“If you are interested in this writing opportunity, please send your resume and portfolio to…” Does the word ‘portfolio’ deflate you when you see it in a job posting? It shouldn’t. If you are blogging and want to get more gigs, showing a potential employer what you can and have done is crucial.
What is a blogging portfolio?
Basically, it’s an online record of your work. Anyone who does creative work should have one, be they a writer, designer, artist, musician, dancer…you get the point.
Why should all bloggers have one?
Simply put, if you want to get work, you need to professionally present yourself online. To get a job, you need to impress the potential client. Showing them a supply of professional content you’ve done in the past is an excellent start.
It also allows you to curate your best work. Many bloggers write on different topics in the beginning, just to get exposure. But if you are trying to position yourself in a certain niche, you can use your portfolio to highlight the work you have done in that area. Be sure to choose your best, most relevant and recent work to showcase.
A portfolio can also help you develop your reputation in a field or industry. If you want to take the marketing, digital or DIY world by storm, you need to promote your expertise. A work portfolio quickly communicates the message.
Let’s face it, no one who is considering you for a blog writing position cares about your GPA or ‘Most Improved Server’ award. They want to see what you can write for them. A portfolio is the quickest, most professional way to publicize your work.
What should my blogging portfolio include?
If you are just starting out as a blogger, you may not have as many niche clips as you’d like. It’s okay to have different pages in your portfolio. Arrange it so your best work is presented first, with other examples elsewhere on the site.
Beware of only using your personal blog as your portfolio. The writing may be great and you may have tons of followers, but a hiring manager wants to know you can work with editors and meet deadlines. Showing you’ve had blogs published on other websites will help your application.
If you’ve been blogging for a while and have long term or good working relationships with some editors, ask them for a reference. Having a testimonial section in your portfolio will demonstrate your experience and work ethic to potential clients.
Make sure you have an about me/biography page. This is where you will sell yourself. It should include your name, the type of work you are looking for, a short description about your work and experience and any social media links. Be creative yet professional here – this acts as a writing sample for prospective employers.
Create your portfolio like it’s an advertisement and realize you probably have less than 10 seconds to wow a potential client with your work. Make them stay on your site at least another 10 seconds!
It’s not as hard as it sounds
You can create an online portfolio for free using WordPress. The site even has a number of themes that would work well for a blogging portfolio. If you already have a WordPress site setup, there’s a Portfolio plugin you can add.
Seriously think about buying your own domain. Having www.yourname.com is much more professional than www.websitehostingcompany.yourname.com.
Consider adding photos, videos, infographics (that you have created) to give people a more holistic view of your skills. Make sure you use web page and keyword tags – how great if your portfolio shows up when someone is searching for a blogger with your experience?
Now the next time you apply for a blogging job, you can invite the hiring manager to check out your online work and simply send them your portfolio’s URL.
Key tips to remember
- Make sure your portfolio is clear and easy to navigate.
- A bad portfolio design can hurt you – Hiring managers aren’t going to spend a lot of time and effort trying to find your work.
- Avoid pop-ups, distracting visuals, hard to read colors or other website annoyances that might make a viewer click away.
- Be sure to have your contact details prominently displayed.
- Target your portfolio to your blogging goals. Think about where you want your blogging career to go, and make the people who can help you get there your target audience.
- Keep it updated! When you have new worked published, add it to your portfolio as soon as possible.
Other blogging tips: This is How I Write Blog Posts (And Why You Should Too!)