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Show your portfolio website who’s boss: 5 tips for DIY’ing your web copy

You’re a skilled writer. You’re confident in your abilities and you deliver great work for your clients. As Kris Jenner would say, “You’re doing amazing, sweetie.”


Yet whenever you try to write copy for your portfolio website, *poof.* All that knowledge and experience? Gone. You feel like the writer version of a baby deer trying to find its footing. And not in a cute way.


Writing for yourself — and your business — is hard. Now, let’s lay the overthinking to rest and make it a little easier.


Whether you’re a new writer looking to launch your writing portfolio website for the first time or putting off an update, these tips are for you.


1. Write a Hero section that resonates

“Hey I’m Matt. I write blogs for health and wellness brands. Check out my freelance writing portfolio. I’ve been writing since 2019 and I’ve been featured in…”


Have I put you to sleep yet?


In the example above, Matt made the copy about himself. As a skilled writer, you already know this, but it’s easy to forget when writing your own website: It’s always about the reader.


When someone lands on your site, they don’t care about you yet. They care about the problems they’re facing, what they want and how you can help them get it. Satisfy their needs with a Hero section that resonates.


What is the Hero section on a website?

The Hero section of your homepage is what readers see above the fold (before they scroll). In as few words as possible, it tells readers 3 things:

  • What you do

  • Why it matters

  • How to work with you


See how Meg Kendall’s Hero section addresses all 3 points:

Your Hero message determines whether visitors stick around or bounce off of your site. Spend the most time on your Hero section when creating your content writer portfolio website.


2. Have one goal for every webpage

Just like you and I, your site has a job to do. Each webpage works in unison to get the job done. So each webpage has a goal to accomplish.


What’s the goal of your homepage? If your site is a one-pager, your homepage needs to get visitors to take the next step to work with you. If your site is larger, your homepage should direct readers to what they’re looking for (like your service or contact pages).


The goal of your contact page? To incite action by making it easy for users to contact you.


What about the goal of your about page? You might want your about page to:

  • Build trust with your audience

  • Demonstrate your credibility and authority

  • Share your stance (with mission and purpose statements)


As you map out your portfolio website, think about what you’re writing each page for. Once you know, then you can start writing.


3. Simplify your writing portfolio website’s UX

Your freelance writing portfolio site is meant to make your prospect’s job easier. They landed on your website to vet you for a project. Streamline the experience to get on their good side.


In other words, don’t overcomplicate your site by doing things that drive readers crazy, like:

❌ Making your work samples hard to find

❌ Creating a separate page for your testimonials

❌ Having 10,000 service pages to dig through

❌ Requiring users to fill out 12 fields in your contact form

❌ Giving the contact page an unclear name in the navigation (like, “Are you ready?”)


You risk losing visitors at every point of friction, so minimize them as much as possible.


See how Sarah Noel Block simplifies the experience and minimizes friction on her contact page by offering an email address for users who aren’t yet ready to book a call:


4. Showcase your credibility as a writer

There are two things that make the difference between a pretty site and a site that converts: empathy and authority. Let’s lean into authority.


When users land on your website, they’re quickly trying to figure out whether or not to trust you. They’re wondering:

  • Are you experienced?

  • Do you know what you’re talking about?

  • Have you gotten results for people like them?


So how can you prove you’re legit? Through sharing social proof (in the form of testimonials, awards and your clients’ logos), case studies, stats and qualitative information.


Numbers aren’t typically a writer’s best friend, but clients trust them. See how Jessica Walrack uses stats to show her expertise:

Numbers aren’t all that matter, though. Qualitative info — like your background as a writer — add to your credibility, too.


Consider using your about section or about page to show why you’re qualified. Think about what you bring to the table:

  • Have you been writing for years?

  • Have you written an impressive number of blogs or emails?

  • How many happy clients are you responsible for?

  • Are you formally educated in your field?

  • Do you have real-world experience in your niche?


Remember that stories sell. If you can inject stories into your testimonials, case studies and background, do it. (Wondering how to get strong testimonials from your clients? Here’s how I get testimonials that convert.)


5. Choose the right voice and tone

Many of your website visitors may come from your social accounts or newsletter. How jarring would it be for them if you sounded like Jim Halpert (any “The Office” fans?) on LinkedIn and Dwight on your website?


Make sure your voice on your site matches your voice everywhere else clients can find you online. And take the right voice for your brand. If you’re still mapping yours out, think about where your voice exists on these scales:

  • Corporate vs. casual

  • Authoritative vs. friendly

  • Direct vs. enthusiastic

  • Serious vs. playful

  • Respectful vs. irreverent

As a solo creative service provider, you are your brand. It’s a good idea to consider aligning your voice with your personality, so that when clients meet you they feel like they already know you.


See how Dave Harland stays true to his famously witty, straightforward and colorful brand voice — even in the footer of his website:

As a content writer, your portfolio website is more than just your portfolio. It’s your virtual lobby. It’s where future clients get to know you, get their questions answered and get excited about working together.


Devote the time to creating a website that speaks to your readers and captures your brand’s spirit. Once you get that first “I love your website!” in an inquiry, you’ll see how it (literally) pays off.


Curious about website copywriting? Visit Rachel's website or message her on LinkedIn. She posts about "web copy tips, brand messaging and the occasional, 100% necessary rant or meme"!


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