A huge question I get is, "Alina, how can I get writing gigs if I don't have any clips? And how do I get clips if no one will hire me?" Ah, it's a catch-22 that seems impossible to overcome, but there's an easy way to build a professional writing portfolio from nothing.
This project will guide you through creating your own clips portfolio that will display your writing skills, as well as act as a marketing device.
You've Got Clips...You Just Don't Know It
Take screenshots or scan any copy you’ve written for previous employers’ website, brochures, newsletters, etc. If you have already dipped your toe into the freelance writing world with a blog or some free work, collect links to anything you have written. Remember, it doesn’t matter if you have a byline or not.
Create Some New Clips
If you don’t have a blog, start one and post a couple pieces a day that are focused on your niche. Keep going until you have a couple dozen strong, researched posts of at least 500 words. Remember to have a reader in mind and make the posts as interesting and fact-filled as you can. Don’t forget to link to your references or cite them in your posts, either. This will make you look like a professional.
Write! Many places don’t care if you’re a published writer as long as you can write interesting, clean copy and have examples of your work. So, pick a topic that’s within your niche and write. Rinse and repeat until you have at least three really strong pieces.
Once you’re done, put each one in a Google Doc so you have links to send to potential clients. Be sure to lock the document so it can’t be edited to protect the copy from being stolen. Share your finished articles with the Project Gallery to get some feedback. After all, you want them to be as polished as possible before potential clients see them.
Pulling Your Clips Together into a Portfolio
Now that you have clips, it’s time to weave them into some awesomeness that potential clients will love. I suggest you make a portfolio using Contently and make another on LinkedIn. Once they are up, both portfolios can bring you clients without the need to do anything else. I’ve had many people contact me for gigs because they found me on LinkedIn and if Contently likes your clips they may hire you to write for some of their clients. That’s how I got a gig writing for Benefiber.
Bar none, I love Contently the most out of any online portfolio provider. It organizes your clips automatically, you can do automatic searches for clip using the platform and the whole thing just looks awesome. The best part is that it’s free.
Create a portfolio through Contently by going to https://contently.com/register. Make sure you use your name as the portfolio’s web address. For example, mine is https://abradford.contently.com. This will help your portfolio pop up first when people google your name. It also just looks more professional.
Fill out everything in your account information, including your web address, if you have one, and your social media account information. Add links to your clips using the Edit button at the top of the portfolio page.
That's all there is to it! Want more? Read my full course: