In this blog post, I’m taking a look at of the best freelance copywriter websites that I’ve found in my travels around the web. The coolest, craziest, and most unforgettable sites that fully capture each copywriter’s personality and brand, clearly state their writing services, and most importantly – bring in their perfect clients.
A quick note: This article is a work in progress – if you’ve recently rebranded your freelance writer website with all the design bells and whistles, send me a link to your site and tell me a bit about the process you went through, and how it (hopefully!) changed your business for the better.
Fact: Awesome copywriter portfolio websites don’t happen overnight
If you’re a newer freelance writer, you might have been snooping on the websites of more established writers, which now has you wrestling with a deluge of common (but oh-so-not-very-helpful) thoughts:
- I can’t start my freelance writing business until I decide on a logo
- I can’t get freelance writing gigs until I have an awesome website
- I don’t have enough money to hire a designer or a website developer
- How do I find potential clients if I don’t have a professional website to show them?
- I’LL NEVER GET GOOD CLIENTS UNLESS I HAVE A COOL WEBSITE LIKE THOSE GUYS
It’s time to throw all those can’ts, don’ts, and nevers into the bin.
The best time to start kicking ass as a freelance writer is today. It’s much better to start with what you’ll fondly look back on as “a steaming pile of McDoodie” for a website, than to keep making excuses and putting everything off until the time is “right”. Whatever that means?
You DO NOT need a fancy website to get started as a freelance copywriter, or to get better clients. In fact, you don’t need your own site at all to start getting clients and making money.
Online portfolio sites such as Clippings, Journo Portfolio, and Muck Rack all let you quickly create a professional portfolio and upload your writing samples to kick start your freelance career. Some of these plans are free to start, or cost a small amount per month. You can even publish articles on free sites such as Medium so prospective clients can view your work.
Pro tip: if you use an online portfolio website – any paid plan you sign up for is a tax deductible business expense. Yay!
Do you need a fancy-ass website or portfolio to succeed as a copywriter?
The short answer is no.
The slightly longer answer is no – especially when you’re just starting out.
An even longer answer is, no – and some of the world’s most successful copywriters still don’t have a website. They get clients by word of mouth, referrals, cold pitching, being active on social media, and other channels that they probably want to keep to themselves.
As long as you have a portfolio, great client testimonials, and a healthy dose of stubborn determination, that’s all you need to succeed and keep growing your client base. A website helps establish your presence and authority online – but it’s not 100% essential, especially when you’re a beginner freelancer.
There’s a point in your freelance writing career where you’ll need to weigh up if professional design and branding can help you earn more money and attract those dream clients you’re striving for. The exact time this happens will be different for everyone – and the exact amount of improvements you make to your site is up to you.
It might as simple as getting professional photos taken for your existing writer website, and overhauling your messaging – or (depending on your budget) you might decide to get an entire website upgrade and bring in some design or branding experts to help you create something unforgettable.
For me, it took a while to accept that I needed some…okay, a lot...of design help.
Welcome to my very first attempt at a freelance writer website
I trawled through the depths of my Google drive to bring you this monstrous pile of crap.
This cringe-laden endeavour is a snapshot of my first ever freelance writer home page, circa 2016-ish, which demonstrates my complete lack of…pretty much everything.
I can feel some heavy day-drinking and crying coming on just looking at it.
Here you will note all the cliches of the hapless, yet adorably enthusiastic new freelance writer:
- Picture of a typewriter
- Headline that says I write both for and about….stuff
- Palpable desperation: HELLO YES I CAN WRITE ANYTHING U NEED PLZ HIRE MEEEEEE
From this URL of embarrassment sprang many iterations of my page that somehow managed to get even worse over time.
Exhibit A: I call this version “At Least I Tried”
Exhibit B: Finally, I got tired of wasting days of precious client-getting time on tweaking my home page. So I gave up and pretended that my website was under maintenance. It was less horrible for everyone that way.
ANYWAY. Let’s fast forward to 2019.
I was getting a steady stream of decent work at this point, despite having a dumpster fire of a site that I was too ashamed to show prospective clients.
I finally felt ready to step up my website game.
After 6 months of planning, design, development, editing, insomnia, and suspense – and with a lot of help from my Think Tank mastermind group – I finally felt I had achieved something close to the sites of some of my favorite copywriters who put a focus on differentiating themselves online with specific positioning, gorgeous imagery – and unforgettable personal branding.
Okay – let’s take a look at some of the best copywriter websites out there right now.
10 OF THE BEST FREELANCE COPYWRITER WEBSITES
Mighty Fine Copy
May I present to you – myself!
Yes, I am unashamedly putting myself a the top of my own list because:
- I CAN 😂
- David deserves a freaking medal for the amount of work he put into this Webflow site, and for putting up with my ridiculous design demands during this time “Can you make Godzilla’s eyes roll around? Can you animate this sandwich? Can you make a really fat bee for this page?” etc.
I’m still totally in love with my website after 3 years of it going live. My overarching goal was for it to highlight my personality through my love of snack food, and cartoons like Adventure Time – while also selling my copywriting services to my ideal clients. I feel I’ve achieved that.
The upside of having a heavily branded site for me is that the crazy bright designs have turned away the types of clients that I didn’t want to work with. Which as equally as important as trying to attract your dream clients.
This means the leads I get through the site now are generally awesome people who “get it”. They understand that a flying space toaster is a completely normal thing for a professional service provider to have on their website, and they’re great to work with.
Getting clients that you really want to work with should be your ultimate goal as a copywriter, and it will save you a ton of time weeding through time-wasting and low-paying prospects.
Lianna Patch – Punchline Copy
If anyone can make rubber chicken dismemberment look fun and exciting, it’s Lianna. A comedienne extraordinaire, she’s the copywriter you need if your own copy plain sucks, your jokes suck, and you need some genuinely funny copy on your site to bring the cha-ching.
The downside to Lianna’s site being so excellent in both messaging and visuals, is that many people have tried to steal both her copy and designs to use on their own sites.
Please don’t do this!
Firstly, you’re a copywriter, so write your own darn copy already – and secondly, the copywriting community knows stuff, and they will find you and hurt you. With words. Which will be a lot hurtier than the words of normal, everyday people.
I asked Lianna what was happening in her business that made her decide to rebrand her website – and what the results were when she launched it.
“I rebranded in April 2016, after getting so burned out on the past incarnation of my business that I briefly took a full-time gig with this idiot. Previously, I’d felt trapped inside my business as a really good editor and copy editor… but just because I was good at it didn’t mean I enjoyed it.
The changes my new brand created for me were twofold: one, I can finally appeal directly to the types of clients and copy I most enjoyed working with.
And two, I’m able — and even expected — to be more naturally myself with clients! If that (and my Twitter feed) doesn’t scare them away, well, then we’ll probably be a great fit. ;). “
Ami Williamson – Damn Write Copy
Ami is a copywriter from Australia, and she’s a (slighty evil) genius that specializes in damn good emails, brand messaging playbooks, and shoppable quiz funnels.
I love Ami’s site because it’s so visually different and unique – and her personality and humor is evident throughout the copy on the site.
I asked Ami how she decided on the design concept for her personal brand –
“Laura from Obscurio was the talent behind it. I wanted something that had a slightly sciencey vibe (and absolutely no typewriters!!!), to hint at the psychology behind conversion copy. I actually sent her the AP Bio opening theme as inspo because I love the feel and look of it. My main tip is to look for inspiration outside of your field. Also – stay the fuck away from trends!”
I absolutely and 100,000% agree with the trends thing. If you’re spending the time and money to develop your personal branding, you don’t want it to become instantly dated once the trend fades. Remember that global fidget spinner craze a couple of years back? Exactly.
Laura Belgray – Talking Shrimp
Laura Belgray is an award-winning, million-dollar copywriter and all-round cool human bean. Founder of Talking Shrimp, and co-creator of the Copy Cure with Marie Forleo, Laura has written for big name brands and television channels like Bravo, HBO, Nickelodeon, and Sundance Channel.
If you’re not on her email list, you should be – it’s a masterclass in creating engaging content for your followers.
I asked Laura what her very first writer website was like, and what her website strategy would be if she was starting out again as a freelancer today.
“My first freelancer website—which was my first website, period—was pretty custom. I had an illustrator from my TV job create illustrations for me. I didn’t want mine to look like every other site out there, because they were all blogs at the time and all looked …very bloggy. That said, I thought I was going for TV clients, who are very visual.
If I were pitching myself today, as, say, an online copywriter, I would prioritize the actual copy. I’d make sure it was punchy, compelling, and readable. And then, when I had enough business to warrant it and wanted to attract more high-end clients, I’d then invest in more sophisticated design.
The most important thing is that you have a site that’s clean and contemporary, gets your point across quickly, and is easy for you to change yourself any time you want to tweak the copy.”
Michal is a fellow SaaS copywriter – and when her new website went live a couple of years ago, it was was pretty much the talk of copy-town, and is still up there among my favorite freelancing websites ever.
The messaging, the colors, the smoooooth UX….it was driving most of us crazy with website envy – and even compelling a few people to copy and paste parts of her epic work onto their own website (which is not cool, as I mentioned above).
I asked Michal what was happening in her business that made her undertake such a major rebrand – and if there was any noticeable difference for her business after the launch.
What made you decide it was time to go all out with a new website and branding?
I was suffering from Website Shame Syndrome! I’d been building my business with inbound marketing on LinkedIn for nearly a year, and had developed quite a following. People liked my content; I was getting a fair flow of leads directly from the platform.
BUT I had a pathetic, one-page, slapped-up, DIY website with awful branding and all-over-the-place messaging. Until today, I kick myself that I did not screenshot the site before putting up the new one, because it was so incredibly awful that if I could show it to you right now – Every. Copywriter. On. Earth. would feel eminently better about their website.
The messaging was fragmented, the visuals were unsophisticated, the social proof was outdated. It just didn’t reflect my brand or business growth. It was a decent “starter site,” but I’d outgrown it. Each time I’d send the link to a prospect, I’d cringe!
By then, I’d been running my freelance copywriting business for a full year. I’d seen the clients; I’d seen the potential. I’d developed greater clarity on my brand — who I was, what made me different. I felt confident that with targeted messaging (and a website that made me proud), I could seriously improve my lead quality and revenue.
How did you decide on the theme/feel for the new site?
As part of my brand exploration creative process, I’d done several interviews with past clients. The common denominator that emerged was: “We love Michal because she’s a perfectionist — she’s obsessed with excellence. Her work is deeply invested, and it shows.”
I realized: I’m the anti-mediocre copywriter. I’m the perfectionist copywriter. Why not own that, and make it my brand?
When it came to tone, I knew I wanted to strike a balance of warm, relatable, and conversational — but sharp, confident, and crisp. I also knew I wanted the visuals to lean it to my feminine strengths — I wanted to own the fact that this was a woman-owned business.
Kira Hug, a long-time mentor, shared a brilliant idea: she suggested I curate a Pinterest board with images that speak to me. For two weeks, I spent 10-15 minutes a day adding pictures to the board. When I was done, the visual direction became clear; there was a pattern to the colors, textures, and typography I loved. I shared this board with my designer, Rowan Hartsuiker, who used it to create some preliminary sketches. These sketches were incredibly on target, and I know it’s because he had this Pinterest moodboard to work with.
And the million-dollar question – what difference did the new site make to your business?
My lead machine EXPLODED — literally. And within 2-3 months, my monthly revenue doubled.
Here’s a breakdown:
LEADS: At one point, I started getting 2-3 leads per DAY, most of which were high quality. In March 2019, I stopped posting on LinkedIn altogether for a chunk of time because my team was booked out solid for 6 months and did not yet have the manpower to handle more work or even respond to leads properly. I needed to staunch the flow.
INCOME: Doing an apples-to-apples comparison of my pre- and post- website income, my monthly average income rose by 95% percent. It doubled, almost instantly, to consistent $15-20K months.
Michal’s actual graph generated from her numbers in Excel. The “15” mark is where she launched the new website
NOTHING else changed in my business. I was offering the same perfectionist copy, the same perfectionist service. The only difference: a beautiful, persuasive site with striking, cohesive design; crisp, compelling messaging; and clear, detailed packages.
Importantly, notice how my income dipped right before it launched. This is because great websites take time.
The month before I rolled out the new site, I made $0 in revenue. Zero, because I was all consumed with finishing and fine-tuning the site. Was it worth it? Considering it enabled me to grow by 200% and reach steady $15-20K months….I’d say YESSSSSSS.
I share this with freelance business owners because I want them to know that it’s NORMAL for great brand assets to take time.
Hire yourself — for real. Take the time to put up a crafted, unique, standout website that reflects YOU, and speaks to your best customers. You’ll see the returns soon enough.
I met Hillary at the Copywriter Club live event in Brooklyn a couple of years ago. Owning the stage in her Mondrian-print dress, I thought she was pretty darn fabulous – and lo and behold – she has a website to match.
She’s moved out of the copywriting business now and is focused on creative direction and branding for entrepreneurs – but you should still see what a great website can look like!
What I love most about the header section below is that the imagery action here perfectly matches the copy. Yes, I get nerdy about this stuff.
I asked Hillary when the “right time” is for copywriters to stop playing small and go all-in on personal branding:
In my opinion, the right time is when you’re ready to go bigger and really start building your visibility in earnest, so you can speak, teach, sell products, create your own content, and all the awesome things!
That’s when being memorable is most crucial. When you’re just working to get clients on the door and get the ball rolling, having a site that simply shares what you do with a way to contact you is just fine. But when it’s time for the bigger stuff? Awesome branding is for the BUILD, baby!
Kira was one of the driving forces behind me getting my new site built and launched, and regularly
kicking my butt checking in to keep me accountable.
As co-founder of the Copywriter Club, she has been instrumental in helping hundreds (if not thousands) of other copywriters create businesses and lifestyles that they love.
Kira’s website is spectacular, fun, vibrant, and irresistible to her ideal clients – and it’s definitely one of the best freelance copywriter websites out there. If you ask a group of copywriters what their favorite other copywriter’s website is – I guarantee most of them will mention Kira!
I asked Kira how she created an online presence for herself when she was first starting out as a copywriter, and why she made the move from a DIY website to the one she has now:
“I DIY’d my first website in 2015 (because hiring someone wasn’t really an option at the time (hello, money!). I found a WordPress template I liked well enough, and I spent most of my time focusing on my BETA brand. As in, I knew how important it was to stand out as a copywriter since I was a newbie. Who’d hire me if I wasn’t different?
So I dressed up in a pirate costume (left over from my wedding because yes, we dressed up as pirates for my wedding), and my husband – a photographer – snapped a handful of photos of me being ridiculous in our backyard. The photos were strong enough to add to my DIY website and start marketing. The whole process reminded me that you could create a DIY brand and BETA website without investing a ton of time, energy, and money.
Once I tested the silly pirate costume on my DIY website, I knew I hooked my audience with the playful persona I showcased. As I pitched podcasts and promoted my website, I gained some attention, and more importantly, I gained new leads. I started selling copy projects and making money.
When I gained momentum in my business and landed bigger projects from my DIY website and beta brand, I knew it was worth investing more time, energy, and money into it. I had already tested the concept so I knew it was the right time to go all in. Because I felt a strong connection to the playful, character-based brand I had built, I wanted to build off of it. I wanted to work with a branding expert who could take my idea and built off of it. I wanted to work with the best… which led me to Sarah Ashman.
She was the only branding strategist and creative director I wanted to work with. So I jumped on her wait list and eventually worked with her on my brand. It was a steep investment for me at the time, but I took on extra projects to help pay for it. Since then, I’ve made my money back X a ridiculous amount. (Check out the results from the branding work)
It was far easier to land bigger projects and clients, speaking opportunities, and position myself as an authority figure in our industry because I had a memorable brand that stood out from everyone else. My brand has given me an advantage in everything I’ve done since I launched it in 2015. I will continue to invest in branding for both my personal brand and my business brand from now until forever because I’ve experienced the results firsthand.“
Justin is in charge of bringing personality-er plus to both fellow copywriters, and to his clients. If you’ve been to his site or seen him on video in his home office, you’ll instantly notice his fondness for Muppets, Grover, and words like “cockwomble”.
If you’re struggling to sound like yourself when you write copy for your own website (which, as we all know is agonizing) – check out one of Justin’s quick workshops on voice. I’ve taken the one below, and highly recommend it!
I asked Justin what advice he’d give to newer copywriters who are struggling with “my personal website sucks” syndrome, and how to overcome it.
“Nobody starts with a good website. Grab those stock images of coffee cups and typewriters off Unsplash. Write a boring headline. Create an About Page that talks about your obsession with How I Met Your Mother and your pet chinchilla named Tonk.
Your first website is your first draft and It’s supposed to suck. Clients just want proof that you’re not going to write their copy in crayon.Then, as you slowly figure out what you do…swap in real pictures. The words will come over time (mostly through testimonials) and you can change them anytime you want. But start bad.
After a few wins, you’ll realize that people buy you. Not your words. That’s when It’s time to upgrade.”
If you’re finding it excruciating trying nail down your own personality and voice when you’re creating your freelancer website – get in touch with Justin on social, or check out his website for more information on his writing workshops. I’ve taken one, so I can personally recommend it!
Gill literally wrote the book on Making Your Website Work, so I obviously had to ask her how she applied her knoweldge to make her own website work.
I love her site’s minimal, sleek, and stylish aesthetic – and it’s proof that a high-performing website doesn’t need to cost tens of thousands of dollars, have crazy colors, cartoons, costumes, or go overboard on design to bring in the $$$$$$.
So Gill, do you think freelance writers need a website when they’re just starting out?
As a business owner, you need a website only if:
- most of your competitors have a website
- and if your prospects are searching for what you sell online, expecting to find the answers to their initial questions on a website.
Which makes creating a website a “yes” for probably 95% of the niches, including writers.
If you don’t have a website, the only other channels for you to get noticed would be social media, cold pitching, and word of mouth. The first two will require a lot of active effort to generate inquiries. Plus, you’ll end up justifying your value over and over again, which is very frustrating. And the word of mouth is a black box you can’t quite control. Sure, your website shouldn’t remain your only marketing channel. But it should be your harbour to which all other channels lead to.
How did you decide on the style and theme of your current website?
I only had two website themes so far, and it was more of an evolution than a conscious decision and organized process. I’m a former software engineer, so I’d take a basic clean theme I liked and keep changing things the moment I felt the need to.
And two years ago when I switched the theme itself, I did it not for the aesthetics but to make my website faster. Interestingly, I later made the new theme look almost exactly like the old one. The only big changes were the new headshots and bigger headers for the sales pages.
What have the benefits been for your business of having the sleek, stylish website design that you have currently?
I’m a big fan of clarity and simplicity. So, I don’t consider my website sleek or stylish. It’s pretty basic. But it does reflect my personality and the way I write, which is exactly what a good website should do: to attract the right clients and repel the wrong ones.
Many (especially web designers) think a website needs to be visually stunning to be considered a good website. Which, as practice shows us, is not at all the case. Your website doesn’t need to be stunning to work for you. It just needs to be functional.
Sure, website design influences the first impression a lot. But your website is not a painting. Its design has a function: it should make it easy for your prospects to find the information they need and accomplish their goals, while it doesn’t get in the way of the main thing that’s going to sell your services — your message.
So, if you’re just starting out and you’re intimidated by stunning websites you see other writers have, let me tell you this:
- Not every stunning website also works well for their owners.
- You don’t need a stunning website to become a successful freelancer. A not-ugly one with a clear design that doesn’t get in the way of your message will be enough for at least 2-3 years.
- Later, when you feel like you’ve outgrown your website design, you may want to hire a professional to redesign it to give it a unique look-and-feel. But make sure it always remains functional.
Last but absolutely not least is Joe Coleman’s epic interactive website. It’s a great example of thinking outside the box of what a typical freelancer landing page should look like.
When I was starting out and struggling for inspiration for my own design, I came across Joe’s site, and it’s still every bit as amazing to me now as it was then.
It turns out millions of other people feel the exact same way. I asked Joe a few questions about how he decided on this slider-based concept, and what the results were after he launched. Read on…
Do you need a great looking website when you’re starting out as a copywriter?
Having a good portfolio of work is way more important than having a slick website.
At what point in your freelancing journey should you start thinking about getting professional design/branding help?
Depends how busy you are! If your portfolio site and existing contacts are keeping you booked up, why spend the money?
However, if you’re looking to get your foot in the door with better clients/agencies, it might be time to phone a decent designer.
What were the results for you after you launched your new site? Did it help with landing clients?
A couple of people’s tweets about my site went viral. Which was great news, until my hosting company phoned me and told me I’d crashed their shared server, taking lots of other people’s sites with me. So I briefly had to put my site on its own server at vast expense.
It was an inconvenience worth putting up with though, at its peak, my site was receiving 9904 visits per day and 22,749 page views per day. The site got just under 1.5 million page views in the first 11 months of 2017.
At this point, I was getting over 10 availability enquiries a day from around the world and, 4 years later, I still get at least 2 a week. The site also picked up a high-profile D&AD graphite pencil, a Webby award and a place in the Creative Review Annual, which put me on the radar of some brilliant agencies.
I now work with Superunion, Magpie Studio, Grey Healthcare New York and others as a result.“
Want to see what your favorite copywriters’ websites looked like when they started out?
With the magic of the Wayback Machine, you can stalk (in a nice way, not in a call-the-police way) anyone’s websites right back to the time they feverishly hit “launch” on their first site. This can be super helpful when you’re starting out and have a bad case of comparisonitis. All those first-attempt sites make you feel kinda not so bad after all.
In summary – 10 of the best copywriter websites
I hope this behind the scenes look into the website and branding progression of other copywriters has been helpful to at least two people 🙂
Love to hear your thoughts in the comments – is there anyone else you think should be included in this list of best copywriter websites?
I’m aiming to interview a diverse range of other owners of freelance writing sites for this list, to show newer writers what’s possible further down the track if they put the work in, and that it’s totally okay and normal to have a sucky website when you’re just starting out!