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If you want to get hired as a writer, you need a writing portfolio. Here’s why you want to create one immediately.
If you don’t have a writing portfolio just yet, stop right there. This is one of the most important things you need as a freelance writer. Whether you’ve just started or you’ve been writing for a few years, if you don’t have a portfolio of your work, you’ll struggle to get clients.
Be honest with yourself. If you needed to hire a photographer, you’d want to see previous work, wouldn’t you? You’d need to know the quality the photographer was able to offer and make sure they were able to create the type of photography you’d want. When it comes to bakeries, you’d like samples of the cakes to see which one you prefer best for a wedding cake, birthday cake, etc.
Well, people who hire writers want to see samples. You know this from my past blog posts. That doesn’t mean giving your work away for free and tomorrow I’ll discuss how to create your writing portfolio.
Today I want to tell you why you need some sort of portfolio. And why your writing portfolio needs to be on your own website.
People can see your writing style
All writers have a different style. In fact, different types of writing require a different style.
Some people will want an editorial style and others want a laidback approach. I said the other day that I have to use the style of writing to help decide where a post is going to be shared.
Well, your writing clips will showcase your writing style, and show that you can write in different styles to meet a potential client’s needs.
Clients see you can research
Sharing useless drivel isn’t going to get you hired. Stating “facts” or “studies” without backing them up is a surefire way to get yourself in trouble. You can also look uneducated.
When you share your samples, you get the chance to show potential clients that you’re able and willing to do research. You show you’re an authority on the topic, or you can at least ghostwrite as if you are.
This is so important for clients. They need to offer the most up-to-date information, and it needs to be just right. Show you can do that with your writing portfolio.
You know what you’ve done
You’ll be amazed at how you can forget the topics you’ve covered. You’ll have a brief idea, but you won’t always remember the details.
That writing portfolio is there as a reminder of the things you’ve written about in the past. I actually use it as a way to quickly link back to content that I’ve done in the past. For example, I once wrote on Shemar Moore leaving Criminal Minds. When I wrote about Thomas Gibson being suspended from the same series (later fired) I was able to quickly find the first piece and link back to it.
Looking back over your work is also a great way to see how far you’ve come. When you’re having a bad day, you can remind yourself what you’ve learned and how much you’ve progressed.
A writing portfolio of your best work
You get to pick the clips that you put in your writing portfolio. There will be clips that you’ve written that are horrendous. I’ve read back some of my old work and cringed.
I can’t share that work. And I don’t want potential clients somehow coming across it. With a writing portfolio ready to go, I’ll be able to share that with the client instantly. There’s no need for them to go in search of my work.
This is the place to share the work you’re most proud of.
Showcase for a specific niche
It’s possible to make your writing portfolio niche specific. This is great if you want to get work in one specific industry, rather than being a general content writer (I highly recommend this).
This comes with the fact that you have full control. You make sure potential clients see the best work in their industry to make sure you can write. It helps to solve the issue of saying no to writing a free sample. The potential client has no reason to want it when you have a specific sample or two already.
Still don’t think you need a writing portfolio? If you’re serious about becoming a freelance writer, you need to create one. I’ll share how you can do that tomorrow, and even share an example of mine.
What are you struggling with when it comes to writing? Which part of the writing portfolio process do you need help with? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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