Having an online portfolio is essential for anyone who wants to be a professional writer or blogger. This is a place where you can showcase your work, turn up in search results, and direct potential clients to see if they think you are up to par. However, if your online portfolio isn’t impressing anyone, you will need to make some improvements. Here’s how to get started!
Write with passion
Firstly, try to write some items just for your portfolio. If you can get them published in a magazine or on a blog, that will be great, but for now you can just write for yourself. You can self-publish on Medium to gain an audience as well as posting on a well-respected site. Write about something that you are passionate about. Whether it’s your perfect meal plan for a dinner party, what we can do to save the elephants, or even an essay on your favourite writer, get it out there. When you write with passion, your voice shines more brightly and your writing is more compelling. Add a few passion pieces to your portfolio to strengthen it up.
Limit your entries
A large portfolio can be overwhelming, and potential clients won’t know where to look. Streamline your portfolio to ensure that it contains your best work, as well as your most recent. Cut out anything which is too old or below par. The best of the best should be on show, as they say your portfolio is only as strong as the weakest entry. It will also help if you can categorize the entries in your portfolio, so that you could direct lifestyle magazine editors to one place and B2B clients to another.
Get your design up to scratch
Is your portfolio presented well? Chances are that it isn’t. It should be easy to navigate, offer a distraction-free reading experience, and make it simple for clients to contact you. It should also offer a boost to your SEO. If all of this sounds like more than you can handle, you can always place a listing on Gumtree for a graphic designer who will do the work for you. When your work is presented beautifully, it will make more of an impact.
Rack up the credits
More than anything else, clients are often impressed by your publishing credits. If you don’t have many of these yet, it’s time to start racking them up. Submit material to magazines, journals, and blogs to have your work published elsewhere. Some notable sites that you may want to aim for would include Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, the top blogs in your niche, and anything else appropriate to your particular niche. If your potential clients would read it on the original publication, so much the better. You may be able to forego payment in exchange to a link back to your portfolio or blog, thus bringing in more business, too.
Practice, practice, practice
Your writing is bound to get better over time, but you shouldn’t just wait for that to happen. Read writing guides and understand how to unlock your voice. Look at formatting and see how other popular writers in your field are doing it. Through this practice, you will be able to improve much faster. If you want something to be in your portfolio but you don’t have it yet, simply write it. The loss of time for that unpaid work will be made up when you get your first client based on that piece of work.
There are lots of ways to improve your portfolio, but the most important thing is to focus on quality. This will win you clients!