Creating Your Writing Portfolio: All You Should Know

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Creating Your Writing Portfolio: All You Should Know

You’ve finally decided to work as a freelance writer, but you don’t know where to start? What is the best way to get started as a freelance writer? To be straightforward, you should begin by creating a writing portfolio. 

A writing portfolio is usually a web page with several links or photos for your writing samples. There is no set format for your writing portfolio; all that matters is that you have one or more to demonstrate your writing capabilities. 

A writing portfolio contains your best writing as a freelance writer, displays your writing skill in your niche, and shows off the places you have written for. As a freelance writer, the best place to house your writing portfolio is on your blog. Although, you can also house it on portfolio sites such as Quiet.ly, Pinterest, Contently, and LinkedIn

The first step to turning prospects into clients is to have a strong writing portfolio. In this article, we’ll discuss effective steps to create a writing portfolio that attracts the right clients. Keep reading!

What Should My Portfolio Contain?

Should you include every piece of writing you’ve done in your portfolio? Well, the answer is No. A portfolio is a sample of your writing skills and experiences and should be displayed in a creative style. Therefore, it should only contain relevant, up-to-date content that demonstrates your best writing abilities in the niche (or niches) you’ve adopted. 

You can decide to share writing samples for topics such as WordPress and personal development, blogging, and digital marketing. An ideal writing portfolio should contain the following: 

Statement of Originality

This is a paragraph stating that the work is yours and is confidential. If you don’t want any part of the portfolio copied, It should also be included.

For instance; Statement of Originality and Confidentiality: This portfolio is the work of Jerry Maze. Do not copy without permission. 

Some of the exhibits, service samples and work samples are the property of the organization whose name appears on the document. Each has granted permission for this product to be used as a demonstration of my work.

Work Philosophy

Here, describe briefly your beliefs about the industry and yourself.

Biography

To establish the tone for your writing examples, offer a brief explanation of who you are and what you do. However, keep this part brief.

Link to a more detailed freelance writing rèsumè if you want to provide more details. If required, provide a FAQ section or a Google Doc with more links to writing samples.

Career Goals

Write down your professional goals for the next five years or more to come.

Links To Social Media

An image depicting how social networking works

Make sure to include links to your social media sites, such as LinkedIn and Twitter, to emphasize your online presence. As a freelance writer, you’re always working to improve your brand. When you use social media to enhance your credibility, authority, and network, potential clients will feel more confident with you.

When potential customers look at your social media sites, they should be able to discover more about you. Do not link to something like Pinterest or Instagram unless those profiles can serve your freelance writing goals.

Skill Areas

Identify three to five primary skill sets you possess that would be beneficial to someone in your line of work. It could include Computer Skills, Accounting, Management, Customer Service, Leadership, Communications, and Public Relations. 

After that, choose or obtain letters of recommendation as well as particular work samples or projects that demonstrate these abilities.

Classroom projects, materials created on the job or during an internship/co-op experience, materials from community service, volunteer work, and professional affiliations are all good places to look for work samples.

Intuitive Site Navigation

Simple arrangement and design are important when it comes to navigating through your whole portfolio quickly. Don’t make it difficult for employers to discover material that is relevant to their industry. 

Make your website user and SEO-friendly. This last piece of advice is crucial not just for getting higher rankings in search engines, but also for marketers assessing your work.

Moving forward, SEO will become even more important in a freelance writer’s ability to acquire content production jobs. In the end, demonstrate that you know how to use on-page SEO to assist your clients in achieving their goals.

Why Do You Need A Portfolio?

A work station

The act of putting together a portfolio can help you become a better interviewee. You’ll be analyzing the abilities you’ve acquired from your various experiences and determining how they connect to the job you want to pursue. 

When asked about your talents and experiences, choosing the most relevant ones and arranging them in an easily understandable style can help you better express them.

A Professional portfolio will also help demonstrate to a prospective employer that you have excellent organizational, communication, and concrete job-related abilities.

Creating A Writing Portfolio

Whether you’re starting from scratch or looking to create a specific portfolio, here’s an in-depth guide to creating a killer writing portfolio:

1. Be Familiar With Your Target Client and Desired Niche(s)

Choose your writing portfolio samples bearing in mind your ideal client and niche(s). Pick significant samples that are related to the niches you want to write about.

2. Consider Guest Posting to Build Your Portfolio

Guest posting is a great approach to building a writing sample for your writing portfolio. This indicates that your post is published on another blog.

It can be paid contributions, but it’s more often than not a free chance for you to advertise your business to a completely new target audience. Guest posting also offers you a professional freelance writer’s “street reputation “.

Below is how to guest-post to fill up your writing portfolio from scratch:

Seek Guest Posting Opportunities

The simplest way is to do a google search on the niche you want to write for + “write for us.” You can search for almost anything + write for us to get guest blog opportunities. 

Go Through The Guest Post Guide

Your writing portfolio will have its own set of submission criteria. Some may want a Google doc, while others may need an email attachment. There may be specific guidelines on what sort of links to include in your article, how to write it and how long it should be.

Create Your Guest Blog Pitch

Coming up with a writing pitch based on the guidelines you assimilate is the fun part.

Again, each blog has its own set of requirements. Some people want 3-5 subject ideas, while others want a framework for a single article. Figure out what they want and come up with a great subject or a selection of topics that will appeal to them.

I recommend that you learn how to write a pitch for guest blogging. It’s critical that your pitch comes off as personal and as though you’re familiar with the blogger’s content.

Using a template for your guest pitch isn’t going to help you land any guest posts. Alternatively, read the blog you want to guest post and learn about:

  • Their headlines 
  • The format for their posts
  • The length of their posts
  • Their popular high sharing topics

Write The Guest Post

You can start guest posting once you’re accepted. I also recommend that you should avoid pitching the same topic and outline to several guest blogs. 

If you pitch the steps to eat peanut butter to five health blogs and two accept, you can’t write that post, and you can’t switch to another idea. What you do is to think of blog ideas that are similar to pitch.

Craft Your Author Bio

One of the reasons to use guest posts to develop your writer portfolio is that you’ll obtain an author bio. Your author bio is where you promote your freelancing writing services

A good bio consists of the following:

  • What you’re offering
  • The type of content you provide
  • How to reach you
  • The way to tell your personality

Your author bio evolves as you grow as a freelance writer.

Submit Your Post And Wait

Once you’ve submitted your piece according to the blogger’s guest post rules, it’s now time to await their response. You’ll probably receive a response from the blog owner acknowledging receipt and providing an estimated publication date for your article.

However, other blogs may request that you modify and amend your work before they publish it.

You may use this time to pitch for more guest roles, build on your writer website, and begin applying to employment boards.

As a freelance writer, you need to work hard every day. Determine the tasks you need to complete to get your business up and running.

Create a Portfolio Page

You’ve received a response. That’s fantastic! Your guest post was published, and you now have a link. You may now start working on your writing portfolio.

Create a page you can call Writing Portfolio or Writing Samples in your WordPress site, then drop your link or style it using a page builder or the WordPress editor.

Fill Up Your Writing Portfolio

Do you have just a piece of writing in your portfolio? Well, more is required! I’ll recommend that you start with a minimum of three articles unless you specify different writing niches. You should select relatively similar writing subjects.

While guest posting is the most effective approach to writing a portfolio, another option is to create a Medium profile where you can submit your work.

There are hundreds of publications on the platform with submission areas. You don’t need to pitch these places; simply sign up or email the draft link to your Medium article.

3. Create Multiple Writing Portfolios

One tactic you can employ to make yourself appear to be a highly respected writer is being everywhere online. You can do this easily by having several writing portfolios online.

You can use diverse tools ranging from LinkedIn to Medium to Contently to Clearvoice and more.  With these guidelines, you’re sure to make yourself some nice writing portfolios.

Best Portfolio Sites For Freelance Writers

A man organizing his portfolio

Several websites may assist you in developing your writing portfolio. Not every one of them is worth giving a shot. Below is a list of the best 5 alongside their features and other information:

1. Contently

Contently is a marketing and technology firm that specializes in creating portfolios for freelancers. This implies that not only can you build your ideal writing portfolio but also network with potential clients.

Pricing: Contently is free. Although, they charge an agent’s fee for the work you get through the platform.

Features

  • Clients, skills, and topics may all be used to narrow down the results (best for writers who work in multiple niches)
  • A single-page portfolio that is simple to read and displays your best work
  • Unlimited articles
  • Automatic collation from the web pages you’ve already worked on
  • Changing topics, biographies, and areas of competence, among other things

2. WordPress

WordPress continues to be one of the most popular content management systems. While the site isn’t primarily designed to help you build a writing portfolio, the creative flexibility it provides is a bonus.

If you already have a website, portfolio projects in WordPress allow you to manage your portfolio separately.

Pricing: It is free to create a basic WordPress site with the domain name sitename.wordpress.com. Custom domains and unlimited email support are available on a paid plan. The cheapest plan starts at $2.20/month.

Features

  • Hundreds of eye-catching themes
  • Plugins for social media sharing, SEO, and other purposes
  • Customized portfolio 
  • Drag-and-drop blocks that make it simple to personalize your portfolio 
  • Creates a distinct portfolio project

3. Clippings.me

Clippings.me is a basic writing portfolio website that requires very little technical knowledge. It’s simple to use, and you can create a writing portfolio in minutes. Unlike many of its competitors, it focuses solely on writing. 

Pricing: A free plan is available but you can add just 10 articles under it. The premium plan starts at $5.99/month.

Features

  • Possess a writing portfolio guide
  • Personalized design
  • Multimedia uploads available
  • Provides a directory for journalists to utilize in their search for potential interviewees

4. Muck Rack

Muck Rack is a writing portfolio website designed for PR professionals and journalists. Its most impressive feature is that it helps you build your portfolio by gathering social media accounts, sources, and publications.

Pricing: Muck Rack is free

Features

  • Connects your social media accounts easily
  • Supports PDFs with articles
  • Include topics you don’t cover
  • Compiles your portfolio automatically
  • Customizes your profile.

5. JournoPortfolio 

JournoPortfolio is a sleek, user-friendly web portfolio for showcasing your work. You can select from six different themes, create distinct portfolio sites, and connect directly to clips.

Pricing: A free plan is available but you can add just 10 articles. The paid plan with unlimited articles and pages begins at $2.75/month.

Features

  • There are six different themes to pick from, as well as a variety of background pictures.
  • Make a portfolio with several pages
  • Multimedia files such as PDFs, pictures, and movies can be uploaded
  • URL clips automatically grab the information of your article.
  • Built-in statistics make it easy to track visitors.

FAQs

What Is a Writing Portfolio Format?

Your portfolio is a web page with many links or photos for your writing examples. There is no set format for your writing portfolio; all that matters is that you have one or more to demonstrate your writing abilities.

Is a Writing Portfolio Same as a Resume?

No, it isn’t. A rèsumè highlights your educational background, accomplishments, and abilities, whereas a writing portfolio displays your writing ability. However, if a client requests a writing rèsumè and you don’t have one, you can offer your portfolio instead.

What Is a Good Writing Portfolio Mix?

The kind of writing samples you want in your writing portfolio is totally up to you. You can decide to have a blog post, mock-ups of press releases, emails, or white papers. On your writing portfolio, list your services and then offer links or examples of those services.

What are some free writing portfolio websites?

There are several free writing portfolio websites such as WordPress, Clippings.me, Contently, JournoPortfolio, and a host of others.

What is the aim of a writing portfolio?

A writing portfolio displays your writing achievements, it is something you can hand to your clients to assess the quality of your work. A portfolio allows you to showcase your best writing in a visually appealing manner.

Takeaway

A writing portfolio can make or mar your freelance writing business. It’s the first thing potential clients request when considering hiring you. A portfolio that is attractive and presents your finest work and experience in a certain niche can help you stand out from the crowd.

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