When it comes to finding new clients as a freelance writer, it’s critical to create an online portfolio showcasing your best work. Nowadays, there are many online portfolio platforms that are ideal for freelancer writers to use. These websites help you to create a professional writing portfolio, without needing to know how to code or build a page. So, how do you make a writing portfolio?
How to make a writing portfolio in 4 steps:
- Make a list of all your work
- Highlight your best work
- Write your biography
- Set up an account with a writing portfolio website
Before we go through each of these steps in more detail, let’s take a look at exactly what a writing portfolio is.
What Is a Writing Portfolio?
A writing portfolio is a collection of your best writing work. It showcases your skills, the topics or niches you are most interested in, and previous clients you’ve written for.
What Should Be Included in a Writing Portfolio?
When it comes to putting together a portfolio, some people like to curate a list of their best pieces, while others use their entire blogs as portfolios. What matters is that you have something to show potential new clients. A great, professional portfolio can do most of the selling for you!
Why Do You Need a Writing Portfolio?
As a freelance writer, you have your own style, your niches, your way of engaging with readers – you are your brand. A writing portfolio acts as the best marketing tool for your brand.
A portfolio makes it easier to sell your work to clients. Instead of telling them everything about yourself and your achievements, you can simply show them. An appealing writing portfolio grabs clients’ attention, and quality writing will make them want to hire you. So, let’s go over a few easy steps you can take to create a writing portfolio online.
How to Make a Writing Portfolio in 4 Steps
1. Make a List of All Your Work
Creating a simple, well-organised spreadsheet with all your published pieces helps with planning the final version of your portfolio. Add links to each piece of work and organise them by topic and date so that you can easily select the ones you want to showcase.
2. Highlight Your Best Work
You don’t want to clutter your portfolio with every single piece you’ve ever written. Focus on quality over quantity by choosing only the best pieces. Between 10 and 20 examples is ideal.
Also, it’s best to feature your most recent work in your portfolio. Always try to keep it current by switching older pieces with newer ones. Pieces that are more than 2 years old probably aren’t very relevant now. And your writing skills have no doubt improved over time as well!
3. Write Your Biography
It’s not always easy to write about yourself, but clients want to know something about the person they’re hiring. Let them know who you are as a writer, what you can offer them, and why they should hire you. This is also a great place to highlight any relevant achievements.
4. Set Up an Account With a Writing Portfolio Website
So, you’ve chosen your best work, you know what you want to sell, and how you want to present yourself to potential clients. All that’s left to do is create an account with a writing portfolio website. There are many to choose from, so to help you make a decision, we’ve reviewed some of the most popular (and free!) writing portfolio platforms.
Free Writing Portfolio Websites
There are many portfolio websites to choose from and most of them are free or offer a free trial version. These platforms help you create a great portfolio without having to know a thing about coding or website building. And some of them even act as freelancer marketplaces that help you find writing jobs.
The best part is that they’re really easy to use. With only a few clicks you can create and update your portfolio, leaving you with more time to focus on what’s really important – your writing. Here are some of the most popular writing portfolio websites.
Clippings.me is one of the largest writing portfolio websites and it’s easy to see why. Creating an account is quick and easy (if you choose to connect via Twitter, you can even automatically import a bio and avatar). You can also customise your page with pre-existing themes or using your own pictures.
Uploading your pieces to the portfolio is as easy as pasting the URL for your work. The website then automatically uploads the date, title, and any image related to your clip to your portfolio page. Clippings.me is completely free to use for showcasing up to 10 articles. If you want to add more pieces to your portfolio, you’ll have to upgrade to the premium package for around $9.99 per month.
Contently lets you create a minimalist and appealing writing portfolio with ease and for free. Setting up an account is quick and easy. However, the platform is limited when it comes to customising your portfolio. Every Contently portfolio has the same design, and you only change your posts, name, picture, and bio.
But a major plus is that there’s no limit to how many pieces you can have in your portfolio. Plus, the website also works as an online content agency. Contently surveys each portfolio and tries to match potential clients with the best of them. You can learn more about Contently in this article.
If customisation is important for you, then Journo Portfolio might be a good choice. It allows you to personalise colours, images, and fonts, and you can choose from many themes and blocks. You can add a bio, your social media accounts, contact and about pages, and more.
Adding pieces to your portfolio is also very easy. You just enter the URL for the piece and the website does the rest. Plus, you also have the option of publishing your articles directly on the platform. Journo Portfolio is free for up to 10 articles. If you want to include unlimited writing pieces in your portfolio, you can upgrade to a Plus version for $5 per month, or a Pro version for $10 per month.
A Writing Portfolio Is Essential for Freelance Writers
Now you know the importance of having a writing portfolio and how to create one using some of the great online platforms available. But remember, once you create your portfolio, the work doesn’t end there. It’s important to update your writing portfolio frequently with new pieces.
And once it’s set up, share your portfolio as much as you can. The more you put your work out there, the more likely you are to attract new clients. Take advantage of social media, post it on job boards and forums, or include it in the signature on your email. Don’t be afraid to show off your hard work!
If you want to read more about freelance writing, check out our other articles here.