5 Tips for Designing a Freelance Proofreading Website
As a freelance proofreader, having a website is a great way to promote your services. But how do you create a freelance proofreading website? Our top tips include:
- Don’t Sweat the Technical Stuff – Making a website is much easier than it used to be, so you don’t need any special training to get started.
- Keep the Design Simple – A simple visual design, with a clear color scheme and layout, will ensure your site looks good and make it easier to navigate.
- Provide Key Information – Think about what potential clients would want to know before hiring you, and make sure all this information is available on your site.
- Test Your Website – Before it goes live, check that your site works as intended, that everything looks good, and that all text is error free.
- Keep Your Website Up to Date – As well as basic maintenance, try to keep adding new content to your site (e.g., via a blog) to draw in new clients.
Tempted to start on your website yet? Check out our guide below to find out more.
1. Don’t Sweat the Technical Stuff
Once upon a time, designing a website required a lot of technical skills, such as knowing how to use HTML. Now, though, anyone can use WYSIWYG website builders and templates to create a professional website without any special training:
- WYSIWYG Builders – WYSIWYG (i.e., what-you-see-is-what-you-get) website builders let you see what your site will look like as you build it and reduce the need to grapple with code.
- Templates – Rather than designing a website from scratch, you can use an existing template and customize it to suit your needs. Most WYSIWYG site builders will come with templates, but you can also use them with other hosting services.
There are many other resources online to help you work create your website as well, such as how-to articles and video tutorials. And many hosting services offer customer support. So if you get stuck at all, you should be able to find a solution with a quick online search!
2. Keep the Design Simple
When customizing a template or building your site, keep the design simple. This means:
- Choosing a simple color scheme and layout.
- Using images in at least a few places to make sure the site isn’t too text heavy.
- Not adding too much text or too many distracting visual elements on any one page.
- Making sure your website is easy to navigate, with buttons clearly labelled.
- Aiming for consistency across pages (e.g., not varying fonts too much).
A clean, simple design like this will make your website look good and boost usability, helping visitors to find the information they need quickly and see the benefits of working with you.
3. Provide Key Information
Perhaps the biggest question when creating a proofreading website is what to include on it. And to answer this, consider what potential clients will want to know before hiring you, then make sure this information is on your website. Key information will usually include:
- Clear, easy-to-understand explanations of the services you offer and what each one typically involves (e.g., extent of edits, how you mark up documents).
- A contact form and links to your professional social media accounts.
- Your qualifications, areas of specialization, and professional experience.
- An FAQ section to cover questions that potential clients may have.
- Testimonials from previous clients and/or work samples (if appropriate; keep in mind that you should not share clients’ documents without permission).
- A short biography on an “About” page so clients can get to know you. You may want to include a professional head shot here, too, as people like to put a face to a name.
- Details of prices and payment options (or details on how to get a quote).
Remember, though, keep it simple. Communicate all the important details as clearly as possible, but don’t clutter your site with too much unnecessary information.
4. Test Your Website
Before making your website live, make sure it works as expected. Check that:
- The layout looks good and the text is easy to read.
- Menus and page headings are clear so the site is simple to navigate.
- All links (internal and external) work properly.
- Contact forms deliver to your email correctly.
- All text and images are error free.
You can check all this on your own, but it is usually wise to ask someone else to check your site as well. They can bring fresh eyes to the project, spotting things you might have missed.
5. Keep Your Website Up to Date
Once your website is online, you’ll still need to keep it up to date. This may include:
- Basic technical maintenance, such as backing up your site content regularly.
- Updating pricing and services as required.
- Correcting any errors that you missed before going live.
- Improving your site’s SEO if there are key words you want to target.
- Regularly adding or updating content so that your site shows up in search results.
On these last two points, having a blog on your site is very useful. Even a couple of posts a week will boost your online visibility, letting you target important key words and giving you something to share on social media. And if you produce high-quality content related to writing and language, it will give you a chance to show off your knowledge as a proofreader!
Becoming A Proofreader
Before you start designing your own freelance proofreading website, make sure you have the skills you need to succeed in the editing world! Try the free trial of our course to find out more.