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How to Build A Writing Portfolio That Leaves An Impression

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When you’re in a creative field of work (i.e. designing, writing, arts, etc.), there are few things that are more important than your portfolio.

The portfolio plays a major role in determining how many times you get hired. Therefore, getting it right is important.

However, while it’s simple and straightforward to create a design portfolio, creating a writing portfolio can be tricky.

That is because a writer’s portfolio speaks through words instead of visuals.  

That’s why we’re going to cover everything you should know about a writing portfolio in this article.

We’ll talk in detail about how to create your portfolio to land more jobs. Let’s start!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is A Writing Portfolio?

A writing portfolio is one of the most basic requirements to be a writer.

It shows your previous writing samples and your domain expertise to the clients in a professional manner.

You can also think of it as a resource that builds your first impression on clients.

What Should A Writing Portfolio Include?

A writing portfolio should include blog post examples of your best work — that is, the most high-quality content that you have ever written.

What Are the Four Types of Writing Portfolios?

The four types of portfolios are as follows, and each of them relates to a particular type of content:

  1. Copywriting portfolio (includes things like website copy, landing page copy, ad copy, etc.)
  2. Blog and article writing portfolio (includes articles and blog posts)
  3. Fiction writing portfolio (includes novels, stories, and other fictional content)
  4. Academic writing portfolio (includes academic content like thesis, dissertations, etc.)

What You’ll Need to Create A Writing Portfolio?

You’ll need the following four things in order to create a writing portfolio:

  • Your writing samples: You’ll need your best content writing samples that can be added to the portfolio.
  • Hosting platform: A hosting platform can be a shared web host server and domain name, a free website builder, or a dedicated content writing portfolio platform. You can read more about them below.
  • Bio and basic details: Your author bio and a few basic details about your writing career.
  • Testimonials: If you want to add them, then a couple of testimonials too.

How to Create A Writing Portfolio: Step-by-Step Instructions

Creating a professional writing portfolio is a five-step process. Given below is a detailed description of each of those steps:

Step #1: Find Your Best Content

In order to create your writing portfolio you, first of all, need to find out your best content.

This should ideally be content that has been highly shared on social media platforms, highly admired in the comments or a piece for which you were appreciated by your clients/editors.

Find a couple of such best pieces relevant to every single topic on which you write.  

Step #2: Find A Platform to Host Your Samples

Once you’ve found the best content that you’ll include as samples in your portfolio, the next step is to find a platform where you can put it up.

There are several options available in the market, some of which include:

Building a website on a shared server:

This option provides you the ultimate flexibility — you can design your portfolio just as you want, and there’s also no restriction on what you can upload and how much of it you can upload.

You can upload documents, videos, images, whatever and you also don’t face any size restrictions for your files.

You also come out as a more professional and serious player in comparison to your competition with a website.

However, there are some downsides as well:

  • It costs money — you need to buy a domain, then pay a monthly or annual hosting server fee in order to keep your portfolio website live
  • It has a learning curve — if you don’t know how to use WordPress, it can take a good amount of time to set up your portfolio website. In some cases, it can take time even if you’re familiar with WordPress, depending on the portfolio theme you choose.

If you can take care of these two things, however, then setting up a portfolio website is the best option to create your writing portfolio.

Using free website builder platforms

If you don’t want to spend the money on building a portfolio website, but still want a site regardless, then there are some free website development platforms that can come to your rescue.

They include Google Sites, Wix, Webnode, etc.

These platforms can allow you to set up your portfolio website without any cost and any steep learning curve, as using them is quite easy.

However, their downsides are same as the upside offered by websites built on shared hosting servers:

  • You don’t get full control over the appearance of your portfolio site. Even the domain name of your site will be based on a subdomain of the platform, and your site may also bear the watermark or branding of the website builder.
  • The platform will also dictate what you can and can’t do with the appearance of your site (using themes) and what you can upload (using upload type and size limits).

These things collectively make free website builders a sound option to create your writing portfolio, but clearly not the best one.  

Dedicated writing portfolio platforms

Finally, there are dedicated writing portfolio platforms and blogging platforms that can serve as your (i.e. Contently, Medium, etc).

No matter which one you choose among them, make sure that the platform makes it easy to share your content and samples.

The platform you choose should also keep it simple for others to check out your work by providing enough search and navigation features (i.e. tags, categories, etc.), because if it’s complicated then your potential clients may give up even before they start checking out your work.

Step #3: Add Your Basic Details

After finding your best content and selecting a platform to showcase it now you’re ready to start building your writing portfolio.

Start by adding some basic details, like your name, picture, and bio.

Because whoever is looking at your work will obviously also want to know a couple of things about you and your career journey.

If you wish, you can also upload your resume (if the platform chosen by you allows you to do that).

And if you’re finding it difficult to write your bio, you can use an AI writing software to help you with that (just make sure that it sounds good in reading).

Step #4: Upload your samples

Now it’s time to upload your samples to the platform chosen by you to start creating your writing portfolio.

You can start either by publishing your content using the editor included in your selected platform, by publishing the links of your live articles, or by uploading documents – whatever is allowed by your chosen platform.

Just make sure that you tag or categorize them correctly according to their topics or category. This will make your portfolio easily searchable.

Step #5: Include some testimonials

Finally, you can also include some testimonials of your clients to make your portfolio leave an even better impression on the people who see it.

Social proof is a proven strategy to increase conversions, and if you can leverage it in your portfolio then you’ll obviously have a much better chance at landing freelance writing jobs.

Once you’ve included all these details in your portfolio, that’s it. You’re ready to start sharing it right away with your future clients.

Similar Tutorials to Check Out

  • How to Create a Copywriting Portfolio: Creating a copywriting portfolio is a slightly different thing than creating any other type of writing portfolio. This tutorial explains how to get it right.
  • How to Write a Bio: Besides a portfolio, another critical element that every writer needs is an author bio. It’s important to get your bio right because it shows after your byline on all the websites where you publish your content. This tutorial explains how to write a bio that clicks.
  • How to Become a Better Writer: Finally, this tutorial covers the various things that help a writer improve the quality of their writing. Going through it can help you take your writing skills to the next level.

Wrapping Up

Creating a solid writing portfolio is one of the first requirements to build a successful writing career.

You may have all the skills necessary to write good content and you may have proficiency with writing apps and all to beat your creative block, but if your portfolio doesn’t stand out then you’ll struggle to find work.

That’s why it’s important to create a professional writing portfolio by following the steps outlined in this guide.

If you still have any questions related to your writing portfolio, shoot them in the comments and we’ll try to answer them at the earliest.

Also, do share this guide on your social media channels if you liked it.

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