Quick tips for building a winning freelance writing portfolio

Having a winning writing portfolio may help freelancers greatly improve their chances at landing better paying gigs. Here are five tips to help you stand out.

Quick tips for building a winning freelance writing portfolio

Having a freelance writing portfolio is vital for any freelance writer. It allows you to showcase your skills and experience to potential clients and helps you stand out in a competitive market as well as land better clients.

Here are five tips for building a top-notch freelance writing portfolio.

Collect and organize your writing samples

Gathering your writing samples is the first and most crucial step. Ensure you have the right URL links for published work online, and if necessary, convert them into PDF format for hosting on a dedicated site or even just on Google Drive, in the event the website hosting your work ever goes down.

If you have work that's published in print such as magazines or newspapers, scan these pieces so you have a digital copy of them for your writing portfolio.

Choose writing samples that highlight your strengths and showcase your writing style and expertise. These could be articles, blog posts, white papers, or any other writing you have done. Make sure to include many different types of writing to show your versatility.

Once you have collected your writing samples, it's necessary to organize them in a way that makes sense to potential clients. Consider grouping them by topic or genre, including categories or tags (e.g., SEO writing, creative writing, copywriting, etc.).

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Showcase your writing portfolio professionally

There are several professional platforms that you can use to showcase your writing portfolio. Some options include:

  • ContentGrow: To assist writers in obtaining new clients, global talent network ContentGrow provides a free portfolio to all of them. The first step is signing up and entering your basic information, including your projected rates, areas of competence, languages, and job experience.

    Simply copy and paste the URLs of your published works into your portfolio to fill it up. Additionally, you may select a category appropriate for the type of content, such as copywriting, news articles, or blog posts.

    You can sign up for your free portfolio here.
ContentGrow's free portfolio, available here.
  • LinkedIn: On this professional networking platform, you can create a personal profile and showcase your work experience, skills, and portfolio. You can create a LinkedIn portfolio by adding writing samples to your profile and linking to articles you have published online.
  • Blog or Website: If you have a blog, you can use it as a platform to showcase your writing portfolio. Simply create a dedicated page or section on your blog where you can showcase your writing samples and link to published articles. Some hosts include Wix and Wordpress.
  • Contently: Contently is a platform that helps freelancers and agencies manage their content marketing projects. It also has a portfolio feature that allows you to showcase your writing portfolio and connect with potential clients.
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Write about yourself

A writer’s portfolio will comprise details about your experience, skills and work samples.

However, this alone isn’t often enough – you should also have a short write up or summary of your background and interests, also called a profile or bio (for the short summary).

Having a writer's bio of around 150 - 250 characters would usually suffice for the platforms you market yourself on. A bio should be brief and to the point, typically a few sentences or a short paragraph.

Sample of a writer's bio of 203 characters. IMG: Jam Lim, ContentGrow

You can start by writing a fuller profile (of around 80 - 200 words), such as for LinkedIn, and then make “templates” of shorter lengths (between 100 - 250 characters) to suit different platforms.

You can add information about your background (such as what you studied or worked in) and experience most relevant to your writing and which will appeal to potential clients or readers.

Sample of "fuller" profiles on a website. IMG: Jam Lim, Athena Communications

At the end, insert some information about what matters to you personally, what your interests are, or what you spend your free time on.

You can also briefly insert any achievements or awards for added credibility, depending on the audience for your profile/bio.

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Keep your writing portfolio up to date

As you complete new projects, make sure to regularly add them to your portfolio, especially the ones that are more impactful. It will help keep your portfolio current and show potential clients that you're actively writing.

You can also consider moving bigger or more well-known clients up the list as that's what potential clients will see first.

It's also a good idea to occasionally review and update your portfolio, removing any old or outdated work.

Consider highlighting any notable achievements or milestones, such as publications or awards, in your portfolio.

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Promote your portfolio

There are many ways to promote your portfolio and increase your visibility online. For example, you can share your portfolio on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

It can help you reach a wider audience and attract the attention of potential clients.

You should also consider participating in online communities and forums related to your field (such as on Facebook groups or Reddit) or promoting it through email marketing and sharing it with your personal and professional network.

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ContentGrow is a freelance writer's secret weapon for landing vetted inbound clients. The platform matches each client with niche-appropriate writers at preferred rates. Sign up to get your invite and free portfolio here.