Of all the means to earn online, freelance writing is my favourite.
Freelance writing is amazing because you can earn as much as possible with no limits whatsoever. I love that all things being equal, a lot of my earning power rests in my hands.
Most writers don’t realize that a lot of this rests on their ability to build a writing portfolio for freelancing that immediately converts readers into high-paying clients.
I know this first-hand. So, I’ve made sure that this article breaks down the steps to building a freelance writing portfolio for Nigerians.
They are highly practical and guaranteed to help you build a writing portfolio that optimizes your chances of earning more as a writer.
5 Essentials to Build a Writing Portfolio
Before you delve into the steps, kindly put the following at the back of your mind.
These things must be immediately evident in whatever portfolio you build.
Your portfolio must be specific to the purpose for which you set it up. Each page should target a specific point, with clearly defined goals and expectations of your reader.
Ensure to build a writing portfolio that is clear and easy to navigate.
A cumbersome portfolio will scare away readers and defy the purpose it was set up for.
A clear one gives prospective clients a broad and easily defined narrative of what they can expect of you as a writer.
People love spoon-feeding. As you build a writing portfolio, ensure that it has what you expect of every reader on each page.
Whether you expect them to move to the next page, contact you, visit your socials, or share your link.
They could be in the form of little icons like arrows, logos, words, or a combination of these.
If you have ever taken a course on graphic design, now that you want to build a writing portfolio is the time to make it pay off.
A beautiful, well-designed portfolio does not have to be expensive. It just has to be easy on the eyes, and attractive enough to make your prospective clients want to stay a little longer.
Long enough to learn how valuable your services are, and be motivated to contact and hire you.
You are your biggest marketer as a freelance writer.
A freelance writing portfolio for Nigerians is the best way to get yourself across international and structural borders.
So, you need to build a writing portfolio that introduces you as the only freelance writer that can get the results that potential clients desire. Do this in the most resounding way possible.
Being loud also applies to ensuring that when you build a writing portfolio, you make sure that it goes around and about.
Be expressive about it, online and physically.
Now that we have covered these essentials, we can look at the steps below to help you build a writing portfolio.
Steps To Build a Writing Portfolio
Get a well-defined niche
I know that the economy is tough and your focus as a writer is to earn as much and as frequently as possible. However, you need a clear niche if you are to ace freelancing.
The goal of building a freelance writing portfolio for Nigerians should always be to earn big and work smart because life is hard enough as it is.
A niche asserts that you are an authority in that field or as regards a format. It increases your client’s confidentiality in you and increases your bargaining power.
You don’t have to completely streamline your niche if it’s too hard in the beginning. But, ensure that whether by format or field, you build a writing portfolio specific to a niche.
Your format could be copywriting, content writing, long-form articles, or short-form copy. That means that you still can write for almost any client, but your skills are well defined to serve a specific writing need that your client has.
Your field could be health, tech, family, spirituality, fiction, etc. It allows you the flexibility to write in different forms, but within a specific field.
Get a prime space
Soup wey sweet, na money kill am. You are the soup, the soup is you.
Assume you had highly branded, highly rated products. Would you sell them in a highly frequented mall in Lekki? Or in the inner streets of Katangora where second-hand goods are sold?
The client base of both is different and so is their purchasing power. They are well-defined by the quality of the goods and the decision of the seller to sell in different spaces.
Nigerians are the biggest at manifesting and speaking words of praise. It is time to actively apply that to yourself and your services.
Decide today that you are prime stuff. Speak it, believe it, and act it.
Most writers just dump a handful of their works in a Google folder and pass that off as a portfolio. Most writers are also grossly underpaid and undervalued. You are not most writers.
Your target is or should be well-paying clients that you can only get by cold pitching, referrals, or clients that actively searched and found you online.
Even on online freelance markets like Upwork and Fiverr, a well-defined portfolio properly outlined on a website or blog is bound to give you higher bargaining power.
So decide that in 2022, you will build a writing portfolio on a website that introduces you as a brand and helps you get that bag!
Get a professional website, domain (no matter how cheap, especially for starters), and a professional email address. Build yourself a beautiful store in Lekki mall that people with money line up to access – except online.
Your revenue will shock you. I know mine did.
Fill it up with your work samples
Not just any work you’ve written. The best ones. Particularly those that align with your niche and the image of your brand.
They must be well-edited and be your best performing works so far. You do not need more than 6 works showcased on your website.
Even though they are minimal, they should flaunt your writing styles, indicate your flexibility within your niche, and assert your proficiency as a writer.
More important is to add little, unintrusive, details of the clients you wrote them for. Also, add their reviews as regards your services.
This builds credibility, reassures prospective clients, and increases their determination to patronize you.
This should be your goal as you build a freelance writing portfolio – even if it’s on Google Drive.
As you learn new skills and write better articles, update your portfolio to indicate that you’re growing.
It’s proof that people still trust you and that you’re up to date with trends in your industry that help you continuously get results.
There you have it. All you need to know to build a portfolio for writing.
Your next step? Start building.
- I'm an experienced SEO content writer and freelance writing coach. I'm passionate about helping writers transition from writing as a hobby to writing for a fee. I also run a website and IG platform that gives tips and gems to freelance writers.