How to build your writing portfolio
When you’re looking to score more writing gigs – or a staff writer position – and the editor asks for clips, what do you do? Are you writing for print magazines? Are you writing for online publications? Do you have a link you can send to a potential editor? Do you have a scan of your offline articles that you can send along as part of your writing portfolio?
Regardless of where you have written and published, you need to begin building a writing portfolio if you want to score more writing opportunities.
Another bit of food for thought: Whether you want to be a generalist or a specialist, you need to decide that as it will help you target potential markets. If you’re looking for work in a particular field, ie. Pet writing, small business ownership, etc. you will want to target that market specifically.
If you want to expand your horizons and write about any- and everything, seek opportunities where you can be a generalist. Many writers feel they fare better if they specialize because they become a go-to person when an editor is seeking an article on a niche topic. However, I write and speak about organization and the organized writer lifestyle and these topics span all industries because aren’t we all looking to get more organized?
Here are five ways to build your writing portfolio:
- Build your own blog or website and make certain it lets visitors know a) you are a writer and b) in which areas you specialize
- If you don’t have your own website or blog (personally I believe this is a mistake) then blog for established websites with good traffic and in the niche in which you want to be known
- Find and promote your niche. Assuming you want to specialize, make certain you are writing in that niche. If you want to be a generalist, make certain you are writing and blogging on sites that showcase your versatility. If you can, and will, write about anything make it known.
- Teach or talk about your area of expertise. Look for speaking opportunities in your community. Do you write about social media? Prepare a presentation to offer to small business organizations at which you can talk about social media.
- Become the online expert in online communities. If you are a member of LinkedIn, you should be answering and participating in discussion groups and asking and answering questions. Become known as the expert in your field and you will be known as the go-to person.
There are many other ways to build a portfolio and a platform but this should get you started. Remember too, if you write it, you need to promote it on your social media sites – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.