Learn how to Create a Writing Portfolio That Shoppers Love

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Most freelance job posts obtain lots of of functions. 

As somebody who has employed freelance writers and sifted by means of lots of of functions, I can inform you that I rapidly weed out those that don’t present a easy methodology for me to rapidly assess their writing talents.

Whereas I don’t anticipate freelance writers to have a elaborate web site, I totally recognize a author who makes it straightforward to rapidly view related writing samples and perceive the worth they provide.

After viewing hundreds of author portfolios, I’ll share what I search for in a writing portfolio once I’m hiring freelancers and supply a step-by-step course of that can assist you create a writing portfolio that may win shoppers. I’ll additionally present some writing portfolio examples to present you additional inspiration.

What Hiring Managers Need In a Freelance Writing Portfolio

Hiring managers are strapped for time and wish to rent a author rapidly. 

They don’t care about portfolio design, your profile picture, or different presentation particulars. 

They actually simply wish to see if you’re the suitable match for his or her job

So as a substitute of stressing about particulars like design colours, optimize your writing portfolio to obviously reply the next questions: 

  • Does this individual supply the providers I’m searching for?
  • Does this individual have the writing expertise I’m searching for?
  • Has this individual executed comparable jobs previously in comparable industries/niches?
  • Is that this individual dependable (e.g., adheres to deadlines, constantly delivers outcomes, and many others.)
  • Bonus: Does this individual perceive the bigger enterprise purpose we’re making an attempt to perform? 

As well as, be sure it’s tremendous straightforward for potential shoppers to navigate the portfolio web site and rapidly discover the solutions to these questions. If they will’t instantly discover the solutions they’re searching for, they’ll possible simply remove you from the listing of candidates.

Under, I’ll present you easy methods to create a contract author web site that clearly solutions these questions and helps you win new shoppers.

Learn how to Create a Writing Portfolio: Step by Step

Right here’s a step-by-step information to making a writing portfolio that generates shoppers. I’ll focus on each tactically easy methods to arrange your portfolio web site and the vital components to incorporate so that you just stand out to potential shoppers.

1. Choose an Simple-To-Use Web site and Internet hosting Platform

You don’t want a elaborate web site or internet hosting resolution to get began, so I like to recommend choosing the only resolution potential. 

You should use Siteground or Namecheap for internet hosting, as they’re each low-cost and dependable. As for an internet site builder, you should utilize a platform like Squarespace or Wix, as each supply easy visible editors and pre-made web site templates.

Wix freelance writer website template

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WordPress can also be a fantastic possibility that provides extra scalability. It could be a greater possibility if you happen to suppose you’ll develop your freelance writing enterprise into an company.

Alternatively, in order for you the only resolution potential, you should utilize Canva’s portfolio builder.

I like to recommend retaining all the pieces easy, as many freelance writers by no means create a portfolio as a result of they’re too intimidated by the tech. 

In case you nonetheless really feel overwhelmed on the considered creating your individual portfolio, you possibly can at all times rent somebody on Upwork to create an expert writing portfolio web site for you. Most of them solely cost a number of hundred {dollars}, and you may ship all of them the knowledge in a doc to submit for you. 

Upwork done for you website creation services

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The secret is to begin engaged on this immediately. The longer it takes to finish your freelance author portfolio, the longer it can take to shut new shoppers. 

I like to recommend setting a deadline of three to 4 days to finish your portfolio web site so that you just begin closing shoppers rapidly. 

2. Determine Your Goal Viewers and Area of interest

Earlier than including any content material to your new web site, outline your preferrred shopper. 

A typical mistake most freelancers make is making an attempt to focus on too many potential shoppers. 

Sadly, hiring managers are searching for specialists, and also you’ll dilute your credibility as an knowledgeable if you happen to promote that you just service a number of niches. As well as, your messaging might be very generic and ineffective if you happen to attempt to goal a number of buyer personas.  

On this step, clearly outline:

  • The kind of writing you supply (weblog writing, gross sales writing, social media writing, and many others.)
  • The trade you wish to serve (ecommerce, B2B, native companies, bloggers, and many others.)
  • The corporate dimension you propose to serve (startups, enterprise companies, and many others.)

When you’ve outlined your preferrred buyer, perform a little research to know their ache factors and what they’re hoping to realize by hiring a author.

The easiest way to do buyer analysis is speaking to your preferrred viewers and asking them what they’re searching for in writers. 

I did this once I was trying to scale from a freelancer to a advertising and marketing company proprietor, and you may see that I obtained some very useful suggestions:

Customer research questions

You possibly can see that these responses are extremely helpful as they inform me each how I ought to place myself and particular ache factors these hiring managers expertise.

It’s also possible to ask in Slack teams and different personal teams for suggestions. For instance, I requested this group if anybody had employed a content material company for $30,000 plus and what they had been searching for in that company. 

Customer research conversation

I ended up getting on a name with one of many folks, and so they confirmed me all the pitch deck from the company they employed and defined why they employed that company. These insights helped higher place my providers to cost extra and shut extra shoppers.

We’ll focus on positioning in additional element under, however for now, pay attention to:

  • Your preferrred clients’ ache factors.
  • The outcomes they’re making an attempt to realize by hiring a contract author.
  • What they search for when reviewing totally different freelance writers.
  • Key components that make freelance writing portfolios memorable.

3. Choose Your Finest Writing Samples 

A mistake that many freelance writers make is publishing too many writing samples from a number of industries.

There are a number of the explanation why posting a number of pattern writing items isn’t a fantastic thought:

  1. Potential shoppers gained’t see your greatest samples: If there are 20+ writing samples, shoppers in all probability gained’t see your greatest 3-4 writing items. 
  2. Posting from a number of industries dilutes your experience: We mentioned earlier that shoppers wish to see you’re an knowledgeable of their subject, so solely embody writing samples on your preferrred buyer’s trade/area of interest. 
  3. Too many items overwhelms potential shoppers: Your potential shoppers are in a rush to rapidly discover one of the best author for the job, and providing too many pattern items can overwhelm them. 

So choose solely your greatest work to incorporate in your portfolio. Often, three or 4 writing samples are ample.

If you submit the writing pattern, embody any enterprise outcomes it helped accomplish. You possibly can return to your buyer analysis notes to recollect what your clients want to obtain by hiring a content material author.

For instance, if the purpose is to extend visitors and conversions, embody how your pattern writing piece helped accomplish these objectives. Right here’s a fantastic instance from freelance author Elise Dopson’s portfolio

As an alternative of simply posting the hyperlink to the weblog submit, she states the enterprise objectives (enhance visitors and key phrase rankings) it helped the corporate obtain: 

screenshot of great writing sample

She additionally consists of screenshots, which is an effective way so as to add proof.

4. Add Social Proof and Testimonials

Including testimonials to your on-line writing portfolio can enhance your credibility, however not all testimonials are equally compelling.

Who you get testimonials from and what these testimonials say can immediately provide help to move on to the hiring supervisor’s subsequent spherical of analysis.

First, get testimonials from respected manufacturers/folks your preferrred shoppers in all probability already know and respect. In case you don’t have any influential shoppers, you possibly can attain out to a well-established trade influencer or model and supply a free pattern piece in change for a testimonial.

If you ask for the testimonial, ask them to spotlight the way you remove key ache factors that your preferrred shoppers usually expertise with freelance writers. For instance, frequent issues with freelance writers embody lacking deadlines and delivering shallow, poorly researched articles. So ask them to say the way you at all times hit deadlines and totally analysis your work.

Elise Dopson once more does a fantastic job of making compelling testimonials from properly revered manufacturers in her goal trade. They present how she eliminates key ache factors with most freelance writers (she hits deadlines and totally researches her work). 

screenshot of customer testimonials

5. Structuring Your Homepage

When you’ve gathered your writing samples and testimonials, you will have a lot of the supplies on your portfolio web page. Now, that you must construction your homepage and the messaging to obviously talk that you just’re one of the best individual to assist the prospect obtain their objectives.

First, create a compelling headline that clearly states the worth you present and the way you accomplish it.

You should use this framework:

“(your writing area of interest) for (your preferrred buyer) that want (ache level you’re fixing.)”

For instance, it may very well be “Freelance content material author for B2B SaaS corporations that want extra natural leads.”

I additionally extremely suggest together with a course of part detailing how you’re employed with shoppers. Most potential shoppers will take you extra significantly if you happen to present them you will have a repeatable, confirmed course of. 

For instance, if you happen to do buyer analysis, outlines, or anything, create a 3-5 step course of and embody that in your homepage. You possibly can at all times customise your providers to your shoppers’ wants, however having a course of will certainly make you stand out from different freelance writers because it exhibits that you just’re skilled and have a way to constantly produce the identical high quality outcomes.

It’s also possible to embody an FAQ part with info in your charges, the deliverables, turnaround occasions, who your preferrred buyer is, and different questions prospects generally ask. 

Right here’s a pattern framework you should utilize to construction your homepage:

Screenshot of homepage writer portfolio template

Under, I’ll stroll you thru a number of examples of nice homepages.

6. Create Your About Web page

Most freelance writers focus on their canine or locations they’ve traveled to of their writer bios. The fact is that shoppers don’t actually care about this info.

As an alternative, a extra compelling writer bio that may provide help to win shoppers is explaining the ache factors you struggled with that led you to change into a contract copywriter and the way it has formed your philosophy as a author.

For instance, let’s say you beforehand labored in enterprise gross sales and seen that prospects who closed quickest often learn weblog posts earlier than coming onto the demo. In consequence, you grew to become a author since you felt it was the next leverage exercise that drove extra high quality prospects.

That’s an fascinating story that exhibits your preferrred prospects you actually perceive the ache factors they’re making an attempt to unravel. In addition they get a greater perception into the way you method writing and get to know a little bit bit concerning the private facet of you.

Develop and Convert has a superb about web page that does a superb job of serving to you get to know the founder and their skilled mission. I encourage you to learn the complete bio:

screenshot of about us page for writer portfolio

​​This story helps potential shoppers get to know you on a deeper degree than simply speaking about your canine as a result of it dives into actual issues you confronted and your present beliefs and opinions on advertising and marketing. 

In consequence, you’ll construct extra belief with potential shoppers and stand out as a novel author.

I’ll additionally add that it’s worthwhile to incorporate an image of your self. Shoppers wish to know who they’re coping with, and including a face to the phrases will assist construct belief.

7. Create Your Contact Web page

Lastly, add a contact web page to your portfolio that features your e mail deal with and hyperlinks to your Twitter and LinkedIn profile (if you happen to use them). 

Hold your contact web page so simple as potential and if you happen to determine to supply a kind fill, make sure that the shape fill works and reliably sends emails to your inbox, as many contact kinds ship messages on to your spam mail.

Right here’s a fantastic instance of a easy contact web page:

screenshot of contact us page

Nice Writing Portfolio Examples

Listed below are a number of examples from extremely profitable freelance writers to present you some inspiration as you create your individual freelance writing portfolio.

Elise Dopson

I already talked about her portfolio a number of occasions earlier on this submit, however I extremely suggest that you just flick thru it for inspiration on each structuring your portfolio and crafting efficient messaging. 

screenshot of writer portfolio homepage

Right here are some things that I notably like about Elise’s portfolio:

  • Who she serves and what she presents could be very clear from the headline – she creates journalistic B2B content material for retail, ecommerce, and martech corporations.
  • She has loads of logos from large model names, and her testimonials spotlight how she solves key issues shoppers typically encounter with freelance writers (she by no means misses deadlines).
  • She highlights the enterprise outcomes she’s helped corporations obtain (e.g., elevated web site visitors, key phrase rankings, and many others.).
  • She solely consists of her greatest work and separates it by trade so the suitable shopper can simply discover the suitable samples.
  • All the messaging throughout all the web site could be very clear.

Some issues I’d regulate if I had been modifying this profile:

  • She targets a number of personas (retail, ecommerce, and martech). She has already established herself within the writing trade, however I’d select only one trade if you happen to’re beginning your profession

Brent Barnhart

Brent’s web site is barely extra private than Elise’s web site. Nonetheless, he does a superb job of clearly articulating his worth after which proves it with case research and buyer testimonials.

writer website homepage

What I like about his portfolio web site:

  • You possibly can clearly inform what he does and the worth he offers to shoppers (excessive rating B2B SaaS content material). He additionally states particular providers he presents, together with ghostwriting and long-form content material.
  • He has one clearly outlined audience – B2B SaaS.
  • He presents large title model logos up prime.
  • You possibly can clearly hear his voice shine by means of.
  • The remainder of the web page particulars case research to show he can do the work, particulars on why he’s totally different, and a particular course of to show that he can ship the identical outcomes for you.
writer portfolio example

Some issues I’d add/change:

  • I’d in all probability add a number of extra buyer testimonials, although I like that he consists of screenshots of shopper messages all through the web page, as seen within the screenshot above.

Marijana Kay

Marijana Kay has a fantastic writing portfolio that’s clear, neat, and clear. You possibly can perceive what she presents simply by glancing on the headline, and he or she additionally presents a lead magnet, which could be useful for constructing an e mail listing and retargeting potential shoppers.

writer portfolio homepage example

Right here are some things I like about this writing portfolio:

  • She clearly states within the headline what she presents (freelance writing providers) and who she providers (SaaS and advertising and marketing manufacturers).
  • The tagline hits on the important thing buyer ache level (hitting content material advertising and marketing objectives constantly).
  • The model logos she has labored with are clearly labeled on the prime.
  • She ties enterprise KPIs to her case research (rising conversion charges, visitors, rankings, and many others.)
  • The client testimonials are additionally compelling and state why she’s the perfect freelancer to work with (she at all times researches the subjects totally even when they’re robust topics).
writer portfolio example
writer portfolio testimonial example

Some issues I’d enhance:

  • I’d love for her so as to add a bit about her step-by-step course of so as to add credibility and confidence that she will be able to produce the identical outcomes constantly. 

Joshua Poh

Joshua Poh’s writing portfolio can also be neat and straightforward to navigate. You possibly can rapidly see what worth he has to supply and the way he helps corporations develop.

writer homepage portfolio example

Right here are some things I like about his portfolio:

  • The general web site is obvious, straightforward to navigate, and easy.
  • His image on the prime provides character and belief.
  • He provides credibility by together with large model title logos on the prime.
  • He has testimonials that spotlight why he’s a very good freelance author.
  • He clearly defines how he helps companies develop.
  • He features a clear name to motion to succeed in out.
writer portfolio value proposition

Some issues I’d enhance:

  • His portfolio consists of many weblog posts, which can be overwhelming to a possible shopper. I’d in all probability lower it down to only the highest 3-4 posts he’s most pleased with.
  • He focuses on a number of industries, which causes his messaging to be barely vanilla. For instance, this sentence dilutes his credibility as an knowledgeable: “Irrespective of if you happen to’re a small advertising and marketing crew with a number of ambition and no sources or a busy entrepreneur trying to get again to creating high quality content material, I might help.”
  • I’d add a testimonial or two increased up on the homepage. 
  • I’d add a confirmed course of and tie enterprise outcomes to case research.

Ashley Cummings

Ashely Cummings is a properly revered B2B author who has grown her Twitter viewers considerably over the previous a number of years.

She additionally has a compelling writing portfolio that you should utilize to encourage your individual freelance writing portfolio. Her design could be very easy, although it hits the entire key parts a hiring supervisor would search for in a author. Actually, she additionally has loads of extra pages you don’t essentially want, like a publication (which is superb for buyer acquisition you probably have the time to create one), merchandise, and extra.

writer portfolio homepage example

Listed below are a number of particular issues I like about this writing portfolio:

  • She clearly states what she’s good at – articulating concepts you don’t know easy methods to put into phrases.
  • All of her samples are organized by the varieties of writing she focuses on (e.g., samples for ebooks, advert copy, newsletters, and many others.), making it straightforward for shoppers to rapidly discover related writing samples.
  • She consists of highlights of enterprise outcomes she’s pushed for shoppers (e.g., a weblog marketing campaign that produces over 500,000+ web site views/12 months, and many others.)
  • She highlights her differentiators (analysis expertise, advertising and marketing experience, and many others.).
  • She has nice testimonials from title model shoppers.
  • She has clearly seen social media hyperlinks. As she has a thriving Twitter viewers, that is good as a result of folks looking her Twitter profile will rapidly see that she’s fairly credible. 
writer portfolio testimonial examples

Right here are some things she may in all probability enhance on:

  • I’d transfer the client testimonials up increased on the web page and embody notable model logos (Deloitte, Salesforce, and many others.).
  • I’d prefer to see a confirmed course of that helps the important thing differentiators she mentions, like “expert researcher” and “advertising and marketing experience.” 
  • For every pattern submit talked about, I’d add a blurb about what that submit achieved from a enterprise outcomes standpoint.  

Want Extra Assist With Your Writing Portfolio?

When you’ve accomplished your writing portfolio, it’s time to ship it to your preferrred clients and land your first shopper! 

I understand that buying shoppers is the true problem, so in order for you extra help, and even simply one other peer to look over your portfolio, take into account becoming a member of the Copyblogger Academy. It’s a neighborhood of different creators constructing their very own companies and facet hustles by means of writing. Members have direct entry to me, unique interview content material with a number of the most profitable impartial creators of the day, and most significantly, a peer group of like-minded people.

You possibly can be a part of immediately danger free to see for your self if the Academy will provide help to obtain your objectives as a author.

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