By Rohi Shetty
If you want to be a successful freelance writer you need to do three things consistently:
- Write, including the phases of planning, writing the first draft, revision, and completing the work.
- Publish, including not only posting on your own blog but also guest-posting and publication in other publications and websites in exchange for payment.
- Market, including actively pitching editors, websites and small businesses and creating and updating an online portfolio.
If you are like most freelance writers, you tend to neglect marketing or consider it to be spammy or slimy. However, marketing your work and services is crucial if you want to be successful. You need to constantly implement creative ways to make your prospective clients aware of your skills and services.
Here are 12 essential steps to set up your online freelance portfolio:
Your specialization depends on your education, your work experience, your expertise and your interests. Deciding on one or two specific choices like content marketer or health writer helps you to define your niche and attract the clients you really want.
- The Right Platform
The right platform depends on your goals, budget and niche. The best option is a self-hosted WordPress website, especially if you have a blog. Don’t opt for free websites such as Blogger, WordPress.com, Weebly, and so on.
- A Professional Domain Name.
Use your name or incorporate your main keyword in the URL of your website. If you want help to find a domain name, try domainr.com, which lets you search a name or word, shows you what’s available with different extensions.
Also, any domain name ending with “blogspot.com,” “wordpress.com” or “tumblr.com” as part of your URL looks unprofessional. A professional domain name with a “com” extension costs not more than ten dollars a year.
- Work Portfolio
Display the articles that showcase your expertise in your specialty designed to attract leads from the right clients. Make sure you emphasize your most impressive projects. This is also the place to include awards that you may have won and other achievements in related fields.
Describe your work clearly using labels such as description of the assignment, the client, your work and the results, This makes it more readable because it a person to skim better, and take note of the information they care about.
- Contact Information.
Make sure your potential clients can contact you easily by including your email address, phone number, Facebook page, Twitter handle, LinkedIn URL, and so on.
- About Page
The “About” page is likely to be the most visited page on your site. It’s the doorway for your blog readers, subscribers and potential clients. Each “About” page depends on the person, product or business it represents. If you are stuck, read the “About” page of more established writers in the same field and adapt their ideas. Also check out this helpful Copyblogger article.
Include one or more of your photographs because people want to know who you are. When they can see your picture, they are more likely to trust you and make a personal connection with you.
Include only relevant information that will help you get the projects you want. Also, showcase your most important achievements at the top of the list.
- A Strong Call to Action
Clarify the most important goal of your website: get email list subscribers, get hired, sell your books, etc. Make it easy for people to take the immediate next step: fill your opt in form, click your contact page, or click on the “Buy” button.
Testimonials about you and your work from your clients or previous employers add to your trustworthiness. Don’t hesitate to ask your clients for a testimonial.
- Visually Appealing Site.
Carefully select the images to include on your portfolio—make sure they are visually appealing and in harmony with the text.
- Objective reviews
Ask your peers, friends and family members to give feedback about your online portfolio—not only for spelling and grammar mistakes but also for clarity, ease of use and effectiveness.
- Regular Updates.
Update the pages on your site regularly. Add recent work samples and new posts to your blog. A blog can position you as an authority in your field and attract more traffic and potential clients.
Your freelance writer portfolio is an indispensable asset. The more time, energy, money, and expertise you invest in it, the more valuable it will become.
Making Money With Websites (e-course)
Join the conversation:
Do you have an online portfolio?
Let us know in the comments below.
(13 July 2016)