Building Your Career: How to Create a Writing Portfolio 📋

  • Writing
Contra Tips
· 7 min read

The definitive guide to how to create a writing portfolio that elevates your craft, attracts potential clients, and sets you apart from the competition.

In a world home to many freelance writers, there's only one you. That's why creating an individual identity in your work is important — to rise above the throng.

Enter the writing portfolio, a passport to higher recognition and success. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explain how to create a writing portfolio that stands out from the crowd and magnetizes potential clients and employers. Discover the art of assembling examples of your work that echo your unique voice and set you apart in today's saturated writing landscape.



What is a writing portfolio? ✏️

Diving into a freelance writing business can feel like navigating an ocean of opportunities — exciting but also a bit overwhelming. Thankfully, there's a tool for getting your head above water. A professional freelance portfolio is a collection of a writer's best work that functions as a living, evolving resume and captures the breadth and depth of their work experience and creativity.  

Creating a writing portfolio isn't just about assembling writing samples, but it's also about showcasing your unique voice and talent. Whether you're connecting with potential clients, pitching to employers, or competing against another talented copywriter or blogger (or all of the above), your portfolio advocates for your personal brand. If writing is your journey, your portfolio is the story narrating its path. 

What to include in a writer portfolio 📝

You need several vital components to succeed when you set out to craft your freelance writing portfolio. It should include various writing samples alongside details like your contact information and a few interesting facts about you. 

The best writing portfolio websites include the following elements: 

  • Contact information: Add personal details like your full name, email address, phone number, and links to your social media profiles (like Instagram and LinkedIn) and personal website. Clear, accessible contact information allows potential clients or employers to reach out easily to discuss opportunities. 
  • Author bio: Include a portfolio page summarizing who you are, your skill sets (such as novel writing or content marketing), and your unique selling points. Use this area of your portfolio to paint a vibrant picture of your writing journey and passion.
  • Writing samples: When creating a writing portfolio, cite examples to highlight your versatility across styles, tones, and topics. Consider adding the following to demonstrate your journey toward becoming a better writer:
    • Blog posts
    • Guest posts
    • Case studies
    • Creative writing
    • Op-eds
    • Content writing
    • Ghostwriting
  • Charges: Include a section on your rates for transparency. This lets potential clients determine if your services align with their budget. If you prefer to negotiate rates according to each project, state that rates are available upon request.
  • Client reviews: Add positive feedback from previous clients, editors, or co-workers. Glowing endorsements boost your credibility, presenting you as a reliable and skilled writer.
  • List of former clients or publications: If you've written for established or popular clients or been published in well-known outlets, highlight these accomplishments to demonstrate your ability to deliver high-quality work. This also creates a good reputation. 
  • Awards or recognitions: If you've received accolades or certifications for your writing, these deserve a prominent spot in your portfolio. Similar to the above, they underscore your dedication and commitment to your career. 

Characteristics of a great online writing portfolio ✍️

An excellent freelance portfolio site does more than showcase your work –– it indicates your professional journey, style, and commitment to quality. Creating an impactful portfolio requires careful curation and thoughtfulness, especially regarding the types of writing jobs and new clients you seek.

To craft a robust writer website that works for you on a platform like Contra, WordPress, or Journo Portfolio, include these six characteristics: 

  • Offers various writing samples: A strong portfolio includes various writing samples across multiple formats and genres. Presenting diverse content lets you display your versatility and adaptability, which are valuable traits in the writing field.
  • Demonstrates professional, high-quality content: Every piece included in your portfolio should exemplify your best work. Ensure it's all error-free and professionally presented, as high-quality, polished content indicates your commitment to excellence and attention to detail.
  • Tailored to your preferred work type: If you aim to only write for a specific niche or job, craft a portfolio that reflects your specialization. Include samples highlighting your relevant experience, allowing potential clients to see how well you'd suit their roles.
  • Organized and easy to navigate: A great portfolio makes it easy for visitors to find what they want. Boost the user experience and your impression among prospective clients with proper categorization, clear labels, and a logical flow. 
  • Updated regularly: Your writing portfolio is a living document — update it as your career progresses. Periodically adding new works, testimonials, and achievements keeps it fresh and relevant, reflecting your active engagement in your craft.
  • Adds a personal touch: While a portfolio is professional in nature, it needs a personal touch to capture your personality. Add a funny or thoughtful bio, a personal logo, or unique project descriptions. 

How to create a writing portfolio on Contra 🖊️

Have you heard about Contra's Portfolios feature? Building a professional writing portfolio on the Contra platform is an excellent way to boost your exposure and attract potential clients worldwide. 

Here's a simple step-by-step guide:

  • Create a Contra profile: Sign up with Contra, and create your personalized profile. This profile is the foundation for your portfolio, where you can highlight your expertise, list your services, and showcase your recommendations. 
  • List your services: Specify the services you offer on your Contra profile. This helps streamline leads, thus attracting clients interested in your specific niche and offerings.
  • Mention your best projects: Showcase your finest work. Add detailed information about your past projects –– including photos, links, and descriptions –– to your profile to demonstrate your expertise.
  • Include recommendations: Add testimonials from previous clients, if possible. These prove your professionalism, writing skills, and credibility and may be the deciding factor in whether or not you land the job. 
  • Create a Contra Portfolio: Contra offers portfolio website templates specifically designed for freelancers. Choose a design that resonates with your personal brand and populate it with the details from your profile. It's as easy as that!
  • Consider your call-to-action (CTA): Each Contra Portfolio has a prominent "Work with me" button. This is your portfolio's CTA — when potential clients click on it, they can contact you. 
  • Provide contact details: Add your contact information so potential clients can reach you easily. Include your email address, phone number, and links to all your socials.
  • Include a captivating bio: Introduce yourself and explain who you are and what you specialize in. This can be short and sweet, but be sure to add some personality through a few literary devices

Showcase your writing skills on Contra 💻

In writing, words are your currency and creativity is your compass. That's why you must create a robust freelance writer portfolio to forge a successful writing career and rise above the competition. By meticulously curating samples of your best work, adding a professional bio, and integrating powerful testimonials, you can weave a compelling narrative of your skills, experience, and knowledge that hooks potential clients. And as an independent writer, finding the right platform to manage and promote your writing services is equally essential. That's where Contra comes in. Our commission-free platform is designed to help freelance writers like you thrive. Join today to create your portfolio, share your story, and land clients all over the globe.

How to Make a Digital Portfolio: The Essential Guide 📌

Here’s how to make a digital portfolio to maximize your online presence, including why you should, what to add, and how it works.
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