Tips for Freelancer Websites - The Groundwork
We have a lot of designers email us and ask for advice. One common thread lately seems to be “How do I get my freelancing career going?” Well, thanks to the Internet there’s lots of ways! First let’s talk about your website. Are you getting traffic? What happens when users get there? Do you even know? If you’re having trouble making your website work for you then read ahead:
A Solid HTML Foundation
Obviously, if you want people to actually find and use your portfolio site it’s got to be built properly. Since most of you reading this build websites for a living I’m assuming you’ve already done this. If not - basically use divs, headers, paragraphs and lists appropriately. Let the search engines know what kind of content each piece is.
Get Some Buzz
Just because you build a great site doesn’t mean anyone will find it. Here’s a few ways to get some buzz:
- Make your site design so amazing that people can’t ignore it
- Create a free asset or tutorial that you can give away
- Do some work for a good cause
- Interview people you look up to
Once you’ve done one of these you’ve got to get the word out. Submit your designs to online galleries. Give your assets away on popular sharing sites or write tutorials on your blog. Let the local news media know you’re working with a non-profit.
Once people start noticing you, engage them. Talk back and forth on Twitter, leave insightful comments on their blogs and in general just be involved in the online community. Not in a spammy way; just be genuine.
Make sure you’re tracking what users do on your site. If your bounce rate is really high and users leave in 10 seconds you’ve got a major problem. Google Analytics is a great free way to start with this, but there are plenty of others.
You also need to know how many users are visiting. If you only get 10 a week chances are you’re not going to get many job leads at all. Sales work like a funnel - 50 may visit, but only 5 will contact you. And probably only one of those will actually sign a contract. The real stats are much worse than that, but you get the idea.
Like we said, this is just the beginning. In the next article, we’ll explore the nuts and bolts of how to get your site design and usability working for you. Learn how to make your site awesome now →.