12 best writing portfolio examples and how to create your own

  • Brandi Hunter
  • Dec 18, 2023

writing portfolio examples

When it comes to starting a business  around your writing, visibility is everything. The more well-curated and attention-grabbing your writing is, the higher the chance that potential clients and publications will notice your talent. Making a website  that presents your writing portfolio can help introduce the industry to your talent and invite new work.

You may be thinking, “I’m a writer, not a website designer”—that’s where Wix can help. Its templates and beginner-friendly website builder make getting started as straightforward as it can get. To get the creative juices flowing, here are 12 writing portfolio examples from Wix users. Later on, we’ll provide a more straightforward step-by-step guide to building your own.

Start building your online portfolio  with Wix today.

12 writing portfolio examples

Jed Donahue

Sam Carlson Creative

Lauryn Higgins

Jessica Van Devanter

Madison Gray

Jane-Ellen Robinet

Christina Sterbenz

Bryn Dippold

Charlotte Kho

Emma Newell

Maddie Pfeiffer

Rachel A.G. Gilman

01. Jed Donahue

Jed Donahue’s website is a great example of how speaking to your client’s pain points can compel them to reach out. The homepage header copy, “When you need great content, I’m here to help,” focuses on the customer’s needs. Testimonials from previous clients provide proof that Jed can deliver results. Meanwhile, the “What I can do for you” section gives a practical breakdown of the workflow and services that clients can expect.

Jed Donahue's writing portfolio example

02. Sam Carlson

Sam Carlson takes his writing portfolio a step further by putting his client work front and center. He highlights his creative flair and prowess as a copywriter by including engaging introductions for each case study. Every project page boasts a concise and clever summary, followed by the client's logo and key project assets. Additionally, his "Fun" page, which presents his personal projects, offers a glimpse of his hobbies and talents outside of writing.

Sam Carlson's writing portfolio example

03. Lauryn Higgins

If you, like Lauryn Higgins , have an extensive writing portfolio that includes several bylines with well-known media companies, you can strategically add publication logos to your website and link them to your author pages to show off your credibility. On her “Awards and Publications” page, she features snapshots of some of her best clips, along with several awards.

Lauryn Higgins's writing portfolio example

04. Jessica Van Devanter 

If you don’t have any visual content to display and don’t want to go through the process of finding a set of free-to-use visuals that match your branding and content, take a look at Jessica Van Devanter’s writing portfolio. By making the site’s design the focal point, she bypasses the need for external graphics or images that may not align with her branding. 

Her logo, a shrewd-looking fox, serves as the background for the large header, which captures the viewer's attention upon arrival. Below it, a mountain graphic underlays the main content area, providing a sense of continuity without overpowering the text. 

The structure of each page is reminiscent of a timeline, with her written works positioned as milestones, guiding visitors through her professional journey. The bright green and white font colors provide a deliberate contrast against the muted blue background, ensuring readability and drawing the eye to her written work.

Use Wix’s logo maker  to start building out your personal brand.

Jessica Van Devanter's writing portfolio example

05. Madison Gray

As a writer and an artist, Madison Gray masterfully demonstrates both skill sets throughout her portfolio. Pairing her highlighted works with original images draws visitors in and creates a visually engaging narrative of her talents. Each project page indicates which skills she utilized to complete the project, offering a comprehensive understanding of her multifaceted abilities.

Madison Gray's writing portfolio example

06. Jane-Ellen Robinet  

Jane-Ellen Robinet limits her writing portfolio to a page to help website visitors get the information they need quickly. The above-the-fold section summarizes her unique value proposition (“INSIGHT + PERSPECTIVE + EXPERIENCE”) and provides specific job titles for the services she provides (“Editor | Writer”). The header features anchor links to each section of the page to ensure easy navigation. 

Jane-Ellen Robinet's writing portfolio example

07. Christina Sterbenz

Rather than categorizing work by publications, Christina Sterbenz structures her portfolio page around writing topics and pairs each section with a compelling image from one of the relevant clips. This strategy adds visual appeal and gives each topic a personal touch, making the stories more approachable and intriguing to visitors. The images, paired with informative captions, humanize the subjects, enticing readers to delve deeper into her work.

In terms of website design, the portfolio benefits from a clean layout and a modern, minimalist font, which together enhance the site's readability and aesthetic appeal. Visitors can effortlessly scan the pages, finding what they are looking for without feeling overwhelmed. Additionally, the consistent use of design motifs—such as circles and lines throughout the site—contributes to a cohesive and memorable brand identity.

Like this format? Use this creative CV website template  to get started.

Christina Sterbenz's writing portfolio example

08. Bryn Dippold  

Bryn Dippold uses Wix’s blog maker  to showcase her work samples. This approach of republishing content directly on her portfolio, rather than merely linking out to external publications, serves as a strategic method for keeping visitors on her site for longer and providing a comprehensive view of her work.

Many Wix website templates already come with an integrated blog. Alternatively, you can choose to add the blog feature to any template, tailoring it to fit your unique style. Wix allows you to customize the blog settings, enabling you to curate and present your best work in a manner that aligns with your professional image and goals. 

Bryn Dippold's writing portfolio example

09. Charlotte Kho 

Charlotte Kho uses neutral colors, layered design elements and striking imagery to introduce herself as a digital and creative storyteller. The “Resume” page provides a lot of information, but its clean layout is easy on the eyes, and you have the option to download her CV. On the “Work” page, Charlotte offers a small selection of her best work, plus links to view more of her published pieces.

Like this layout? Make it your own as Charlotte did by customizing this business CV website template .

Charlotte Kho's writing portfolio example

10. Emma Newell 

Emma Newell's website demonstrates a balance of simplicity and engaging elements, creating a visually appealing and user-friendly experience. The site employs subtle animations that add a dynamic touch without overwhelming the visitor. Notably, when you click on any link in the menu bar, the content below appears to swipe out of view as new content takes its place. This seamless effect maintains the homepage's structure and provides an uninterrupted browsing experience.

Emma Newell's writing portfolio example

11. Maddie Pfeifer

Maddie Pfeifer effectively leads with her experience by featuring her resume on the homepage. It details her past work, highlights her skillset and lists the awards she has received in the course of her career. We appreciate that she prominently placed her contact information above the fold for easy accessibility.

Her website is a model of organization, making excellent use of Wix’s advanced menu features . The dropdown functionality in her navigation bar allows for an expanded array of options, enhancing the user experience. Visitors, when exploring the “Portfolio” page link, are greeted with the option to select content categories like “Event coverage” or “Crime & courts,” tailoring their browsing to their interests.

Maddie Pfeifer's writing portfolio example

12. Rachel A.G. Gilman 

Rachel A.G. Gilman elevates her homepage's simplicity with a playful, animated headshot, contrasting colors and a classic font choice, creating a dynamic first impression. Under the “Writing” tab, her comprehensive archive is meticulously sorted into distinct categories, making it easy to sift through her published work and accomplishments.

Rachel A.G. Gilman's writing portfolio example

How to make a writing portfolio of your own

After exploring some of the best portfolio website examples , you’re probably eager to get started on learning how to make a portfolio  of your own. Whether you're a seasoned writer or just getting started, these tips will help you present your work in a way that captivates and communicates your unique voice and skills. 

01. Identify your target audience

To properly tailor your site design to your audience, you need to identify who you’re looking to impress. For instance, if you’re using this type of website  to pitch to editors, you might consider spotlighting your best features or most impressive bylines. On the other hand, if you’re cultivating a professional portfolio  for freelance clients, you might want to put testimonials or a list of services front and center.

02. Establish your goals 

Setting clear goals is crucial to track your progress and success. If your objective is to boost engagement with freelance clients, you might measure this by the number of inquiries or project offers you receive through your portfolio site. On the other hand, if increasing your visibility as a writer online is your goal, you could focus on monitoring website traffic, page views, or how long visitors stay on your site. Regularly assessing these aspects will help you understand what's effective and what needs improvement in your portfolio.

03. Choose the right platform

When looking for a platform for your online presence, choose a portfolio website builder  that aligns with your technical ability and the amount of time you can dedicate to maintenance. Although creating a bespoke website might be impressive and a simple clippings curator (such as Muck Rack) would be convenient, it’s a better idea to go for a builder that combines the best of both worlds, offering both customizability and convenience. 

With Wix, you’ll have hundreds of customizable templates to choose from and AI tools that make designing and filling it with images a breeze. Furthermore, Wix enriches your website with features like built-in forms, custom email addresses, and newsletter capabilities, ensuring you can easily connect with your audience and maintain those connections effortlessly.

Check out this selection of Wix website templates for writers .

04. Decide how you want to structure your showcase

When building the “Works” or “Clips” section of your online writing portfolio, your focus should be on showcasing your writing as well as highlighting the outlets you've collaborated with. Select pieces that represent your best work and reflect the type of work you aspire to continue doing. Remember, it's always about quality over quantity. A handful of outstanding pieces will have a greater impact than a multitude of average ones.

If you're at the beginning of your career and lack professional bylines, don't hesitate to include your best work from college or independent projects. Additionally, consider starting a blog that reflects the kind of work you aim to do professionally. 

05. Build an archive

Imagine losing your most valued work if a website goes down or a publisher removes your article. To prevent this, create an archive on your portfolio site. By uploading and publishing posts using the Wix content management system, you not only safeguard your work but also boost your site’s SEO and engage visitors more effectively. However, remember to check your contracts, as some publishers may restrict this. If time is limited, consider downloading your articles as PDFs and linking to them on a dedicated page. It's best to maintain this archive separately from your featured works, ensuring they continue to be the main attraction.

06. Flesh out the rest of your site

Your writing portfolio is more than just your work; it's a complete presentation of your professional persona. Each page on your site plays a critical role in telling your story. Here's how to make them count:

Home: The homepage is your portfolio's front door, welcoming and guiding visitors. It's crucial that this page clearly communicates what you offer as a writer. Make sure visitors can instantly understand your area of expertise and writing style.

About: On your “About” page, detail your professional journey, educational background and skill set. This page is an excellent place to infuse personality into your resume. Consider including a PDF version of your resume so hiring managers can add it to their databases.

Contact:  The “Contact” page is your open invitation for communication. Offer multiple methods to reach you, such as a contact form and an email address. Consider using scheduling software  to make it easy for potential clients to set up consultation calls. 

When writing the copy for these pages, make sure your tone is consistent, engaging and speaks to your desired audience. If incorporating imagery, make sure they’re high-quality, complement the text and reinforce your professional image. Each element should seamlessly blend to form a cohesive and inviting online presence.

07. Test and publish

Broken links, grammatical errors or faulty contact forms may lead visitors to doubt the quality of your work or discourage them from reaching out. Make sure to do a thorough assessment of your site, and consider sharing your writing portfolio with others to get their feedback.

08. Update your website

Regularly update your portfolio with your latest work. This keeps your site fresh and shows potential clients your active involvement and range of skills. A current portfolio can also inspire new project ideas among visitors.

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How to Create a Writing Portfolio (With Examples)

Want to create a writing portfolio that'll stand out to readers and potential clients? Here's how to do it and some examples to make it easy for you.

As a freelance writer, it's beneficial to have a portfolio of your work, so potential clients can review your work and learn about your area of expertise. Before starting to work on your portfolio, you should consider the writing you want to do.

Whether you're a copywriter, a ghostwriter, writing literature, or a journalist, that should be clear when people view your portfolio. One of the first things to consider when creating your portfolio is your niche, and determining your niche can help you select your articles and the layout.

6 Steps to Creating Your Writing Portfolio

Here are the six steps to creating a writing portfolio that will help you get noticed by readers and potential clients:

1. Choose a Portfolio Host

In today's virtual world, having an online portfolio is a must for most creatives. You get to decide whether you want to host your portfolio on your website or prefer to have another company host it.

You can create your portfolio using a platform like Wix, Weebly, or WordPress. If you'd rather have your portfolio hosted by a site specializing in online portfolios, you can choose from sites such as Clippings, WriterFolio, or JournoPortfolio. You might be interested in these free platforms to showcase your freelance writing portfolio .

2. Determine Your Niche

If you're struggling with selecting the type of writing you want to focus on, it may be a good idea to review your previous work and see which ones had the most impact, response, and reach. If you want to focus on ghostwriting, you may want to clarify what type of content you can write. This can range from real estate to gardening, holistic medicine, or another industry in which you have writing experience.

As a copywriter, do you enjoy creating sales pages and other marketing copy, like landing pages, newsletters, and email sequences? What kind of literature do you write if you're a literary writer? You can focus on romance, fantasy, horror, or any other genre. What type of news do you write about if you're a journalist? Do you write about current events, celebrity gossip, or financial or political news? The possibilities are endless.

3. Create Your Author Bio

Your author bio aims to introduce yourself to potential clients who enjoy your work and want to learn more about you. The content you include in your bio should match the formatting and design of the website. The elements you should consider including are:

  • Where you're from originally.
  • Where you call home currently.
  • Your academic writing credentials, if applicable.
  • Your notable publications.
  • Any accolades and awards you've won.
  • The subjects or themes you cover.

You can include your social media links if you're comfortable, and they highlight more of your written work. If you're creating your site for the portfolio, you can choose to include the bio on an about page or have it as your homepage.

You may consider adding a photograph of you since it can increase the chances of people reaching out to you. You may be interested in learning tips on how to write an about me page in your online portfolio .

4. Select Your Best Work

Once you've decided on the niche you want to focus on, you can review your completed work and choose the best content that fits that specialization. You can include work past clients have succeeded with and their feedback.

Your potential clients want confirmation that you can produce well-written content about the content you're stating is your specialization. It may be helpful to verify the terms of the work you've written to determine whether you can post the entire content as a part of your portfolio or if you'll have to provide links.

If you provide links, specify the publication and when it was published. You might be interested in learning how Google Docs can help organize your writing portfolio for the next step.

5. Organize Your Work Into Segments

You can divide the work you want to include in your portfolio by niche, or the type of article, using clear descriptions. Categorizing your work makes it easier for potential clients to find samples of the work they're looking to hire you for when you separate them by niche or type. Examples of categories include landing page copy, white papers, and blog posts, to name a few.

Your descriptions for your categories should be brief. If the content you want to share was done as a ghostwriter and didn't include your byline, you should include the term ghostwriter in the work description to clarify it.

6. Ensure Your Contact Information Is Easy to Find

Your online portfolio must make it easy for potential customers to connect with you. Whether they want to express appreciation for an article you wrote or wish to discuss a business opportunity with you, finding your number or an email address shouldn't be challenging.

Engaging with as many people as possible is an excellent way to expand your online profile. You can use a contact form on your website, or you can provide your email address.

The key is to ensure that the information is visible and easy to access, whether they're using their phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. If you decide to share an email address, you may want to create a new account, since having an email published publicly can leave you vulnerable to excessive amounts of spam.

Writing Portfolio Examples

Before you begin creating your portfolio, reviewing what some writers have created for themselves may be helpful. You may also want to check out the blogs every freelance writer should read to get some inspiration, regardless of how long you've been writing. Here are some examples of writer portfolios with some commentary on their design:

1. Elna Cain

Elna's portfolio tells you that she's the writer you're looking for to meet your business needs. She lists publications where readers can find her work and shares testimonials from past clients.

She has numerous ways to connect with her, whether you want to discuss business opportunities or follow her online. She also has a link to her blog, so you can stay current on her work.

2. Tyler Koenig

Tyler uses his website to add value with an email list, courses, webinars, and tips on his blog. He has paid and free resources, highlighting his expertise to potential clients. The site is well-designed and easy to navigate.

3. Jennifer Fernandez

Jennifer uses a grid-based theme to display links to her writing samples, using a title and a thumbnail photo for each. She organized her writing samples in sections based on her lifestyle, design, and travel content niche. Jennifer showcases the type of writing she has experience in and makes browsing easy.

Get Started With Your Creative Writing Portfolio

Before you make your portfolio live, you may want to review it and have friends or colleagues look at it. Sometimes we can be so close to our project that we miss little things. The last thing you want is to publish a writer's portfolio with spelling or grammar mistakes.

If you're looking for work, you want to get as many eyes as possible on it to increase your chances of getting hired. You might be interested in learning how to source clients as a freelance writer now that you have a portfolio to share.

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How to create a writing portfolio: 7 fundamental steps

The point of a portfolio is to give viewers a sense of what you can do for them. And portfolios can look very different while still getting that job done. Some of our Blurb writers have gotten hired by emailing screenshots of Facebook posts—while others have opened up professionally bound layflat photo books during interviews. Keeping in mind your end goal (selling yourself) will help ground you in this process.

Here are seven steps to help you create the perfect writing portfolio:

1. Introduce yourself

If your portfolio is your full sales pitch, think of your introduction as your elevator pitch. This sets the tone and context for your work. State your name, the type of writing you do, and any relevant background information that describes who you are.

Remember, this is a writing sample, too.  Make it unique, valuable, and memorable—and from your natural voice. This is your chance to tell your story from your point of view. Make it count.

2. Organize your writing samples

Gather up all relevant writing samples you have. These can be everything from Super Bowl ads you’ve scripted to op-eds you’ve written for your high school newspaper. And if you don’t have enough, you can create hypothetical projects for brands that exist or that you make up to showcase your skills—just make it clear they’re examples and not paid work.

Once you have all your writing samples gathered, it’s time to organize them. Keep in mind who you’re showing your work to and include the type of samples they’re most interested in. If you’re angling to carve a niche, consider grouping your work into topic or format clusters. If you’re showing off versatility, group them by medium.

Here are the top ways to organize your writing portfolio:

  • Chronologically: If you have a wide range of writing samples or a linear progression in your career, consider arranging your work chronologically and share how your skills have evolved.
  • Topic: If you specialize in particular types of writing, you could group your samples by topic. For example, you could organize your work by industry for your technical writing or trade book writing—or by sections dedicated to industries, verticals, or genres.
  • Medium: If you write for various mediums and channels, be it journalism stories, ad creative, UX writing, storytelling, or blogging, organize your work by these key pillars to help readers understand your versatility as a writer.

No matter how you organize your work, start and end with your strongest samples. Recruiters spend less than three minutes per portfolio , whereas most hiring managers spend five to 10 minutes. Either way, that’s not a lot of time. Make sure your portfolio makes a splash to start and is easily scannable.

3. Cull your writing samples

Once you’ve compiled all relevant writing samples for your portfolio, now comes the difficult task of narrowing them down. If you’re in the early stages of your career, you may not have a lot of work to distill. But for experienced writers, it’s important to whittle down your samples to showcase only your best work. 

When making the final selection of samples to include in your writing portfolio, consider the following:

  • Diversity: Depending on the structure you envision for your portfolio, consider choosing samples that capture your range and versatility as a writer. For example, creative writers might want to include a mix of short stories , screenplays, essays, or novels .
  • Relevance: Your writing samples should reflect the type of writing you want to do in the future. If you’re interested in writing for a particular publication, highlight samples that overlap with that publication’s style and tone.
  • Quality: As a rule, only include your best work when creating a writing portfolio. It can be helpful to recruit a mentor, friend, or colleague to get different perspectives on what others view as your highest-quality samples.

4. Craft your navigation

As you organize and narrow down what work samples you’d like to include, you can start identifying patterns for structuring your writing portfolio. In doing so, think about how you’d like viewers to navigate your book.

A table of contents, menu, or sections can provide guideposts for viewers to better travel through your writing portfolio and understand what it includes. In addition to thematic structure and the general flow of your portfolio, consider design elements like thumbnail images for each piece or major section. This adds a visual appeal and a touch of creativity that goes a long way in grabbing your prospective readers. Other fundamentals include:

  • Sections: If you have ample writing samples to include, divide your portfolio into sections or chapters. This will make it easier for readers to find the pieces they’re most interested in.
  • Navigation: Make sure your table of contents or website menu is simple to understand. In a digital context, you can include links to each section or piece of writing for easy navigation.
  • Design: Your portfolio should be clean, clear, concise, and easy to read. Set the mood appropriately and use a consistent font, color scheme, and design elements for your sections, headlines, and menus to make them cohesive with the rest of the portfolio.

5. Design a layout

Once you have all of your writing samples selected and organized, you’ll need to think about how to best present your work in a way that’s visually appealing and on-brand with your particular style and tone. This is where the design of your portfolio comes in. When designing your portfolio, consider the following:

  • Choose a format that’s creative yet easy to navigate. Whether creating a hardcopy portfolio or a website portfolio, you want to choose a format that aligns with your writing style and the context of your samples but also one that’s easy to navigate. Be creative but don’t let the design distract readers from your portfolio’s content. 
  • Use a clear and readable font. Make sure that the font you choose is easy to read, both in print and digitally on the screen. It’s best to stick with very simple, legible fonts that won’t distract from your writing.
  • Incorporate images or graphics. Consider adding visuals to your writing portfolio that capture the context of your work. Whether they’re symbolic photos or images that truly correspond with your samples, consider imagery that relates to your writing and engages your readers. Just be sure that they don’t detract from your copy.
  • Keep it consistent. While you want your writing portfolio to be visually engaging, you also want to ensure that it’s professional and on point with your personal brand. Often, less is more. So, avoid using too many colors or fonts , and put together a design layout that’s consistent and aligned.

6. Summarize your work

Depending on the length of your writing portfolio, it can help to provide some context for your samples—especially if you can prove your worth with impressive stats. Similar to a novel’s blurb shown on the back cover of a book, these could be short summaries that introduce individual samples, case studies that outline your business results, or thematic sections of your portfolio that add color to your writer’s journey.

Writing short summaries or blurbs of your work gives readers a sense of what they can expect from each piece of writing. While not a requirement for writing portfolios, these blurbs can help guide the overarching story behind your experience. When writing these short summaries, consider the following elements:

  • Overviews that summarize your work. You can include the genre , topic, purpose, brand, or writing style.
  • Your intentions or goals. Break down the problem you solved with your writing pieces, like whether your objective was entertaining, educating, or persuading your readers, and who the project was for.
  • The scope of the project and your role as a writer. Make sure you highlight whether your work was part of a larger publication or your own personal blog. Talk about timelines, titles, and how you contributed to any large-scale projects or group work.
  • Any key performance indicators (KPIs). Hiring managers on marketing teams will be very interested in the results of your work, like how much traffic a piece earned, how much engagement it received, or how your work led to a particular business outcome.

7. Include your resume and contact info

When using your portfolio to land your dream job, including your resume (or a version of it) is a good supplement to showcase all your experience. You could include it at the beginning or end of your portfolio. In any case, it should be easy to find and relevant to your target audience.

You’ll also want to include a way for viewers to contact you, like your professional email address or social media account. Depending on the context of your portfolio, you may even consider adding a link to your LinkedIn or Instagram profile so employers can see more information about you and easily get in touch. If you print your portfolio, add links or QR codes to your professional website or digital portfolio, too.

Person writing in a blank journal.

Tips for creating a writing portfolio that wows

Now that you’re familiar with creating a writing portfolio, several additional points are worth calling out. These are general best practices and things to consider when bringing your portfolio to life.

Quality over quantity

Less is often more, as it’s generally better to showcase a small collection of high-quality writing samples rather than inundating your readers with numerous less-than-stellar pieces. Be selective with the work you choose, and aim for a diverse range that emphasizes your strengths and genres of focus.

Know your target audience

Identify your target audience for your writing portfolio, as this can help determine the specific writing samples you include and how you organize them. Keep in mind that you should tailor your portfolio to suit the needs of your potential clients or employers. Print on demand allows you to swap in and out samples that best align with each client or employer—or you can tailor your digital portfolio with specific landing pages for each application or industry.

Keep it clean, simple, and error-free

Your writing portfolio should be easy to navigate, visually appealing, and error-free. Use a simple design and make sure your writing samples are well-organized and clearly presented. Your portfolio’s overall design layout and format will help readers digest its contents. 

And since you’re a writer, typos are usually unforgivable. Get a friend or mentor (or both!) to proof your work before you send it out.

Printed portfolio open to a two page writing sample.

Create digital and print writing portfolios

There are many pros and cons for digital and hardcopy portfolio books . While having a digital writing portfolio might be needed for digital applications and remote positions, a print version will definitely have you standing out while attending in-person meetings and interviews. Ultimately, the decision should depend on your personal preference, the needs of your target audience, and your intended usage of the portfolio.

However, we’d suggest both. You’ll need digital samples to get through the initial stage of most applications, but few things are more impressive than a perfectly bound physical portfolio in face-to-face interactions.

Keep your writing portfolio up-to-date

Your writing should always be fresh and relevant, so don’t forget to regularly update the contents of your portfolio with new pieces or achievements. Also, it’s a great idea to tailor your portfolio for each interview. Doing this will help demonstrate your interest and commitment to the company or client.

What makes a strong writing portfolio?

Certain characteristics make for standout writing portfolios. Consider these five cornerstones of strong portfolios:

  • Showcase the depth and diversity of your writing ability, including various genres and styles, to help demonstrate your versatility and range as a writer.
  • Maintain consistency in your tone and presentation throughout your portfolio, even if you showcase work with different styles for different brands.
  • Feature work most relevant to your primary target audience and the type of writing jobs you want to land in the future.
  • Choose the most engaging writing samples that reflect your style and focus, highlighting your marketable attributes and unique skillset.
  • Assemble your portfolio in a clear, cohesive, and organized manner, making it easy for readers to navigate and absorb your content.

Above all, remember that your writing portfolio reflects you and your abilities as a writer. Take the time to create something unique and memorable. We believe in you!

If you’re interested in creating a print version of your writing portfolio, Blurb offers the tools to make a professional, bookstore-quality portfolio book that will impress. 

Get started using a beautifully designed portfolio template, or create your own custom layout. Not only can you print as many books as you need on demand, but you can choose from a variety of formats, from large layflat portfolio books to smaller and more affordable options that make great leave-behinds.

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17 mins read

The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Successful Writing Portfolio

Step-by-step guide to creating your writing portfolio. Tips, examples, and everything you need to make a writing portfolio clients will love!

Image of Protim Bhaumik

Protim Bhaumik

Director, Content Marketing

Written by Protim Bhaumik , edited by Shreya Bose , reviewed by Eric Hauch .

25. Aug 2022 , updated 20. Nov 2023

Preview image of The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Successful Writing Portfolio

This guide covers everything you need to know for building a professional writing portfolio, and will help you if you are:

  • in the freelance writing business
  • a staff writer working as a full-time writer
  • or working in content marketing or digital marketing

I'll first cover why you need a professional online portfolio , then dive into what makes for a great writer's portfolio and how to make the perfect portfolio , learn from a few examples of excellent portfolios , and finally round it off with a look at a portfolio page builder .

Why do you need an excellent freelance writing portfolio ?

Over the last decade, I've run an advertising agency and worked in content marketing for hundreds of clients and stakeholders. When I had to hire writers or present my own writing to potential clients, the writing portfolio was the first step in the process.

As a writer and creator , a writing portfolio allows you to do the following:

1. Present your writing

A writing portfolio allows you to present your writing skills and put your best foot forward, primarily when you've written for several different publications in numerous domains.

Your portfolio can and must coalesce all of that into a central hub where you can curate your content for the right audience.

2. Source clients and projects

It's essential to ensure that your work is showcased in the most aesthetically appealing way possible. Potential clients will likely want to look at your writing samples before hiring you.

3. Save your writing

You should be protecting your writing from disappearing forever.

I've had instances where sites have gone down, and the relevant Word doc from three computers ago was no longer accessible. On other occasions, I've found it quite inconvenient to showcase ghostwritten work to a prospect.

In both cases, an excellent online writing portfolio can back you up. (More on this later on.)

creative writing portfolio directions

What goes into an excellent online writing portfolio?

Let's break down what makes a great portfolio. There are dozens of website and portfolio builders out there , all vying for your attention, but what makes a portfolio really stand out?

1. Should be easy to set up and use

As writers (especially freelance writers), we have to be focused on writing and networking. We need a portfolio builder that's super easy to set up and maintain. Additionally, Authory’s actual setup process is exceptionally easy and low-effort. Once you enter your email, the system automatically extracts not just your name, but also the sites on which your bylined work is currently published .

creative writing portfolio directions

Let’s say that your pieces are published in the NY Times and The Washington Post. On feeding your email into Authory’s signup, it will automatically add “ ” and as “sources”. You don’t even have to manually have to enter your sources. Authory will even do that for you. You get an industry-best portfolio after putting in about 2 to 3 minutes of manual effort.

creative writing portfolio directions

If you’re curious, here’s how you import online content (created by you) for your Authory portfolio.

2. Should look good

A portfolio showcases your best work, and it needs to look amazing. It also needs to load quickly, be searchable, navigable, and look great on any device, desktop or mobile.

As an example, let's look at Alyssa Towns Swantkoski's (Denver-based freelance writer) online portfolio on the phone:

creative writing portfolio directions

And here's Alyssa's portfolio on the desktop:

creative writing portfolio directions

Note how good her portfolio site looks on both desktop and mobile devices. All the content rearranges itself to appear perfect while remaining accessible and easy to view.

3. Should allow categorization

Typically, writers work for various publications and clients. And, since a prospective client is unlikely to go through work unrelated to their industry, it makes sense to share only what's relevant.

For example, let's look at Marijana's freelance writing portfolio:

creative writing portfolio directions

Marijana is a content marketer who has written for different domains, all of which are on her portfolio. To organize her pieces into a topic-based structure, she showcases them in different Collections: e-commerce , creator economy , email marketing , content marketing , and video marketing . She can share each of these Collections (in isolation) so that the client only sees what she has accomplished in their chosen domain.

4. Should support different content types

Creators produce content in many formats, and a good portfolio builder should be able to accommodate them all. I know of writers who have solid social media game; they're hilarious with quips and observational humor.

Something like this could be super valuable to a particular client looking at copywriting skills as well as long-form writing.

Your portfolio should let you display content in text, audio, and video formats, as well as from different platforms like podcast sites, social media channels, and LinkedIn.

5. Should be up-to-date

Keeping your portfolio up-to-date is extremely important, as recent work is usually the most relevant to your audience. As a writer, more often than not, my portfolio site is a little dated because I am more focused on my day-to-day. But the lack of updating often negatively impacts my ability to get more work as potential clients miss out on my latest pieces.

And that's why a self-updating portfolio — a portfolio that automatically updates itself with your new work — is a game-changer.

Authory, by default, offers you a self-updating portfolio. Once you add your sources (URLs of sites where your work was published), Authory automatically updates your portfolio whenever you publish on those sites again.

6. Should back up your content

Sites go down, files go missing, and as writers, it's imperative that our writing doesn't disappear forever. I've faced this issue where work I've done for a client was taken down from their website. And I hadn't backed it up.

Authory backs up your content automatically. Just add your sources, and Authory will add everything from those sources written by you (or about you) to your Authory account.

Tips for creating the perfect writing portfolio

1. understand your audience.

You've likely catered to a wide variety of audiences as a writer. When building your portfolio, use the same processes you employ when writing — research.

But consider this: your past audience is not necessarily your portfolio's audience, which is the set of people you're showcasing your work to — potential clients, publications, editors, readers, and more. Each audience has a different profile, and hence your writing portfolio site should cater to them specifically.

If you're looking to write for the pet niche, your portfolio needs to show content for that audience — dog grooming, pet care, and why cats are so personable. If you want to write for developers, you'll be displaying content around databases, APIs, and another new JS framework this week.

Cater your portfolio to your prospective audience. Figure out what they're looking for and serve that up.

Bonus tip: A portfolio where you can show off the many different audiences you've written for is ideal. Then you can share just the relevant niche topic with prospective readers.

2. Show off quality and quantity

Conventional wisdom is to showcase just your best work. That's not the case anymore. It's far better to show the amount of work that you've done while also displaying your best.

In the past, on multiple occasions, I've selected a handful of writers from literally thousands of applications. And though I would look into a writer's best work, I would also study how much of that work they had done, in which niches they had done it, and for how long they had been doing it.

I was looking for flexibility, productivity, and staying power. A writer's job can be challenging — balancing the needs of different stakeholders while being creative — and I wanted someone who could navigate through that.

So, a balanced mix of great quality with serious quantity is essential for the perfect writing portfolio website.

3. Curate your content carefully

While building your portfolio, you must be brutal with yourself. There will be difficult choices when it comes to picking which pieces make it into your portfolio.

My advice is: pick the writing that suits your potential audience the most and leave the others under other tabs. Here's where Authory Collections become super handy. Users can leverage them to depict how much they write while flaunting only their best pieces.

I've written content for developers and marketers and ghostwritten content for agency projects. To successfully present all this in my portfolio, I'd have three separate collections and then share the specific collection with a client depending on their needs.

So, it's imperative to consider the collections you build for your portfolio — do you sort it by niche, content type, or both, or something else?

4. Make your portfolio easy to navigate

All creators should be open to receiving feedback, and as writers, I'm sure you've gotten a ton of it throughout your career. I advise asking a friend, colleague, mentor, parent, or sibling (or anyone you trust!) to review your portfolio.

If possible, observe how they navigate the site: don't prompt or help them through the process; watch if they're struggling. As with all feedback, implement what you think makes the most sense. Record your observations, go through your notes, and execute your changes.

Bonus tip: Portfolio builders with search and filter functions improve user experience because they give visitors an enhanced level of control — they can find exactly what they're looking for.

5. Ensure that your portfolio looks stunning

Since you're putting your best foot forward, your portfolio needs to be easy on the eye.

All the work that you're doing to curate and organize your portfolio is all for naught if the final product is hard to look at. Look for a solution that gives you a beautiful portfolio right off the bat.

7. Show just snippets/blurbs in your portfolio landing page

Though tempting, it isn't the best idea to parade entire articles on your portfolio's landing page. For the sake of navigation, write compelling copy in the form of blurbs or snippets to demonstrate the value of your article.

8.Use imagery to stand out

As writers, particular articles we've written may not have had any associated imagery. But if you're looking to add those pieces to your portfolio, it's highly advisable to find thumbnail pictures to go with the write-ups.

Pexels and Unsplash are free stock photo repositories where you can find copyright-free images that you can use on your portfolio. Since these are free to use, do give credit to the artist.

9. Confirm that all types of content are supported

We're often writing content for brochures, offline magazines, coffee table books, and more. Usually, these become PDFs when published, and your writing portfolio should be able to support PDFs .

Ideally, your portfolio builder should support all types of content. Some writers are particularly witty on their Twitter accounts, and others have participated in or been featured on podcasts and videos. All these formats need to be accommodated by your creative writing portfolio.

10. Be responsible for your portfolio being responsive

Your portfolio has to be responsive. In today's world, this is a no-brainer. Your client is much more likely to view your portfolio on mobile. Luckily, nearly all portfolio solutions are responsive.

Once you have chosen a responsive portfolio builder and built your portfolio, do a set of checks. Look at your portfolio on all the devices that you have lying around. See how it looks on a phone, on a tablet, on a desktop with a large screen, as well as a laptop. Check how it functions on different browsers like Chrome and Firefox.

11. Keep your portfolio up-to-date

It's vital to keep your portfolio updated as often as possible. Whenever you publish, you should update your portfolio.

That is because your most recent work will likely be the most relevant. And potential clients will want to look at your latest writing.

In all likelihood, you're also probably improving in your writing. I'd like to think that the more we work on our craft, the better we get at it. And, online writing portfolios must have your best writing.

But, keeping your portfolio updated is hard, especially with regular writing work keeping you busy. And some writers are particularly prolific, which would mean updating their portfolios weekly!

That's where a service like Authory -- that automatically updates your portfolio comes in.

I know a lot of journalists who say ‘I have to create my website’ or ‘I haven’t updated my website in years,’ and honestly, almost all of us put those things off, but Authory makes it super easy.

— Ali Latifi , Kabul-based freelance journalist whose work has appeared in Al Jazeera English, The LA Times, CNN, The New York Times, and more.

12. Place your contact button where everyone can see it

The whole point of the portfolio is for a target client to contact you. So, it's a good idea to have a "contact me" button that's front and center.

Most portfolio solutions allow you to build a button as a CTA (Call To Action). So it will be easy to set up, but it's something that you should not forget.

Writing samples & writing portfolio examples

Staring at an empty page when beginning the writing process is challenging. In this section, we point your attention to several writing portfolio samples of folks at the top of their fields.

They are excellent examples of what you can do with a portfolio and can work as a wonderful reference for building any writer website.

We encourage you to go through them and draw inspiration, borrowing ideas wherever possible and generally being a starting point on your journey to creating your writing portfolio.

Read More : Here's a collection of the top 12 writing portfolios

Colleen Fisher Tully

Colleen is a content writer and editor based out of Canada. She works in the health, food, cannabis, nutrition, finance, and family space. Colleen's writing portfolio:

As you can see, she has employed Authory's collection feature to great use by splitting her work samples into different sections. And there's also a section for older work. Authory's handy search functionality at the top of every collection makes for easy navigation.

creative writing portfolio directions

Nick Flaherty

Nick, based out of England, is the Editor-in-Chief at eeNews Europe and a freelance technology writer. Nick's writing portfolio:

Nick has opted for a more minimalist look in his portfolio, something you'll see more these days among writing portfolio sites. Earlier in the article, I spoke about adding images to spruce up the look and feel of your portfolio. Here we see a completely different approach that works due to the clean, elegant look that Authory provides.

Nick has eschewed using collections in favor of a more straightforward feel, and Authory's search functionality will serve for any navigation required. Notice that the top article has LinkedIn as a source and is an example of how a great portfolio should accommodate content from all different sources and in various formats.

creative writing portfolio directions

Nicole LaMarco

Nicole is a freelance health writer based in Florida, USA. Nicole's writing portfolio:

She has gone for a super minimalist look but, at the same time, has used thumbnail images to add that shine to her writer's portfolio.

creative writing portfolio directions

Julie Cunningham

Based out of North Carolina, Julie is a freelance writer, registered dietician, diabetes educator, lactation consultant, and business coach for registered dieticians. Julie's professional online portfolio:

For Julie's portfolio, let's highlight her "about me" section . As you can see below, she has written a comprehensive story on her career and what she can bring to the table. There's also content from different sources on her writer's website. Finally, it also has her social media links.

creative writing portfolio directions

On the main portfolio landing page, Julie has opted for a beautiful header image that encapsulates what her writing is all about. She has also used thumbnail images to enhance the experience further and used Collections to section out her various writing pieces.

creative writing portfolio directions

Pamela Rosen

Pamela is a freelance copywriter and editor based out of California, USA, specializing in both short and long-form content. Apart from the excellent blog post samples she displays, her portfolio has a few features to take note of:

Pamela's writing portfolio:

creative writing portfolio directions

  • She has a "ghostwriting" tab, which is helpful for many writers.
  • Under the "ebooks" tab, we can see this article: which is an uploaded PDF and is now viewable on Authory's website forever.

creative writing portfolio directions

Crystal Chatham Housman

Based out of California, USA, Crystal is a boots-on-the-ground visual journalist specializing in military affairs, aerospace, public safety, and volunteering. Crystal's outstanding journalism portfolio is here, among the best writer portfolio examples:

She has chosen to divide her work into various niches, but she also has a tab for "other" and a tab for "portfolio." That means when she wants to share just her portfolio, she shares the link to just the "portfolio" collection. It's an interesting take on using a portfolio builder like Authory — have different tabs for particular niches and then have a separate tab for the portfolio alone.

creative writing portfolio directions

Rhiannon Giles

Rhiannon is a freelance writer from North Carolina, USA, writing on topics ranging from prematurity to parenting and mental health. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Insider, and HuffPost. Rhiannon's writing portfolio:

Rhiannon has gone for a simple look but has shown her prolificity and personal brand through the use of Collections where she's marked out favorites in every writing niche.

creative writing portfolio directions

Chris Pike is a sports writer based out of Perth, Australia. Chris writes on basketball, baseball, water polo, Aussie rules football, rugby, cricket, and netball! Chris' writing portfolio is here:

Chris has added over 3,200 articles from 42 sources to his Authory account:

creative writing portfolio directions

Again, Chris can easily manage a truckload of content by organizing his own portfolio into Collections (divided by sport or league). With the help of Authory's search functionality, it's effortless for a reader to find what they need.

Jennifer Pattison Tuohy

Jennifer is a writer and journalist based in South Carolina, USA. She works as a Smart Home reviewer for The Verge and the Home Editor at Charleston Magazine. Her writing has appeared in Wirecutter, The New York Times, Wired (UK), and more. You can find Jennifer's writing portfolio at:

As seen below, Jennifer has gone in for a colorful yet minimalist look for her portfolio design.

creative writing portfolio directions

Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz

Sangeeta, based out of New York, USA, is a senior writer at The Cut and New York Magazine. In the past, she has worked for Quartz, A24, Architectural Digest, and more. Sangeeta's writing portfolio is at:

Sangeeta has employed a super-minimalist look in her professional portfolio . And that's because she mainly uses Authory as a repository for all her articles, safely backed up and automatically updated .

creative writing portfolio directions

Read More : How to Create a PDF Portfolio & 5 Excellent PDF Portfolio Examples

Authory's Auto-Updating Portfolio — All that you've ever made kept safe and beautifully displayed

I’ve touched upon how Authory can help with creating and maintaining a portfolio earlier. Here is a more in-depth look at Authory.

What is Authory?

Authory is a self-updating online portfolio and backup service for content creators of all shapes and sizes.

With Authory, any writer can quickly create an online writing portfolio — there's no need to build your portfolio because Authory does that for you. Your portfolio looks terrific out of the box, and it takes just three minutes to set up.

Add your sources, and Authory will import all your content. The tool will scour the interwebs to find everything you've ever published — even stuff you've long forgotten! Once set up, your Authory portfolio is self-updating — there's no need for you to add more articles manually. Authory does that for you every time you publish something on one of your "source" sites..

Authory also ensures that you'll never lose a piece again, even if the original website dies.

Authory's Primary Features

Besides the automatic content importing and backup features, Authory gives you:

  • Collections to organize your content into sections for easy perusal and sharing
  • Social media analytics that shows you the true reach of your content (get readership/engagement numbers every 30 days)
  • Search and filter functionality that lets your audience find relevant content with a keyword
  • Tracking features that notify when an article of yours has been published anywhere on the internet. You can utilize Authory's Zapier integration (provided with the Professional Plan) to receive publication notifications on Slack.
  • Newsletter and RSS capabilities to build your audience

Reviews of Authory

Authory has thousands of happy customers, and besides Jennifer's and Sangeeta's kind words, you can read more about what other folks had to say about Authory .

Customer Testimonial for Authory

I started using @Authory a couple of years ago after losing a bunch of samples when an old client took them down (whomp whomp). They automate the process for samples that have your byline, and I have a note on the calendar to go manually add new ghostwritten pieces once a month — Kristen Hicks (@atxcopywriter) February 24, 2023
I don’t know if it works for sites that are truly forever gone, but I’ve had such luck with Authory recovering really old pieces I wasn’t able to find via my own online searches. — Lindsay L Miller (@lindsaylmiller) February 21, 2023

To round out your research, here are a few independent reviews of Authory:

  • Keep Tabs On Your Published Works: A Review Of Authory on
  • Review: Authory – The perfect way to move your articles with you on
  • Sync All Your Freelance Articles to Authory — Your New Online Writing Portfolio! on
  • Journalists

Protim is a startup founder & marketer with over a decade of experience in content marketing, content writing, SEO, and more. He loves dogs, D&D, and music!

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The Ultimate Guide to Academic & Professional Creative Writing Portfolios

  • Portfolio Tips
  • November 11, 2020

Building a creative writing portfolio that gets you accepted into your dream writing program is a challenge in itself. But did you know that when you graduate, you’ll have to throw everything you know about portfolios out the window and start the process all over again?

Whether you want to get into a great school to work on your craft, or you’re freshly out of school trying to land your first job, this guide has all you need to know.

We’ll review how to build a creative writing portfolio for a course or degree program and what career paths you can choose from once you graduate from it. Then we’ll show you how to create a professional creative writing portfolio and show you a tool that makes it super quick and easy.

copywriting case study and portfolio building tips

Creative writing portfolio for college and university

Creative writing portfolio requirement examples, what can you do with a creative writing degree, how to make a professional creative writing portfolio, 9 creative writing portfolio examples.

Let’s go in chronological order. Before you go after a full-time writing job or try to land some freelance clients, you’ll probably want to study writing. It would be a little harder to become a writer without mastering the craft of writing, after all.

And when it comes to writing programs, whether it’s a creative writing course or a full-on degree program, most schools expect you to hand in a creative writing portfolio alongside your application.

Always check the guidelines

The very first thing you’ll have to do is checking the creative writing portfolio requirements that your desired program has. They tend to be very specific about the format, length, and contents of the material, so make sure you get it right. Let’s check some examples to see what you can expect when looking at these guidelines.

creative writing portfolio requirements for an academic writing course

Example for creative writing portfolio requirements

University of the Arts

When you apply to the Creative Writing program at the University of the Arts, you’ll have to submit a portfolio of your original writing and an essay that answers a creative writing prompt. They give the following requirements for these two:

  • Portfolio : 10-15 pages in length, including at least two different pieces. It could be short stories, creative nonfiction, poetry, or excerpts from novels.
  • Essay : 150-200 words in length with the topic of describing an important window.

University of Portsmouth - MA in Creative Writing

“We don’t prescribe an ideal portfolio,” they write at the requirements for this program. There are still some requirements that applicants have to follow though:

  • Maximum 4,000 words in length
  • No more than 3 pieces of writing
  • Except for poetry-only submissions, there they recommend about 5 poems
  • You have to write a short description of each piece

Apart from the portfolio, you’ll also need to submit a personal statement, talking about your ambitions and your writer’s journey so far.

Belhaven University - Creative Writing BFA Program

For applying to the Creative Writing program at Belhaven, you have to send your application via email with the following:

  • Portfolio: Minimum 12-15 pages of creative writing (fiction, poetry, scripts, or creative nonfiction)
  • Essay: 3-4 pages, discussing your history as a writer or reader OR explaining why you want to study creative writing
  • A cover letter

Tips for your academic creative writing portfolio

Once you have the guidelines for your portfolio, it’s time to actually sit down and put it together.

Pick your writing pieces carefully

It goes without saying, but your choice of writing pieces will make or break your creative writing portfolio. Don’t be afraid to spend a longer time rereading your work and evaluating if the pieces hit the standard you want your portfolio to have.

It’s also a good idea to choose the ones you’d like to add, then put them aside, wait a few days, and assess them again. When you’ve been focusing on something for hours on end, it gets harder to see them clearly, so a little break can help a lot.

Once you’re done selecting them, double-check it with the requirements again and read through them one more time.

Get someone to review your portfolio

Another tip to make sure your portfolio is as good as it can get is to get someone to review it. It can be another writer or an avid reader who can evaluate your pieces from a literary point of view, or even just a friend or family member to check it for typos and other grammatical mistakes.

Similar to picking your pieces, when you wrote something and have read it a hundred times already, your mind will slip over typos naturally, knowing what you intended to write there. So giving yourself a break and getting someone to help can make sure there are no mistakes left in it when you hand it in.

Because as an applicant to a writing program, you really can’t afford to have typos and grammar mistakes in your creative writing portfolio.

When you’ve been obsessed with writing all your life, deciding to go for a creative writing program is a no-brainer. You’ll probably have the time of your life getting your degree too. But what happens when you graduate and actually have to figure out what you want to do for a living?

It might take a little more thinking than choosing your education, as you have many more options for a writing career , so it’s not as straightforward. We’ll quickly review the different career paths that are all open for you, once you graduate with a creative writing degree.

Publish books and become an author

Becoming a published author or poet is probably what most students with a creative writing portfolio dream of. It’s definitely a logical and super suitable direction, but unfortunately, it’s not as easy as one might expect. You’ll have to do a lot of pitches to get signed with a publishing house. Alternatively, you can set up a site using an author website template and publish books on your own.

Choose marketing or advertising, become a copywriter

A field that’s easier to get into for writers is marketing and advertising. More specifically, copywriting. Creative directors often emphasize how important it is for copywriters to master the craft of writing. So much so, that they would rather recommend taking a creative writing course than going to a portfolio school.

Copywriters can work freelance, in-house, or at agencies and they write advertising and/or marketing materials. It can be anything from slogans for advertising campaigns, TV and radio spots, copy for Facebook and Google ads, or even complete email marketing campaigns.

The career path in this profession is usually the following: junior copywriter, copywriter, senior copywriter, associate creative director, creative director, global creative director

Write long-form pieces as a journalist or magazine columnist

If selling products and services is not your thing, writing for newspapers or magazines could be another option for you. It probably won’t pay as much as a job in advertising, but you get to write longer pieces about topics you’re (ideally) interested in. And after all, no matter what happens, we’ll always need and want to read about what’s going on in the world.

Interested in this field? Read our tips for creating a journalism portfolio !

Get into content marketing and SEO

If you don’t mind that you won’t be exclusively writing all day every day, content marketing and SEO (a.k.a. search engine optimization) would be a great option for you. You’d still be writing, namely long-form articles and blog posts that are preceded by thorough keyword research.

With SEO comes a more technical side of the job, but that only balances out the work and makes your daily routine more versatile. Not to mention that you’ll always have data of how well your content does, so you can measure your performance effectively.

Make writing impeccable as an editor or proofreader

If you’re the kind of writer that loves reading and is bit of a perfectionist, you’d make an amazing editor or proofreader. Although these professions don’t need you to actually sit and write a ton, the job couldn’t be done if you didn’t know all the ins and outs of writing.

Once you graduate and decide which way to go, you’ll need a portfolio to get started. Not the kind of standard “15-page-document” they asked you to write for school. Oh no, nobody wants to read through that now. Instead, you’ll need something that stands out, something that’s easy to browse through while showcasing your excellent writing skills.

The best format for your creative writing portfolio

The best format for your real-life, professional creative writing portfolio is actually a website. Realistically, whether you’re applying for a job or looking to land freelance clients, you’ll get in touch with them online.

So handing over your good old “book” won’t be an option. Just like presenting them with a lengthy document won’t be either. Why? Because it’s essentially a big wall of text that would be way too overwhelming to read through.

A website on the other hand is easy on the eyes, has lots of visuals, and organizes all the materials you want to present nicely.

The three main essentials you need to have on your website are an eye-catching home page, a well-written about page and separate pages for each of your writing projects, whether it is advertising copy, poetry, or a published book.

The heart of it all: the home page

Your home page will be the most important page of your website. This is where everybody lands at first and thus where they get their first impressions from. To have a great first impression, turn it into genuine interest, and make your visitors convert, your home page will have to check some boxes.

  • What website are they looking at? Looking at the home page, visitors have to be clear about what website they landed on. They should know at least your name and what you do by just looking at the very first page.
  • How do they find out more? You should have a navigation bar that makes it easy for people to find what they are looking for: your work, your about page, your contact information.
  • Who are you actually? Although you have your about page to elaborate on that, it's best if they can find out a little bit about you right on your homepage. Adding a photo of yourself and a short bio will immediately help them make a more personal connection with you.
  • Why should they keep on reading? Now they know who you are and what you do, but they still need a reason to spend their precious time on your site and keep on reading. Feature your most impressive projects on your homepage to prove the quality of your work right away.

Crafting the perfect about page

The about page is your place to shine: it gives you a perfect opportunity to introduce yourself more in detail and get creative with your writing. What would be a better way to flaunt your storytelling skills than telling your own, after all?

But if possible, make sure it’s still not just a big wall of text: try to break it up with images to make it easier to read and to illustrate what you’re writing about.

The about page is also a great place to feature your writer resume . Some writers like to link to it as a PDF, some embed it as a picture, while others simply have theirs typed there as part of the page.

Project pages for books, poetry, and beyond

The way your project page should be structured depends a lot on the type of project you’d like to add to your creative writing portfolio. But there’s still a general formula you can follow to introduce the “behind-the-scenes” of your writing:

  • What was the task you had or the reason why you decided to write this piece?
  • What was your creative process of writing the piece? Did you face any challenges while writing? And if so, how did you overcome them?
  • What was the impact your piece had once published?

These are pretty general questions, but it’s exactly because of that that they can be applied to many different forms of creative writing.

It’s also expected to feature the finished result so that people can actually read your writing and evaluate your skills. When it comes to shorter pieces like poetry, feel free to publish the whole thing.

But for longer writing like novels, nobody expects you to publish it from start to finish in your portfolio. You can add an excerpt - or if it’s been published and has received positive feedback, you can feature some quotes on what people said about it.

Build your creative writing portfolio with Copyfolio

If you want to create a beautiful website that has everything we outlined above… and you don’t want to spend hours upon hours figuring out the technical side of it… Your best bet is using a website builder or portfolio builder tool that was designed specifically for writers.

Don’t worry about coding or design

The good thing about using a tool like Copyfolio is that you won’t have to worry about the technical side of things. Or whether you can design it to look good or not.

Having the templates, palettes and presets makes sure you can build the foundations of your site in just a few clicks. And it will look good, no matter what you add to it.

Create professional images in the editor, with a few clicks

You don't need to have Photoshop or any other design program to have images that'll wow your site's viewers. Place your image into a magazine, laptop, or TV with a single click and have a portfolio that looks like it was professionally designed.

Get help with writing about your projects

Apart from the daily portfolio tips that you’re going to get in email after signing up, you’ll also find tips and prompts in the website builder itself.

Built with insights from successful freelance writers, hiring managers, and creative directors, we’re guiding you through the process to help you create a portfolio that has exactly what people are looking for.

Sign up today and create a stunning creative writing portfolio for free, in a matter of minutes!

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Joanna Zhang

Screenshot of the creative writing portfolio website of Joanna Zhang

Joanna created her portfolio using Copyfolio

Eve L. Ewing

Screenshot of Eve L. Ewing's creative writing portfolio

Safia Elhillo

Creative writing portfolio examples: Safia Elhillo

Tomi Adeymi

Screenshot of the creative portfolio website of bestselling author Tomi Adeymi

Ocean Vuong

screenshot of ocean vuong's creative writing portfolio website

Bethan Woollvin

Creative writing portfolio examples: Bethan Woollvin

Morgan Parker

screenshot of Morgan Parker's creative writing portfolio

Isaac Garza

Screenshot of the portfolio of Isaac Garza, creative and filmmaker

Isaac created his portfolio with Copyfolio, using the "Billboard" template

Want to see more? Check out our article all about creative writing portfolio examples !

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Dorka Kardos-Latif

Digital marketer & portfolio expert, the face behind all content on Copyfolio 👋

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  1. 13 Creative Writing Portfolio Examples & How to Create Yours

    3. Julia Tula Julia created her portfolio with Copyfolio's "Artboard" template This portfolio is great because... It has an aesthetic and consistent design. Using simple squares for thumbnails, in colors matching the color palette pulls the whole site's design together.

  2. 12 best writing portfolio examples and how to create your own

    To get the creative juices flowing, here are 12 writing portfolio examples from Wix users. Later on, we’ll provide a more straightforward step-by-step guide to building your own. Start building your online portfolio with Wix today. 12 writing portfolio examples Jed Donahue Sam Carlson Creative

  3. How to Create a Writing Portfolio (With Examples) - MUO

    1. Choose a Portfolio Host In today's virtual world, having an online portfolio is a must for most creatives. You get to decide whether you want to host your portfolio on your website or prefer to have another company host it. You can create your portfolio using a platform like Wix, Weebly, or WordPress.

  4. How to create a writing portfolio - Blurb

    Design: Your portfolio should be clean, clear, concise, and easy to read. Set the mood appropriately and use a consistent font, color scheme, and design elements for your sections, headlines, and menus to make them cohesive with the rest of the portfolio. 5. Design a layout.

  5. 6 Steps for Building Your Writing Portfolio | Upwork

    1. Decide on a domain name and where you want to host your portfolio. The first step you should take in building your online writing portfolio is to decide on and purchase a domain name. A good rule of thumb is to use your name and add “.com.”.

  6. The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Successful Writing Portfolio

    Step-by-step guide to creating your writing portfolio. Tips, examples, and everything you need to make a writing portfolio clients will love!

  7. How to Create a Strong Writing Portfolio | Grammarly

    Updated on June 2, 2022 Professionals “Show, don’t tell,” the writerly dictum goes. Don’t just tell readers your main character was intrigued—use your words to show me the look on her face. Don’t just say the island was beautiful—paint a word picture of turquoise waves and gently swaying palms. Similar advice holds when you say you’re a writer.

  8. The Ultimate Guide to Academic & Professional Creative ...

    Portfolio: 10-15 pages in length, including at least two different pieces. It could be short stories, creative nonfiction, poetry, or excerpts from novels. Essay: 150-200 words in length with the topic of describing an important window. University of Portsmouth - MA in Creative Writing