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Rock Your Screenwriting Website

July 12, 2019
4 min read time

What does belong on a screenwriter’s website?

Before you start, think about what you are trying to accomplish. All too often, writers jump into creating websites without thinking about their purpose.

For example, one theme as a writer is creating a blog that offers writing tips, methods and industry insights. But does appealing to an audience of other writers make sense in terms of marketing yourself as a screenwriter? After all, other screenwriters aren’t necessarily among those who will be making hiring and purchase decisions about your work.

(On a side note, writing—or providing other content—for writers usually comes about later in your career by popular demand, or because you specifically specialize in running a business that offers services to writers.)

What purpose does your website serve?

A screenwriter’s website serves a different purpose than an author’s website, though they both do the job of appealing to the writer’s specific audience. Ultimately, you’re trying to find industry buyers for your work. Because of this, your screenwriter’s website will function more like a combination of a brochure and a showcase for your writing, rather than as a tool to build an audience of book readers.

If you’re both a screenwriter and an author, your website will do both jobs.

What should your website include?

So, what does website for a screenwriter look like?

Again, think “showcase” and “brochure.” You want your website visitors to get a sense right away of who you are and what you do as a writer, including your unique voice, interests, credibility and specialties.

Create a powerful Home page

First thing’s first: create a powerful home page. What goes on your home page reflects who you are and what you specialize in as a screenwriter. Use a short sentence or two to describe your screenwriting brand or expertise, include a professional photo of yourself, and provide links to your best projects.

You’ll also want to have an easy-to-use layout to give visitors quick access to the important details they need for how to contact you and request your scripts.

I’m a fan of a “three big buttons” layout that include a visual and text element for each button, one for each of the three main elements of your work. What those elements are will depend on you, but they might include links to pages like: About, Scripts, Contact. Or Scripts, Brand Topic, News. What you select depends on the strongest aspects you can showcase about yourself and your work

Make your About page stand out

Your About page will ideally have a professional headshot and a short story about what makes you interesting as a writer, establish your training and credibility, and position you as a professional person to work with. (Read: no negative rants about the screenwriting industry.)

I’ve seen it work nicely to have a more personal story lead the page, followed by a professional bio and/or resumé below.

You can mention your availability for writing assignments here as well, if that’s something you do.

Invite your audience to make contact

At the bottom of every page, including your About page, include a “call to action” where you’re inviting your site visitor to take the next step. This can include requesting a script or writing sample, getting on your mailing list to be kept apprised of newly available scripts, or contacting you about a potential collaboration.

Use Script pages to pitch your work

You’ll also want either a page for each script you have available, or a single page with a list of your scripts, which might then link to separate webpages for each.

Note: you will want to have more than two scripts ready before building a website. A list of one or two can end up looking incomplete or too new, unless you have other writing or industry credits to round it out.

Include a stellar short pitch for each script you include, plus poster art or a concept trailer if you have it. (Canva has some great tools for putting together graphics if you want to experiment with doing this on your own.) For each script, you can also mention its current status and availability. Make sure to let people know how to request your scripts.

My preference is sending my scripts in response to specific requests, but you can also share links to writing samples if you like.

Flaunt it if you’ve got it on your News and/or Credits page

If you have enough news to share that it feels page-worthy, include a News or Credits page. On a News page you might list contest wins, writing assignments, option deals, film awards, or other industry related news that establishes your credibility.

On a Credits page, link to produced scripts you’ve written, films you’ve been involved in producing, or other industry credits; all with IMDb links.

Make it easy to find you via your Contact page

One of your most important pages—and one of the most visited—is your Contact page. Include a phone number, email address, and contact form, along with your social media links like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn plus a link to your IMDb page if you have one. I also recommend an additional (and different) professional photo of yourself.

The big idea here is to make it easy for people who might want to work with you to reach you, as well as being welcoming and approachable.

Create a Blog that positions your brand, voice and credibility

If you opt to have a blog, think about how to both position yourself as a writer, showcase your writing voice, and strengthen your credibility. (To see if it’s for you, read my post on blogging for screenwriters: “

To position your brand and credibility, post articles about the subject matter or genre you specialize in, or anything else related to your brand. For example, if you’re querying a script about mental health issues in teenagers, you might write a non-fiction essay about your own experiences, or write an article on the topic and why it’s so important to you.

To showcase your voice and versatility as a writer, you might post personal essays, like a lively piece about personal life experiences, or opinion pieces.

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Your Weekend Writer’s Assignment

What stands out about you as a screenwriter? What would you like to feature and highlight on your website? Brainstorm and see what comes up!

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Got Questions You Want Answered?

After working with hundreds of writers over the last seven years, writing coach and Called to Write Founder Jenna Avery has answers for you about how to balance your life and your screenwriting, trust yourself more as writer, fulfill your call to write, and more. Submit your questions to finaldraft@calledtowrite.com or via Jenna’s online form at  https://calledtowrite.com/final-draft and she may choose your question to answer anonymously in a future article. 

 

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