How To Put Together A Photography Portfolio While Making Money

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Past Katie Gatens and Nicholas Holmes

After viii years in the portfolio business organisation, we’ve noticed something:

Well-nigh writers Hate shouting near their piece of work and their achievements online.

Simply they shouldn’t.

A writing portfolio is the best way to professionally prove off your skills and achievements, without sounding braggy or arrogant.

And with a fiddling scrap of planning, creating 1 needn’t be a time-consuming nightmare.

In this guide, nosotros’ll take you through the six steps required to build a killer profile online, so you lot tin easily accept ane completed for yourself in an hour or ii.

This is the procedure nosotros’ll follow to create your perfect online writing portfolio:

  • Objectives: Be clear about them from the start.
    The work you cull to get a job is going to be very different from the piece of work you choose to country a travel writing gig.
  • Hosting: Go along it memorable and professional person.
    If y’all need to create your portfolio quickly, choose a hosted service such every bit
  • Portfolio Design: Go on it simple and clean.
    Avoid distractions but brand sure it works on mobile.
  • Samples: Add betwixt x and 20 pieces of work.
    Apply links or PDF uploads for maximum viewability and to give a snapshot of what you can do, but organize things logically and don’t make the user scroll.
  • Biography: Showcase your achievements.
    Brand it as long or as short as yous desire and add a resume if you’re job hunting, but brand sure you’re clear on what you can offering a potential employer/commissioner.

Ready to read more? Curl on!

Pace one

Writing portfolio objectives

You want to brand sure your writing portfolio achieves its objectives – if you’re an author, that may be to become y’all a book deal. If you’re a student, it’s likely academic consideration and if y’all’re a freelance journalist, it could exist to get yous an article commission.

And then retrieve hard and be specific about what your portfolio should tell the people that come across it. Doing so volition make drafting your re-create and planning out the dissimilar sections MUCH easier.

Mutual Objectives

  • To get a task – you’ll be sending your portfolio to prospective employers or clients, so your main aim is to impress in the field you work in.

  • To sell – you’ve written some great stuff, and at present you want to sell it to an agent, publisher or commissioner.

  • To be more than visible – you lot desire a place where people tin can discover you online and acquire more about what you practice.

Once you know what the aim is, write that downwardly somewhere. Equally yous build your portfolio, every time you write a judgement or add a piece of work, ask yourself “does this addition help my objective?”

If the reply if no, don’t add information technology.

Step 2

freelance portfolio writing hosting

The days of the hard portfolio are DEFINITELY over.

For 99% of portfolio users, digital is the right way to go, every bit the late Steve Buttry explained in this excellent web log. Steve passed away in February 2022, simply his superb blog remains online as a resource for journalism students and professionals and is well worth a read.

We’re manner past the days of deciding which one-half-dozen hard-copy clips to stuff into an envelope with your résumé. Unless an employer specifically asks for a hard-re-create awarding, you lot should apply by email with a hyperlinked résumé. Even if the employer asks for hard-copy (and if you want to work for someone who needs hard copy), you need a URL (or a few) at the top, guiding your future boss to a place to study your work at length.

There are tons of options for creating portfolios out there – is one of them, but you lot can as well create your own using a tool like WordPress, Wix or Weebly.

In this piece, Poynter’s Kristen Hare and Ren Laforme round upwardly the all-time portfolio tools for journalists in 2022:

It seems to me that the big ones for journalists are Muck Rack,, Contently, Pressfolios and Journo Portfolio. They all allow you to set a little landing page where you can drop your clips. Some sites limit your clips if you’re on a free business relationship, and they all adjust them in various aesthetic ways.

Another roundup by’s Sarah Marshall, took a look at various portfolio tools bachelor including, Contently, Journalisted, MuckRack and

Sarah also pointed out that it’due south critical to pay attention to your social media channels also:

Whether applying for a job, pitching equally a freelancer or showcasing your work, an online portfolio with a biography and links to your work can be hugely valuable. Of course, LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook and other platforms provide journalists with an online presence, and it is always worth paying attention to your bio data available on social networks as other people will search for you.

However, your choice of tool volition probable be determined by the formats that you lot chose to include in your portfolio. So spend some time because your pieces of piece of work and the formats that y’all use the most often.

What content formats might you need?

  • Writing: Plain text, links, PDF files, Slideshare presentations, Scribd documents
  • Images: All common paradigm format files, plus ‘rich’ media files similar Flash and Shockwave. Also, material you’ve posted on photo upload sites such as Flickr.
  • Social media: Storify curated stories, Twitter feeds, Facebook Post
  • Videos: YouTube videos, Vimeo videos, Wistia videos, embedded newsreels
  • Audio: Podcasts (mp3, AAC or other), AudioBoom files, SoundCloud files

Back when was founded, it only allowed for the addition of links and PDF files – but now you can embed all of the above, and most journalists have advantage of that functionality. You’ll want to consider this earlier moving onto the next stride.

Finally, ensure whichever tool you use can make use of a custom domain. This volition allow you to use a link such as world wide, rather than a branded link similar world wide This is strongly brash when hunting for a task, as putting your personalized URL on a concern card or CV looks far more than professional and makes it easier to remember!

Annotation that you’ll probably have to pay for that custom domain – domains commonly run from about $12 per year for a standard .com, although other domains might be more expensive.

Top Writing Portfolio Tools To Consider

writing portfolio website is the world’s largest writing portfolio website and allows the cosmos of writing-specific portfolios with custom URLs. Information technology’s free for up to a certain number of clippings just users tin upgrade for an unlimited account with several other professional features such equally Google Analytics integration and portfolio privacy.
Contently Contently is more than content writers’ network than portfolio tool, but nosotros’ve seen plenty of journalists create skillful-looking portfolios with this costless software. Getting started is a doddle and at that place’south a neat feature to notice clippings that you may take missed. It lacks some customization features of dedicated portfolio providers.
Muckrack MuckRack’s strong integration with Twitter make it an bonny portfolio choice for those with a potent Twitter following. Blueprint features are lite, but you’ll end upward with a solid page you tin can send out with pride.
WriterFolio Sadly, WriterFolio has no free option (pricing is from $4/m), but setting up this option is easy and the wide choice of themes go far a popular option for writers.
JournoPortfolio A newcomer in the space, JournoPortfolio may not be equally feature-rich every bit some of the other providers out in that location, but it’s a solid selection.

Other Professional Writing Portfolio Software

Want something more advanced? If you’re handy with HTML and don’t mind a bit of messing around to go the expect but right, you could too create using one of these other options:


Wix offers gratis websites that are easy to customize and need no coding.


WordPress is the world’s most popular blogging platform. It’s more technically challenging but about infinitely customizeable.

If you need some more assistance choosing, googling ‘journalism portfolio tools’ is a good place to first.

Step 3

writing portfolio design

Overwhelmingly, journalists creating their page using tend to opt for a simple layout which draws attention to work with little in the way of fancy distractions on the site.

Our STRONG way advice would be to keep things as simple as possible and endeavor to let your writing speak for itself.

Employ a crisp, clear font which is professional person and legible – no MS Comic Sans if you lot want to be taken seriously. Besides, try to go on the font size to a higher place 14pt, ideally edging towards 16pt, to maximize the readability of what you lot’ve got. Another neat play tricks hither is to increase the line spacing, which will give your writing more room to breathe.

Go along colors professional – shocking pink and lime green are rarely seen in portfolios, and at that place’southward probably a reason for that. If you choose to take a background color, make sure information technology’s sufficiently contrasting with the text for things to exist easy on the eye – using two different shades of blueish for background and text, for instance, is usually a bad idea.

Be mindful of users on tablet and mobile (as you lot can see above, increasing amount are); some portfolio sites include a mobile pick, simply not all of them. People WILL exist checking out your portfolio on a mobile or a tablet, and then you’ll want to make sure information technology scales correctly on different screen sizes.

For this reason, we strongly advise against having a flash-based portfolio, which generally won’t piece of work as designed on mobile devices.

As well many images may end up distracting from your writing, but images tin can liven upwardly a portfolio.

Endeavor to make certain the images that you apply are compelling and colorful, chronicle well to the words next to them and don’t take also long to load.

You may wish to cheque out our listing of writing portfolio examples, merely here are another designs to bank check out for inspiration:

Lauren Razavi's writing portfolio
Robin Catalano's writing portfolio
Nicholas Holmes' writing portfolio
Melissa Hung's writing portfolio

Catherine Bouris’ mobile-start portfolio is also worth looking at:

Looking for more great examples of writing portfolios? Bank check out some of the following pages:

  • Writing Portfolio Examples from (portfolios we love made using this site)
  • Writing portfolio roundup from

Stride four

writing portfolio samples

Now the fun bit begins!

Nosotros generally recommend adding between ten-20 pieces of work to an online portfolio – the overall aim here is to give a snapshot of what you lot tin can do in an overview that the other person volition be able to finish. Don’t feel that you have to include everything that you’ve ever written.

Choose a option of writing samples that best serves the purpose you identified in department 1. Generally, it’s good to use work that shows the versatility of your skills, but this may not be the case for your specific needs.

As Susanna Speier identified in a great Poynter slice on journalism portfolios:

Recruiters and HR departments simply “don’t e’er have the bandwidth” to enquiry a candidate on the Internet, said Lars Schmidt, NPR’southward senior director for talent acquisition. Schmidt said he prefers journalist portfolios that are categorized. He too advises journalists to organize their portfolios according to the job they’re seeking.

Most portfolios nosotros see are a mix of links and PDF uploads, although there’south certainly no damage in using more of one than the other. Do retrieve, if using links, that they take a nasty habit of moving or changing over time, so information technology’s sometimes best to host the files yourself or set a schedule to come back and check that everything’s still where information technology should exist. Case writing portfolio sites that can support PDF include and JournoPortfolio.

Based on the formats you lot identified earlier, you lot’ll want to brand certain yous’ve got enough examples to show the versatility of what you exercise.

Multimedia portfolios can be trickier to brand just offer a better overview in the long term – equally The Washington Mail’s Graphics Managing director Kat Downs Mulder explains in this ItsAllJournalism podcast

You’ll want to pay more attention to the club of your written work, though – make sure it’s logical. Some people display their clippings past date, some prefer to do information technology by section type, and either is fine every bit long as you’re consequent.

Emily Ingram had some superb advice on her site (sadly now deleted) on how to build your ain WordPress portfolio (it applies to any portfolio, really):

I think a good rule of pollex is to keep things unproblematic and attempt to eliminate whatever extra clicks for users. In other words: If you can put a good corporeality of your clips all on one page and nevertheless brand it expect uncomplicated, do it. Know how annoying it is to go to a newspaper’s Web site and have to load an entirely new folio for each photograph in a 50-photograph slideshow? It’s the same concept.

If possible, try to include subheadings equally well as the article title with each writing sample that yous add – but as with a real article, they dramatically increase the chances of someone reading on. And, equally already mentioned, if yous’re able to utilize pictures, it tin make a real difference:

In the case of an author portfolio rather than a journalist one, consider using shorter excerpts rather than full chapters. Information technology tin can be overwhelming for readers to be faced with dumbo capacity to navigate and so offering the option of something shorter is normally appreciated.

If you’re building an bookish portfolio, make sure that you’re coming together the requirements of whichever institution you’re applying to. Critically, make sure that you’ve chosen a sufficient multifariousness of papers – don’t submit one with iii or four with a very similar structure. There may too be restrictions on how many papers you can submit from whatsoever one course.

Step v

freelance writer portfolio biography

Most writers include a personal overview in their portfolio to provide context. It’south up to you to brand this as long or as short as you want – I’ve seen people including a total CV or merely a few lines of text to explain who they are.

What to include in your bio? Well, your job title and company are a practiced identify to offset. And then, many writers use the bio as a space to do what they practise best – tell a story. If you lot can get some attention by weaving together some bullet points that fulfill your portfolio’due south objectives (see pace one), that’s bully. Can you lot explicate some of your best creations or achievements?

For students and graduates, this is a place to mention your college, your major and yr, your roles on campus and any other information that will give people a flavour of who you are. But consider – always – that this is a public piece of piece of work and if you’re asked about it later, you don’t want to squirm.

Before attempting this section, it’s worth firing up a give-and-take processor so yous’ve got an idea of word count. Realistically, 200 words are probably the limit of what you lot should go for – readers want to get an overview of you in 10 seconds or less, so make every word in those starting time sentences count. No fluff, no buzzwords – just plain-spoken facts about you.

Resume or no resume?

Back again to NPR’s Lars Schmidt in the Poynter piece:

He urges journalists to “include a resume and have it up on your portfolio.” Yes, a resume. An easy-to-find resume, Schmidt said, is nevertheless the best manner to say, “here’s what I can bring to your organization.”

So adding a CV is considered a good idea, but if yous cull to do and so, make sure it’due south formatted correctly – often yous’ll observe it looks more professional to embed it within your clips than to paste it in evidently text somewhere. If you have a portfolio service where yous tin can include it every bit a split up document, all the better.

Finally, brand sure you’ve got your contact details. In many bully portfolios, this is in the form of a call to action – e.thousand. “contact me via email at [email protected]”, leaving the reader in no doubt as to what to do next.

You’ll also want to include social media links so that people tin find you on Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr and anywhere else you maintain a professional presence. If your Facebook page contains embarrassing pictures, don’t link to that – obviously.

What NOT to add

It’s all-time not to include any of the following things in a contour:

  1. Your historic period – nobody wants to see this, especially if information technology translates to ‘young and inexperienced’. If you must put a number, make information technology about your experience – “I’ve been a reporter for ten years.”

  2. Lack of confidence – in general, information technology rankles when writers write nearly what they one day “hope” to become. If you lot haven’t got at that place yet, it’due south fine, but there’s no need to draw attention to that fact. It amercement a reader’southward belief that y’all’ll deliver quality.

  3. Grammatical mistakes – obviously. Take a free trial of a tool such as Grammarly to ensure your portfolio is complimentary of errors.

  4. Condescension – information technology’southward OK if you’re great, simply if you’re that good a wordsmith, you lot’ll be able to tell me that without making me feel like the little guy. The trick is to make your audience feel good about themselves at the same time as showcasing your skill. So no spammy header lines, no passive-aggressive copy and no cockiness. But be honest, open up and proud.

Step 6

Make sure your friends and family unit know all about your portfolio. Share information technology on Facebook first to ask for feedback (y’all’ll be amazed at what you missed), and then cast the internet a niggling wider on Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn and your other social networks.

You need to bulldoze traffic to your portfolio for it to be shared, so it’s a skilful thought to starting time dropping the link around the place. Put information technology in your email signature and in the profile pages of your social networks, peculiarly Twitter (if yous’ve got an account!). You may also want to make sure that it’s included on your blog and your LinkedIn page ( users can embed their clips right into their LinkedIn pages).

There’s zilch worse than an out-of-appointment writing portfolio. We recommend returning to your profile a couple of times a month to cheque that the links are all working and to add together new pieces of work. This is a good thing to do considering it allows you lot to build up a following around your portfolio, and information technology also shows the evolution of what you practice, proving that you’re active in the field and a skilful bet for your target audience!

What are your tips? Permit us know past tweeting them @clippingsme and nosotros’ll RT the best. Thanks to all the people we’ve quoted in this piece.


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