How to Create a Personal Website

August 7, 2017

The most consistent piece of advice I found while researching a career in freelance writing was to create an attractive, informative personal website. If you're anything like me, you'll avoid doing this. It feels so bizarrely self-congratulatory and, if you're really like me, you probably don't have much to congratulate yourself on. That's OK, the name of the game here is hyperbole and exaggeration.

 

Based on the one or two writers websites I looked at, reviews seem important. The goal is convincing people to pay you to write things, so you'll ideally find someone to vouch for your abilities. If you're new to the field, you probably don't have anyone to do that for you. That's OK. Make shit up. For example, my last five Facebook posts have averaged 19.2 likes each. Let's bump that up to 20. I have 408 friends on Facebook. Let's make that 400. With these fudged numbers, I get likes from 5% of my friends on average. Five percent is not very high. Ninety five percent of those losers ignore me on a regular basis. So instead of saying "five percent of my Facebook friends like me," I said "many of my Facebook friends like me."

19.2 of these people might like me.

 

Something else that seemed important was the bio. You think anyone wants to hear how I've written the beginnings and middles of ten  million novels and the ending of two crappy ones? No. No one cares. These can only be classified as accomplishments with the loosest possible definition of the word. I couldn't bring myself to full-on lie here, so instead I chose brutal honesty. I chose to mention that I helped write my sister's school papers (she did quite well) and my brother's cover letter (he got the job). That's about all I can say for myself but you know what? It shows that I'm both talented and helpful. Certainly you've done something similar. Maybe a teacher called you talented once or you won a spelling bee in second grade. Don't be afraid to scrape the bottom of the barrel here.

 

If you really can't think of anything to put here, you'll probably start to question why you think this whole freelance thing is a good idea. I wouldn't blame you, actually I recommend it. If you're really committed to this despite the fact that there is no indication you'd be any good at it, congratulations. You might just have what it takes. Maybe say something like "the biggest risks lead to the biggest rewards" or something along those lines. Like, yeah, I know there's not much reason for you to pay me, but maybe I'll be good at it? I dunno. Think about it.

 

 Actual representation of how much money I've made so far.

 

Personally, I believe the most important aspect of creating a personal website and launching a freelance career is research. For example, why are you taking advice from someone like me? I have literally nothing to show for myself. Find someone successful and go talk to them.

 

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