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How to make a copywriter portfolio

As a copywriter, if you are looking to get more jobs it is important that you have a portfolio to showcase your previous work. Without this, companies won’t be able to see the full depth of your abilities and could be reluctant to hire you. When it comes to how to make a copywriter portfolio, there are many things to consider.

The importance of a copywriter portfolio

Being a copywriter is a great job – you have the flexibility to work whenever and wherever you want and large earning potential. Yet one of the hardest parts can be pitching for jobs in the first place.

In a traditional career, you would normally get invited to an interview where you would have plenty of time to show what you are capable of. With remote copywriting jobs, this is often an application process done digitally with little to no direct contact with the company that is looking to hire you. This is why you need to use what you know best – your words – to sell yourself and do the talking.

Simply put, no matter if you have been a copywriter for many years and are looking to up your game, or if you are a new face to the scene looking to launch your career, one thing you need is a portfolio. If you are looking to make a copywriter portfolio here are some top things you need to keep in mind…

How to make a copywriter portfolio from past pieces you’ve written

If you are looking for how to make a copywriter portfolio from past pieces that you have written, it is not just a case of publishing everything you have ever created. There is more to it.

Select your best writing samples

Collection of magazine clippings, laptop and cameraYour portfolio is intended to showcase the best of your work and the key is to focus on quality over quantity. It is much better to have a few excellent pieces that really stand out, rather than pages of average pieces. You want to show that you can really write and so want potential recruiters to easily be able to find and read the pieces you are most proud of.

Ensure there is a range of different samples

If you have written copy for a host of different mediums, such as blog posts, newsletters, social media and for print, then show this. You want the person looking at it to see that you can work to a number of different briefs and can write for different types of audiences. The same goes for if you have written for different industries. If you only put technical pieces in your portfolio, for example, you might be overlooked for positions writing more general copy.

How to make a copywriter portfolio stand out

Make it visually appealing

Portfolio software design on a laptopWhile the focus on your portfolio should be on your work, you also want it to be visually appealing. If it is complicated to use or looks outdated and poorly designed, it can stop people wanting to view what they came for – your writing. Pick the template of your design very carefully, ensure that the font is easy to read and that you emphasise your copy with strong headlines. It can also be useful to add some images to give context to your words and help provide a modern look, but don’t let them steal the show.

Use a reputable platform

There are a host of online platforms you can use for your copywriter portfolio. Some of these include WordPress, Wix and Squarespace. Take a look through the different ones and find the one that works best for you. They all have different benefits and drawbacks, different price points and different templates for you to choose from. Wix has a drag and drop interface which is easy for beginners to web design to use, whereas WordPress has a whole library of themes you can install but might be a little more complex.

Keep your portfolio updated regularly

It can be a good idea to include dates of when pieces you wrote were published. By doing so it shows that you are still relevant and writing during the present climate. If you don’t update your portfolio with new pieces regularly, it can look like you are out of work and potential clients might wonder why this is. They might think that you aren’t getting hired for jobs or just aren’t as serious about it anymore. As above, you don’t need to include every single piece that you do, but try to put a few new pieces up every month if you can.

How to make a copywriter portfolio that generates leads

Optimise it for SEO

magnifying glass on blue backgroundSEO is always a very important factor when building any type of website. By ensuring your copywriting portfolio is SEO optimised, you have more chance of it being seen on Google and other search engines. This can be a good way for potential clients to discover you and hire you for work. Basic SEO includes making sure that you use a good website host, adding in keywords that you want to rank for, ensuring you fill in all the meta data and reducing the size of your images. You can either do the SEO yourself, or you can hire someone to do it for you.

Add testimonials

Testimonials are key for a good copywriting portfolio and can be a real help with getting you selected for a job. Find past clients that you have done jobs for and ask them to write a sentence or two about your performance and why future people should hire you. Display these clearly on your website so future clients can see them. A testimonial is useful as it shows people who have used you in the past would recommend you. It makes you seem more legitimate and reliable.

Add clear contact details

Without contact details, how can anyone get in touch with you for work? Make sure that your contact details are clearly outlined in your footer and also on a dedicated contact page. This way if someone wants to hire you for a job then they can do so easily and don’t have to spend their time scouring your website for a phone number or email address.

These are just a few tips to help you make a copywriting portfolio. A portfolio is a must when you want to be a freelance writer and by adhering to the above you have the best chance of getting selected for jobs. For more advice on getting enough content together for your portfolio, read our 7 steps to building a copywriting portfolio the right way.

Main image credit: Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Embedded image credits: Photo by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash, Photo by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash, Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Natasha Louise Colyer

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