What kind of website do you really need for your portable career?
It depends. Are you a:
Let’s start with the simplest first.
As a blogger, your website design needs are simpler than what a more traditional business requires.
At its most basic, you need only three page elements:
- Content area
While most blogs also include a sidebar, if a minimalist type of design is appropriate for your subject, you might want to forego the sidebar and focus all the reader’s attention on your content.
Since your site is a blog, you can manage with a minimum of pages as well. In addition to the blog page (which often serves as the homepage), you also need a good About page, and a Contact page.
Of course, you can make your site more complex, but to start out with, that’s all you really need.
As a freelancer, your website design needs the same elements that bloggers need — plus a little.
Front Page / Homepage
Depending on your type of business, you might be able to do very well with the same kind of front page a blogger uses. However, there are a few elements that you’ll want to add. Most of them will link to a page with more detail.
Call to Action
What is the most important action you want new readers to take when they land on your front page?
Common actions include:
- Signing up for an email newsletter
- Watching a video
- Clicking through to a sales page
- Downloading an ebook
Somewhere, prominently displayed on your homepage, you’ll need that call to action. It might be at the top of your sidebar, or it might be just below the header. Maybe it’s part of the header.
How to Work With You
There’s no point in having a website for your freelance business if you don’t tell people how to work with you. It must be easy and obvious.
Don’t make people work to figure out how to reach you. Include contact information on the homepage, and on every page. That can be included in the sidebar or the footer.
Sample(s) of Your Work
If you’re freelancing in a visual medium – as a photographer or designer – this is especially important. You don’t have to include an entire gallery on your homepage, but give your visitors some notion of what you’re offering.
Again, you don’t need a huge number, but your homepage should include some social proof that tells new visitors you’re good at what you do. You can include them in the sidebar, or you can use a small section of the homepage to showcase two or three brief quotes.
If you blog, include your most recent posts on your homepage. It’s a good way to give visitors a flavor of your style and personality.
In addition to your homepage and a blog, if you’re including one, you need the following pages:
- Work samples
- Frequently asked questions
- Sales page(s)
As a freelancer, you may want to include a page where a prospect or client can schedule an appointment.
Depending on your specialty or niche, you may want a few different things. For example, an independent author might want to sell books directly, or send traffic to another site where people can buy your books.
Your sales page will be quite different from a page like this one where I offer a WordPress training course.
You’ll probably want to show your book cover(s), provide descriptions of each book, and then provide links for purchase.
Depending on your business, your site could be very similar to a freelancer’s, or you could have a more complex homepage with corporate look.
If you have a team, include a page that tells prospects about them in addition to all the elements a freelancer’s site will include.
Where to Find the Design That Works for You
It comes from your WordPress theme.
Almost any theme can be used as a basic blogging theme, so bloggers have a huge number of choices.
Here are some suggestions on themes for bloggers.
And here are 8 excellent themes for freelancers and solopreneurs.
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