5 Steps to Create a Winning Freelance Writing Portfolio

To attract new clients and showcase your writing talents, it's essential to have a solid freelance writing portfolio.

a man with a desk full of portfolios and resumes

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A writing portfolio allows you to establish credibility and begin to build your personal brand as a writer.

By presenting your best work in a professional manner, you are showing potential clients that you take your work seriously. 

A writing portfolio is a powerful tool that helps freelance writers to secure more writing projects and ultimately build a successful writing career. 

Once you create your writing portfolio, it can serve you for many years to come. Follow these five steps to building a winning freelance writing portfolio.

    1. Identify Your Niche and Audience

    The first step to creating a winning freelance writing portfolio is to figure out your niche and target audience. 

    This involves identifying your areas of specialty.

    Ask yourself what kind of a writer you are. Are you a copywriter? A ghost e-book writer? A recipe writer? What areas do you specialize in within that niche? 

    Do you excel at product descriptions, press releases, or white papers?

    Identifying your niche will help you in the next step of creating your portfolio. 

    But first, think about who your target audience is.

    Your target audience will inform your design choices. If you’re trying to attract business clients, your website should be serious and maybe even sophisticated.

    2. Select Your Best Writing Samples

    Even awesome writers don’t write masterpieces every time they sit down. 

    Don’t just throw stuff at the wall and see what will stick.

    Instead, carefully curate your best pieces. Choose writing samples that are relevant to your niche and which demonstrate your writing skills.

    If relevant to your goals, showcase your versatility by including different types of writing, such as blog posts, case studies, press releases, SEO writing, etc.

    Before adding each piece, make sure it’s perfect. 

    Your samples should be free of errors of any kind, including punctuation errors. 

    Just one mistake on a writing portfolio site could cost you a potential client.

    3. Decide How to Organize Your Work

    Your freelance writing portfolio should be easy to navigate. 

    Potential clients should be able to quickly go in and find pieces that are relevant to what they need.

    If you’re hosting your own WordPress site, you’ll be able to add tags to each piece that you publish. 

    Other freelance writing platforms may allow you to add tags as well. If they do, take advantage of it.

    Another way to organize your work is to make categories. You can categorize it into content types, like white papers, press releases, etc. 

    Or you could categorize according to the subject matter, such as law topics, HVAC topics, etc.

    Finally, you need to decide if you’re going to publish the entire piece on your site, or if you’re going to just link to the site where your byline appears.

    If you choose the latter, you could publish just a few lines, and then have a link to your online bylined piece where it was originally published. 

    That way, potential clients can review the site where you were published.

    4. Write an Awesome Bio and Resume

    Before a client decides whether to hire you, they’ll almost certainly like to know a little bit about you. 

    They’ll very likely look for a bio page and a resume.

    This is where you have a nice opportunity to shine. Write yourself a strong bio and resume. 

    Your bio and resume should highlight your experience, education, and skills as a writer.

    Include information on your education, relevant work experience, writing awards, and any secondary relevant skills such as SEO or social media management.

    However, only add those extra skills if you’re willing to do that kind of work for new clients. Otherwise, leave them out.

    For instance, if you have a lot of experience with press releases, but you want to do more web page writing instead, don’t highlight your excellent press release skills. 

    You could list the press release experience for experience’s sake, but put more emphasis on your web page writing experience.

    5. Get Feedback

    As a professional writer, you’ve no doubt made a few friends or acquaintances with other writers. 

    Ask one or more of them to spend a few minutes critiquing your new freelance writing portfolio.

    As fellow writers, they’ll know exactly what to look for and they won’t be shy about pointing out both the good and the bad. Be sure to take criticisms objectively, not personally.

    Make any recommended changes that you think are good ideas, and then thank your friends for their feedback. 

    This is a good time to offer to take a look at their writing portfolios, too.

    A winning freelance writing portfolio can serve you for a great many years. But you can’t just walk away from it. 

    Like anything else, it needs to be maintained and updated.

    When you create new content, add it to your portfolio if it makes sense to do so. 

    And as time goes on and design trends change, consider redesigning your portfolio site so it always looks fresh and new.

    Wrap Up

    Are you ready to make your website shine with stratospheric content? We think our freelance writers at WriterAccess are stars, and we’d like you to see just how brilliant they are. 

    Check out our free trial and see for yourself! You can browse online freelance writing portfolios and choose one or more writers who align perfectly with your content needs.


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