Building a Portfolio That Gets You Published

building a portfolio

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building a portfolio

How to Create a Killer Portfolio (Even if You Have No Experience)

Building a portfolio if you’re a service provider or a freelancer, is incredibly important. Your portfolio will show potential clients that you have the experience and skills to handle their projects.

However, one of the challenges to creating a quality portfolio is gaining the experience. Here’s how to build a portfolio the right way.


There are a number of quality skill-building programs online. These programs often offer homework assignments along with professional feedback. This is an exceptional way to begin building a portfolio.

It gives you the opportunity to work with experts in your craft. Additionally, you’re able to use the class as a source of credibility on your marketing materials.

Start a Blog

Starting your own blog can be a great resource for your portfolio. It gives you an opportunity to learn the skill of writing and is a great home-base for your work.

It can be difficult for a potential employer to search through all of your work so it’s best to create a “best-of” posts for them to review. When choosing pieces for your portfolio, choose a variety of work that highlights your best skills as a writer.

Spec Work

Spec work is work that you essentially do for free. The agreement between you and your client is that if they like your work, they will pay you for it. If they don’t like your work, they won’t pay you.

It’s a good way to get around the fact that you may not have a solid portfolio just yet, because it reduces the risk for your client. This is all part of building a portfolio.

Additionally, once they’re pleased with the work – and they will be because you’re going to knock their socks off – then you can use the work in your portfolio. Don’t forget to also add their testimonial to your sales page. And if they don’t like the work, you can still use it in your portfolio if you’re proud of the results.

Volunteer Work

Building a portfolio through volunteer work is another opportunity and does good at the same time. Many non-profits can benefit from the work of freelance service providers.

They get a service for free and you get quality samples for your portfolio. It’s great when you can reference something and show potential customers where they can find your work online too. It’s instant credibility.

Guest Posting

Guest posting is a great way to build a portfolio in the beginning. There are a ton of websites that accept posts for a variety of topics. Often times, you don’t need any experience at all.

Make sure to read the guidelines of the guest post submissions carefully and always create posts with value to their readers. If it’s a great piece of work, the host may invite you back to do more, which only adds to your portfolio.

Creating a Portfolio of Your Work

As you build your client base, ask clients if you can use your best work in your portfolio. They’re most often quite proud to be shown off and it’s good exposure for them as well. Display your work in the most professional manner.

If you have print samples, scan them onto your computer and save them as an image. Don’t just link to sales pages and content because those links will change. Actually, save the work you’ve done as an image or a document so your prospects can see your work first hand.


A really great place to create an online portfolio of all your work is on Contently. You can add a picture of yourself, a short bio and include snippets of all of your best work. It’s a great place to showcase your favorite writing that you’ve done, any sponsored posts or guest posts if you’re just getting started.

After you’ve completed it, you can simply share the link in your applications for freelance work to show off your skills.

Now Use Your New Portfolio to Rock the World of Freelance Writing!

Have confidence in your work, whether you’re just starting out or have a portfolio full of professional samples. Confidence and the courage to take a few risks will help you build a portfolio the right way.

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Building a Portfolio That Gets You Published

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25 thoughts on “Building a Portfolio That Gets You Published”

  1. This is great information because it helps beginners to create a portfolio as proof of work and build their self confidence while taking up bigger projects.

    Awesome information Sasha.

    1. Thank you, Preeti! You are so right! It can be hard for a beginner to build their first portfolio, especially if they don’t have a lot of content to work with. I’m glad you found these tips useful 🙂

  2. Thank you for this helpful insight! For a newbie like me, I need all the help I can get. This is a great resource when you don’t know what you don’t know!

  3. I love all these tips for freelancers! I think a lot of people get stuck and held up by how to get things going and this idea of creating a portfolio is a very do-able action step for people to get the ball rolling! Really great post!

    1. You’re welcome, Morgan! I had a teacher once tell me “everything is easy once you know it”. Try not to feel overwhelmed and tackle one thing at a time. You’ve got this! 🙂

    1. What about sharing some of the work that you’ve done so far in a portfolio? Like types of pieces, length, who you’ve worked for. You could also add some links to your work and even some testimonials?

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