Freelancers, no matter their niche, need to have a professional online presence. Some might argue that it’s enough just to have a resumé and the requisite social media profiles. However, having one’s own .com adds a little something extra to any job application process – it signifies to potential employers that the freelancer takes their chosen vocation seriously. The question of whether to make that .com a blog or a website depends on several factors, including portfolio needs, budget, and reader engagement.
What to Share
No matter the format, a freelancer’s .com should include a biography, a professional headshot photo, and work history. It would be even better if written or video testimonials from coworkers or clients could be included. Of course, there’s a certain element of privacy that many might want to maintain, so, in lieu of directly providing a phone number or email address, a contact page with a form to fill out should be enough.
Additionally, for those freelancers with plagiarism or copyright infringement concerns about sharing their portfolio, one idea is to always include a watermark that can’t be easily edited away. This course of action can, perhaps, be of the most benefit to freelance photographers.
I have found that the costs of maintaining a high-quality website or a high-quality blog are relatively equal. For example, the more storage space needed for files, the higher the price can be. However, professional blogs, complete with various plugins, layouts, etc. tend to be a little more expensive than static websites.
Types of Visitors
It goes without saying that if a freelancer really wants to encourage visitors to engage with the content that’s being posted, a blog is the method to choose. Many blogs are structured nowadays so that there can be static pages within them with comments disabled. At the same time, blog posts can have comments enabled if the freelancer so chooses. Instances of spam can be lessened along the way by holding the comments in a moderation queue, or requiring visitors to either submit a CAPTCHA/fill out required fields before submitting their comments.
As for static websites, it’s more about visitors reading the content and providing their main source of feedback through a contact form. As with blog comments, a contact form can include required fields that need to be filled out before a message is sent. If there’s still a concern over getting spammed, freelancers can set up an email address that’s strictly associated with the website.
The Winning Format
If this was 10 years ago in the freelancing world, I would say that a static website format would be the better choice for all sorts of freelancing niches. For media freelancers like photographers and videographers, a static website is probably still the better choice. However, for freelance writers, I would choose a blog format due to its versatility.
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