’ve never had a paying client.
Think about a dentist …
He goes to school, and gets his degree. He then rents an office, puts up a website, prints off some flyers, and opens his door for business.
Do you think he promotes the fact that he has zero experience working on real paying patients? No. He’s done the training. He has the skills. And he doesn't want his patients fearing his ability because they’re his “first.” The same is true with your writing business.
Plus, your experience doesn’t have to be just writing …
You could have experience working in the industry, in a role other than a writer. Whether you’ve worked as a teacher, a nurse, a mechanic, a solar panel installer, a lawyer, whatever — your industry has a writing niche. And you can leverage all of your work experience when promoting your writing business.
You might also have experience as a customer in the industry. Maybe you’ve taken martial arts for 10 years. You know who the prospect is, and what drew you in. Or you’re passionate about alternative health, and have lived a healthy lifestyle for the last 15 years. You have experience in the industry. Leverage it in your website copy!
But how will you prove that you can write? Let’s tackle that next …
Website Excuse#4: I Don’t Have Any Samples
Another common misconception about starting a writing business is that you need samples from past clients. But the reality is, when clients ask for samples, what they really want to see are samples of your writing ability …
They want to see if you can string words together, what your writing voice is like, and if you have a good understanding of the type of copy you’re writing.
Here are a few ways to create samples for your website:
- Turn the hands-on assignments from any AWAI training programs you’ve taken into samples. (That's why all of our programs come with exercises — to help you build a portfolio!)
- Create samples for the projects you’d like to offer, for a fictitious company in the industry. (Remember, clients just want to see that your writing is a fit for them.)
- Work with a few smaller, local companies in exchange for a sample and testimonial about your work. (Who do you know in your network/community that could benefit from some copy or content?)
You can also use your website as a wonderful example of your writing.
Or you could have potential clients request writing samples … And when they do, let them know you’d prefer to write a relevant sample for them. Offer to write a 500-word email or blog post for them (or another relevant piece of copy). They don’t have to pay you unless they want to use it — and it will allow you both to see if there’s a fit. Either way, you’ll end up with a sample you can put on your website!
And finally … now that we’ve overcome all the roadblocks related to what you’ll put on your website, the final excuse comes into play …
Website Excuse #5: I’m Not Technical
Ten years ago, this would have been a valid excuse. Back then, you had to hire someone to do it for you, and it was expensive. Plus, you were tied to them every time you wanted to make a change … you were at the mercy of their schedule and had to pay for it.
But these days, even the least technical people can put up their own website. (Just ask my mom!)
Years ago, I created a program called Build Your Freelance Website in Four Days …
Over the course of four webinars, I literally walk you through everything from planning and writing your website content, to making all the technical decisions about your domain name, hosting, and more, to actually putting up your website and taking it live.
It gives you the power to do-it-yourself, make changes as they come up, and even offer the service to other small businesses and service providers if they don’t have technical people on their team. (You can learn more about the program here.)
We update the program each year to ensure it incorporates the latest trends and website “must-haves,” so you’ll always be up-to-date. Plus, we offer ongoing support in case you have a technical question along the way.
But there are other options too, including easy-to-use templates and all-in-one website builders. Just do a quick search on Google and you’ll find other options. Even if you’re not technical at all, you CAN put up your own website.
So, if you’ve played the “I’m not technical card” to get out of putting up your website, go ahead and put that one away. And if you need help getting started just reach out …
I’ll be more than happy to steer you in the right direction.
Just remember, as a freelance writer, you need a website …
You’ll be able to attract your ideal clients, show them your value and expertise, and be seen as a professional from day one.
If you don’t yet have a website, why not? And if I didn’t tackle your reason in this article, post a comment below and I’ll do my best to help.
Build Your Freelance Website in Four Days
No matter what niche you’re in, if you’re a freelancer, you must have a website that showcases what you do. You can launch your own professional website in just 4 days. Experts show you every step. Learn More »
client - My customers are businesses, I sell to dealers/resellers, and my dealers are fixed, they buy and stock mine goods and also of my competitors goods. I don't need a website. Dealers don't search online for a manufacturer. Why do I need a website?
for example a thread manufacturer have already dealer network across cities, why do he needs a website? For more dealer network...huh? no need?
Durgesh Mulchandani –
@Durgesh Mulchandani - this article (and website) is aimed at freelance copywriters. Most will need an optimized website for companies in their niche to find them (as well as a LinkedIn profile). It also serves as a great sample and opportunity to demonstrate their expertise in a particular industry. It certainly makes sense why you do not need a website in your specific line of work. So you can simply disregard! :) Have a great week, Rebecca
Rebecca Matter –
Thanks for a great article!
My question is, since I also do ghostwriting, should I have one tab for that and a tab for copywriting in the same writer's website?
Barbara Carson –
@Barbara Carson - you definitely can do it that way. Or you can talk about the two things on your services page. (Although in this case I would probably have a separate page specifically about ghost writing.) Best wishes, Rebecca
Rebecca Matter –