How To Create a Freelance Writing Portfolio (From Scratch)

How To Create a Freelance Writing Portfolio - featured image

The work market is changing, and freelance writers are in higher demand than ever before.

There’s no shortage of work, so why not join the growing pack of online writing professionals? Freelancing can give you financial freedom, flexible work hours, and control over the direction you want to take.

But in order to get hired as a freelance writer, you need to show that you can write. There’s no better way to do that than through a portfolio.

Learn how to make a freelance writing portfolio from scratch and present yourself and your skills in the best light.


What is a Writing Portfolio?

For most regular job positions out there, you simply need to send in your resume and a cover letter.

Whereas you’d talk about your education and work experience in your resume, and write about why you’d be a good fit in your cover letter, a portfolio is there to show your skills.

Most creative job positions out there require a portfolio. Graphic design, web development, modeling, animation, photography, make-up art, and writing, among others.

Portfolios come in a variety of formats, but your prospective client gets a taste of your writing skill.

A writing portfolio is a collection of your best writing pieces. Whether that’s blog posts, long-form articles, emails, website copy, it doesn’t matter. The important thing is that you include samples of work that will apply to the position you’re applying for. It’s a great idea to include published work, but you can do without it too.

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Content Up!

Your sixth-grade literature essays, group chats with friends, and Reddit rants about the government don’t belong in your portfolio. What does?

If You’re a Complete Newbie…

As a rookie, you may find yourself in a pickle: You need writing gigs to make samples, yet you need samples to land writing gigs.

There’s an easy way out of that situation. You just need to fake it till you make it.

If you’re just starting out, chances are that you don’t have published samples to include in your portfolio. So, you need to do some legwork on your own accord.

You should create mockup samples and publish them on your own.

If you were anything like me in middle school, open-topic art assignments were a nightmare. I never even knew where to start.

The sheer amount of options was mind-boggling, so my mind would just go blank. Trying to choose a mockup writing topic can feel just as overwhelming.

Before you stare at that blank page, it’s a good idea to think about the niche you’d like to find work in. Then, with a little research, it’ll be easier to pinpoint specific topics to write about.

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Get Your Stuff Published (How + Where)

Once you have an article that you’re happy with, your next step is getting it published. You need a link that you can share in your portfolio.

You have several options available:


If You Have Writing Experience…

Writers who already have experience and published work can create their portfolio in as little as an hour.

Think about the projects you enjoyed working on – chances are that’s when your writing is at your best. Go through your published work and pick and choose the articles you feel are most representative.

Include all the formats that you want to continue working in. Whether that’s emails, blog posts, white papers, buying guides, or website copy – if you enjoy the format, get it in there.

However, make sure that your portfolio is neat and scannable. Achieve this by dividing it into parts by topic or format.

What kind of content should you include in your portfolio? Think of it this way – show samples that are similar to the work you want to do in the future.

When a prospective employer opens your portfolio, they want to see something that’s relevant and connected to their business niche. They need to see that you can write the text that can help them.

What NOT to Include in Your Portfolio?

If you wrote one of the samples you want to include with a coauthor, make sure they’re okay with it. Also, make a little note in your portfolio to give them the credit that they’re due.


Additional Stuff to Include In Your Portfolio

Some writers like to send their resumes, cover letters, and portfolios together. In these cases, you simply need to put links into your portfolio.

But others prefer to only send the portfolio when applying for work (to avoid clogging their inbox with files).

In that case, the portfolio needs to contain some basic info, including:

making notes

Where to Publish Your Portfolio?

The best place for your portfolio is on your website. Add a specific page just for that, add your links and make them neat, slap some nice design on there, and voilà!

If you don’t have your own website and you don’t want to deal with PDFs, you can opt for one of the websites that let writers showcase their portfolios.



Contently is one of the most popular portfolio options. The platform is entirely free, so you can add as many links to your portfolio as you want, and create an appealing profile with your social links too.

Apart from letting you showcase your work, the site also has a great marketplace where you can get in touch with employers looking for writers.

This website is one of the most popular options for writers because of its clean, minimalistic design and ease of use.

You simply need to paste the URL, and the site will do all the work for you. The website lets you showcase up to 10 samples with a free membership, or an unlimited amount of samples, and a custom domain name for about $10 a month.


LinkedIn is perhaps the most popular business-oriented social network out there.

It lets you stay in touch with past coworkers, stalk your high school sweetheart, meet brand new people working in your field, and even land some clients. But most importantly – it lets you both publish and showcase your writing on your profile.



Medium is a free platform where readers and writers meet. Many big names in copy and content writing have had their roots (or even still actively publish) on Medium.

The platform also lets you connect with specific publications and magazines that you can pitch your writing, which will help you put your work in front of a big audience.

You can use this website simply as a place to publish and link to, or you can even start making a bit of money on the side of your writing that proves popular among readers.


Wrap up

Entering the freelance writing realm might seem intimidating initially, but armed with this comprehensive guide, you’re now ready to build your writing portfolio from scratch.

A well-crafted portfolio serves as a visual CV, demonstrating your writing versatility, style, and expertise to potential clients. Remember, each portfolio piece must be carefully curated to reflect not just your writing skills, but also your value as a versatile content creator.

Let’s revisit our action plan to help consolidate your newfound knowledge:

If You’re a Newbie…

If You Have Writing Experience…

Additional Portfolio Elements…

Publishing Your Portfolio…

With these steps, you’re now equipped to navigate the landscape of freelance writing and build an impressive portfolio that truly reflects your skills and passion.

As a writer, your portfolio will constantly evolve along with your experiences and style, so be sure to keep updating it to remain relevant and competitive in the freelance writing market.

Rafal Reyzer

Hey there, welcome to my blog! I'm a full-time blogger, educator, digital marketer, freelance writer, editor and content manager with 10+ years of experience. I started to provide you with great tools and strategies you can use to achieve freedom from 9 to 5 through online creativity. My site is a one-stop-shop for freelance writers, bloggers, publishers, content enthusiasts who want to be independent, earn more money and create beautiful things. Feel free to learn more about me here.