Diana Kelly Levey

Why You Need a Freelance Writer Portfolio

woman designing a freelance writer portfolio website

January 23, 2023

You’ve probably read about freelance writer portfolios on freelance message boards and may have even perused a few examples of freelance writer portfolios online. But you’re probably wondering, “what is a freelance writer portfolio?” as well as “how can I create a freelance portfolio online” and “what should be included in a freelance writer portfolio?”

While this article is geared towards freelance writers who are interested in creating their first freelance writing portfolio online, freelancers in any industry should have portfolios online that show examples of their work.

*Some of these may include affiliate links and we may receive a small commission from your purchase of a product mentioned.*

Why do freelancers need a freelance writer portfolio?

A freelance writing portfolio is helpful when writers are looking for freelance writing jobs.

The portfolio shows that a writer is capable of writing about different topics and can show their breadth of experience in a freelance writing niche.

It’s a way to show off your writing talents and styles. You might want to show that you can write reported features in a journalism-style format, or personal essays that showcase your sense of humor. You could include SEO articles for clients, case studies, whitepapers, and different types of freelance writing.

What should be in a freelance writer portfolio?

Here’s how to create a writing portfolio that will impress clients and lead them to want to work with you.

1. Choose freelance writing samples carefully

When assembling your freelance writing portfolio, make sure the pieces you’re featuring on the top of the page above the fold on your portfolio show off your writing skills and niche knowledge. It’s a good idea to show freelance articles from the past few years when building a freelance writer portfolio, but those samples should also feature the type of work you want to continue doing.

2. Show off your range of skills

A well-rounded portfolio should showcase a range of freelance writing skills. Those could be magazine articles, SEO articles for clients, blog writing, press releases, white papers, as well as B2B or B2C freelance writer portfolio examples. This will give the potential client an idea of the types of writing you could offer them to address their content needs.

3. Highlight your research skills

If you’re looking to do more research-based freelance writing assignments, make sure you are putting those freelance article examples in your portfolio.

4. Focus on quality over quantity in a freelance writer portfolio

A portfolio of low-quality work doesn’t impress anyone, and a freelance client will only want to hire someone who produces good content consistently. If you don’t have a lot of freelance writing clips to include in a freelance writing portfolio, select a few that make the most sense for the work you want to pursue and feature those. You could always add a line on the portfolio page for someone to contact you to see more samples. Here’s some language on my freelance writing portfolio page:

Click a category to see samples of my writing for editorial clients, content marketing clients, and brands. Browse the categories and articles to get a sense of the types of writing I can deliver for your company. If there’s a topic you’re curious about that you can’t find clips for, please reach out to me directly.

5. Be consistent when you’re publishing writing samples

A consistent format throughout your freelance writer portfolio will make it look professional and visually appealing. In this sample freelance writer portfolio page, you’ll notice the same size image is used and freelancer Diana Kelly Levey followed a WordPress template so the content is evenly spaced apart.

How long should the writing portfolio be?

The length of a writing portfolio depends on how the freelance writer plans to use it. If the freelancer is using it as a way to show off all of their freelance work or keep track of published work, then the result will be a longer freelance writing portfolio.

If your freelance writing portfolio intends to show your academic writing, you should include at least eight to 10 pieces that demonstrate your knowledge and proficiency in the field. These could be essays, research papers, or even journal articles. If you’re a freelance cases study writer or a whitepaper writer, make sure those freelance clips are front and center.

Finally, if you want to keep a portfolio of all the pieces you’ve written, regardless of their purpose or content type, there is no limit on how long it should be. You can keep adding to it as you write more pieces or create different portfolios for specific topics and genres. The important thing is that you can quickly access the work in your portfolio to send out for career opportunities or reference when writing future assignments.

How to create a writing portfolio if you don’t have a website

If you need a website to showcase your writing portfolio, there are still plenty of options available. You may participate in various courses and masterminds, like this Freelance Writing Weekend Jumpstart, to learn what should be on a professional freelance writer’s website.

Social media can be an effective way to promote and share your work if you’re in a pinch. Create accounts on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to post links to articles or pieces you’ve written.

There are online platforms that make it easy to publish and update your freelance writer portfolio. Here are some we recommend:

Authory

Contently

ClearVoice

Quiet.ly

By following these tips for creating a freelance writer portfolio, you can create an effective writing portfolio that will showcase your abilities in the best possible light and demonstrates the breadth of your freelance writing experience to potential clients. The stronger your portfolio and more up-to-date you can keep it, the better your chances of getting higher-paying freelance clients.

Guest Writer Bio

This article was co-written by Melody Barrera, a freelance copywriter. She writes for the professional platform Trust My Paper and is a proofreader at Best Writers Online.

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Work With Me

Diana can help with:

  • Writing content
  • Content marketing writing
  • Content strategy
  • Editing
  • Reporting
  • Magazine writing and editing
  • Website writing
  • e-Course copy and online learning writing
  • SEO writing and strategy
  • Branded content writing and editing
  • Thought leadership content
  • Copywriting
  • Whitepapers
  • SEO writing
  • Launching editorial websites
  • Audience development
  • Blogging
  • Ghostwriting
  • Social media strategy
  • Development of voice and tone
  • Book projects

Email Diana about opportunities: Diana(at)DianaKelly.com.

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