How to Create a Writing Portfolio (With Examples)
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 starting to work on your portfolio, you should consider the writing you want to do.
Whether you’re a copywriter, a ghostwriter, writing literature, or a journalist, that should be clear when people view 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 the layout.
6 Steps to Creating Your Writing Portfolio
Here are the six steps to creating a writing portfolio that will help you get noticed by readers and potential clients:
1. Choose a Portfolio Host
In today’s virtual world, having an online portfolio is a must for most creatives. You get to decide whether you want to host your portfolio on your website or prefer to have another company host it.
You can create your portfolio using a platform like Wix, Weebly, or WordPress. If you’d rather have your portfolio hosted by a site specializing in online portfolios, you can choose from sites such as 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 struggling with selecting the type of writing you want to focus on, it may 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 type of content you can write. This can range from real estate to gardening, holistic medicine, or another industry in which you have writing experience.
As a copywriter, do you enjoy creating sales pages and other marketing copy, like landing pages, newsletters, and email sequences? What kind of literature do you write if you’re a literary writer? You can focus on romance, fantasy, horror, or any other genre. What type of news do you write about if you’re 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 aims to introduce yourself to potential clients who enjoy your work and want to learn more about you. The content you include in your bio should match the formatting and design of the website. The elements you should consider including are:
- Where you’re from originally.
- Where you call home currently.
- Your academic writing credentials, if applicable.
- Your notable publications.
- Any accolades and awards you’ve won.
- The subjects or themes you cover.
You can include your social media links if you’re comfortable, and they highlight more of your written work. If you’re creating your site for the portfolio, you can choose to include the bio on an about page or have it as your homepage.
You may consider adding a photograph of you since it can increase the chances of people reaching out to you. You may be interested in learning 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 your completed work and choose the best content that fits that specialization. You can include work past clients have succeeded with and their feedback.
Your potential clients want confirmation that you can produce well-written content about the content you’re stating is your specialization. It may be helpful to verify the terms of the work you’ve written to determine whether you can post the entire content as a part of your portfolio or if you’ll have to provide links.
If you provide links, specify the publication and when it was published. You might be interested in learning how Google Docs can help organize your writing portfolio 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 descriptions for your categories should be brief. If the content you want to share was done as a ghostwriter and didn’t include your byline, you should include the term ghostwriter in the work description to clarify it.
6. Ensure Your Contact Information Is Easy to Find
Your online portfolio must make it easy for potential customers to connect with you. Whether they want to express appreciation for an article you wrote or wish to discuss a business opportunity with you, finding your number or an email address shouldn’t be challenging.
Engaging with as many people as possible is an excellent 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 ensure that the information is visible and easy to access, whether they’re using their phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. If you decide to share an email address, you may want to create a new account, since having an email published publicly can leave you vulnerable to excessive amounts of spam.
Writing Portfolio Examples
Before you begin creating your portfolio, reviewing what some writers have created for themselves may be helpful. You may also want to check out the blogs every freelance writer should read to get some inspiration, regardless of how long you’ve been writing. Here are some examples of writer portfolios with some commentary on their design:
1. Elna Cain
Elna’s portfolio tells you that she’s the writer you’re looking for to meet your business needs. She lists publications where readers can find her work and shares testimonials from past clients.
She has numerous ways to connect with her, whether you want to discuss business opportunities or follow her online. She also has a link to her blog, so you can stay current on her work.
2. Tyler Koenig
Tyler uses his website to add value with an email list, courses, webinars, and tips on his blog. He has paid and free resources, highlighting his expertise 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 a thumbnail photo for each. She organized her writing samples in sections based on her lifestyle, design, and travel content niche. Jennifer showcases the type of writing she has experience in and makes browsing easy.
Get Started With Your Creative Writing Portfolio
Before you make your portfolio live, you may want to review it and have friends or colleagues look at it. Sometimes we can be so close to our project that we miss little things. The last thing you want is to publish a writer’s portfolio with spelling or grammar mistakes.
If you’re looking for work, you want to get as many eyes as possible on it to increase your chances of getting hired. You might be interested in learning how to source clients as a freelance writer now that you have a portfolio to share.