Be Your Writer

How to Create a Writing Portfolio that Shines? (Updated 2021)

A writing portfolio serves as the direct evidence of the writer’s hard work, commitment, dedication, and determination, in the field of writing. Definitely a prized possession of every proud and dignified writer, a writing portfolio serves as a collection of originally written articles that are attuned to different categories and aspects. 

If the writer desires to have a tangible or virtual product of his creation and even without experience, it is not impossible to make a writing portfolio. Through this, the writer can assess himself, to see areas where he needs improvement and techniques and topics he is most confident about. In this article, we will discuss the different strategies, steps and methodologies that are involved in the creation and development of a writing portfolio, as well as the essentials to make it standout. 

Let us begin. 

Effective Steps, Strategies and Methodologies for Writing Portfolio Creation

Writing Portfolio

In every venture and undertaking that a human individual is involved with, it is expected that we all start somewhere and that could be at the very bottom. But this is necessary to attain and complete that specific venture. 

The starting steps that are involved in the creation of a writing portfolio may be overwhelming at the beginning, yet the writer should think of the fruitful end result of doing such. A strong writing portfolio proves that a writer is efficient and effective in writing. 

The million dollar question that is highly needed to be responded in this article, is how to create a writing portfolio that will definitely be a stand out in the midst of competitive writing portfolios?

Below is a list of the effective steps, strategies and methodologies that can aid aspiring writers in the creation of their writing portfolio. 

Establish the writing style

Writing has different kinds and styles and the first step that an aspiring writer should do is to figure out what kind he’d like to pursue. Kinds of writing could be content writing,  copywriting, creative writing and technical writing. As advice from professional writers, they highly encourage newbies in the field to try all sorts of writing jobs and try various topics, in order to finally find out you are most interested and comfortable in. 

Below is a list of writing jobs and the skills needed to succeed in the field. 

  • News writing – excellent in research and fact-finding skill
  • Creative writing – great deal of imagination and creativity
  • Technical writing – knowledgeable with technical terms (e.g. engineering, science, etc)

Consider freelancing first

The creation of a writing portfolio relies on the amount of diverse writing opportunities that the writer might have. However, an underlying question comes with this: “Is it a good idea to accept free work just to gain experience and build a writing portfolio?” 

By default, even beginner writers should not do work for free and always charge a market rate. This sets an expectation for quality and also helps keep the credibility and legitimacy of writers around the world. However, when we are talking about complete zero experience, sometimes “market rate” is $0. But, do not disvalue “free work” because in exchange for these are good ratings, good score, recommendations and exposure. This is one of the ways to build a strong writing portfolio and gather prospective clients in the future. 

Tip! Make sure to lay out all the terms and expectations before writing “for free” and make sure that you are working with a reputable person or a legit company. 

There are no shortcuts 

The meat and purpose of every writing portfolio is its content of written samples and works. According to the words of Epictetus, who is worldly renowned as a Greek Philosopher,  “If you wish to be a writer, write.” 

Building your portfolio is a bottom-up process. You can write spec articles and will probably have that small chance to publish your first article. You can pitch to blogs and websites and will probably get rejected or you can write affiliate marketing articles in hopes that you’ll make a good persuasive writer. 

There is no easy way to build a writing portfolio but just to write. Continue writing, to experiment on different styles, assess the self and find weaknesses and strengths. 

Write speculation clips 

Writing in the premise of speculation is defined as the kind of writing that is performed by any writer without any absolute guarantee that it will be paid or published in the long run. 

Another way to legitimately build a writing portfolio is through writing speculation articles. However, rejection is inevitable or even publication will say that they don’t accept spec articles.  There’s no need to feel so down about this and one of the best things, especially when you are a novice writer, is that you can easily move on to another. At least, you have one quality writing sample ready for your portfolio. 

Every aspiring writer who ventures firsthand in an opportunity of writing in speculation works through the following involved processes: 

First, is the desired topic and then do all the legwork, such as research, conducting interviews and writing of the said piece. Spec writing is best if there is a specific topic written that would benefit or is inline with the niche of the publication. 

Second, is to reach out to various and highly reputable publications and editors, too see if they are captivated with your piece enough to publish it. 

Third, if a certain publication and outlet have decided to publish your spec article then this will result in one fine entry into your writing portfolio. 

Pitch to blogs and publications

Another option for aspiring writers is to build their portfolio by pitching ideas to blogs and publications. 

Pitching and spec work are similar in a way that the writer hopes to have their article published but the process is entirely different. Pitching ideas is to catch and garner the attention of blog/publications before actually writing them and will consist of an idea, headline, and a summary. To effectively pitch an idea, the use of bullet points is highly encouraged as it highlights the main goal and makes it more readable. 

Tip! Start pitching with smaller outlets and blogs. Gather enough experience and hone your skills before venturing into bigger and more reputable ones. 

Write affiliate marketing articles 

Affiliate marketing is a process that involves the promotion of a product that is centered on catching the interest of consumers. This is another legitimate way to build a writing portfolio as well as to make money on the side. 

An affiliate marketing article involves an in-depth analysis on a certain product, that includes its benefits and your overall familiarity. It also challenges the writer’s ability to persuade and sway the readers. 

Writing Mock Pieces 

Mock pieces are regarded as the simplest method and step in building and creating a writing portfolio. Examples of these articles are interviews conducted by the writer, summaries and reviews of different subject matter such as political events or a relevant seminar attended by the writer. These kind of articles might be tedious but they do have an overall impact on the portfolio. 

An attention-grabbing writing portfolio

As an aspiring writer, there is no need for tons of dozens of writing samples but instead, a handful but well-written ones will suffice. Other than these samples, it is also highly recommended that writers make use of writing aid websites that will serve as a guide in the creation of an attention-grabbing portfolio.

There are three major steps involved in the creation of a writing portfolio. One is the selection of a design template, two, the appropriate and readable font styles and color and lastly, an overall design that will make the portfolio holistically coordinated. Other than this, it is also important to take note of how the portfolio will look across different devices. 

Write and complete the bio

An experienced writer will be amazed if an aspiring one will include a biography in his writing portfolio and this includes relevant writing experience, basic information, and other significant details that are relevant to the writing job. 

Moreover, with the advancements of technology, a writing portfolio of an aspiring writer can be directly linked to various social media sites, which will aid the aspiring writer in garnering more reading audiences and their collective interest in the long run. 

Add original and well-written samples

For the final part is the uploading of the writing sample into the page. Other than the article themselves, it also won’t hurt to insert media that will catch the attention of any prospective clients but the creator of the portfolio must make sure that pictures, gifs, and videos are appropriate and relevant. 

One of the treasures of writers is their writing portfolio. This is proof of their experience and passion when it comes to writing. A professional and clean writing portfolio also has a bigger chance of being favored by prospective clients. But other than that, a writing portfolio is also used as a basis for a writer’s strengths and weaknesses. 

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