How to build a writing portfolio

One of the most common questions I get asked, is how to build a strong writing portfolio. A lot of people are just starting, and they do not have enough writing clips to create a portfolio. They are stuck in the ‘you can’t get clients without a portfolio, but you don’t have a portfolio because you don’t have clients’ phase.

I can understand their concern. I had to go through the same when I first started; everyone has to. The truth is that no client is going to hire you if you don’t have a portfolio of some kind. However, you can build a portfolio from nothing. There are a lot of people who have done the same before you.

If you have also decided to start a freelance writing career but don’t know where to start from, then reading this article is going to help you in creating a good portfolio. Even if you think you have nothing, you will find this article beneficial:

Include clips

To be clear, clips are writing samples. It could be anything- an assignment from your school/college time, an essay, or any random article that you wrote. Even if you don’t have a sample, you should start writing some so you can show them to potential clients to get them to hire you. If you have selected a niche, then writing a sample on that specific niche would increase your chances of getting hired by a client who requires writing services on that niche. This way, you would be able to write about a topic you are passionate about.

Showcase your expertise

Before you go through the process of building your portfolio, you should identify the area that you have a lot of knowledge of. It could be anything. Even something from your time when used to do a non-writing job. For example, if you were a florist before you decided to become a freelance writer, your area of expertise would be all things related to flowers and their arrangements. It doesn’t matter how insignificant it is for you; you should include it in your portfolio. It might seem trivial to you, but there could be someone out there who might require writing services on the same topic.

Create a website

This step would require you to spend some money upfront before you can build your writing portfolio. However, once you see the positive results doing this would produce, this would seem like a wise investment. Having a few articles published on a website with your name would strengthen your chances of getting hired. Before hiring someone, the first thing clients ask is whether the person has a published article or not. If there are two potential writers, and one of them has a few articles published to his name, and the other one has only samples, the client is more likely to hire the former writer.


The first step in making sure you stand out among all the other potential writers is having a strong writing portfolio. Even if you have nothing, this is possible. If you happen to be a specialist freelance writer, write samples on the specific topic you would love writing about. If you are a general freelance writer, writing a few samples on different topics would give the perception to the client that you can handle any topic. With the help of the information provided, you can start your career in freelance writing with confidence.