11 Steps to Building an Irresistible Copywriting Portfolio Biddrup

11 Steps to Building an Irresistible Copywriting Portfolio

The challenge of building a copywriting portfolio is that it can be difficult to know what to include. There are many different types of copywriting, so how do you decide which pieces to showcase? It’s important for your portfolio to show off the best work you have done. If there are any holes in your portfolio, potential employers may not want to hire you because they think you don’t have enough experience.

We’ve created this step-by-step guide on how to build an irresistible copywriting portfolio from scratch!

1. Choose Your Specialty Area

Copywriting is generally divided into three main areas of expertise: B2B, B2C & Digital. Which one do you work in?

If you’re just starting out in your career, choose an industry you are interested in and where there is potential for growth. For each of the areas of expertise, think about the following questions:

  • Who is your target audience? What are their pain points? How can you help them?
  • If you were to craft a compelling headline for this kind of writing, what would it be?
  • Can you come up with an idea for a blog or newsletter that will be compelling and unique?

As you work on your portfolio, write down answers to these questions for each of the three areas. It will help you to have a stronger sense of what this kind of copy is actually about and give you more ideas as you write samples.

2. Start with Your Best Work

Who makes the best first impression? A friend who is a bad dresser or a fashionista who always appears perfectly put-together? A job candidate with great work experience but horrible attitude, or someone with limited relevant experience but an amazing personality and work ethic?

The same goes for your copywriting portfolio. Your best work should be front and center as soon as someone enters your website. Get rid of the sample that’s still rough around the edges and hasn’t quite reached its full potential. If you’re not happy with it, neither will your future employers or clients!

3. Make Your Work Look Amazing

I don’t care how amazing your writing is; if it looks like crap on a page (or screen) no one’s going to bother reading it.

I can’t stress this enough: your portfolio must look professional and polished. Make sure the images you use are large, clear, and easily visible. Think about how many people will see your samples – do they tend to be more of a desktop audience or mobile? Adjust accordingly. 

There is no need to go out and buy a professional copywriting portfolio template if you don’t want to, however there are some great ways to make your website look much better. If you have a website now, consider making a new one from scratch so it’s easier for potential employers to find and navigate your samples.

4. Create Unique Sample Pieces

Having the best work in your portfolio is one thing – having the most relevant work in your industry sector is another. 

Your samples should be for writing that you have done recently and not copied from someone else’s blog or website. This can become very apparent if you aren’t careful when it comes to formatting, sentence construction and so on. Not only will this make your portfolio less impressive, but it’s also unethical and against the Content Rules that we talk about in our workshops.

5. Write a Strong Bio (and get a friend to proofread!)

Yes, you need a bio for your portfolio website. Your potential future employers won’t be able to access your LinkedIn profile so they will rely on this copy to get a sense of who you are, your writing style and work ethic.

As with your samples, make sure that the copy you use is up-to-date and relevant to the industry in which you’re applying for a job or pitching a project. If you can’t update it yourself, ask a friend or colleague to proofread it for you. Typos and grammatical errors will only make you look bad.

6. Make It Easy to Read

The way in which content is presented has a huge impact on the reader. If it’s not clearly laid out, people won’t bother looking at your samples. If they don’t understand what your writing is about, they won’t want to look at it.

Your samples should be easy to read on both desktop and mobile devices. If you use WordPress, this is easily done by creating different versions of each page using the “responsive” feature in your theme settings (if you don’t know how to do this, there are tons of tutorials online). This will ensure that your samples look good no matter what device a potential employer or client is using to access them.

7 . Relevance, Relevance, Relevance

The more relevant your samples are to the job for which you’re applying, the better. If you wrote a post on your blog about how animals have held a special place in your heart since you were a kid, but your prospective employer is looking for someone to write about the sugar industry, they’re not going to hire you – even if your work is incredible.

8 . Have a Portfolio That Speaks Directly to the Person Looking at It

In order for people to be interested in what you have to offer as a professional copywriter, they need to be able to connect with you. Imagine if you were applying for a job in writing and the only thing your potential future employer could see was an online portfolio filled with samples of formal press releases?

Your portfolio must show off your personality so that both current and potential employers/clients can get a sense of who you are and what you have to offer.

9 . Utilise a Strong, Catchy Call-to-Action

The best way for your portfolio to grab the attention of the people visiting it is by including a strong call-to-action somewhere on each page. This could be in the form of “Hire Me,” “Contact Me” or “Find Out More” depending on what’s appropriate for the type of work you do.

10 . Utilise Social Media

Make sure that your potential employers/clients know how to connect with you by including links to your professional social media profiles on all of your website pages. Yes, even LinkedIn! This will ensure that people interested in finding out more about you can access all of your social profiles with ease.

11 . Ask for Feedback!

Don’t just leave it up to others to evaluate your work – ask them what they thought of it. Whether this is done through a blog post, letter or email, getting feedback from current and potential employers/clients is a great way to improve your portfolio and hone your skills as a copywriter.

What should I include in my bio?

Make your bio relevant to the type of copywriting you want to do. If it’s for a blog, include things about your personal experiences and interests. If it’s for a professional business website, focus on your skills and work experience.

How often should I update my online portfolio?

Give yourself a schedule and stick to it! Once every two weeks is a good place to start. Remember, employers/clients want someone who’s reliable and can be trusted to get the job done by a certain date – constantly updating your portfolio tells them that you’re committed and passionate about what you do.

How do I choose the right samples for my online portfolio?

Choose samples that best demonstrate your skill and the type of work you want to do. If it’s for a blog post, choose an article that represents your writing style and interests. For more formalised business writing, make sure your samples are relevant and up-to-date.

What if I have no portfolio samples?

If you don’t have anything to put in your portfolio as of yet, create some samples now. There’s nothing stopping you from writing about current events or issues that interest you so long as it’s relevant and up-to-date.

In A Nutshell

Remember, you don’t need to have every single one of these elements in order for someone to hire you. Your potential employer might not be interested in what you’re all about as a person and just want to see samples of good writing that they can afford – so make sure you cater your samples to their needs!

With time and plenty of practice, building an incredible portfolio will be easy. Good luck!

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