Do you have a web presence? I don't mean a Facebook page, but an honest-to-goodness Writer Web Site that has your clips or samples or marketing material on it?
I hear many writers say that they can't afford it, or they want to wait until they are a Real Writer before they put up a site. I say bull pucky. Having a site is important and just creating the site and putting it out there on the web is a big step and when I did it I remember feeling deep down that I was saying "yes" to myself. Yes, I am a writer. Yes, this is official. Yes, I can do it. Yes, I'd sure as heck better do it now!
My site has been up for about five years. Admittedly I have never done anything specific to promote it other than include it on every email I send out. I know that there are books out there that can help you, but honestly it's all a little over my head!
But this week a magazine publisher found my site and offered me some work. That one article he offered me paid for *all the web hosting I'd ever paid for in the last five years*. Worth it? Yup.
If you are putting up a web site, don't be afraid to put your own touch on it. If you are not a formal-type person, don't make your web presence formal. Do make it professional and well-written, but have your own style.
Don't bog your site down with too many pages, but make sure your pages are clearly labeled so visitors know where to go. Here are the pages I have on my site:
I do have a lot of irons in the fire, but some of those pages are just gallery pages. Meaning they are just there to explain ME a little more. Pages like Copywriting and Editing have information on how to hire me. Poetry and About just have text or photos that are about me or things I like... poems I've written and just want to share.
Now, having said all that... my web site still requires a little work. That's where these guys come into play. Among their "Top 20 Confessed Web Design Sins" I found that I had committed a couple of unforgiveable sins. I'll not list them for you because, ahem... I'm off to go fix them now!