You don’t need a terribly fancy website until you really do. Something simple and free is good for starters. I have mine on Weebly and eventually went on to get paid membership there which is still pretty cheap. 4-5 basic pages showing your work and how to contact you are just about enough. A blog you update regularly will help keep it active in searches. There are several other options if you look up online.
Make sure you have a page that talks about your background, skills, education, qualifications or anything that will give a brief idea of who you are. Your samples can speak for themselves if you have enough or just show your top ten recent assignments. A picture is usually a great addition. A picture on my site has helped people identify me at events and help with press access, etc.
Try to have your site linked to your active social media outlets so that any updates are immediately announced and has folks visiting your site. On your site, ensure your social media profiles are easily linked if folks want to follow you and your work. Likewise with your contact info. Display it prominently on the top or bottom of your site on all pages if possible and not just the Contact page by itself.
Your site is nothing without some samples/ portfolio/ clips – call it what you want. Display it by year or category or outlet as you wish but try to have the best of your work there. If you don’t have too many samples then have all of them on there. If you don’t have any you like to share then give a rundown of work you are willing to do – write for blogs, websites, print mags only, newsletters, whatever your area of interest.
Last but not least your blog is an important part of all this. I had the hardest time writing mine but truth is that is the best example of your work really so why not shine there. Write about your work or people you recommend that have helped you or resources you found or opinion pieces on something you read online or poetry – anything that will help keep your site updated on a consistent basis and allowing it to be on top when it comes to searches.
I share these tips only because they have visibly helped me. Sure I did not learn any of this is one day and my site did not turn out to be that successful in bringing in clients the first few days but lots of trial and error and finetuning have helped understand what changes drive traffic. Do you have any tips to share?