I’m always amazed how many writers there are out there that don’t have an online portfolio. That’s like a web designer without a web page! You’re a writer! Write one up! If you don’t like it, you can always change it.
And once you have one up, it’s much easier to search for work. After all, you can simply point people to your portfolio and if they hear about you, through a byline or some other source, then they can go straight to your portfolio and look at what you’ve done and what you’re capable of. In this way, the work can seek you out – something that is impossible when you don’t have a place online to keep your writing.
Sure, it takes a bit of work and fine, you might not like the original result, but like everything else in life you have to practice portfolio design to get a good idea.
For that reason, here are some ways to design your portfolio. Choose which suits you best.
Let the writing speak for itself
If you’ve got a lot of articles that are in high-quality journals, magazines, and websites, then why distract from that? Instead, choose a simple minimalistic design, where there isn’t very much to distract the audience from the most important part – the bylines you’ve managed to get.
The great thing about minimalism is that it is easy for your audience to decide where they should pay attention. As an extra bonus, it means you don’t have to select images and all that kind of jazz. So if words and not the stuff around it are really your forte, go with that.
As a package
Can you do more things than writing? Then why not create a package. Showcase that you’re not just a writer but can also deliver additional services. Really, this is a fantastic idea, as often people aren’t looking for a freelancer, they’re looking for a solution and they just want to use a freelancer to get there.
If you offer more skills, then you’re more likely to be able to give them that solution. What’s more, people will often pay a little bit more than they might do to two individuals, as it means a lot less communication and a much greater likelihood that the writing and your other skills mesh.
As part of a blog
The great thing about combining your portfolio with a blog is the same reason that so many people are now embracing content marketing. It gives you an organic way to draw an audience to your website and push yourself up the rankings in Google. That means that you’ll significantly raise the chance that clients will find you if they’re looking for somebody.
As an extra bonus, your blog posts will serve as a good way to get the message out that you can write. This is fantastic if you don’t get a lot of bylines – perhaps because you’re just starting out or because you do a lot of ghost writing.
A third advantage is that you might be able to use the blog to sell other products except for your writing services.
Of course, all of that does come with a downside and that is that blogs are only useful if you manage to write on them consistently. The moment you fall silent, people are going to assume you’re not very active as a writer anymore.
Edit, edit, edit
Whatever route you choose, make sure that your portfolio is error free. For having errors on your blog is a bit like a cook who serves a soup with a fly in it. It is going to jar your audience and has a very high likelihood of having them click onwards towards another writer. After all, you’re a writer, you’re not supposed to make mistakes.
So make sure that you read your portfolio that extra time and go back to it often, so that you can see any mistakes that might have slipped through the net the other times you checked it out (oh, and when you make edits, realize that that is when the most mistakes sneak into your writing – so double check what you’ve done).