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How to Create a Killer Portfolio (Even if You Have No Experience)

If you’re a service provider or a freelancer, it pays to have a solid portfolio. Your portfolio will show potential clients that you have the experience and skills to handle their project.

However, one of the challenges to creating a quality portfolio is gaining the experience. Here’s how to build a portfolio the right way.


There are a number of quality skill-building programs online. These programs often offer homework assignments along with professional feedback. This is an exceptional way to create a portfolio.

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It gives you the opportunity to work with experts in your craft. Additionally, you’re able to use the class as a source of credibility on your marketing materials.

Start a Blog

Starting your own blog can be a great resource for your portfolio. It gives you an opportunity to learn the skill of writing and is a great home-base for your work.

It can be difficult for a potential employer to search through all of your work so it’s best to create a “best-of” posts for them to review. When choosing pieces for your portfolio, choose a variety of work that highlights your best skills as a writer.

Spec Work

Spec work is work that you essentially do for free. The agreement between you and your client is that if they like your work, they will pay you for it. If they don’t like your work, they won’t pay you.

It’s a good way to get around the fact that you may not have a solid portfolio just yet, because it reduces the risk for your client.

Additionally, once they’re pleased with the work – and they will be because you’re going to knock their socks off – then you can use the work in your portfolio. Don’t forget to also add their testimonial to your sales page. And if they don’t like the work, you can still use it in your portfolio if you’re proud of the results.

Volunteer Work

Volunteer work is another opportunity for you to build a portfolio and to do good at the same time. Many non-profits can benefit from the work of freelance service providers.

They get a service for free and you get quality samples for your portfolio. It’s great when you can reference something and show potential customers where they can find your work online too. It’s instant credibility.

Guest Posting

Guest posting is a great way to build a portfolio in the beginning. There are a ton of websites that accept posts for a variety of topics. Often times, you don’t need any experience at all.

Make sure to read the guidelines of the guest post submissions carefully and always create posts with value to their readers. If it’s a great piece of work, the host may invite you back to do more, which only adds to your portfolio.

Creating a Portfolio of Your Work

As you build your client base, ask clients if you can use your best work in your portfolio. They’re most often quite proud to be shown off and it’s good exposure for them as well. Display your work in the most professional manner.

If you have print samples, scan them onto your computer and save them as an image. Don’t just link to sales pages and content because those links will change. Actually, save the work you’ve done as an image or a document so your prospects can see your work first hand.


A really great place to create an online portfolio of all your work is on Contently. You can add a picture of yourself, a short bio and include snippets of all of your best work. It’s a great place to showcase your favorite writing that you’ve done, any sponsored posts or guest posts if you’re just getting started.

After you’ve completed it, you can simply share the link in your applications for freelance work to show off your skills.

Now Use Your New Portfolio to Rock the World of Freelance Writing!

Have confidence in your work, whether you’re just starting out or have a portfolio full of professional samples. Confidence and the courage to take a few risks will help you build a portfolio the right way.

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