Newbie Series: Build your website

Written by Jayna Baas

Welcome to our new bimonthly blog series for “newbie” editors. You’ve finally taken the plunge into professional editing—congratulations! Or perhaps you’re still testing the waters. In either case, you may be wondering, Where do I start?

There are many possible answers to that question, but it’s never too early to start building your website. You need a digital calling card for potential clients to find you! You can create a single-page website easily with SquareSpace, Weebly, or Wix., hosted through a platform such as BlueHost or SiteGround, is a great favorite of developers (this is not the same as, which is designed primarily for blogging).

Make the site professional: Stick to one or two fonts and use a clean interface with easy-to-read text, one main color, and possibly one accent color. Also include a clear call to action—the suggested next step for the visitor, such as “Schedule a consultation,” “Get a free sample edit,” or “Contact me to learn more.” Make sure you give enough information about your services for clients to know you offer what they need. Include a way for clients to contact you. If you can, add a professional photo of yourself to the site, which helps visitors to reach out to an actual person rather than a “service.”

Website expert Laura Christianson was a PENCON 2021 faculty member. You may want to purchase the recording of her session Less Is More: Website Makeover. You can also contact her at Christian publishing expert Thomas Umstattd Jr. has many helpful articles and podcasts on creating a site. While his advice is targeted to authors, editors can learn a lot as well.

If you haven’t already done so, you may find it helpful to join The Christian PEN as a Silver or Gold member so you can access the PEN Loop, our email group where you can ask your editing-related questions and find helpful guidance from more experienced editors.

Thank you for subscribing to PEN Tips, and we hope you continue to enjoy the education, tips, and inspiration we offer.

Jayna Baas director photoJayna Baas is the current PEN Director and has been in love with words ever since she learned to use them. As a freelance editor, she specializes in copyediting and proofreading for a polished reading experience. As a Christian fiction author, she is passionate about helping fellow writers present Christ-honoring messages with confidence and excellence. Jayna lives in northern Michigan, where she enjoys gardening, good coffee, and time with family.