Why Do You Need To Create A Portfolio?

Fine your voice 4I know I’ve missed my post on this blog this past week, because I was in the process of moving.  Moving is not fun and it will turn your life upside down for a week.  Let’s not forget the fact that even for a limited amount of time,  your computer will be unplug!  Gosh, that’s depressing for a blogger, isn’t it?

Interestingly, recently I’ve given the advice of writing blog posts ahead of time for cases like this, but apparently I haven’t followed my own  advice.

Now that I’m pretty much all settled, however, it’s time to get back to business.

Today I wanted to talk about the importance of having a portfolio as a freelance writer, but this post could be useful for any online services you may have.

I’ve heard people say that as a freelance writer you may have to accept low paying gigs in order to build a portfolio, but this is really not so.

There are much better ways to create a portfolio as a freelance writer, or any other freelancing work than accepting low paying gigs. The main way, so to speak, is right in front of you, and most of you are already doing this – it’s called blogging.

Why Every Freelancer Should Have a Blog?

I don’t care what type of online business you may have, these days you should have a blog that relates to your business.  It goes without saying that a freelance writer needs to have a blog maybe more than anyone else.

Your blog will be your open window to gig opportunities where you will be able to show off your writing skills at will.  I happened to have three blogs covering three different niches, and of course I use all three to promote my writing skills, but of course this one is based on writing and related topic.

This is the blog where I have my Portfolio page, my Hire Me page, and my soon to be updated Testimonial pageBut this blog is much more than that it’s where I try to give advice about writing and blogging on my weekly post.

The result of that is that every sample that I will ever need to show my writing skills are in this blog and the other two. There is no need to accept low paying gigs to show my writing skill.  As a matter of fact, I’ll rather show off my guest posts as well.

Guest posts are high quality articles that someone else has accepted or invited you to post on their own blog, and they speak for your writing skills or any other skills you may show your expertise on in the post.

The Importance of Guest Posting to Show Off your Skills

Guest posting is a much better and a more professional way to show off your skills than accepting low paying gigs.

While you are doing this for free, you are not selling yourself cheap like you would when accepting to work for peanuts. You are offering a top notch quality article for a medium to high traffic blog where you will be seen as an expert instead of a cheap freelancer.

Big difference here!

In turn, this will bring not only more traffic to your own blog, but it will put yourself under potential client’s eyes and good paying freelance writing and other gigs.  A huge difference of perspective and potential results, isn’t it?  I’m not just saying this. I’ve experienced it myself and seen other experiencing it as well.

This works, but you need to work it first of course. As the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in one day!

Article Directories

My views on article directories have changed quite a bit within the past couple of years.  I used to think that article directories was a great way to bring traffic to your own blog and online business, but my most recent experience has shown me that it can also be a huge waste of time.

My most updated and revised advice about article marketing these days is that you should not put one hundred percent of your time and energy in it, but spend most of your time and energy on your own online real estate, which is your blog.

Create your Actual Portfolio Page

Do you have a portfolio page on your blog? I mean, really, is there a place on your blog where people can go and clearly see what your service is about?  Strangely enough, it’s not always the case.  I visit blogs sometimes where I have no idea what type of business the blogger is in.

Unless you’re blogging just for fun, you should ALWAYS have a portfolio page for your services.

For freelance writers, once you have enough articles out there, make sure that you actually include links of most of your articles to that page.  Also, make sure to add the URL of your own blog or guest posts and online articles you may want to show as well.

If you have a small collection of positive testimonials about your writing, you should add that too.

A portfolio is necessary for anyone who is looking for more clients.

An actor needs a portfolio to find agents and acting jobs.  A writer needs a portfolio to find more writing gigs and clients.  Whatever your online business may be, you might want to think about creating your unique and interesting portfolio to show off your skills and knowledge in order to get more business.

So, do you have a portfolio? Is it visible on your blog? Please, do tell…
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36 Comments

  • Donna MerrillTwitter: donna_tribe says:

    Welcome Back Sylviane!

    I was off the grid myself for almost 2 weeks! I know how difficult it is when we have to “unplug” then come back to catch up. But here you are after only one week!

    As for having a portfolio if a person is a writer, I just assumed it was necessary. I did have some experience going to other writer’s blogs and there is no portfolio on it. Not even testimonials. I found that strange, even though I wasn’t in the market for a writer, just checking their blog out.

    I do agree that you must put your energy on your own blog instead of article directories. Here, on your blog, one can not only see your portfolio and testimonials, but also see the many comments you get.

    Also the great way you teach others how to write. I followed your past posts and learned so much about writing. It gives a person a real bird’s eye view of who you are and what you are doing besides having the portfolio done.

    When someone asks me about a freelance writer, YOU always come to mind because you have successfully branded yourself. Plus, you have done so much in the past that your experience gives you credibility.

    Although I’m not a writer, people who are need to listen to your advice! I will spread the news.
    Donna
    Donna Merrill invites you to read..Flying The Coop For Fresh Eyes On Your BusinessMy Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Donna,

      I have to say that you are one of my best supporters and you always say such nice things about me, that’s why you appear in my testimonial page 🙂

      This testimonial page needs to be added to a little and it’s going to happen very soon as I’m collecting a few new testimonials.

      It’s nice to be back online, but at the same time it gave my brain a break from the online duties and routine, and we all need that.

      Me and Sophie (my cat) love our new place now that is finally 90% in order. The first few days of moving weren’t fun though. I hate mess and we had to live in it until things got straighten. I will blog about this in my personal development blog, as a lot of things about moving affect our state of mind.

      Nice to see you here again, Donna and I’ll see you on your side.

  • Corina Ramos says:

    Hello Sylviane!

    Looks like a welcome back is in order after being away…like you and Donna, I was offline for a week myself. It gave me a chance to miss my blog 🙂

    I recently started putting a portfolio together myself and it’s also a great way to celebrate those achievements we’re too busy to reflect on while we’re in the zone 🙂

    I love how yo describe the importance of guest posting…that’s right on! The issue I have to work on is asking or a testimonial of feedback but I’m working on it 🙂

    Thanks for this advice! Hope you have a great week!

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Corina,

      I see that I wasn’t the only one off the hook, here 🙂

      It’s a good thing if you have a portfolio and it’s nice to hear that you’re working on it. As far as testimonials, don’t be afraid to ask. All that people can say is no, but rarely will they refuse if you ask the right people.

      Thanks for coming and have a great week!

  • sherman smithTwitter: shermanksmith75 says:

    Hey Sylviane, I really have to agree with you on article marketing. It might have been the thing to do about 3 or 4 years ago, but it seems like I’m getting more recognition other ways. So yes, I believe also you should focus on your blog and blogging as a whole.

    Having a porfolio is a plus. If you have a “portfolio” on social media then why not have one on your blog. This is a way for people to feel you out better, especially the people who you are targeting. This gives them a preview of what to expect from you and not be left in wonder. Thanks for sharing!
    sherman smith invites you to read..Be Real! Don’t Put Up A Front!My Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Sherman,

      Thanks for coming back on my return 🙂

      Yes, a lot of people have really slowed down with article marketing. It used to be THE thing to do 3-4 and more years ago, but that’s not the case anymore.

      See you soon at your place and have a great week.

  • GladysTwitter: coachgladys says:

    Hello and Welcome Back!
    I have missed “seeing” you on the net, but glad you are back.
    Moving can be hectic, but moves are great to start with a blank canvas. I am sure you have received new ideas to write about.
    Now to your post, me personally all this is new, but I have wondered about it????
    But with no solutions, until now….
    If I begin to write one…. I would not know where to begin, except you write another post on the “how to’s” LOL
    You are an excellent writer, and for sure I have learned many things from all three blogs.
    Thank you and welcome back

    Gladys recently posted…Confidence Is Your Security
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    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Glaldys,

      thanks for your nice words.

      Well, I guess that’s an idea right there. Writing a step by step post about writing your portfolio. I will do soon.

      It’s nice to connect with people online again and can’t wait to go to all your blogs 🙂

  • MayuraTwitter: MayuraDeSilva says:

    Hey Sylviane,

    Glad to have you back rockin’ here and I was wondering last week as I couldn’t access your blog 🙂 I was worried ’cause I heard of hacker attacks on WordPress lately. Glad to know you are safe 🙂

    Great point! I think for writers, when it comes to writing, guest posts have a large potential rather than your own blog posts or articles as they exposed to new audience. Anyway all of ’em comes under portfolio, nah? 😉

    I have one set up on my blog too dear 🙂 Actually I surprised when I start offering design and development services on my blog Sylviane. I mean, once I set up I’ve got requests and found new clients. I think it’s my blog and they knew I’m good with such stuff already. I agree with you there as I’ve gain advantage through my blogging to show my own skills 🙂

    You have a lovely week over there Sylviane 🙂

    Cheers…
    Mayura invites you to read..How to Remove Someone from Your Connections in LinkedInMy Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Mayura,

      Well, thanks for proving with your own experience that a portfolio on your blog does work and serves its purpose. I’m so glad that you’ve got more clients because of it. Imaging what you would have missed without it? Way to go, Mayura.

      Thanks for coming, and for telling me about my blog being down last week 🙂
      .

  • Sue PriceTwitter: suejprice says:

    Hi Sylviane

    Welcome back and yes we did miss you!

    I am not a freelance writer as you know but I would have assumed every freelancer would have a portfolio. And yes they should have a blog as it is a way to get yourself out there.

    Great article and advice and you should take your own advice and get some posts up your sleeve 🙂 I always vow to do it and as you know I do not.

    See you this week I hope.

    Sue
    Sue Price invites you to read..Passion and BusinessMy Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Sue,

      Yes, you’re right. I should take my own advice and have a few posts up my sleeves which because of time issues, I rarely do.

      But this move was a way to start fresh and reconsider some things that I’ve neglected for too long. So some things will change for the best, I hope.

      Yes, if everything goes well, I’ll see you tomorrow 🙂 and thanks for coming.

  • Silviu says:

    Hi,
    I must admit there comes a time when you become somehow “addicted” to your blog and it’s difficult when your computer is “unplugged” and you are “cut off” from your blog even for a short while.
    I also agree that moving is tough. For me even house cleaning is terrible … .
    When hard times like this come, it is very important to have a kind of system in place that will work for you when you are away. Hootsuite or Buffer might be a good choice.
    Freelancing is tough, especially in the beginning. I understand all too well when you talk about working for peanuts. I tried this and didn’t like it at all. Example: I wrote 500 ads for 20 dollars in a Vworker contract. Some of my friends defined it as “slave labour”. When the contract was offered again I refused.
    You need a lot of patience and swallow all your pride if you want a career in freelancing. Not for me, I’m afraid.
    However, the idea to create a portfolio on your blog to show the whole world who you are and what you can do is very interesting. I’ll keep that in mind.

    Thank you for your time and

    Have a nice day

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Silviu,

      Don’t feel bad we all have taken those crappy jobs at times. I have to. But now, I’d rather refuse anything that’s not worth it for me. I totally refuse to write for peanuts now, and feel good about it.

      The last low pay client I had was a smooth talker but everything he said was BS so I’ve learned a lot from him too and I flee people like him. When I do I don’t feel like I’ve just missed an opportunity for sure, I feel great!

      Having a portfolio is very important as freelancer and for any service that you may offer online and through the internet. It’s worth investing some time in it.

      Thanks for your great comment.

  • Martin says:

    Visualization is a King, not the content but its pictures. I wrote an article about it recently. And I know how important to have a portfolio on your site! Your post is very good. Thank you for sharing!

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Martin and welcome here.

      Yes, a portfolio is very important and most of all useful to get more clients/sales.

      Thanks for coming.

  • Neamat TawadrousTwitter: nkeriakos says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    It’s very good to see you back! We really missed you last week. I checked your site several times to see if there is a new post but then I remembered about your move. I feel for you, moving is hectic but I am glad you and Sophie are enjoying your new place.

    Coming back to the post, I agree with you about the portfolio! It speaks for you and market your brand. I also agree with you that all business owners should have a blog that relates to their business and all the energy should be put on their own blog instead of article directories. Our blog shows what kind of writing skills we have and it brands us. In other words, it sells our services.

    Thanks Sylviane for such a great idea of creating a portfolio. I am in the process of narrowing down my niche and when I am ready, I will keep in mind to create that portfolio.

    Be Blessed,

    Neamat
    Neamat Tawadrous invites you to read..8 Social Media Best Practices For BusinessMy Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Neamat,

      It’s so kind of for having checked my blogs. Not only did I not post, but I had a hiccup with my expired credit card and after a whole month Hostgator took my sites off the internet. They were sending me emails somewhere I rarely check.

      Thankfully I did find out soon enough and fixed the problem and within 15 minutes everything was up and running again.

      Yes, once you’re ready, you should have that portfolio on your site for all you potential clients/customers to see. that’s a great thing to have to increase business.

      Thanks for coming and see you at your blog later today 🙂

  • Lisa says:

    Sylviane, it is good to see you back. I consider my blog my portfolio. I just added testimonials to my about me page. I do need to add my guest posts, I have not kept up on updating them.
    I do not envey you moving, I hope it is for better reasons and that you will really like it. I hope the unpacking goes smoothly for you too.

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Lisa,

      If you have an about page and testimonials it sure can serve as a portfolio. For example, I do not have a portfolio page on my personal development blog, but it’s more appropriate on my writing blog where I have links to written samples. But we do need those about page and testimonials.

      I know moving is not fun and it wasn’t, but I’m now 99% clear of all the mess with only two file cabinet boxes to empty and just a few things to put away. Yes, I did it! And it feels good.

      I moved to a much nicer and safer neighborhood to a larger apartment, so yes, the move was positive.

      Thanks for coming, Lisa and see you at your blog 🙂

  • AdrienneTwitter: adriennesmith40 says:

    Welcome back Sylviane! I hope you’re all moved and things are starting to take shape. I know how hard a move can be and it’s even worse when you’re offline for that long of a time. As you know I was only offline for about three days tops but that still drove me nuts trying to play catch up.

    Not being a freelance writer myself, I just assumed that the portfolio and the testimonials were really one in the same. That just goes to show you what I know. See, I always learn something when I stop by your place.

    I love that you can use your own writing skills on your blog as examples to show off your work. I know when people are starting out they have been told to go for low paying jobs until they have more work to show to prospective clients. I guess I never thought of showing your own content as your work.

    Guest posts are important too because people love for you to write for them as well. Great point.

    ~Adrienne
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    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Adrienne,

      Yes, my place is finally looking more like a home and less like a warehouse now. I feel very good in it, and even Sophie likes it better. I can tell. Did you noticed that I didn’t have to get up from my chair like 10 times during our hangout last night? Well, that’s because she doesn’t disturb me to go out at night anymore, where I had to tie her up on the patio, and I had to check on her ever so often 🙂

      Now, about the post 🙂 I have to say that the ones who need a portfolio the most are writers, but anyone can benefit from it. For example, one of my friends who is a coach has recording samples of her coaching sessions. I think that this is great to have.

      If you do website design, you can have a portfolio with sample designs, etc…

      It might not always be possible to do this with ALL niches, but if it is, it’s worth it.

      Thanks for coming and it’s nice to be back 🙂

  • Sonia says:

    I loved this because this is something I never understood why some don’t have one at all. When people approach you to Guest post, its awesome and flattering. What puts the brakes on for me is nothing to back it up. Having a portfolio tells a story about what you do and that they are proud of their work done.

    I have had a few horror stories with a person wanting to do a guest post only to find out that they had the same posts, posted on other blogs with the same title. I couldn’t believe it and was completely turned off. It made me keep it at by invite only, but I always appreciate a writer that takes the time to get to know me first. Comment on my blog, and build a relationship network with bloggers. Credibility is key online and when you don’t have it, it is hard to get noticed.

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Sonia,

      Ah, I remember that you were one of the first people to invite me to post on your blog 🙂

      I hear what you’re saying. Every time that I’ve tried to publish a post that wasn’t by invitation it was kind of a nightmare as well.

      Once I had this crazy guy who just sent me a post and never ever replied to me emails. People are nuts and we don’t need those nut cases on our blog for sure. I’m glad you were able to find out about that double post before you posted on your blog.

      I think that as much as it is possible it’s important to have a portfolio. It just shows your potential clients/customers what you can do.

      Thanks for coming and I’m glad to be back online starting to keep up with my blog commenting 🙂

  • Barry Wells says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    I hope you’re settled in after your move. I know exactly how stressful it can be especially when we don’t have any internet connection or are having to wait for it.

    Fortunately for me the last time I moved was before my blogging day but I was selling on eBay and had to go the local library every day to keep up with everything.

    I know what you mean about using our blogs as our portfolio and what better way is there….

    I view my blog as the window to my business and think I could improve on the offers I make. I’ve seen recently that people are adding hire me pages, which I’m thinking of doing as well. I also want to update my about me page to include more about the products I’ve created.

    All this is in the pipeline as I have so much catching up to do that I’m not taking on any more tasks until I’ve completed my lists for last year…. As you know I had loads of time off due to one thing and another.

    I like what you said about guest posting and we both know the benefits of that from when you guest posted on my blog for the first time. I think it lead to a further 7 requests to guest post on other blogs?

    The proof of the pudding is in the eating as they say 😉

    Thanks Sylviane, catch up again soon.
    Barry

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Barry,

      Well, it’s nice to see you back around 🙂

      No, moving is not fun, but it was worth it in my case since it was to move to a much better place and prove to myself that I’m doing better financially than I did five year ago. I’m pretty much all settled down now.

      I think that it’s important to renew our “about me” page and if you have any service, than, yes, you need a Hire Me page. If not how many people will not know that you can be hired!

      I think that it’s a good idea to make sure that people know about your products as well. All those little updates you’re talking about can bring more business your way, so they are very important.

      Thanks for coming, Barry and have a great one!

  • Toni Nelson says:

    For my photography/videography business I’ve always had a portfolio page so people could see examples of our work. On those sites I also had a services and testimonials page. For my coaching/consulting business website I have a services page so people can see what I offer. I always have a testimonials page. It’s important for people to see the experience others have had working with you.

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Toni,

      Well, Photography is obviously one business that you NEED to have a portfolio for. It’s just right up there with writing.

      As I was telling to Adrienne above, even for coaching, some people have samples of their recorded sessions that can be used in their portfolio. I think that it’s a great thing to have, and it has to make people feel better about the coach before they hire them. I know, myself, I like that!

      Thanks for coming and for your input.

  • DeeAnn Rice says:

    Sylviane,

    I had never thought about having a profile page but it does make sense. At this point I don’t know just what I would put on my profile page but it is something that I need to think about in the near future as I develop products and have more things for sale.

    Your post really gave me something to think about.

    Thank you.

    Dee Ann

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi DeeAnn,

      If you have a business where a portfolio per say is not easy to do, meaning something that’s hard to “show”, you can always have a testimonial page for starter.

      I know that in the case of freelance writing is easy, but not all services are that easy to build a portfolio about.

      Thanks for coming and have a great week!

  • Radu says:

    I’ve met people who didn’t wanted to talk with me unless i showed them a portfolio and especially in that particular area. It’s normal i guess since the people needed a prove that i can handle his job in a good manner.

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Radu,

      Yep, that’s right. I’ve seen that before as well. There are some services that MUST have a portfolio or else.

      Thanks for ilustrating that for us 🙂

      • Radu says:

        Have you been caught in this situation? You don’t seem to have such issues but i am sure, that with experience you can adapt to most of the task you are getting, right?

  • silver price says:

    Writing mock projects can increase the credibility of a freelance writing portfolio. Identify the type of freelance writing projects that you want to take on and write immaculate projects for non existent clients. This works great with business proposals and business plans because a freelance writer would typically place these projects on PDF instead of linking to an actual page. No matter what type of freelance writing projects you are interested in attaining, writing mock projects increases the credibility of a new freelance writer.

  • Sheron says:

    If I’m sending resumes cold, should I include the portfolio (a short version, at least) or wait until I get an interview and bring it along?

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Sheron, and welcome here.

      When it comes to contacting potential employers with your resume, I think that your resume alone should do.

      However, if it’s a big opportunity and somehow may be needing to impress your potential employer to fight the competition, you can add your portfolio to your resume. It also depends on what you do, first and foremost.

      Thanks for coming and for your question. Hope to see you aruond again soon.

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