Tag Archives: websites

First Impressions Count

Joe Wallace Turntabling Rare RecordsI was just looking at a website designed to sell gear to freelancers, offering personalized service at a better price than with larger resellers. The site’s copy included, “We will connect you with the latest technology”.

But the site design was horribly out of date by about ten years. My first impression was definitely not good–how could a company offer to sell me “the latest technology” when the site itself didn’t keep up with that concept?

As it turns out, after a few minutes of exploring I discovered that the site had been last updated a decade ago, but was still haunting the Internet with its promises. And as far as being inactive goes, it’s probably a good thing–I shudder to think what would be happening to that business right now if it were a going concern.

I hate to admit this, but seeing that made me click over to my own resume page to give a critical once-over to it first-impressionwise. And naturally I found a few faults in my own presentation. Faults that will take a small bit of time to correct and update, but faults nonetheless.

The old wheeze is true–you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Sometimes making one tweak is enough to steer someone away from the wrong idea at first glance.

In the case of the site I found, simply not making the claim to hook up buyers with “the latest technology” and finding a more effective sales pitch would have gone over a lot better. Sure, that’s all moot because the site seems as dead as the Dodo. But it’s a valid point, regardless. Can you tweak your own presentation by a few sentences and make it more effective? In my own case, definitely.

Joe Wallace is an audio junkie who collects rare and weird vinyl records, vintage analog synthesizers, and likes recording when he’s not pounding the freelance pavement. His vinyl blog, Turntabling.net, is a repository for all sorts of weirdness and rare goodness on vinyl.

Writer’s Residence

Monica Shaw
Monica Shaw

Today we have a Q & A with Monica Shaw of Writer’s Residence, a site where writers can build an online presence; including a portfolio of their work.

But first a little background on Ms. Shaw…

Monica Shaw is an internationally published freelance writer who has been building Web sites since the early days of the Web. In addition to Writer’s Residence, she also writes a popular health and fitness blog at SmarterFitter.com. You can visit her own writing portfolio at monicashaw.com.

1. What is Writer’s Residence and who should consider using it?

Writer’s Residence is a website that lets writers create a beautiful website, writing portfolio and resume/CV quickly and easily through their web browser. The service is ideal for any writer who wants an easy way to create a professional website where they can showcase their work. This goes for freelance writers, journalists, authors, copywriters, and pretty much anyone who wants to make a living through writing.

2. How can having an online portfolio benefit writers?

An online porfolio is an invaluable marketing tool for writers. Like a printed portfolio, a website helps you promote your work, particularly when sending queries to editors and agents. You can also use your website to gain exposure to your writing by linking to your website in emails, on business cards and on social media sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter. It’s all about marketing. In fact, there’s a great interview on my blog with marketing expert Penny Sansevieri that addresses this specifically and I encourage you to check it out.

3. How difficult is it for people to set up a portfolio on Writer’s Residence? Is HTML knowledge required?

Writer’s Residence is designed to be easy. You can have a beautiful website up and running in 30 minutes or less by filling in a few simple forms through your web browser. No downloads are necessary. No HTML is required. We host it all so no technical knowledge is needed. All of the features are tailored for writers, which means you won’t spend time or money customizing a website with a bunch of features you don’t really need.

4. Is it expensive to set up a portfolio?

No, Writer’s Residence is not expensive at all. You can set up a portfolio for free with our 30-day trial. This gives you risk-free access to all of Writer’s Residence including a hosted website, support for your own domain, and unlimited uploads. After that, we charge $8.99 per month, which is cheaper than most website hosting services and has the added benefit of being specifically tailored for writers. There are no hidden fees and you can cancel at any time.

5. Is there any help or advice available if people have questions?

Yes. We love our customers and are always on hand to help with questions. You can contact us through e-mail or phone (we have both UK and US support numbers) and are guaranteed a personal response within 24 hours from either me or my partner, Tim. Since we created Writer’s Residence, you’ll get support directly from the people who built the site. 

6. What else can you tell me about the portfolio, and where can people go for more information?

Writer’s Residence grew out of my own freelance writing career and I continue to use the site to host my own online writing portfolio at monicashaw.com. As a user and developer of Writer’s Residence, I have a vested interest in making sure it’s the easiest, most hassle-free service out there for writers wanting a website. I love it when our customers tell us that their websites helped them land writing gigs. It’s one of the reasons why we created Writer’s Residence in the first place.

For more info, people can visit our website at writersresidence.com or contact me personally at monica@writersresidence.com. I also write a blog about freelance writing with loads of useful tips and interviews at http://writersresidence.com/blog/.

Newbies: Finding Work And Locating Resources

Here’s hoping that everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday! I thought I’d post a link to an article that gives some great websites to check out–both for writing advice–and for paying jobs. This is particularly geared for newer writers. I didn’t double-check all the links, so there may be some old ones on there, but I saw some that are really good, so I thought I’d pass it on….