What to Look for When Evaluating a Copywriter Portfolio

writer portfolio

A copywriter portfolio, aka a writer portfolio, offers great insight into how a freelance blogger can help your business achieve its goals.

Choosing the perfect blogger or copywriter for your project isn’t an easy task. There are plenty of writers out there, and with agencies and bidding sites offering up freelancers in the thousands, it can be a long and arduous process trying to distinguish the top-quality writers from the mediocre ones.

One of the key indicators as to the quality of the copywriter or blogger is their writer portfolio. This is their catalog of proof – their advertisement to the world that boasts the best of what they can do.

This being said, the most important thing when considering a copywriter for your next project is to know what a good copywriter portfolio should contain, and what you should look for within their examples of past work in order to decide if their services are right for you.

What Goes Into Creating a Great Online Copywriter Portfolio?

A professional copywriter portfolio is one of the areas of freelance blogging where style does not outweigh substance. While plenty of bloggers and copywriters have snazzy-looking online portfolios, presented on a responsive webpage with a professional design – this does not necessarily indicate that the writer is a professional.

What matters is the content!

Don’t be distracted by a flashy layout and a compelling color scheme. There are certain things you should look for in a copywriter’s portfolio that go far beyond mere aesthetics:

Live Links to Existing Work

Professional portfolios (particularly those belonging to freelance bloggers or web writers) should include live links to web clips, or at least screen shots of live webpages. If you want to be sure that the copywriter in question has the necessary skills to deliver, be sure to check that they have completed published work for previous clients and that their work is, indeed, good enough to get published.

Checking that their online portfolio has live links to web copy, articles, web pages or product descriptions is one way to be sure that the writer in question has the necessary skills to write for the web.

Well-Presented Print Examples

Next, take a look at their print copywriting samples. These should be presented as high-quality PDFs of scanned articles, packaging descriptions, posters, brochures or other print copy. It is always a good idea to check the samples to see whether the copywriter in question is credited as the writer, though for some projects this isn’t always applicable.

Having a mixture of both print and web copy (i.e. online and offline projects) shows that the writer is able to produce a diverse mixture of copy, usually in a variety of different writing styles. Print examples are also testament to the writer’s quality, as these show that past clients value their work highly enough to invest in printed materials.

Testimonials or References

Testimonials or references are a huge asset to any freelance blogger or copywriter’s portfolio. A testimonial from a past client can go a long way, as it is a form of social proof that the writer in question is able to deliver top quality work. Be sure to connect on LinkedIn as well!

Testimonials inspire confidence, eliminate doubt and give potential clients a feeling of security that the freelancer is able to complete projects to a high standard, and provide great customer service.

Look for a good selection of testimonials within the portfolio. Ideally, these should include the name of the client, some form of contact details (such as a link to their company website) and a brief description of the works completed. And, of course, a few shining words of praise about the project.

Work Examples from Big Brands or Authority Sites

If the writer in question has worked with big brands, or had their work featured on authority sites within their niche, then this can be a huge indicator that they are a true professional.

These types of samples in a writer’s portfolio inspire confidence in the same way that testimonials and references from past clients do. Such samples are a form of proof of the writer’s abilities, as authority sites and big brands are not likely to employ someone who cannot write to a high standard, or deliver projects that are anything less than the highest quality.

Consistent Work

One way to distinguish a great writer portfolio from an average one is by checking the publication or completion dates of each piece of work within the portfolio. While it’s true that the quality of writing within the samples should be one of the main focuses, it does help to see if the portfolio contains recent work samples, rather than outdated ones.

There should be at least some level of consistency in the copywriters work as far as dates are concerned. If the portfolio contains only clips from five or six years ago, then this could be an indication that the writer either has not completed any quality projects in recent years, or simply has not taken the time to keep their portfolio fresh and up to date. Look for a mix of recent and older clips.

Impeccable Spelling and Grammar

It’s the small details that can distinguish a good writer from a great writer. While typos and spelling errors are easy to make, they are also easy to rectify. If a writer is serious about their craft, then their portfolio should be free of any grammatical or spelling errors.

It is this level of meticulousness that indicates quality – as not only does it show that the writer is serious about maintaining an image of professionalism, but also speaks volumes about their attention to detail. If a writer is sloppy enough to allow minor errors and grammar mistakes to slip through into their own professional portfolio, then this doesn’t bode well for their clients’ projects.

Impeccable spelling and grammar across the entire portfolio is a key indicator that the writer takes pride in what they do and is serious about delivering top-quality work, every time.

Be sure to examine that copywriter portfolio to determine whether or not the freelance blogger in question is worth hiring.

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