How to build a writing portfolio
‘I don’t write for free.’
Yes, we have all heard people say that. And I’m not saying that you should work for free forever. But please be realistic. What did you do when you wanted to get that first job, but you had no experience? You went out and volunteered. And got some experience pretty quickly.
How to build a writing portfolio?
Writing is not a get rich quick scheme.
Look for places where you can gain experience. It will help you find out if writing is the right career for you. Do not look down at opportunities to become published. Free online magazines, anthologies and competitions are all starting points. Remember even if you are writing for free, be professional. Complete the work and send it back to a high standard. Be polite. Thank people for the opportunities they have provided and end with a note asking for them to let you know if they have anymore work coming up.
To get clients you need to be able to prove you can produce good work, and to do that you need a writing portfolio.
You’ll soon find you’ve written about all sorts of topics for all sorts of mediums and have a sizeable amount of work for your portfolio to showcase on your website or blog. It helps to have an excellent range of experience. Just as you would do with a CV, you focus on what the client wants. It’s at this stage you delete all traces of yourself from projects that you started on and highlight the ones you are pleased with and think will help you get that paying job.
Have you got a niche?
Do you have specialist knowledge in a certain area, food, dogs, caravans?
I write educational resources, and film reviews. I’m a chatty person who sometimes can get interviews from more successful authors. I have used all these opportunities to get paid writing work. That doesn’t mean that I’m not keeping my eyes open for the next way in.
The best thing about finding a niche is that it cuts down on the feverish pitching new and unique ideas to editors. Once you find an area that you can write in, write lots of articles on that subject. That way they will come to you because of your specialise knowledge.