Section One: What Is a Portfolio?

In the freelance writing world, your portfolio might just be your most powerful marketing tool. It’s not supposed to be a collection of everything you’ve ever written; it’s a meticulously curated showcase highlighting your talent’s breadth and depth.

Through your portfolio, potential clients can witness your skills, style, and the specific niches where you shine. This tangible evidence of your writing prowess makes a portfolio indispensable in establishing your professional identity and credibility.

Do You Need a Portfolio?

Absolutely. Don’t skip this step! I know it takes time to build a portfolio, but it’s vital for a freelance writer because it:

  • Demonstrates your writing skill and style.
  • Showcases your versatility across different topics and formats.
  • Builds credibility and professionalism.
  • Helps potential clients visualize what you can bring to their projects.

The Essence of a Portfolio

A well-crafted portfolio does more than display your written works; it’s meant to tell the story of your creative journey as a writer. Whether it’s a heart-pumping narrative, a compelling marketing copy, or a fun blog post, each piece in your portfolio is a testament to your capacity to deliver quality content that resonates with audiences.

Your portfolio also serves as a living document of your career progression and shows it all off to potential clients. This dynamic nature of a portfolio means it can be tailored and refined to align with your career goals and the changing demands of the market.

Portfolio vs. Resume: Understanding the Distinction

Okay, yes, both a portfolio and a resume are fundamental tools in a writer’s toolbox, but they actually serve totally different purposes.

A) Resumes: A resume is a quick and concise document, usually a single page, that provides a snapshot of your professional background. It details your work history, educational qualifications, and the skills you’ve acquired over the years. It’s mostly a text-based document.

Think of it as an outline that offers people a quick overview of your experience and capabilities. It’s more about the “what”—what you’ve done, where you’ve worked, and what you’ve learned.

B) Portfolios: In contrast, a portfolio is supposed to delve far deeper, offering a “how” and “why” perspective. How do you approach your writing projects? Why does your work stand out?

It answers these questions through live examples of your work, usually more visual, allowing readers to experience the quality and impact of your writing firsthand.

Where Does Your Portfolio Live?

Now comes the really hard part. Where do you keep your digital portfolio for everyone to see? It definitely needs to be accessible to potential clients.

Platforms for Digital Portfolios

  • Personal Website: This is the best place to host a portfolio, offering complete control over how your work is presented. I like this option because it also puts people closer to you, letting them peruse your website. You can have a look at mine here, which I built with WordPress, to get an idea.
  • LinkedIn: Most job listings these days ask for your LinkedIn profile. May as well show off your portfolio there too! Use the featured section to showcase articles and projects.
  • Online Portfolio Platforms: Websites like WordPress, Wix, Contently, Adobe, Behance, etc. allow you to create an online portfolio and host it for you.

Private vs. Live Portfolios

A live portfolio is publicly accessible on the internet, while a private portfolio may require a password or direct link. Consider having both, using the private one for unpublished or sensitive work. This approach would be helpful if you’ve done a mix of content like children’s books and copy for an adult website.