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Freelance copywriting—and copywriting in general—can be a competitive field. Many people claim they have the skills to create engaging content that leads to conversions and big sales, but how many actually do? Creating a copywriter portfolio is one way you can make your writing and services stand out among the hopefuls.

What Is a Copywriter Portfolio?

A copywriter portfolio is a collection of your written work. You can use it to showcase pieces and share samples with clients and hiring managers. You can also use a portfolio as a reference piece and to serve as a testament to your skills. Copywriter portfolios contain pieces like:

  • Ad copy
  • Articles
  • Blog posts
  • Case studies
  • EBooks and white papers
  • E-commerce content
  • Editorial content
  • Email writing
  • SEO copywriting
  • Social media content
  • Website content

Why Do You Need a Copywriter Portfolio?

In writing, portfolios can help you get jobs. Most companies and clients that use writers want to see writing samples before they hire someone. You can keep your writing samples in a portfolio so that when you’re asked to submit a sample, you can easily pick one from the right category. You can also attach the link to your portfolio to your resume, LinkedIn profile, or application for hiring managers to browse on their own. Other benefits of a portfolio include keeping a record of all the work you’ve done and promoting your freelance business.

When Should You Create a Copywriter Portfolio?

If you’re new to writing or if you’ve never created a portfolio before, you may wonder when it’s the right time to start compiling writing samples. Here are some situations in which you might start developing your copywriter portfolio:

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When You Graduate From College

If you’re in school and plan to go into copywriting, start a portfolio right before or after you graduate. You can build this portfolio with pieces you’ve written for class, clubs, and internships. If you have a portfolio prepared when you graduate, you may be able to apply for copywriting jobs more quickly and effectively.

When You’re Applying for Jobs

If you’re looking for a job in writing, you’ll likely need a few writing samples to show to hiring managers. Creating a portfolio is a way to keep these samples in one place. It also makes it easier for you to direct hiring managers to one link rather than multiple different sites to view your samples.

When You Want To Freelance

If you’re thinking about entering the freelance market, it’s a good idea to create a portfolio to show to potential clients. Having an online presence may help you launch your business. It may also help you look more credible when you join the industry.

When You’re Looking for New Clients

Even if you’ve successfully developed a network of clients offline without a portfolio, you can still create a portfolio in order to attract new clients. Going online with a portfolio can showcase your work to a wider audience, which may help you find new opportunities.

When You Start Writing

You don’t have to wait for a special occasion or major career moment to start a portfolio. As long as you write, you can create a portfolio, even if you don’t expect to write full time or start a career in the industry. If you decide to pursue writing as a side gig or on a volunteer basis, a portfolio could help.

Elements of a Copywriter Portfolio

Most copywriter portfolios share similar elements. These help keep your portfolio informative and professional. While your portfolio may not have all of these features, some common portfolio elements include:

  • Client logos: You may add client logos to your portfolio as a way to list the companies, publications, and organizations with which you’ve worked. This can be especially beneficial if you’ve worked with recognizable brands.
  • Competencies and skills: You may choose to name software programs you can use, content areas you know well, or special skills you can perform in order to give clients an idea of your range as a professional.
  • Contact links: Add your email address or a contact form to your portfolio so interested clients can reach you and talk about collaboration opportunities.
  • Featured or top projects sections: You may create a section where you can showcase some of your best projects that you want hiring managers to see first.
  • Frequently asked questions (FAQ): If you use your portfolio as a hosting site for your freelance services, you can add a FAQ section to share information about your process, knowledge, and work environment.
  • Headshot: Include a professional photo or headshot on your site so people know who the owner of the portfolio is. This can also help your portfolio feel more friendly and personable.
  • Professional statement: Add a professional statement as you would on a resume. This is often a one to three sentence statement about your most relevant qualifications and skills. You can include this in your header or as a tagline for the portfolio.
  • Project content: One of the most important parts of the portfolio is your written content. This may include images, links, and file uploads.
  • Project metrics: Though not possible for every project, if you have metrics and measurements for how your project content performs online, you can share that information, too.
  • Resume: Consider adding a copy of your resume to your portfolio to showcase your other professional attributes.
  • Services and rates: If you use your portfolio to recruit clients, you may also choose to provide a list of your services and your pay rates for each type of project.
  • Short biography: You might include a brief biography about yourself and your writing journey. A short biography can cover education history, work highlights, areas of content knowledge, and hobbies.
  • Testimonials: Consider collecting testimonials from satisfied clients to share on your portfolio to add to your credibility.
  • Training, awards, or achievements: If you’ve earned certifications, taken training courses, or won awards for your writing, consider adding this information to your portfolio.

Platforms for Creating a Copywriter Portfolio

There are many online platforms you can use to create your portfolio. You may choose one based on your style preferences, the amount of content you intend to share, and your level of comfort when working with online software and web applications:

Pinterest

Pinterest is an online social media site used for saving and sharing images. These photos typically link back to another website. As such, you can share images and links of your content on Pinterest that direct back to another website or hosting platform. Copywriter Mackenzie Lian uses her Pinterest profile this way. She’s curated her page with a color scheme and an organizational style, but each individual Pin links back to her website.

Image via Pinterest by @mackenzie_lian

A Pinterest portfolio may help you get more exposure online. The site uses an algorithm, tagging, and other similar features to curate the content that shows up in people’s feeds. Those who interact with copywriters or portfolio content, such as potential clients, may be more likely to see your Pins appear in their feeds.

Facebook

Most people consider Facebook a platform for chatting with friends and sharing memes, but you can use it as another option for a copywriter portfolio. As with Pinterest, most of your content on Facebook may link back to other websites. What’s different, though, is you can share full posts for each project rather than just images and links. If you’re creating a Facebook page to use as your portfolio, make sure the content you use is live online and the links work correctly. Then create a post for each article to share the link and commentary about each project.

Mark Nicholson of Mark Nicholson Copywriting uses his page to promote his writing services as a business. Yet, by sharing his articles in the feed, he’s also created a portfolio.

Image via Facebook by @MarkNicholsonCopywriting

Carbonmade

Carbonmade is a portfolio hosting website for creatives in many niches, including copywriting. Though your content appears alongside other writers’ information, it’s specifically designed for making a portfolio. On Carbonmade, you can customize your portfolio by choosing your layout, images, links, and descriptions. There’s also an option to let readers know you’re open to freelance work and a way to add contact information if you’d like to hear from interested collaborators. Zina Rose’s portfolio is just one example of the many options you have with Carbonmade.

Image via Carbonmade by Zina Rose

Contently

Contently hosts online portfolios for copywriters and journalists. The portfolio program lets you share your content in a feed-type layout and link back to your sources on the internet. You can also filter content within the portfolio by client, topic, skills, or format. In addition, there’s room to share links to your personal website and social media profiles, and you can add a biography as well. Sharon Hurley Hall’s Contently portfolio is just one example of how to use the platform.

Image via Contently by Sharon Hurley Hall

Personal Website

To have more complete control over every aspect of your portfolio, consider starting a personal website to host the content. If you’re also a coder, you can create your website from scratch. If not, you can use a website builder like WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, or Weebly. These types of sites make it easier for people without coding knowledge to create a website that works properly and looks nice. WordPress in particular has options for portfolio themes. You can add a portfolio to an existing site or create a new one with uploads, tags, and other customizable options.

Image via WordPress

How To Create a Copywriter Portfolio

Use these steps to learn how to create your own copywriter portfolio on any platform:

1. Collect Your Samples

If you’re already an established copywriter, you have writing samples. Collect the links of your work and move to the next step on this list. If you’re new to copywriting and you don’t have samples yet, here are a few ways you can get them:

  • Volunteer: Offer your services for free online or with local companies. This is a way to network and potentially find paying jobs. It’s also a helpful way to build your portfolio.
  • Offer free trials: Consider offering free trials for potential customers. You can write the first piece for new clients for free. This allows clients to sample your writing and gives you writing samples for a portfolio.
  • Take a class: You can use pieces from school or a copywriting course as writing samples for your portfolio.
  • Join a freelance writing website: Freelance writing websites like Copify take the hunt out of looking for clients. If you’re selected as one of their writers, the freelance articles appear in your inbox. CopyPress also hires freelance writers and contracted creatives. Want to work with us? Fill out the registration form and get started today!
  • Start a blog: Though you’ll likely want to share samples of work you’ve completed for other clients, you can also start with your own material. Create a blog and write content geared toward your preferred niche or job. For example, if you want to be in the fashion niche, write articles about industry events, new trends, and product reviews.
  • Submit to online publications: Websites like Thought Catalog and Medium take submissions from writers. If accepted, the publications post your content to their websites.

2. Choose Your Platform

Your portfolio hosting platform is the location where you’ll upload, organize, and share your content. The viewer-facing side of the platform is also where hiring managers, clients, and other visitors can browse your content. Pick one that’s easy for you to navigate, style, and change. Also, consider which platform may be most visually appealing for what you’ll share.

3. Pick a Template or Theme

Most portfolio hosting platforms offer pre-made themes and templates to make them easier to design. You can choose one that fits your personal style and that best displays your content. Consider how you want people to browse your site, such as by using categories, filters, or pages. This may help you decide on a template.

4. Prepare Your Basic Information

Your portfolio includes more information than just links to articles. Before you add the bulk of your content, complete some of the preliminary uploads and updates. These may include:

  • Uploading a professional photo of yourself for the homepage
  • Writing your professional summary and biography
  • Adding social media links
  • Preparing a contact form
  • Listing your services and prices
  • Uploading your resume and adding a list of training, certifications, and awards

5. Add Your Projects

At this stage, you can choose to feature all of your written works on your portfolio or just highlight your best content. If you share all your content, consider creating a “featured” or “top post” section where you can showcase your best work. For each project, include:

  • Project name
  • Client name
  • Background information about the project
  • Image or thumbnail
  • Link to read the full version of the content

6. Update Your Content

Your portfolio isn’t and shouldn’t be static. Every time you work on a new job, you have the opportunity to add more content to your portfolio. Change out your featured projects, update your resume and biography, and change your picture regularly.

Each time you update your portfolio, make sure the information you share is still accurate and your links work. You can also set a schedule for your regular updates based on how much work you do and how much time you can devote to the project. Twice a year may be a good minimum range and once per month may be a good maximum range.

Tips for Creating a Copywriter Portfolio

Use these tips to help you get the most out of your copywriter portfolio:

Use Live Links and PDFs

Live links to internet content allow people to go back to the source and read the full content of your articles or posts. However, if you don’t host those websites, there’s a possibility that the content could go away someday. To ensure the content can always stay in your portfolio, use a combination of live links and PDF documents. Save your online content as a PDF for a backup. You can then upload and host those files on your portfolio platform or link them through Google Drive or another file-sharing cloud.

Scan and Upload Print Content

If you’ve written print content that doesn’t appear online, you can still include it in your portfolio. Scan and upload this content to make it available online. You can put the documents right on your portfolio hosting site or link to them through Google Drive.

Include Other Content

If you do other creative projects besides copywriting, consider including these in your portfolio, too. Sometimes, companies may look for creatives with multiple talents. If you do graphic design, video production, podcasts, other types of writing, web design, or marketing, these projects may complement your copywriting skills.

Optimize Your Portfolio for the Reader

You often make a portfolio with clients and hiring managers in mind. Think about which design choices will make your portfolio easy to view and browse. Your readers may not have hours to browse all your content. That doesn’t mean you have to limit the content you share, but you may want to develop ways to help them view your best work quickly. Consider using organization tactics like grouping and tags or creating a special “featured projects” page.

Creating a portfolio is a good way to collect, keep, and share your written work. It can help you get a job, grow your business, or attract new clients. Regular updates can keep your portfolio appealing for maximum reach and effectiveness.

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