Do freelance writers need a website?

I am a freelance writer and I have a website. It is plain and simple. I have a welcome page, links to my work, a pricing list, a client feedback page, and a contact page. Some writers will upload files as an online portfolio with thumbnails, which looks nice. The questions is, however, is it necessary?

There is some debate about this, but I think it is a very good idea. There are drawbacks to simply bidding for work and sending out queries like mad. Having a website that I can attract people to keeps me from becoming too dependent on bids or direct pitches to editors or other perspective clients. Some freelancers will even cold call, which I am totally uncomfortable with. Considering that, I think not having a website can limit opportunities, for me at least.

There have been some very successful freelance writers who will tell you that they made it the old fashioned way without a website, but let’s get with the times. There are millions of people on the internet, and most of them need or want content written for their websites or article marketing, sales copy, or press releases. Advertising my website can allow people give me a call or send me an email if they are interested, and I can draw from that business without bidding or sending out queries. It does take strategic effort to really make a website effective, but I think it is better to address a massive social network than one person/company at a time.

Do you need a website as a freelance writer? In my opinion, I think writers should at least have a blog, if not a full website in addition to that. I believe that having a website is important, and makes sense as a self-employed individual, if you use it properly. It depends on where you want to stress your efforts: direct marketing (bids, applications, queries) or article marketing, press releases, linking, and social networking. What do you think?

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