When did websites come into being? Twenty years ago? Probably earlier. (I’m too lazy to DuckDuckGo right now.) But like Haagen-Dazs’s chocolate-covered coffee ice cream bars, it’s hard to imagine life without them. For independent writers such as we, it’s as essential as owning a computer. So how is your website? First, do you have one? If so, what does it say about you to the rest of the world 24/7/365? Does it reflect your best you, your best work? Despite this promotional tool having been around for decades, the response was overwhelming when I asked members to send me their questions in advance of our upcoming February 9th meeting. Apparently, there’s still a lot to untangle here.
Believe it or not, there are some who will argue vehemently that websites aren’t the end-all-be-all to succeeding in business. Certainly not! After all, you can have a great website, but once you land an assignment, will you deliver the goods? So, there is that. And true, there are numerous other ways to reach out to prospective clients. If you’re a go-getter, a wiz at networking, cold-calling, handing out biz cards, etc., all the more power to you! True, too, there are other quite excellent ways to get your work “out there” that could be an additional arrow in your quiver – such as contently.com (which, btw, is a website, albeit a shared one!) But to quote Captain Obvious here, not having a website dedicated to you and only you is like tap dancing in bunny slippers. Who will hear you? Is that the best way to demonstrate your talents? And what kind of impression would that make?
Your website is not only your face to the world. It is your voice. Yes, ultimately, viewers will make a beeline to your “portfolio” page, but usually, clients want to know something more. Your overall philosophy. How you work. How you solve problems. Do you come across as someone who reflects their culture, their personality. Over all, would your website reflect someone they’d even want to work with?
Taking all this into consideration is why we are very excited about our special 2-hour February meeting, “Building Your Website: Hire a Designer or DIY?” The first hour will star Dawn Verbrigghe, CEO & Founder of Jottful, a website design company that builds and manages websites for small businesses and entrepreneurs. The second hour will feature Dorka Kardos-Latif, Online Marketing Manager of copyfolio, a DIY website builder specializing in creating sites especially for writers.
Attend the first hour, the second – or both. Either way, whatever the sticking points that may have stopped you from building or improving your website, these two engaging web experts will detangle them all, freeing you to create one of the hardest working promotional tools you can possibly own.
-- Laura Stigler
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