Establishing visibility and building a great career in any industry is really challenging, especially for beginner writers.
Cementing your own career path in the industry has now become extremely challenging with the influx of writers, bloggers, and content creators. Giving your personal information and calling card are no longer enough. One essential thing that you can always carry in presenting yourself as a writer is your online writing portfolio.
Creating an online portfolio is crucial to the success of every writer. An online writing portfolio will show an array of your writing output with the intention of getting hired, contracted, or simply landing a client.
An online writing portfolio is a must to keep your write-ups intact or in order once presented to a target employer or client.
Why do you need to put in such effort? Let’s discuss this in this article.
Importance of an Online Writing Portfolio
A huge percentage of writers earn a lot from writing because of their successful online writing portfolios.
Compiling your write-ups and creating a portfolio to showcase them to potential clients works mainly because of the convenience and professionalism that comes with it. Not only will you get to showcase your expertise in your craft, but you will also be able to present proof to your potential employers or clients that your skills, your eye for details, and your creativity.
Your portfolio also serves as a validation which most clients and employers require since they would like to know if your previous works were of high quality and if they got commendations from your previous clients or employers.
Another reason for having an online writing portfolio is that it will create a competitive advantage against other competitors. Your marketability as a writer will also be enhanced as you showcase professional proof of your expertise.
In a nutshell, your portfolio allows your audience to reflect on your strengths, weaknesses, and personal objectives as a writer which is important for those who want to work with you and want to be sure of the decision.
If you want to make it easy for your clients or employers to validate your work, put you on top of their list, and secure a spot for you, then you have to start creating a writing portfolio.
Tips for Creating a Writing Portfolio
Your portfolio should not be just another dumpsite of your works. You have to make sure that the portfolio follows a strategic order and is carefully curated.
Creating a writing portfolio is easier nowadays compared to when there were not so many tools available online. However, it can still be very challenging to create an effective one if you lack the right knowledge.
To guide you in creating an online writing portfolio, there are several tips that you must observe in creating your portfolio.
Identify Your Target Clients
You cannot make a remarkable online writing portfolio if you haven’t identified your target clients. This tip plays a crucial role in making sure that you will be able to attract the right clients and speak to them through your works.
Clients mostly find writers who have made an important voice in a certain niche. A rule of thumb in writing a portfolio says that the more people in your respective niche witness your work, the more the client base will grow.
Identifying your target clients will help you decide on the themes that you can use for your portfolio as well as the choice of articles to put on top of the list. Creating reader personas, conducting surveys, using Google Analytics, finding your target audience on different social media platforms, running a frequent audience survey, and monitoring your social activity are some of the steps that can help in identifying your target audience.
Choose Your Best Works
An online writing portfolio aims to display your best works. When creating a writing portfolio, make sure that you highlight the best of the best of your work. You can’t include some blog articles that have not undergone any quality checks as this will also reduce the quality of your writing portfolio.
As you go along on your freelance writing journey, you can engage yourself in writing personal blog posts, volunteer writing, making social media blog posts, news reviews, and writing profile pieces of some entrepreneurs in their respective fields as an added attribute to your portfolio.
When looking for more experiences as a writer, make sure that you are always prepared for any form of feedback for further improvements of your online writing portfolio. This will add a contribution to the beauty and quality of your portfolio.
Aim for a Clean Design
Make sure that your writing portfolio looks neat. Avoid unnecessary designs. Although your actual work is what matters the most, having a disorganized and messy portfolio styling can also have an impact on your audience’s perception of your personality as a writer.
Most people claim it is best to go for the minimalistic design as it is a safer and cleaner way to showcase work. Others go for text-only list portfolios, but even that can be undesirable if you don’t follow the proper order.
Your writing portfolio must be organized. It must be classified into different niches and general topics. An organized portfolio gives a plus point to the clients who are looking for your specialties in terms of which niches you are writing for. Most writers add visuals to enhance the look and feel of their portfolios. The visuals can also be used for categories, taglines, menus, and other features.
Again, make sure that you reduce as many distractions as possible in the portfolio, and then it must be accessible on mobile devices and laptops.
Use Clear and Compelling Descriptions
Presenting your articles must also come with clear and compelling descriptions.
These descriptions can be snippets from your content or short introductions where you can tell what the article is all about and for whom it was written.
In addition, when you make descriptions in your contents, make sure that it must be comprehensive but easily digestible. The simpler the word usage is the clearer the message you want to relay to the clients.
The topics in a portfolio do not always mean that you only showcase your best work according to your client’s perspective. If you think that to the best of your knowledge you have done a good job on a particular content, feel free to include these writings. Anyway, you can clarify in your descriptions the nature of the content.
Keep Your Portfolio Up-to-Date
One more important reminder is for you to ensure your online writing portfolio is up-to-date. There are some topics in a niche that may become outdated in just a few months so keep an eye on these articles and put a disclaimer if needed.
Include the dates so your potential clients will not mistake an article about a party, for instance, to have been written while your country was in lockdown due to COVID-19.
Keeping your online writing portfolio up-to-date also helps you spot opportunities for word expansion or elaboration of thoughts based on the new changes emerging that are relevant to the topic.
Portfolio Websites for Writers
If you have a blog website, you can just create a new section where you get to display your writings and then write your descriptions below the headlines.
However, there are also portfolio websites for writers which can be great for those who do not maintain a blog or want to have a separate link to provide to clients.
When looking for a good portfolio website, examine the features available and see if these features can cater to your personality and goals as a professional writer.
Choose a website that can match the criteria you have in mind for your online writing portfolio.
There are so many portfolio websites that allow writers to display their content articles. Let’s go over some of the most popular.
Journo Portfolio has been one of the most used in creating online writing portfolio websites because it features easy navigation and accessibility. Plus, Journo firmly believes that you should not be limited by the platform with regard to how you want your portfolio to look or feel.
The platform prides itself on the following features:
- Custom Domain Name – You can have a free yourname.journoportfolio.com domain registered or upgrade to Pro for a custom domain name.
- Multiple Themes – Choose from 6 very distinct themes for your layout and design
- Multiple Pages – Add multiple pages, including the Contact or About page or more categories
- Block Editor – Pages come as ‘Blocks’ which you can easily add, delete and re-order.
- Grab Articles by URL – You only need to enter a URL to add an article by URL. Journo Portfolio grabs the rest of the details
- PDF and Image Upload – Easily upload a PDF or image instead of adding a URL
- Blog – Yes, you can use Journo Portfolio as your blog as well
- Mobile Ready – The platform looks great on any mobile device
- Built-in Analytics – See data about your visitors, the length of their visits, and where they come from
- Automatic Article Import – Adding the RSS feed or profile page URL allows you to import them into your portfolio.
- Google Analytics Integration – Integrate with Google Analytics
- Sumo Me Integration – Integrates tool for engagement and even newsletter sign-up
- HTTPS as standard – All portfolios are equipped with a secure HTTPS certificate
- Subscribe Button – Allow visitors to subscribe to receive an email of the articles you add daily or weekly
- Contact Form – Potential clients, employers, and others can contact you via this form
There are many more features that can be extremely helpful to showcase your work as a writer. This online writing portfolio website lets you share materials in an accessible and convenient way. You can even attach graphic and multimedia content and even PDFs.
The best thing is that you can start using this platform for free!
Pressfolios is another portfolio website that offers $9.99 a month under their Lite Plan that allows you to add up to 250 stories and full-text backups in every story post that you are going to make. For $14.99, you can opt for the Pro account with the following benefits:
- Expanded story backup (text and screenshot)
- Upload PDFs of offline clips
- Custom domain name
- Choose who can view your Pressfolio
- Monitor how many viewers
Pressfolios offer an affordable feature of letting you use the premium features of the platform for 14 days. The additional customizability feature of this platform is that it enables tour content clips to be arranged the way you see fit.
This is also mobile-friendly and lets you navigate the portfolio and encourage the audience the use any device.
Having an organized and clean scheme for your online writing portfolio is possible and encouraged through Clippings.me.
The platform enables you to have a one-page scroll to allow easy access to your writing portfolio. The large header image on the top section gives a creative showcase of what your portfolio page is all about.
They have a Free For Life feature that provides a free tier which is perfect for a small selection of clips. Rest assured, it will always be free. It is also fast and easy to customize and does not require you to have technical skills.
Clippings.me also boasts being the highest-ranked portfolio site making it a great incentive for those who choose to use this site.
Contently gives designers, multimedia professionals, and writers the opportunity to be a part of their network where they can showcase their work and enjoy the following perks:
- Work with top brands on projects that pay well
- Submit work and instantly receive payment
To become eligible for work, join the network by creating a free portfolio that showcases your projects and professional expertise. The platform provides immediate feedback in its processes.
Writerfolio is an online writing portfolio website that promises the following inclusions:
- Your domain with the format yourname.writerfolio.com.
- The option to use yourname.com, if available
- Easy fill-in-the-blanks portfolio setup
- Portfolio dashboard
- Portfolio update 24/7
- Unlimited writing samples with attachment uploads
- Professionally designed themes
- Personal help and support
- Money-back guarantee
To ensure convenient use of the online writing portfolio tool, they give a free demo without any commitment.
Of all paid features in other online writing portfolio websites, Writerfolio provides the most affordable option of $4 per month with a complete online writing portfolio under your own domain name on their site.
Appealing to both PR professionals and journalists, Muck Rack is a media database that is suitable for those who are looking for a professional portfolio website.
Muck Rack automatically compiles articles and profiles that provide ease for writers to make their own writing portfolio along with the other benefits for journalists:
- Get verified in the authoritative directory of Muck Rack
- Track the impact of work
- Stay up-to-date with news about colleagues
- Find career opportunities
The analytics tool of the platform enables you to see the total number of shares in social media so you can monitor your reach.
Muck Rack also claims to be the new standard in public relations software.
And while there are certainly a lot more options out there, the portfolio websites listed here are worth checking out.