Being a writer is one of the most promising careers today. In today’s digital environment, where content is king, companies depend on writers to help them produce engaging and relevant content for their audience. Not only that, great content offers multiple benefits for companies that want to establish a strong presence in the digital landscape, such as improved search engine ranking, higher conversion rates, and expanded brand awareness, among others.
Aspiring writers pursue academic pathways to develop their skills and knowledge in writing further, while others are lucky enough to be born with innate ability. Whichever side you are on, having a writing portfolio is a proven way to demonstrate your achievements and skills professionally without appearing too arrogant or braggy. It’s the first thing your potential client or employer would want to see before they entrust a project to you. For self-published writers, a writing portfolio is also an essential tool for others who want to know the steps in self-publishing a book.
A well-organized writing portfolio is what makes you stand out as a digital or print-based writer. How you design, develop, create, and promote your works makes a huge difference. It will determine whether you’ll get noticed and ensure you get job opportunities that reflect your skills as a writer. Whether you’re a full-time, contract, or freelance writer, it’s important to be aware of how to build a killer writing portfolio.
List down potential writing samples
A writing portfolio should contain the best pieces you have written so far. It can vary from ebooks, marketing content, press releases, or landing pages. But the problem with collecting portfolio samples is many writers overwhelm clients with several choices. The key is to provide samples enough to showcase your writing ability and establish your foundation as a writer in your chosen niche.
The challenge lies in finding your best work among your current lineup of writing samples. To make this easier, you can start by knowing your specific objective why you’re creating a portfolio. Whether you’re applying for work, selling yourself as a freelance writer, or trying to get a book deal, your portfolio should impress the client or employer in the field you want to work in. As you build your portfolio, ask yourself if a particular sample will help your objective.
In other words, your portfolio should represent your personal brand or field/specialty as a writer. Also, make sure to include only the recent work that is less than two years. Don’t just use your portfolio as evidence that you can write well. Remember, the person who will read your portfolio is only interested in your top pieces. So, disregard the urge to include everything in a writing portfolio.
Gone are the days of passing out portfolios in bulk folders. Portfolios have gone digital, and there are plenty of options for setting up your portfolio online. One way is to create your website to publish your works or upload your articles to a portfolio-based website.
Using your website as your writing portfolio is like having your own 24/7 sales representative. Start by purchasing a domain name that reflects your personal brand. There are plenty of platforms to host and manage your sites, such as SiteGround, Bluehost, Dreamhost, Hostinger, and GreenGeeks. WordPress and Squarepress offer ready-to-use templates to establish your web presence as a writer.
To grow your reach, you can also upload your work in freelance talent marketplaces, such as Upwork. Upwork allows freelancers or independent writers to showcase their work and acquire paying clients. Your page will also highlight reviews and testimonials from previous customers to let everyone know of your quality of work.
Keep the design simple
An excellent online writing portfolio should also include a great design. Although you’re confident enough that you can offer quality content, you have to encourage the viewers to draw their attention to your site to make them read your samples.
The key is to keep the website design simple while allowing your works to speak for themselves. Use fonts that are crisp, clear, legible, and professional. Experiment with the font size and line spacing to maximize the website’s readability.
For the colors, make sure to use lighter colors without looking too boring or overwhelming. The safest option for the background color is white, but if you want to add some personality, make sure the background color will sufficiently contrast the texts for better readability.
An attention-grabbing portfolio is the key to countless writing opportunities. In a competitive job market filled with several qualified candidates, you have to find ways to get noticed by your potential clients and target companies. It should also inspire you to create more compelling content that you can showcase to the world and inspire more people.