I did try, really try, to help him, but…
He made it too difficult.
The Background on the Freelance Writer Website Fail …
A few weeks ago, I was taking a short breakfast break from a major freelance writing project.
While looking at a list of freelance writing jobs, I see one that pays really, really well and is perfectly suited for a freelance writer I’m acquainted with online.
I love helping people, so I went to his website.
And that’s when the trouble started.
The Problems I Encountered at His Freelance Writer Website
I had a very difficult time finding any way to contact him. I read his About page — no contact info. I looked at other pages — nada.
And then I finally saw a tiny little icon in the footer. It sent me to a contact page with a form.
I filled out my name, my e-mail, a subject line, and then a detailed message.
And then I got to the Captcha form. Damn!
Failed the first time. Failed the second time.
I gave up and closed the browser window.
I don’t believe in the expression “No good deed goes unpunished,” but I put over ten minutes of time into trying to give this writer a very important lead that could have made a big difference in his bottom line.
He made it too difficult to contact him.
The Lessons for Freelance Writers About Websites
I’ve written about the importance of inbound marketing for freelance writers, which obviously includes having a great freelance writer website. Keep in mind: this is the main way many editors find out about this writer.
I’m not going to cover everything a quality website needs, but let’s look at what this writer did wrong:
1. No Contact page that makes it easy for me to get a hold of him.
2. Hid the only way to contact him way at the bottom of his site…
with a weird icon that wasn’t even obviously an envelope.
3. Made me fill out a contact form.
I know I’m in the minority here, but I put my actual e-mail address in the sidebar, footer, and contact page over at my professional website, just to make it as easy as possible for prospects to reach me.
4. That damned Captcha box!
I hate those! For those of you who use them anywhere, know that I and many other visitors often just go away when we see a Captcha box, often never to return. (Especially when you use it for blog comments) In this case, I actually didn’t see the Captcha box until I’d written my detailed message.
5. Overall, your website needs to make it immediately clear what you do and how potential clients can easily contact you.
It also needs to look good to the Google god = good SEO techniques.
A Potential Client’s View of This Guy’s Freelance Writer Website…
A potential client coming to this guy’s website would likely never contact him.
Not only is it difficult, but the potential client has got to wonder if a person with such a sloppy website also does sloppy work, and if someone who makes communication difficult now will be difficult to communicate with in the future.
What would you have done? Was I too harsh? Are you making any of these mistakes? Tell us below!