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  • Diana Schneidman

How to succeed without a website

Last week I participated on a panel discussion on how to be (or become) a freelance writer sponsored by the Independent Writers of Chicago (IWOC).

Afterwards many of us went out for dinner and I learned something very revealing about one of the other panelists: He has no website. Still!

The guy in question is a highly successful writer. He said that his plate is never empty; he is always working on one or more paid assignments.

His LinkedIn profile claims he has written over 2,000 assignments since 1990 and the total may well be higher by now. His clients include many of the leading daily newspapers in the U.S., as well as a range of trade journals in diverse industries.

Why has he never mounted a website?

Because he is busy with paying work and doesn’t see a pressing need for a website.

Not only does he not have a website, but his 2.0 presence is rather minimal. Yes, he does have the aforementioned LinkedIn entry, but he only has 55 connections. As someone who lives an interesting life involving diverse clients, travel, sports and more, I’m certain he knows more than 55 individuals in the LI database, unless his criteria for connections are so restrictive as to only include biological siblings.

He’s not on Twitter, nor could I find him on Facebook.

He’s been cold calling for years as a steady source of clients, but of course, the largest share of his work at this time is repeat business.

Now let’s put this in the context of today’s economy. Every day we read about newspapers cutting back or even going out of business. “Information wants to be free” or at least electronic, and the newspaper industry is dying. Plus all the layoffs increase competition among writers for a shrinking number of assignments.

Yet here is someone defying the odds to maintain a strong freelance writing business. And without a website!

Proves it can be done!

Originally posted 5-17-10

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