Freelance Writing 104: Building a Portfolio and Marketing Yourself

The most important thing required to sell yourself as a freelance writer is having an amazing freelance portfolio. Without it you will struggle to land your first client. Even if you have a few paying jobs you won’t gain as many writing assignments as you could if you put together a portfolio that really shines.

building-your-freelance-portfolio

So just what does it take to build the perfect freelance portfolio? Follow these tips to build one and it will become much easier to sell yourself as a freelance writer.

The Basics of a Freelance Portfolio

Most of the work that is available in the freelance writing world is geared towards web content. This means that you have to understand a few simple things:

  1. Standard keyword optimization techniques
  2. Writing in a friendly tone of voice for blogs
  3. How to structure articles so they flow well and read easily
  4. What “niches” (subjects) are in demand

Keyword optimization simply means you include the client’s required phrase in the right place the right number of times. It is a bit too involved to go into too much depth in this article, but there are plenty of other pieces on this site that can help you gain a thorough understanding.

Writing in a friendly tone of voice should come easily to you. If it doesn’t  simply bring up a few popular blogs and see how they communicate to their audience. Mimic the tone and style and you’ll have it down.

This is critical if you are going to sell yourself as a freelance writer. If your freelance portfolio doesn’t demonstrate your ability to do this you won’t get a lot of work.

Understanding how to structure your articles is terribly simple. Take a look at this one for the perfect example. There are several subheadings and a numbered list. The paragraphs are rather short. It makes it easy for the reader to get through the article.

Longer pieces with no visual breaks will keep people from even trying to read your writing. What good is that to your client?

Finally, understanding the most popular niches will help you develop a freelance portfolio that really shines. While there are constant changes and shifts in demand, the core topics that most clients will be looking for include:

  • Health, fitness, dieting
  • Relationships, dating, marriage difficulties
  • Frugality, saving money, making money online
  • Investments and foreign exchange (forex)
  • Product reviews

If you have never written for these niches before you need to start right now. Without them your portfolio will simply show how amateur you are. Sure, some clients will be willing to guide and teach you, but they will take that into consideration when determining the rate they are willing to pay.

Refining Your Freelance Portfolio

Once you put together a few samples you need to take the time to really revise and edit them. Don’t look at them for a few days. When you come back to them the first thing you should do is read them out loud.

Fix anything that sounds awkward or fails to flow properly. Be wary of grammar, spelling, and punctuation marks. Yes, Microsoft Word does a great job helping to spot errors but it doesn’t always get it right.

As you work for more and more clients you will gain a better understanding of the kinds of writing assignments that are available out there. Be sure to take the time to write one additional article in the same niche and add it to your portfolio. It is unethical and sometimes illegal to use work that a client pays for in your own portfolio, so you should avoid it.

Sell Yourself as a Freelance Writer with Your Freelance Portfolio

It really isn’t as difficult to sell yourself as a freelance writer as most people make it out to be. The thing is few no how to do it successfully. Those who do are unlikely to share their best tips because it will increase the competition. They think that will lead to less available work.

Thankfully anyone with a stunning freelance portfolio can find more than enough work to keep them busy from the time they wake up until they’re too tired to write another word.

The most important thing required to sell yourself as a freelance writer is having an amazing freelance portfolio. Without it you will struggle to land your first client. Even if you have a few paying jobs you won’t gain as many writing assignments as you could if you put together a portfolio that really shines.

So just what does it take to build the perfect freelance portfolio? Follow these tips to build one and it will become much easier to sell yourself as a freelance writer.

Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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About Prime Aque

Prime Aque is a Blogger, SEO enthusiast, Freelance Writer and Self-taught Web-designer. He blogs about making money online from the comfort of your living room. Follow him on twitter.

Comments

  1. Everything is very open with a precise description of the challenges.
    It was really informative. Your website is extremely
    helpful. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hey,

    A very nice post! But the question remains where to market yourself? Or I am jumping ahead to the next post?

  3. Hi, this is a good post. Where do I start when marketing my business though?

    Thanks for sharing

    Mike
    Mike Dolder recently posted…What is it all about? Before Scrolling Down to Reviews-Read This, Don’t Be Lazy.My Profile

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