Dos and Don’t of Your Freelance Writer Portfolio

Freelance Writer PortfolioYour freelance writer portfolio, especially as a freelance blogger, ┬áis the lock that potential clients unlock to learn more about your writing skills and expertise. Look at a freelance portfolio in the same light that job seekers view resumes. You have to convey your best attributes within the less than 30 seconds it takes potential clients to make decisions about moving ahead in the recruitment process. The dos and don’ts of your freelance writer portfolio are the equivalent of tips on how to get hired.

Don’t Think Like an Employee

Although the freelance writer portfolio is your resume, you should not think like an employee during the creation of your portfolio. You do not have to go through the Catch-22 of trying to secure employment, without having any experience to justify a prospective employer hiring you. Your freelance writer portfolio can include samples of your writing that you created in college or on your own time. Clients want samples of your writing, not a list of clients that have hired you to write. Write some mock pieces across several writing genres to bolster your portfolio.

Diversity Sells

You need to present a diversified freelance portfolio that appeals to a wide variety of clients. Simply stuffing your portfolio with SEO driven content limits your options to clients recruiting SEO specialists. Balance your writer portfolio to include creative, small business website, white paper, and press release content. You can also bolster your chances for hire by adding product descriptions and opinion pieces to your freelance writer portfolio.

Start Small

Many clients prefer to hire talented freelancers who have just started making a go of it in the industry. The clients save money and still reap the benefits of high quality content. New freelancers need to start with small portfolios to ensure they attract clients who want to pay lower rates for talented newbies. The small start to your freelance writer portfolio can include work performed for non-profits and mock pieces that cover several types of writing.

Use Third Party Websites

Creating a strong freelance writer portfolio is one thing, but you still have to gain exposure for your portfolio online. Some freelancers prefer to develop their own websites to promote their portfolios, but you save time and money by using third party freelance writer websites. Websites such as Elance and oDesk offer platforms where you publish your portfolio online. Prospective clients have quick access to your work and then contact you if they feel your writing matches what they want for writing projects. Many freelancers go the third party route to establish diversified portfolios, before they venture out on their own with freelance writer websites.

Update Your Portfolio

Most clients have the “What have you done for me lately” approach to recruiting talented freelance writers. This means any writing samples dated more than a year old do virtually nothing for your freelance writer portfolio. Establish a schedule that ensures your review your portfolio at least twice per year and purge the samples dated more than a year old. The only exceptions to this rule are writing samples that appear with your byline online and in print. However, you can simply provide links of published works in your portfolio to promote published work.


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