Freelance writing newcomers may find it difficult to find work at first because of their lack of experience, which reflects in their weak or nonexistent portfolio. Luckily, learning how to build a freelance writing portfolio isn’t very hard and doesn’t require an immense amount of time or effort considering the rewards.
Building a Website
Yes, every freelance writer should have their own website. It makes things a lot easier in the marketing department and it’s essential to building your reputation.
The first step is grabbing a domain name, you can just use your name if it’s available or you can use your name in combination with something else, for example ThompsonWriting.com, just make sure it looks professional. You can get a domain name for $9.99 a year from NameCheap- You could also use GoDaddy but I wouldn’t recommend it.
After that you’ll need to rent a server to host your site on, HostGator is probably the easiest to use for beginners- a shared hosting plan will do for a while if you don’t get much traffic.
Go ahead and install WordPress through the admin panel, probably under QuickInstall or Fantastico. I won’t go into into detail in this post on how to configure WordPress and go about installing a theme and plugins, it’s a complex topic that can be researched elsewhere. Try to find a professional theme and create a page that will serve as your portfolio/resume, it would be wise to add a contact page as well and perhaps a few blog posts to show off your writing prowess.
Now the problem here is that your portfolio section is pretty much empty if you just started- here’s a way to fix that:
Guest Posting Your Way to Credibility
Websites and blogs need to publish content constantly to stay relevant, so a great many of them accept guest posts if they are of high enough quality and pertinent to their readers. This is a golden opportunity for beginner freelance writers, your first task is to find as many blogs related to your best topics as you can- IE. tech writers should find tech/computer related blogs that accept guest posts (you can do this by using keywords in Google like “write for us” and “submit guest post”). Try to find sites that are PR3 and upwards.
Take the time to read the blogs you plan on submitting to, get a feel for what sort of content they are looking for. You’ll want to have a completed article ready before contacting the owner asking to submit a guest post, so write up the best piece of content that you possibly can (remember that this article will also be used as part of your portfolio to woo future clients).
After that it’s just a matter of submitting as many posts as you can to a variety of different blogs and sites, if you are a good writer many of them are bound to get published. This is a chance for you to link back to your portfolio site from the article and get some SEO weight, but the main point of doing this is to use this published piece as evidence of your writing ability. Grab the links of your published articles and put them right on your Portfolio page on your website, in the future you can refer clients to this page to see that you are indeed a published web writer.