Marketing 10 min read

How to Create the Perfect Copywriting Portfolio

Edgy.app

Edgy.app

Main Takeaways:

  • A copywriting portfolio is a collection of content that you wrote in the past.
  • The purpose of a portfolio is to show off your skills to a potential client.
  • A copywriter portfolio should contain blog posts, ad copy, SEO copywriting sample, guest post samples, etc.
  • Non-experienced copywriters can create a portfolio by working for free, working for a nonprofit, or exchanging their service.
  • The perfect copywriting portfolio should contain diverse samples.
  • You can host your copywriting portfolio on platforms such as LinkedIn, Pinterest, UpWork, to name a few.

Hundreds of individuals now pop-up on Google and other social media platforms claiming to be wordsmiths. Along with turning sentences into sales, these people affirm that they can turn ad campaigns into hot leads.

As a copywriter, you’re up against the tough competition. However, the perfect copywriting portfolio can help you stand out.

What is a Copywriting Portfolio?

A copywriting portfolio refers to a collection of your past written content. It shows potential clients the writing that you can do, the results that you got, and what past customers say about your work. As in any other portfolio of work, your copywriting portfolio should contain your best work. It should show that you’re a versatile and effective copywriter, regardless of the medium.

As such, the perfect portfolio for copywriters usually includes both long and short-form content pieces that range in tone. You should also add copywriting samples for both editorial and commercial purposes.

Let’s delve a little deeper.

What You Should Include in a Copywriting Portfolio

Illlustration of a phone, an open email, and pencil writing on a peice of paper
Joseph Mucira / Pixabay.com

1. Blog Post and Website Copy

Use website copies — such as landing pages — to show off your ability to create content that informs visitors. Yet, such copywriting should also work with the site’s design to guide users through the sales funnel.

Your portfolio could also contain blog posts to prove your knowledge of copywriting.

Sharing content that focuses on copywriting can help establish you as an authority in the field. What’s more, it suggests that you’re passionate about your profession enough to write about it.

2. Social Media Content Writing

Social media provides a simple way for businesses to communicate with their customers. According to Sprout Social, 66 percent of Facebook users say they “Like” or “Follow” a brand on the platform.

As such, it’s essential to include social media content in your copywriting portfolio. Besides the profile bio wordings, use social media ad content to show that you can communicate effectively with limited word count.

While selecting the content pieces, you may want to prioritize the posts that got the maximum engagements and views. Also, consider adding content that you wrote for popular brands or entities.

3. Ad Copy

Use short samples of ad copy to show off your persuasive writing skills.

Writing quality short ad copy can be challenging, compared with a long one. It shows that you can do more with less — combining visuals with a sure message that hits home.

The brand’s popularity or recognition is vital when considering the ad copy to pick. Adding samples of ad copy that you wrote for known brands can improve your credibility and authority.

However, if you’re starting as a copywriter, consider adding ad copies from Google Ads or other digital marketing mediums. While they may not be as impressive, the goal remains the same — to show off your ability to craft compelling messages.

4. SEO Copywriting Samples

Ways to optimize content for search engine is continually evolving, and brands now expect their copywriters to be proficient at SEO. As such, including an SEO copywriting sample to your portfolio is a no-brainer.

Such content should show that you can integrate tough keywords into your content seamlessly. It should also be easy to read and have proper use of subheadings, among other SEO best practices.

If you’re not an experienced SEO copywriter, that’s fine. Writing tools such as INK can help do the heavy-lifting while you focus on creating compelling content.

5. Guest Posts Samples

As said earlier, blogging can establish your authority as a copywriter. However, guest posts can be just as useful. This is especially true when you’re writing for authority websites.

It suggests that the websites believe in your work so much that they’re willing to feature you as a guest writer. Brian Clark is an excellent example of someone who has perfected this technique.

Brian is a copywriting authority with a successful company. Nevertheless, he writes guest posts on high authority sites such as Forbes to further cement his credibility and expand his audience.

The verdict is unmistakable. Posts from high-authority sites can significantly boost your copywriting portfolio.

Unfortunately, copywriters that are just starting are unlikely to enjoy the privilege of writing for high-authority sites. Here are other options.

Copywriting Portfolio for Beginners

Illustration of a man standing beside a laptop that shows a landing page.
Mohamed Hassan / Pixabay.com

1. Create Copywriting Samples Based on Fake Jobs

If you don’t have a sizeable copywriting portfolio, you may want to start with samples based on made-up jobs. Your goal here is not to lie, but to show potential customers what you can do.

Start by picking a company from a local business directory, whether it’s a bakery, accountant, or coffee shop. Next, write a relatively straightforward copywriting brief for the company.

It could be a video sales letter script, sales page, or a Facebook ad copy. Whichever made-up project you pick, ensure that the writing is as engaging as possible.

2. Apply for Internship Programs

This suggestion might be a bit controversial because it seems like you would be undervaluing your service.

However, the quickest way to build up your portfolio and client base involves doing some grunt work. This usually involves taking a copywriting internship position.

If you can’t combine a regular internship with your current schedule, there are other options.

For example, you could take a bit of time off and offer your services as a temporary intern for a week. Another option is to reach out to a copywriting expert and ask if they’ll let you shadow them for a week.

Remember, you don’t have to work as an intern for an extended period. You only need enough to gather experience and build the perfect portfolio for a copywriter.

3. Exchange Your Service

If you’re not willing to work for free, you may want to consider exchanging your service with another person or business.

For example, you could create an excellent sales copy for a graphics design company. In return, the company could create a logo for your copywriting business.

It’s a win-win for both parties.

4. Start Your Website or Blog

One benefit of starting a blog or website is that you don’t need permission to post content.

It can serve as a medium to showcase your best copywriting samples and help build your reputation. What’s more, you can easily direct potential employers to see the samples.

There’s just one thing. Not only is starting a website or blog time-consuming, but it also takes quite a bit of effort.

So, if you’re not writing for your blog, consider contributing to other websites. While you may not land authority websites as a beginner, sites such as Ezine would be glad to publish your content.

5. Work for Nonprofit

Many nonprofits are usually run on a tight budget. As a result, you’ll often find overworked staff in positions that they aren’t necessarily qualified to handle.

You could lend a hand. Consider reaching out to nonprofit organizations in your region and offer your service as a copywriter. Besides giving your real experience, you would also be doing some good.

How to Make the Perfect Copywriting Portfolio

1. Select Various Copywriting Samples

At this point, you must have created a diverse assortment of content, even if you’re new to copywriting. Now, it’s time to add these work to your portfolio.

While you may be tempted to cramp as many writing samples as possible, that could easily overwhelm potential employers. So, stick with five or six writing pieces.

It’s not just about quantity. You must also consider the quality of the writing. Again, the goal here is to impress.

So, include different writing styles — such as technical writing, business writing, and marketing writing — in your portfolio. Also, show off your versatility with the following form of writing.

  • Humorous and serious pieces
  • B2B and B2C writings
  • Short and long-form content

Whatever writing sample you pick should be relatively error-free, easy to read, and engaging.

2. Include Different Types of Work

Since various types of businesses exist, it makes sense that your portfolio should contain diverse copywriting samples. It shows potential clients that you’re adaptable and can create the content they need.

Along with the five samples outlined earlier, other additions include press releases, speeches, scripts, and product descriptions. Be that as it may, you also don’t want to add too much content to your portfolio.

That’s because narrowing down your copywriting work to specific niches gives the impression that you know your onions. And as a subject expert, you can command a higher rate.

For example, a web copywriter‘s portfolio should contain blog posts, SEO work, and landing page copy. Similarly, an ad copywriting expert should have Facebook ads, commercial scripts, and magazine snippets.

The goal here is to tailor the content of your copywriting portfolio to the work you’ll be seeking.

3. Take Your Samples Directly to the Clients

Rather than wait for a client to find your portfolio, you could take your work directly to them.

Several websites on the internet contain poorly-written pages. Find those sites, and re-write those pages without the site owner asking you to do so. Then, approach the company with your sample or mail it to them.

In your mail, outline the dangers of having a poorly-written copy on a website, and emphasize having good content. Focus on how both types of writing affect sales and search engine relevance.

You can’t lose in this situation. That’s because even if the company doesn’t hire you, you would have yet another sample to add to your portfolio.

4. Host Your Copywriting Portfolio on Several Platforms

After creating your portfolio, the next step is to find somewhere on the web to host your work. Luckily, there are several options, and each comes with its unique advantage.

For example, Pinterest is ideal for copywriters who want to show off their creative side or have an audience on the platform. On the other hand, LinkedIn is perfect for B2B copywriters.

The professional networking platform allows you to get skill endorsement and recommendations. You can also show off your writing style, level of education, or certification.

You may also want to consider freelancing platforms such as UpWork and Fiverr. Besides providing a space to host your portfolio, these sites also offer an excellent opportunity to gather reviews and testimonials.

To Wrap Up: Create Your Copywriting Portfolio

It’s not enough to create one portfolio. Depending on the type of work that interests you, it makes sense to create different portfolios for different writing types.

For example, you could create sales, web, and print copywriting portfolios.

Note that this is only possible after you’ve acquired enough work experience. Otherwise, focus on including as much variety as possible to a portfolio that covers a single niche.

Read More: Advertisement Writing: How to Create a Compelling Ad Copy

First AI Web Content Optimization Platform Just for Writers

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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    Dan Magill September 07 at 4:19 pm GMT

    Just to add some perspective nonprofit copywriting is actually a niche that can make you real income. Not all nonprofits expect free work. In fact most do not, and free work tends to mean low quality work. For tiny and new nonprofits, yes, building your portfolio by volunteering for them can be helpful. In fact I did that early in my career. My main point here is simply to break people free of the false association between nonprofits and the absence of money. Fundraising copywriting is a niche and a profession. My website is geared almost completely around this niche, proactivecontent.net and I have several consistently well paying clients now in addition to many one offs over the years.

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