Updated: Oct 17, 2021
Read This![Don’t miss the hack in the middle]
You’re here to take your first step as a freelance writer.
Now that you feel confident, you’re ready to pitch your services to your target audience.
But wait, to get into the gig, you require an entry ticket, don’t you?
That entry ticket is your portfolio!
And that’s exactly what you are going to know.
Today you’ll learn about what a content writing portfolio is and how to build a content writing portfolio with little or no experience.
Let’s begin. Shall we?
What is a portfolio?
A portfolio is a web document where you give your lead an idea of what your services are and how you do them. It also tells about your experiences and your background.
In simple words, it’s a collection of your best works and, therefore, it must be top-notch to convert leads into your clients.
Why do you need a content writing portfolio?
You must be aware of the reasons above, but here are some more.
For awareness: Yes. Even though you don’t use your portfolio for pitching, you need to make your leads aware that you’re open to providing the service that they want.
For charging your worth: A portfolio is not just for getting clients, but also for charging your worth from them. After all, we don’t deserve to be underpaid, right?
Attracting ‘your’ type of client: All of us have a target audience in our minds. To attract good clients who value your body of work, a portfolio is essential to make them understand.
Build your brand: Building a personal brand is a bare minimum a content writer has. Therefore, having a portfolio for you at any time would always be a good part of your personal brand. It also increases your brand's presence online.
What are the elements of a content writing portfolio?
The following elements will be a basic element of your portfolio. You can also add your thoughts if any.
A small introduction about you
Sample work for each service (2 to 3 samples would be ideal)
Link to your freebie (if you have one)
Base price for each service
Call To Action or links to your social media channels.
How to create a content writing portfolio?
Here are 7 actionable steps which will help you create an amazing portfolio.
1. Decide where you should create your portfolio.
As said before, a portfolio is a web document. You can create something as simple as a Google Doc, a pdf or as grand as a brand new website.
You can create a pdf in Google Docs and export it or Canva will help you create beautiful PDFs that will resonate with your personal brand’s voice.
Creating a website won’t be a task now as long as there are websites like Wix, which help you create a website within an hour. The best part is you don’t need to go too technical like coding while creating on these sites.
But wherever you create, make it non-editable for safety purposes.
2. Start collecting your best works.
Now, this can be divided between two people.
For experienced people:
If you’re experienced and have worked on a few gigs, collect all your work into a single excel sheet. Review it, analyse the results.
If it’s blog posts then analyse their ranking on Google.
Or if it’s a social media post, analyse your insights.
Have screenshots of your results. It will be a game-changer.
If you are a total beginner, don't worry, I got you covered as well.
Take some time and start writing about topics that you like. For example, my favourite topics will be digital marketing, mental health and lifestyle.
Have 2 to 3 samples for each service, well-reviewed and error-free.
If you’re into other services, such as social media copy and website copy, then I suggest you try to rewrite existing ones and help the client understand the difference you bring.
Have these samples with you every time.
Get, set, prepare!
Now open the file where you’re preparing and start creating your portfolio.
Start with a good introduction of yourself in a few words and attach your resume. This will give your lead an overview of what you do.
Then, start listing out your services.
After that, start attaching your samples. For clarity, attach samples from each domain, starting from blog posts to other services.
Now here comes the hack!
[🚨HACK ALERT🚨] While attaching your samples, write a small backstory about that work. Don’t make it too long, but give a brief explanation of what your client wanted the work to be, and how you came up with the client’s specifications.
This can develop the trust factor and when you give different experiences behind the samples, your lead may feel that you’re a good fit.
Niche-specific portfolios are a thing, but let’s talk about them another time.
1. Make your own lead magnet!
A lead magnet is basically free material that will be helpful to your client. It can be a small piece related to your service. For example, it can be content ideas, checklists, templates, or anything that helps your client.
Here are some ideas, just for you.
X number of reasons for having your service
X number of content ideas for your niche
Checklist for elements related to your service
2. Set your base price
Set your base price after attaching your samples, as your client will have an idea of what you do. Remember, it’s just a base price. You can charge more depending on the workload.
DO NOT WORK FOR UNPAID/UNDERPAID GIGS.
Add a featured section:
Featured sections can be links to your guest blogs, collaborative posts on social media, or press/media releases.
This is optional, but adding it can create a good impression.
Set a clear Call to Action
A good CTA makes your lead take action right away and will have the right chances of conversion. It can be a link to connect on a call or mention them to mail you.
Additionally, you can also link to your social media channels, as they can see how you’ve built your brand over there.
And that’s it. Now you have an amazing portfolio that can be shared with your clients.
Comment below if you have any questions and feel free to reach out to us on our social media channels!
This a guest blog by Sree Bagavathe. She is a content writer who helps product based businesses and agencies with effective content.