Words of Mouse

Writing Portfolios for Freelancers

with 2 comments

As freelance writers, we need to be sure potential clients can find us and evaluate our skills as easily as possible.  Make a potential client work too hard to find out about you and, chances are, he’ll move on to another writer who’s more accessible.  Putting up an online writing portfolio is one way to increase your visibility and give clients a way to assess your writing skills as they relate to specific projects.  When developing a writing portfolio, there are a few things you need to consider before unveiling the finished product.

Writing Samples

Your portfolio does not need to contain three hundred writing samples.  You should pick your best samples and show them off with pride.  If you want to show potential clients that you have completed more projects than the ones you show as samples, you can have a list of past clients or a list of publication credits available on your site to complement your portfolio.

You also need to consider the subject matter of your samples before you upload them to your portfolio.  Unless you’re trying to attract clients who dabble in a controversial topic, it may be best to exclude adult material and highly controversial pieces from your portfolio.

Sample Format

You may want to have several formats available for all of your samples.  Some potential clients don’t have MS Word, so you may want to make PDF files available as well.  You don’t want to turn anyone away from your site based on their choice of productivity software.  You can also include links to writing samples that have been published online.  Some writers choose to write a short blurb about the project specifications or objectives before each sample is displayed.


Your portfolio should be very organized so that potential clients can find what they need quickly and easily.  You may find it easier to categorize your samples by topic or type of project.  On my (coming soon, I swear) site, I am posting samples according to the topic for all of my article samples (financial, medical, legal etc.) and will also have separate categories for e-book excerpts, special reports, press releases, and other projects.  Writers who focus on copywriting instead of content writing may separate their samples by type of writing, creating categories for sales letters, landing page letters, advertising copy, brochure copy, and product packaging copy.

Once your writing portfolio is online, keep it updated.  If you finish a project that would make a great sample, add it to your portfolio.  If you decide to focus on a different type of writing, replace your portfolio samples with new ones that better reflect your skill in that area.

How many of you have writing portfolios?  Have they helped you to get the gig before?


Written by lzaykoski

September 15, 2008 at 12:16 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Hey. Saw you on Freelance Writing Gigs. I like your site, you got some good stuff here on freelancing.

    Spencer Spellman

    September 16, 2008 at 2:01 pm

  2. Concerning a portfolio, for over a year, it’s been tough to get freelance writing gigs. I launched a website a month ago, with a portfolio and things have sky rocketed. I’ve picked up 3 gigs in the last 10 days, and have had a couple others contact me about potentially doing work with them.

    Spencer Spellman

    September 16, 2008 at 2:03 pm

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