Freelance Tips and Guides

How to Build Your First Freelance Writer Portfolio

Just recently I’ve been discussing the troubles that all freelancers face when they first start their writing career online. Most of these troubles have a common solution – a good writer portfolio.

Take a minute to think about it. Need to find new clients? You need a portfolio. Need to get ahead of the competition? Once again, you need a great writer portfolio.

Seeing how this is the solution to your many problems and basically, the strongest tool you have to prove yourself to potential clients, I’ve decided to share with you some tips that I’ve learned about creating your freelance writer portfolio.

Why Do I Need a Writer Portfolio?

You’ve probably read, oh, so many articles on how your resume needs to be perfect to attract the attention of the recruiter and make them want to hire you. Resumes are very important for freelancers, too, but there’s something even more important to clients.

No, your strongest tool is not your resume in this case. When it comes to the world of freelance, you can’t just tell what you have and get hired. You need to prove it, too.

A great writer portfolio can do wonders for your freelance success. Telling clients that you possess excellent writing skills in your resume or cover letter isn’t convincing enough – everyone does it today. Clients need to see that in action, which in the writing world, it is more than just possible.

They’ll probably ask you for it. They always do. If you tell them that you are a great writer and possess amazing research skills, they’ll want to see those talents in action. It’s no longer enough to just learn about SEO techniques and blogging. You have to ‘put your money where your mouth is’.

How do you do this? Below you’ll find a very useful, short guide on how to create your first and amazing writer portfolio. Enjoy!

A Guide on Creating a Portfolio

Do you dream of becoming a great freelance writer? Or, even better, have you already started this journey?

Now, if you got into this career unprepared, you are in for many troubles and disappointments.

For example, many people hear of the wonders of the freelancing career (all can be true, believe me) and they instantly quit their job without thinking twice. You have done a very stupid thing unless you are ready for the challenge that comes before you.

Or, if you are a person of the other group, the ones who prepared themselves to quit and made a calculated risk, you probably already know a bit about what you need to do. And maybe, just maybe, you’ve already started working on that writer portfolio of yours.

But, there are so many questions that can trouble a new freelancer. What do you do first? Do you start pitching right away? Should you start your own blog? Do you send emails to apply for every writing position you can find?

Whatever it is, I’ll help you. Freelancing can be very hard for newbie writers, but once you learn what to do and how to do it, you can be rich and amazing! Here’s what you need to do:

1. Make the Writer Portfolio Your Priority

Pitching comes later. The blog comes later. First, you need to prepare for that blog and for those clients. First of all, you need a writing portfolio. That’s the proof that you are the amazing writer you are.

Just sit down and start writing. Oh, wait. What do you start writing about?

2. Choose Your Niche

Technically, you need to select a niche (or several of them) to start writing. It is not required from freelance writers to choose one niche and write only in it. Whatever it is that you love and are good at, that could be your niche.

That’s one of the many beauties of being a freelancer. No one tells you what you can write about.

Now, you can be the most versatile writer there is – one that researches all the topics and writes articles for everything and everyone. But, for starters, you want to choose one or two niches and stick with them.

What do you love to write about the most? Is it fashion? Marketing? Lifestyle? Business or economy? Social media? SEO? Whatever it is, once you narrow it down to a niche or two, finding the topics to write on will be that much easier.

3. Find a Place to Display the Portfolio

You can’t just keep your portfolio for yourself. To be able to show it to clients and make it possible for them to find you, you must find a place to display it.

For most freelance writers, the location is their website or blog. However, you can also add some portfolio samples in your profiles on hiring sites such as Upwork or Freelancer.

4. Add Guest Blog Samples

Guest posts will give you the freelance ‘street cred’ to show to potential clients, so make sure to add some guest post samples to your portfolio. This will show clients that you’ve been published on other sites.

Basically, it will show them that you are worth publishing. This way, they won’t risk testing a newbie freelancer, but will actually be hiring one that other clients love.

Now, guest blogging is almost always unpaid, so don’t expect to make money from it directly. But, if you invest some time into it, it will pay off a lot afterward.

Building a good writer portfolio takes time and requires dedication, but it is something you simply must do in order to be accepted as a worthy candidate for a project. So, pack a dozen pieces of perfectly-written content into an organized and appealing portfolio and start pitching. Good luck!

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