So How Did I Get These Free Clients?
Nix the Hosting Ads
No hosting sponsored ads. If your website has ads that are place willy-nilly by your hosting service because you are getting free hosting, that's a sure sign you're a novice because you can't afford to buy a domain name and a proper site.
Get Good Content
Make sure your site has content. It shouldn't just have a couple sentences about what you can do and your email. Fill that sucker up with your resume, quotes from happy customers and plenty of information on why a client should hire you. Search engines need words to figure out what your site is about so it can present it to people who are searching. No words, no visitors. Take a stroll around my site. Notice how each page is chock full of information?
Give Your Visitors Choices
I like to offer a range of services. I know some will tell you to find a niche and stick to it. That's not my bag and it works for me. I offer business owners text and image content services, consultations and classes. My point is, don't be afraid to present all of the services you're qualified to offer. I've had people tell me this is wrong and I should make separate landing pages for each offering. Hey, what I'm doing works. You can't argue with results.
Keep your site clean and organized to make it easy for potential clients to find the information they need quickly and easily. Don't bunch all your information together on one page. I can't tell you how much I hate going to a site and scrolling and scrolling and scrolling to find the information I need. So, I break my site up into sections for easy navigation. There's a Hire Me page, a page for my resume, a page for my editing and critique service, a page for my clips and a page for my illustrations.
Post a Photo
Add a photo of yourself. The other day, I had someone make this comment about my site, "The Logo. Why do you keep your picture there? If you say you're a good illustrator try to make an illustration of yourself, and integrate nice with the wording (sic)." Why indeed? I feel using a picture helps you come across as a real person and not just some faceless entity that wants money on the web. The key is to make it a professional looking image. No selfies!