Establishing A Website

In today's digital world, a website is a must for every technical writer. Your site can be very complex, or it can be quite basic. There are many websites that allow you to create your own personal space on the web at no cost, so getting your very own web address doesn't have to involve a lot of added expense. How you choose to design your site is up to you, but you should be sure to include the following elements:

Contact info: Potential clients must have some way to reach you, so be sure to include contact information on your site. You can include your full address, or just provide a telephone number or an email address if you don't want to reveal your exact location.

Services offered: Anyone who visits your site should be able to determine right away what types of services you offer. Simply saying you offer technical writing services is too general. Let potential clients know you can write white papers, user guides, assembly instructions, business plans, etc.

Experience: At least part of your site should be dedicated to letting people know about your experience. You can do this in many different ways. You could set up a page that resembles a resume, where you list your clients and provide a brief description of the projects you completed. Some people simply provide a list of clients, while others write a paragraph or two that gives an overview of their experience and accomplishments in the technical writing field.

Samples: Those who visit your site want some way to assess your writing skills. For this reason, samples are essential. You can link to samples you've published online or include pdf samples of some of your published work. Always check with your clients beforehand to make sure they don't mind. If you've never published anything, you can still prepare a few pieces of technical writing and include them on your site.

These elements are often included, but they aren't absolutely required:

Rates/payment policies: It's not essential to include your rates on your site, but many technical writers do. Often, it can be hard to determine a rate until you know the specifics of the project, so you can simply invite potential clients to contact you to obtain a quote. Payment policies can also be included. If you require a 50% deposit upfront and only accept Paypal payments, for example, you may decide to include this information on your site.

Testimonials: These can be valuable additions to your site because they let potential clients know how others feel about your writing skills and work ethic. After you complete projects, it never hurts to ask whether the client would be willing to provide a brief testimonial that you will feature on your site. Obviously, you want to include positive comments from those who were satisfied with your work.

Last Updated: 05/05/2014