Building an effective website for your freelance business is more than just a pretty design. It should be your number one asset – working for you and generating new client leads. Using the help of WordPress as a framework for your freelance website, you’ll be able to put its dynamic capabilities to use for whatever goals you’re trying to achieve.
Rather than teaching how to install the CMS, I’m going to share how to utilise it to build the best possible WordPress website for your freelance business. So, let’s get started…
Give Your Website a Purpose
For your new freelance business website, the first and most important thing to focus on is your website’s purpose. What results are you looking to get out of your website?
Are you looking to generate traffic and build an audience of dedicated readers? Are you looking to draw-in potential clients and convert them into project leads? Are you selling your own products to a specific target market? Or, maybe it’s all of the above?
Whatever results you’re looking to get out of your website, you need to ask yourself, “what is it going to take to reach my goals?” Visitors aren’t going to show up to your website without having a reason to be there in the first place, so you need to build a strategy that gives them a reason.
Think about the audience you want to reach. What could you provide them that would be related to the services you offer (e.g. logo design, WordPress development, eBook editing) and would also be of value to them? If you can provide some value on your website, you’ve got what you need to make a conversion.
A conversion is what takes someone (your website visitor) who isn’t buying your services/products and turns them into someone who is. This is the number one imperative for operating a successful business.
Let’s say you have a blog, and it’s generating a few views a day. Do you have the necessary information in place that effectively sells your services or products? Do you have calls-to-action that convert those views into something more? A great example of a call-to-action would be a newsletter sign-up at the end of a blog post – converting a view into a subscriber.
These are things to consider and plan way before you think about your website’s layout and design. So, what are your goals, who’s your audience, and what can you offer to convert your site’s traffic to generate those results you’re looking for?
Building Your Website With the Help of WordPress
Next, after you’ve established your site’s purpose and planned its content strategy, it’s time to start bringing it to life with the help of WordPress.
Why WordPress? After years of building my own websites with static HTML, I was tired of being limited. I’m not an expert developer, so what WordPress allowed me to do was create powerful, dynamic, and well-designed websites without having to learn a lot of advanced coding. With WordPress you have access to tons of tools (themes, plugins, etc.) which makes for a great framework to work from. However, if you are a great developer and love to code, then you have even more to benefit from with using WordPress.
There are tons of great articles right here on wpContent, where you can learn more about developing with WordPress. However, in this post, we’re going to focus on how to use it as a framework to build the best freelance business site possible for yourself.
Before you go building or purchasing a WordPress theme, start by listing each page you’ll have on your new site. Then, write a brief description of the content they’ll hold.
To build an effective freelance business site, you may want to have a blog that generates traffic, a friendly about page with your photo, a simple method of contact, and an easy-to-view portfolio.
Do whatever advances your long-term goals. If building a blog has no benefit to you, then don’t waste your time doing it.
When either building a custom WordPress theme or using a pre-developed theme, there are some design rules you should keep in mind:
- The overall design should be well-spaced and clean with excellent usability.
- Stay consistent with your branding (e.g. colours, fonts, and overall style).
- Provide readable and friendly “about me” content that represents who you are and what you do. Don’t be afraid to show a photo of yourself either! It helps make your online presence human.
- Only showcase your best work!
- Make it easy for your visitors to contact you directly.
In the end, your site should be able to direct people to where they need to go – whether it’s to your portfolio, contact, or shop page.
If you put your content strategy to use on a well-designed website with the necessary calls-to-action, then it’s only a matter of time until you start getting the results you desire.
Plugins and Additional Functionality
Another great advantage to WordPress is the plethora of plugins that can extend its functionality.
Several of my favorite plugins to use are:
- Disqus Comment System: the native comment system on WordPress works, but Disqus gives you much more functionality, and most importantly it allows commenters to edit their comments.
- Gravity Forms: an advanced plugin for creating web forms and managing entries within WordPress.
- iThemes Security: the easiest way to protect your website from attacks
Do you have a favorite plugin or feature about WordPress? Share it in the comments below!
Once your site is up and running, it’s time to immediately start spreading the word and referring people to it. Get on social media, let your peers know about it, and ask for their feedback. Most likely you’ll be making tweak after tweak – improving your site over time.
Then, after that, you’re going to have to spend a considerable amount of time putting your content strategy to use. Again, you need to have something on your site for people to look at, and then it’s your site’s job to convert those views into something more.