As a freelance writer, it’s beneficial to have a portfolio of your work, so potential clients can review your work and learn about your area of expertise. Before you start working on your portfolio, you need to consider the writing you want to do.
Whether you’re a copywriter, ghostwriter, literary writer, or journalist, that should be clear when people see your portfolio. One of the first things to consider when creating your portfolio is your niche, and determining your niche can help you select your articles and layout.
6 steps to create your writing portfolio
Here are the six steps to creating a writing portfolio that will help you grab the attention of potential readers and clients:
1. Choose a portfolio host
In today’s virtual world, having an online portfolio is a must for most creatives. You can decide if you want to host your portfolio on your website or prefer to have it hosted by another company.
You can create your portfolio using a platform like Wix, Weebly, or WordPress. If you prefer to have your portfolio hosted on a specialized online portfolio site, you can choose from sites like Clippings, WriterFolio, or JournoPortfolio. You might be interested in these free platforms to showcase your freelance writing portfolio.
2. Determine your niche
If you’re having a hard time selecting the type of writing you want to focus on, it might be a good idea to review your previous work and see which ones had the most impact, response, and reach. If you want to focus on ghostwriting, you may want to clarify what kind of content you can write. This can range from real estate to landscaping to holistic medicine or another industry where you have writing experience.
As a copywriter, do you enjoy creating sales pages and other marketing copy such as landing pages, newsletters, and email sequences? What kind of literature do you write if you are a literary writer? You can focus on romance, fantasy, horror, or any other genre. What kind of news do you write about if you are a journalist? Do you write about current events, celebrity gossip, or financial or political news? The possibilities are endless.
3. Create your author bio
Your author bio is meant to introduce you to potential clients who enjoy your work and want to know more about you. The content you include in your bio should match the layout and design of the website. Items to consider including are:
- Where are you from originally.
- Where do you currently call home?
- Your academic writing credentials, if applicable.
- Your featured posts.
- Any recognition and awards you have won.
- The topics or topics it covers.
You can include your social media links if you feel comfortable and they highlight more of your written work. If you’re building your portfolio site, you can choose to include the bio on an about page or have it as your home page.
You may consider adding a photo of yourself as it can increase the chances of people contacting you. You may be interested in tips on how to write an about me page in your online portfolio.
4. Select your best work
Once you’ve decided on the niche you want to focus on, you can review their entire work and choose the best content that fits that specialization. You can include previous jobs that clients have been successful with and their feedback.
Your potential clients want confirmation that you can produce well-written content on the content that you claim to be your expertise. It may be helpful to check the terms of the work you’ve written to determine if you can post all of the content as part of your portfolio or if you’ll need to provide links.
If you provide links, please specify the post and when it was published. You might be interested in how Google Docs can help you organize your writing folder for the next step.
5. Organize your work into segments
You can divide the work you want to include in your portfolio by niche, or the type of article, using clear descriptions. Categorizing your work makes it easier for potential clients to find samples of the work they’re looking to hire you for when you separate them by niche or type. Examples of categories include landing page copy, white papers, and blog posts, to name a few.
Your category descriptions should be brief. If the content you want to share was ghostwritten and did not include your signature, you should include the term ghostwriter in the job description to clarify.
6. Make sure your contact information is easy to find
Your online portfolio should make it easy for potential clients to connect with you. Whether they want to express appreciation for an article you wrote or discuss a business opportunity with you, finding your number or an email address shouldn’t be a challenge.
Getting involved with as many people as possible is a great way to expand your online profile. You can use a contact form on your website, or you can provide your email address.
The key is to make sure the information is visible and easily accessible, whether they’re using their phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop. If you decide to share an email address, you may want to create a new account, as having an email posted publicly can leave you vulnerable to excessive amounts of spam.
Writing Portfolio Examples
Before you start creating your portfolio, it may be helpful to review what some writers have created for themselves. You can also check out the blogs every freelance writer should read for inspiration, no matter how long you’ve been writing. Here are some examples of writer’s portfolios with some comments on their design:
1. Elna Cain
Elna’s portfolio tells you that she is the writer you are looking for to meet your business needs. She lists posts where readers can find her work and shares testimonials from past clients.
You have numerous ways to connect with her, whether you want to discuss business opportunities or follow her online. It also has a link to her blog, so you can stay up to date on her work.
2. Tyler Koenig
Tyler uses his website to add value with an email list, courses, webinars, and tips on his blog. She has free and paid resources, highlighting her experience to potential clients. The site is well designed and easy to navigate.
3. Jennifer Fernandez
Jennifer uses a grid-based theme to display links to her writing samples, using a title and thumbnail photo for each. She organized her writing samples into sections based on her lifestyle, design, and her travel content niche. Jennifer shows the type of writing that she has experience with and makes it easy to navigate.
Get started with your creative writing portfolio
Before you post your portfolio, you may want to review it and have your friends or colleagues view it. Sometimes we can get so close to our project that we miss little things. The last thing you want is to post a writer’s portfolio with spelling or grammatical errors.
If you’re looking for a job, you want to get as many eyes as possible to increase your chances of getting hired. You may be interested in learning how to find clients as a freelance writer now that you have a portfolio to share.