copywriter portfolio examples

7 creative copywriter portfolio examples

Whether you’ve never written an article or blog before in your life, or have just dipped your toe in the freelance writing waters, you’ve probably realised fairly quickly that having a killer copywriter portfolio is a necessity. With hundreds of individuals all popping up on Google or social media with the claim that they can turn words into sales and ad campaigns into hot leads, you’re fighting against tough competition. What distinguishes you against these? How do you stand out? Quite simply, it is through your creative copywriting portfolio.

Getting started

It may feel like a catch 22 situation – you need opportunities to write in order to get work, but without a portfolio, finding those opportunities is difficult. However, there are plenty of ways in which you can master this problem quite effectively.

Firstly, you can offer your services out for free initially to see if anyone would like anything written for them. This is a great way of meeting people, showcasing your skills, building an archive of samples for potential clients, and potentially even finding new clients who will want to work with you because they are so impressed with what you have done.

In a similar vein, you could also offer people a free taster before they work with you as another way of showcasing what you have to offer – a sort of ‘try before you buy’ if you like. You could also opt to take a copywriting course, where the material you produce while studying will also double up as a portfolio for once you’re completed. Alternatively, you could start writing for a site like Copify where the work is there waiting for you without you needing to go and seek it out.

However you choose to start, you may find you really want inspiration from other writers who have tackled the portfolio challenge before you. If you search on Google you will be inundated with options. From the large sites to the independent, there are plenty of ways in which copywriters have creatively demonstrated their talents to potential clients.

Pinterest

Although this social media platform is dictated and led by images, it is a great way of also sharing your portfolio – particularly those where your work may have accompanied striking imagery – or getting ideas for how you can present yours. Whether you type in the search bar ‘Find a copywriter’ or ‘Copywriter portfolios’, you’ll undoubtedly find a lot of results that can help you. Terri Lively is just one example where she showcases her work on other websites as well as blogs she follows. Or, if you are looking to work with a copywriter, Pinterest can lead you to the right person for you. All in all, it’s a creative way to share your work with others.7 copywriter portfolio examples

Facebook

It may seem unusual to find a portfolio on Facebook – where would you even start looking? However, when we typed ‘Copywriting Portfolio’ into ours, the first person that popped up was ‘Jared Friedberg’s Copywriting Portfolio’. His clever way of using keywords in his name and description meant a writer in Toronto popped up on a feed in the UK, simply through a search term. Although Facebook is typically for socialising, more and more businesses are tuning into its marketing potential. In many respects, your page and everything you write is a portfolio in itself. If you have lots of typing errors, these will count against you if someone looking to hire you sees it.

Carbon Made

Although you will be featured alongside many other copywriters, Carbon Made is a great way of getting yourself noticed. It has a more visual feel than text but is a creative way to showcase your work. You can include both images and clear lists of who you have worked with, as well as a biography of who you are and a contact section so people can easily get in touch with you. Joshua Allen, for example, has worked with the likes of Groupon, IBM and Dell – and this can all be seen in his portfolio.

7 copywriter portfolio examples

Contently

You can find hundreds of creative copywriter portfolios on Contently. The platform has specifically been developed to showcase the work completed by writers, journalists and copywriters. You can directly link to all your projects, meaning it is very easy for people to read your work. It’s also free to use, meaning little investment on your part other than maintaining your feed. It is possible to filter by clients and include details about who you are, including a link to your website and description. Sharon Hurley Hall, for example, has written 881 projects for 81 clients so far, and Contently provides her with a fantastic place to track all of this.

Evan Benner

Evan’s website is a visually led copywriting portfolio. He clearly lists all his featured projects down the side to give a clear overview of who he has worked with. You can then see images that connect with these on the right-hand side with dates for when he completed each project. Evan’s portfolio arrived as a Google result, showing just how valuable it can be to have your own website when showcasing your portfolio.

Clare Barry

Another creative copywriting portfolio comes from Clare Barry, aka Copy Clare. Like Evan, Clare has used her personal website as a way of showcasing her work. Her presentation of her portfolio is simple but direct. Her URL title is quite striking: ‘Warning – I don’t do boring’. Then, when you land on her page, the headline is simple and to the point ‘I write down ideas for money’. Her website is an advertisement of her writing style in itself for those looking for no-nonsense content.

7 copywriter portfolio examplesShe also has a page named ‘Hire me’. Her about section is likewise witty and honest – ‘People pay me money to think of attention-grabbing ideas and fearless concepts for big named brands.’ She has a blog on her website, in which she can share her thoughts, improve her site’s SEO ranking, but also give readers a chance to get a feel for her writing and what style she adopts. Her portfolio is a mixture of images and words, showcasing how what she writes can evolve into fully designed adverts.

Stephen Marsh

Another great copywriter portfolio comes from Stephen Marsh, whose website is clear and direct – ‘Read less of what I say. See more of what I’ve done’ his headline reads. You can open his portfolio or download it as a PDF, which is a handy way of being able to make an impact with big clients who will often print off your portfolio so more than one senior team-member can take a look. He has also produced numerous case studies to detail his work, which adds a further description on each of the projects beyond just giving the final text.

 

Main image credit: barnimages.com
Image credits:  Terri Lively, Joshua AllenClare Barry

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Freelance writing opportunities for beginners

6 freelance writing opportunities for beginners

Becoming a full-time freelance writer is proving to be an increasingly popular career choice for people all around the globe and, at least from the outside, it can look like a pretty cosy job to have. But, in reality, many people fail to succeed or give up along the way because of the difficulty in finding freelance writing opportunities for beginners.

With so much competition for work, it can be difficult to make yourself stand out and to secure clients that are willing to pay you what you know yourself to be worth. Well, the good thing is that plenty of people do succeed and that there is an abundance of opportunities available for budding freelancers looking to gain greater independence and pursue their passions. To overcome those initial first steps and to get your career off to a strong start, here are 6 of the best ways to find freelance writing opportunities as a beginner.

1. Guest post

There’s a reason that guest posting appears first on this list and it’s certainly not because it will start paying your bills from the outset. In actual fact, guest posting is something that you should actively seek and be willing to do for free – even when you’ve ‘made it’ as a full-time writer.

Though it doesn’t bring in money straight away, it offers you the chance to hone your skills as a writer and to get your name and work out in front of hundreds, if not thousands, of people. In turn, being a popular guest writer gives you more things to add to your portfolio and allows you to reach more potential clients than you can in other ways.

2. Speak to friends and relatives

Freelance writing opportunities for beginners

Unless your inner circle of friends work for major publications, it’s unlikely they will land you the dream writing job you desire. However, you may be able to pick up some smaller pieces of work to keep you going. Also, by letting everyone know that you are looking for writing work, they can recommend you to their friends and anyone they feel might need your services.

At the start, try and be open-minded and take on even minor writing roles, such as freshening up someone’s CV or a covering letter for a job they are applying for.

3. Join a copywriting service

Many businesses want to find top quality copywriters but don’t have the time or patience to post endless job requirements or sift through resumes. In turn, they use popular copywriting services like Copify.

To join, you don’t necessarily need the greatest amount of experience, but you do need to pass some test articles to make sure your writing skills are to the right standard. If you do get accepted, you get the chance to write about a wide number of topics that excite you and give you a breadth of real-world copywriting experience.

4. Join job boards and freelance marketplaces

Freelance writing opportunities for beginners

Another popular route for businesses to find copywriters is by posting job listings on job boards or in freelance marketplaces.

In recent years these have become quite overcrowded and it can be hard to make yourself stand out. But, if you’re willing to work for low amounts to start and to then build up reviews, they may prove a great way to find opportunities that are available and find long-term clients.

Here are some places to get started:

Upwork
Freelancer
Guru
Blogging Pro
All Freelance Writing
Problogger
Student Gems

Note that many of these services aren’t free or may require you to pay a monthly subscription to apply to any more than just a few postings each month.

5. The freelancing community

To be successful from the outset, you need to become a part of the freelancing community. For starters, there is a wealth of information available helping you to become a better writer. Beyond that, it’s a great way to find new and intriguing ways to find jobs and to even have work referred to you.

Say, for example, you build great relations with a writer who is in the marketing industry who receives a request from a client to produce some work relating to health and fitness. If they really have no idea on the topic but know that you do, or if they are flooded with jobs, it is likely they could refer your services instead.

6. Cold pitching

Freelance writing opportunities for beginners

Of course, the ideal freelance writing opportunity for beginners is getting your own long-term clients on board. Finding clients that have a need for a writer is one of the hardest parts and that’s why many turn to jobs boards. But to really exploit all opportunities, you should start cold pitching potential clients.

Cold pitching is by no means easy and most people simply give up after sending out 1,000 emails to various businesses and not getting any feedback in return. The problem isn’t that businesses aren’t looking for writers, the problem lies in how writers choose to approach them. Here are some rules to follow:

  • Don’t send out a mass blanket email to as many email addresses as you can get your hands on. Instead, send emails only targeted to businesses that actually centre around your chosen topic.
  • Don’t send the same email to all of your chosen businesses. An email that has simply been copied and pasted is easy to spot and will rarely get a response; instead, make each email personalised in some way.
  • Don’t go straight in for the sell. In your first email, try to gauge their interest and highlight what you offer and why it could benefit them specifically.
  • Don’t pitch the wrong stuff. Make sure you scan their website to check out what kind of content they publish, see if they have writer guidelines and how they like submissions to be made. Many websites and publications also post calls for submissions on their blog and social media profiles so be sure to follow them – even if just to familiarise yourself with their content and tone of voice.

Cold pitching will take effort and will require you to be patient and not let the “no’s” get to you. However, have a strategy to make it easier. Decide how many and what publications you are going to target over a specific time period and with what ideas to make it easier to track. You’ll also know which ones to follow up on if you haven’t heard back.

Never underestimate the importance of planning and perseverance

As stated throughout this article, finding the ideal freelance writing opportunities for beginners is not an easy process nor is it something that can be achieved overnight. Instead, invest time into planning out a few strategic avenues, focus on achieving small goals and set yourself regular deadlines. Over time, you should start to see results, and if not, then employ more tactics and techniques, such as building one-to-one conversations with key influencers and developing a skill or knowledge in a niche area of copywriting, until you get the results you need.

 

Main image credit: Ritesh Nayak
Image credits: David Swiftwww.Pixel.la Free Stock PhotosAlena Vinokurova/Strelka Institute

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How to be a ghost writer - Copify

How to be a ghost writer

As much as we might like it to be otherwise, we all know that writing doesn’t always pay well. Although there are many who make a successful living from it, most struggle to balance the books, whether they’re a freelance copywriter or the aspiring author of a novel.

If you think that we’re going to tell you to be sensible and look for another career, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. If you love what you do but just wish that it could be that little bit more lucrative, we think we might have the perfect solution for you: ghost writing.

How to be a ghost writer - CopifyBut how does one become a ghost writer? Most professionals wrongly believe that they need one important asset which they lack, this being connections who have the money to bankroll a writing project.

In focusing on this, they forget the skills they actually can bring to the table, foremost amongst them experience, a talent for the written word, and a fantastic work ethic. These are what make you suitable to tell other people’s stories, if only you’ll put the effort into getting yourself out there.

The benefits of being a ghost writer

If you’re wondering what possible perks could make this additional effort worthwhile, then consider the following:

You’ll be paid upfront: For ghost writers, there is no wait on royalties as there is for those who write their own books.

You’ll be in the green: Ghost writing is lucrative. Provided that the right clients come your way, you’ll earn more than you could for any of the other writing services you offer.

You won’t need to market: You might be making a lot of money as a ghost writer, but you won’t need to work as hard as you imagine. It’s not your name on the book, so the marketing you would normally need to do will be taken care of by somebody else, leaving you free to move onto your next project as soon as you finish your current one.

You’ll find evaluating your work easier: Unlike those writing a novel of their own, this book will not be solely your brainchild. Many ghost writers claim that this makes it far easier for them to be objective when working on it, and better able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their work.

You’ll find it interesting: Depending upon the clients you secure, you might also find that some really interesting work comes your way. You’ll have the chance to get an insight into other people’s lives, professions, and experiences, and may well find that you enjoy learning more about these.

You’ll become a better writer: Last but not least, many claim that ghost writing helps them to improve their art, as it constantly challenges their writing skills. With a pre-paid order in place, you’ll soon become far more organised about meeting your daily word count goals, and will find that writing other people’s stories will give you a chance to test what works best before writing your own books.

How to be a ghost writer

With all of this in mind, the idea is probably starting to look exceedingly attractive, but how does one actually become a ghost writer? We suggest that you try doing the following…

1: Gain experience

As is the case with any profession, experience will stand you in good stead for finding employment. Although you may not be able to secure yourself a ghost writing gig straight off the bat, make sure that you do what you can, whether this is blogging, writing for print publications (even if this is in a voluntary capacity), or self-publishing a book. You need to show that you can do everything a good ghost writer must, so write, write, and then write some more, covering as many sectors and topics as possible, and demonstrating as many styles as you are able to.

2: Practise your art

They say that one must write for 10,000 hours before they can consider themselves to be an expert, and there may well be some truth to this. Although gaining experience that looks good on a CV is invaluable, you should also focus on getting in as much writing as you can in an attempt to improve your art. After all, it is little good ticking boxes to gain experience if you cannot actually deliver when a ghost writing gig comes your way. Write at every opportunity, read as much and as widely as you can, and always be willing to accept feedback, both positive and negative, for it is this that will help you to improve.

3: Educate yourself on your role

We’ve focused above on how you can make yourself a strong candidate for ghost writing roles, and we should also mention some more secondary skills that will be essential to the performance of such a position. Namely, getting to grips with what such a job will require of you.How to be a ghost writer - Copify

Firstly, try to educate yourself on the collaborative nature of such roles. You will be writing somebody else’s book, and although it will be your words, it’s their story, so being able to set aside your own ideas and deliver the sort of content that somebody else desires is a vital ability for any ghost writer.

Secondly, be aware that you’ll also need to possess management skills, as it will be down to you to structure and organise your materials, potentially conduct interviews and research, and ensure that the schedule set out by your client is always adhered to. If you don’t think that the reality of this will suit you, ghost writing probably isn’t the right fit.

4: Know who to contact

It’s not only celebrities who will wish to tell their stories through somebody else’s words. There are many people who lack the time or ability to write a book themselves, and they have to find ghost writers somewhere. Although some will source such individuals through publishers or book packagers, others will search online, so make sure that you keep an eye out, and get in touch whenever a potential opportunity arises. Additionally, make sure that anyone who decides to do the searching themselves can find you by creating a strong web presence that’s SEO optimised and professional in tone and appearance.

Take the first step today; follow our advice and change your career path for the better.

 

Main image credit: Jason wilson
Image credits: Free ImagesConnor Einarsen

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How to be a better copywriter - copify blog

How to be a better copywriter

There is a certain amount of natural skill involved in being an excellent copywriter, but the skills for writing well can be learned, and this really is a case where practice makes perfect.

If you’re just starting out, our guide to becoming a copywriter will be helpful, and if you’d like to learn how to be a better copywriter, read on:

Why copywriting?

Here are a couple of statistics that might give you an idea why people need good copywriters:

The Demand Gen Report states that “47% of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep.”

HubSpot, on the other hand, reported that “B2B companies that blogged 11+ times per month had almost 3X more traffic than those blogging 0-1 times per month.”

That’s a whole lot of content that needs writing, and somebody’s got to write it. And get paid for it.

Why not you?

Know your audience

One of the most basic mistakes new copywriters make is to ignore the audience they are writing for.

When a company asks you to write copy for them, they will probably give you a brief, describing what they want, in terms of word count, tone of voice, keywords to include, subject matter, aims for the piece and audience.How to be a better copywriter - copify blog

Take the time to read and understand the brief, and write for the audience listed on the brief, in the tone of voice you are asked to use.

There’s a massive difference in approach, language and tone between writing for retirees and writing directly to another business to sell a product. If you’re clear on who you are writing for, you can target your copy to better suit your audience and the goals for the copy.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

We’ve seen some extremely poor briefs that pretty much consist of ‘Here is a topic. Write about it.’

While you could indeed pick an angle and an approach and write something from that, what you can’t do is get out your crystal ball and see what the client really wants.

The only way to find out is to ask clear questions, and don’t be too shy to do that. You’ll benefit from far less editing and rewriting, and the client will get what they actually want the first time.

Great questions to ask your copywriting client include:

  • What are the goals for this piece?
  • What call to action do you want to include?
  • Who is the target audience?
  • Can you send me a copy of your target market personas?
  • What tone of voice would you like me to use?
  • Are you aiming to target particular keywords, and what are they?

All of those will get you far closer to delivering an excellent article that the client can practically use than writing blindly, without asking.

Productivity and getting the work done

Being an excellent copywriter isn’t just about the writing. You also need to be able to organise yourself and ensure you hit those all-important deadlines.

When you work from home on your own schedule, it can be hard to avoid procrastinating, and watching just one more cat video on YouTube.

Here are some practical tools that can get you moving:

Planning

How to be a better copywriter

Trello is wonderful for planning out your deadlines and listing tasks that you need to complete to get your copy done.

If that one doesn’t work for you, try Asana, which is brilliant if you work with a team, or even Google Calendar.

All of them are free, but they’ll enable you to plan things out more clearly and get more done.

Productivity

If you’re prone to editing too much when you’re simply trying to get a first draft out, try the fabulous Write or Die tool, which allows you to set how many words you are going to write, with a timer counting down to make sure you keep adding words rather than going back and editing what you’ve got.

Back to those cat videos – if you really can’t make yourself leave Facebook alone while you’re writing, try Cold Turkey, which will block access to your social media and eliminate distractions while you get your work done.

The Pomodoro Method is well-known for allowing people to improve productivity, by working in bursts of so many minutes and then taking a break. Try the Tomato Timer and see if it works for you.

Improving your writing

Every word you write adds to your experience, and the more you write, the better you get over time. If you don’t believe that, try looking at the way you wrote ten years ago compared to now. We’ll wait until you’ve finished cringing!

One of the best ways to get better at writing is to read. And by that, we mean fiction, non-fiction, blogs on writing – the lot. As you read, you unconsciously absorb new ways of expressing yourself and different points of view, gain access to new ideas and increase your vocabulary.

Recommended blogs

• Sophie Lizard’s Be a Freelance Blogger is excellent for the practical side of blogging. You’ll learn the nitty-gritty of starting up as a freelance blogger, from how to write to what to charge. (Disclaimer: The language may not be to your taste, but you will learn a lot.)

• We can’t produce a list like this and not mention Copyblogger. Here’s a blog from them on different styles of writing, but seriously, read everything they produce. Sign up to the free My Copyblogger and benefit from amazing lessons that will bring your writing on in leaps and bounds.

• Jon Morrow is a very smart man and an amazing copywriter. Try his free Headline Hacks, to help you write viral blog posts.

The Write Life also has everything from posts on improving your writing, to marketing your work and getting clients. It’s an invaluable source.

Proofread and proofread again!

Nobody writes an immaculate piece of copy on the first draft. Nobody.

If you have the time before your deadline, put your finished writing away at least overnight and then look at it with fresh eyes the morning after before you send it off. You’ll probably spot typos that you missed on your first read through.How to be a better copywriter

Read your copy aloud. You’ll spot awkward sentences, unfinished thoughts and more errors than you will by reading to yourself.

Run a spell check within your writing software. You might think you’ve caught everything, but one last spell check is never a bad idea.

If you know your grammar isn’t the best, download the free app from Grammarly to check your work.

With writing, you’ll never reach perfection. That can sound incredibly daunting, but it’s not. What it means is that you’ll never stop learning, improving, and finding new and better ways to produce copy. And that’s the fascination with a writing life. You’re not competing with other writers; you’re competing with who you were as a writer yesterday.

 

Main image credit: ‘Woman Working’, Thoroughly Reviewed
Image credits: dotismJonas Bengtsson; Mark Hunter

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