Creating a Web Site
More and more magazine writers are creating their own Web sites as a way to market their work and abilities. Some Web sites are a simple, single page that offers a writer's resume and contact information, while other Web sites are full-on Flash graphics productions that let you search through a writer's past articles to get a better grasp of their style and expertise. The simpler sites are less expensive and usually fully effective — and sometimes you can even build them yourself.
Creating your own Web site is not just a great marketing tool, it's also a money saver. If you post your resume and clips online, then you will not have to pay to mail printed versions when editors request them. Those postage and copying savings can add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars annually, depending on how many queries you send.
Hiring a Pro
You can hire a professional Web-site designer to create a high-bandwidth, graphics-heavy Web site for you if you think you need it. One good way to tell whether this might be a good investment is to look at the Web sites of other writers in your field. If you see that they are investing heavily in their self-promotion online, then you might want to consider at least matching their offerings in terms of content and style.
Building It Yourself
If you have basic design skills and a decent grip on using programs like Microsoft Publisher, then you can skip the professional's fee and build a Web site yourself. Once you learn how the basic design programs work, you can use templates to give your site a cohesive look that will be on par with many other writers' sites. For many writers with basic computer skills, this can be done over the course of a week.
If all you want to do is post a resume and a few clips, you can even look at other writers' sites and copy their formatting — but not their color schemes and design templates. Again, the idea is to market yourself as unique in the field. You don't want your site to look exactly like anybody else's.