How to Create an Online Writing Portfolio with Contently

One of the best ways to make a good first impression for a freelance writing or guest blogging opportunity is to present someone with your writing portfolio. A portfolio that showcases your best work can go a long way at turning a maybe into a yes!

While I typically suggest that freelance writers have a portfolio set up on their own domain like I have done with my own freelance writing portfolio using the My Resume design from Elegant Themes, there are other great networks that allow you to create an online portfolio. The best part is that most of them are free for writers.

Introducing Contently

Contently for Writers and Publishers

Contently is the newest site to allow writers to create a free online writing portfolio. Their tagline is “Empowering And Connecting Quality Writers And Brands.” Their goal is to help writers and journalists manage their freelance careers while helping publishers connect experienced journalists and writers.

The Contently service is currently in beta. As a writer, you can sign up for a beta invite.

Contently Beta Invite Signup

Setting Up Your Writing Portfolio with Contently

When I received my invite this morning, I thought I would see just how easy it was to create my online portfolio. They say it only takes seconds, and that might be a bit of an exaggeration. The process did take about 10 minutes, but that is only because I was finicky about editing each of my clips.

Basic Information

The first thing you will do is enter your name, email address, and password. You will also choose your username, which will be a part of your portfolio’s URL. I always go with my first and last name, kristihines, making my URL This is always a good option for strong personal branding.

Adding a Clip

Next, you will start adding clips which are simply URLs to your writing. You can enter the URL of each piece of writing directly, or you can enter the full URL of a website for which you are a contributor.

Contently - Finding Clips from a Full URL

You can edit each clip discovered by clicking on the Edit link, or you can remove clips that you do not want on your portfolio by clicking on the red X.

Contently - Editing a Clip

Be sure to use the Load More button at the bottom of the list to get more selections from that publication, or click the Save button once you have found and edited all of your clips from that publication.

Contently - Load More Clips or Save

You can add more publications, or edit clips under your publications by going under your Portfolio menu and selecting Manage Portfolio.

Contently - Manage Portfolio

Featuring Clips

If you want to highlight particular pieces of writing on your portfolio, you can use the Star icon next to clips under each publication to mark them as Featured Clips under the Manage Portfolio section.

Contently - Select Featured Clips

Once you have selected a few pieces of writing, you can change their order using the drag and drop in the right sidebar.

Contently - Featured Clips Order

These clips will now be shown first when someone visits your portfolio.

Contently - Featured Clips on Portfolio

Update Your Bio

To update your bio information, you will go to the Update Bio option under the Your Portfolio menu. Here, you will add your photo, a 140 character bio, your location, and topics you write about.

Contently - Update Your Bio

Next, you can add your education, awards, and recognition. I chose to highlight some of my blog’s awards and recognition as they correlate to my writing and areas of expertise.

Contently - Awards & Recognition

Beneath that, you will add your website and blog URL, plus extended bio information.

Contently - Website and Extended Bio

Finally, if you’re a freelance writer, be sure to tick the Available for Freelance checkbox before saving your bio.

Contently - Available for Freelance

Connecting Your Social Accounts

Last but not least, go to your portfolio. At the top next to your name, you will see your social icons.

Contently - Connect Social Accounts

When you click on each, you will be asked to connect your social account to your profile. I connected all of mine and did not have any issues with any unwanted status updates.

The Completed Online Writing Portfolio

Once you are done setting up your profile, it should look a little something like this. You can click on the image to make it larger or just go check out my writing portfolio on Contently.

Contently - Completed Online Writing Portfolio

Need a Contently Invite

If you’re ready to put up your online writing portfolio on Contently today, I currently have three invites. They will go to the first three people who tweet this post and leave a comment!

UPDATE: Thanks to Contently, I now have 25 beta invites – please let me know if you would like one in the comments!

Share Your Online Writing Portfolio

Do you have an online writing portfolio on Contently, your own website, or on another free network? Please share yours in the comments!

Hat tip to Karl Staib of Party Biz Connect and Work Happy Now for letting me know about this site!

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  1. says

    This seems like a great idea. Writers need to cover all bases to get their work noticed while offering a different way of displaying written content.

    From the step you show, it seems like a simple process to get started with Contently also. Any freelance writer or website owner who produces fresh content constantly needs as many outlets as possible. Putting all your written eggs in one file cabinet will not spread the words you have worked so hard on.

    Thanks for the info Kristi, I will check it out.
    Steve just posted New Rules by the FTC for Work at Home Scam

  2. says

    Hi Kristi – Joe from Contently here. Great guide! Thanks for putting it together. Feel free to shoot us a note if there are other features you’d like to see.

  3. says

    You told us about Elegant Themes and I really wanted to have their themes. The price isn’t very high (40$ / year), so I paid and now I am very satisfied, because they have a lot of interesting themes. Now I don’t have to search for new themes or try another service, because Elegant Themes have everything I need πŸ˜€

  4. says

    Guess I missed it Kristi!

    I just got your post in my RSS and rushed to see it, but may be it came in a little late and being a freelance writer this surely something great :)

    I loved the way you did up your portfolio that would surely impress anyone! And of course the wonderful way you explain everything so well- making it easy for us to understand.

    Thanks for sharing :)
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  5. says

    I’d love a beta invite! :) awesome post – lots of great info and even some ideas I can use on my self-hosted portfolio (adding beats, featured posts, etc.)

  6. says

    Looks awesome! I’d love an invite if you still have one Kristi. :) Great post, you always do such a thorough job of breaking a new tool down into easy steps!

  7. Heather Georgoudiou says

    How exciting! I just started freelancing a few months ago and have not jumped into my own website, so this is perfect in the interim. I’d love an invite if you still have them available.

  8. says

    MANY THANKS!!! I was looking for such a site or application that will help me to create my own serious and right portfolio. Exactly what I was looking for! You offered your readers a very detailed tutorial to use this site, and that’s really amazing
    Amanda just posted WordPress Themes

  9. says

    Hey, Kristi!
    I’m a brazilian writer and I think Contently is a very interesting site! I’d like to write about it. Could you give me an invitation?
    Thanks for your post! =)

  10. says

    WOW Kristi, I am EXTREMELY Impress with the way you have shown me that how i can make my protfolio too on Contently! that is the most koolest thing i have ever seen i am surely going to sign up here =)

  11. says

    I’m not sure if this is the right solution for me. I have yet to find a theme or service that presents my writing portfolio the way I would like it. I think a large part of that is because writing isn’t as visual as an art portfolio would be. Less sticks out about it. I think I will have to come up with a design that suits me.
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