How a Simple Checklist Helped Start the Writing Careers of These Three Members

Woman at a table taking notes

Are you looking for a simple way to get started with your writing career?

One of the easiest ways is with Site Audits.

If you’re not familiar, a Site Audit is a review of a website. You perform a diagnostic check of the website’s content by using a checklist to identify any weaknesses.

Why do clients need Site Audits?

Because so many websites simply don’t perform. Maybe users click away, or the website doesn’t get traffic.

And the business owner has no idea why.

Surprisingly, the most basic details are often missing … contact details are not listed, or the site doesn’t explain what the business does, or there’s no Search bar.

Your job as a Site Auditor is to identify these gaps. Then you present them to the client in a report.

The process is so straightforward … yet the client will think you’re a genius! And they’ll view you as an expert.

All you need to do is follow a checklist created by Web Expert Pam Foster. Her 21-Point Checklist covers all the bases. And by the end of the audit, you’ll have a detailed list of what needs fixing.

And who will your client hire to fix their website?

Well, you’re the obvious choice. After all, you’re the consultant who identified the weaknesses in the first place.

So you get paid once to conduct the audit ($1,000-$2,000), then again to fix the site (the sky’s the limit). Site Audits are an ideal way to earn “double paychecks” from one project.

But what’s the catch?

Well, there isn’t one.

Site Audits are a simple way for a writer to get their foot in the door using a simple checklist, and then to earn more fees by fixing the problems uncovered by the content audit.

And this simple tactic is great for beginners, as well as experienced pros. Let’s take a look at how it worked for three AWAI members …

From Zero to Retainer Deal in 2 Months!

Jessica Eken decided Site Audits were an ideal way to get her foot in the door with new clients. First, she took Pam Foster’s Site Content Audits Certification program, then she launched her web copywriting career in a big way.

Just a few weeks after completing the training, she landed her first client … a Site Audit.

Once she’d completed the Site Audit, Jessica met with the client to present her report findings. The client hired Jessica on the spot to re-write their website! She walked out of the meeting with a check in her hand.

And Jessica snagged a lucrative bonus deal.

Their current web designer simply wasn’t delivering the goods, so they paid Jessica to re-design their website instead. Not just the copy, the entire site.

Two months later, Jessica was on a retainer deal to write their blog posts and their regular newsletter.

Oh, and did I mention she landed her second client within the second month of launching her writing career as well?

Jessica’s story is a great example of the power of Site Audits. In just two months, she was up and running as a web copywriting consultant. All thanks to a simple Site Audit.

The Power of a Checklist

That simple checklist instantly proves to the client you’re an expert.

Imagine if you were a business owner with a non-performing website. If someone said to you, “I know why your site isn’t performing. Let me review your site. Then I’ll show you exactly what you need to change and why” … would you hire them?

I would!

A Site Audit proves you know what you’re talking about. For example, here’s what you’d say …

“Your site doesn’t give the visitor any idea where you’re located. That information attracts local customers and generates traffics from the search engines.”

Or,

“You supply building products. But your homepage doesn’t tell the user this. They don’t know what you do, so they click away to your competitors. We need to change the wording.”

See what’s happening here? You confidently tell the business owner what is wrong or missing, why it’s a problem, and then, you can get paid for how to fix it.

AWAI Success Melanie Rhodes is another copywriter who used a Site Audit to prove her expertise as a web copywriting consultant. However, she took a different approach …

Taking on The Challenge

Every new Site Content Audits Certification program includes a spec Challenge based on a real-life featured client who needs help with their website.

Melanie won the Challenge with her Site Audit. Then Pam put her in touch with the client whose website was featured in the Challenge.

It quickly grew from a simple Site Audit to a full-blown revamp of the client’s website. Melanie teamed up with an amazing web designer friend who handled the redesign of the site, while she focused on the content and development of the site.

In just a few months, Melanie evolved from a would-be copywriter to a well-paid web copywriting consultant … all because she took on the Challenge.

Sometimes things just seem to fall into place. Roman philosopher Seneca once said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” No doubt, Melanie’s story is one of doing the groundwork then seizing an opportunity when it arises.

And AWAI Member Kip Cosan is another one who meets Seneca’s definition of “luck” …

Hunting for Work

Kip conducted a Site Audit for a friend’s website. The business is a hunting lodge in Colorado, and Kip just happens to be a keen hunter.

So, he cut a deal where the lodge gave him a hunting package worth $2,800 in exchange for a Site Audit and a few tweaks to the website.

It turns out, Kip didn’t even need to write an official report.

Once Kip started discussing the gaps he’d found during the audit, the website manager simply said, “Go for it.”

Kip’s taken over the website … content, development, and a whole lot of updates. He’s gone from zero to web copywriting consultant, all thanks to his training as a Site Auditor and his ability to hunt down an opportunity (sorry, I couldn’t resist it! 😊).

The Secret Superpower of Site Audits

Jessica, Melanie, and Kip’s stories are just three examples of how Site Audits can launch your writing career.

In fact, my own web writing journey started with a Site Audit as well. A Site Audit for a friend’s website led to a complete website re-design, which led to another and so on.

Perhaps the biggest benefit is the knowledge you gain. You learn so much about what elements you need for a well-constructed website, and how they fit together.

To me, this is the secret superpower of Site Audits. It’s priceless information to have.

Once you know this, you can talk with authority to business owners and web developers. You quickly move beyond being “just” a writer to a web copywriting consultant.

And as you do, you can charge way more for your services.

After all, you’re the complete package … copywriter and web copywriting consultant rolled into one neat package.

As Jessica, Melanie, and Kip have discovered firsthand, that’s a powerful combination.

If you’d like more information on the Site Content Audits training and Certification … the exact one Jessica, Melanie, and Kit used to land their first clients, you can find details here.

As they discovered, this is hands-down the best “first project” to quickly master as a new writer — there’s almost zero actual “writing” required.

Plus, you can get paid up to $2,000 for Site Audits … while automatically setting you up to land “double paychecks.”

Do you have any questions about how performing Site Audits can help establish you as a consultant with new web clients? Please share in the comments so we can help.

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 »


Click to Rate:
Average: 2.3
Published: October 13, 2021

Guest, Add a Comment
Please Note: Your comments will be seen by all visitors.

You are commenting as a guest. If you’re an AWAI Member, Login to myAWAI for easier commenting, email alerts, and more!

(If you don’t yet have an AWAI Member account, you can create one for free.)


This name will appear next to your comment.


Your email is required but will not be displayed.


Text only. Your comment may be trimmed if it exceeds 500 characters.

Type the Shadowed Word
Too hard to read? See a new image | Listen to the letters


Hint: The letters above appear as shadows and spell a real word. If you have trouble reading it, you can use the links to view a new image or listen to the letters being spoken.

(*all fields required)