- Christine Bernard
How to Create a Freelance Writer Portfolio with No Experience
It can be done!
This is a dilemma all new writers face. You need a writing portfolio in order to get a job, but in order to create one, you need a job.
But we all have to start somewhere, and there is a way to have a portfolio without any experience.
Do you really need a portfolio?
You do. Very few are going to hire you without seeing something that you’ve written. And do you blame them? If they’re going to pay you, they at least need proof that you can write well. At the end of the day, it’s all about showing your potential clients that not only do you know how to write, but that you’re also willing to put in the effort.
How do I prove I can write without any experience?
1. Create some dummy articles. Create a fictitious company and then write some articles for them. Do a few blog posts, perhaps some web copy, and maybe even some great social media content for them. While this is not a ‘real’ job, at least it proves that you know what you’re doing.
2. Do some free work. Now, I’m not a believer in working for free, but when you’re starting out in the business it can definitely help. And if you can stomach it, do the work and ask for feedback. Nobody likes a critic, but being honest with yourself about where you can improve will always help in the long run. Once you’ve got a few successful freebies done, keep the links to share with potential clients.
3. Become your own client. Don’t have anyone to write for? Write for yourself. Create your own blog, in the niche you want, and write articles to share with others. This is a great way to show people what you enjoy writing about, and what style you write in.
4. Keep it real. Be honest with people. Tell them the journey you’re on. Let them know your story. In an online world, it will help if you show a sense of who you are and not just what you like to write about. Someone might just hire you based purely on a shared love of pizza and dogs.
5. Get testimonials. When you do ANY writing work, make sure you ask the person to send you some feedback to use as a testimonial. You want to show that you’re out there trying.
Remember, we all had to start somewhere, and if you really want to do this for a living, then nothing should stop you.
Your portfolio will grow with every experience, and you’ll figure out your style as you go. In the meantime, never stop writing, never stop pitching, and never stop reaching. Write mock pieces, write for friends, pitch to other blogs, write for magazines, write in your own blog.
Write until you get it right.