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.
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.
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.
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 http://kristihines.contently.com/. 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.
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.
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.
You can add more publications, or edit clips under your publications by going under your Portfolio menu and selecting Manage Portfolio.
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.
Once you have selected a few pieces of writing, you can change their order using the drag and drop in the right sidebar.
These clips will now be shown first when someone visits your 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.
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.
Beneath that, you will add your website and blog URL, plus extended bio information.
Finally, if you’re a freelance writer, be sure to tick the Available for Freelance checkbox before saving your bio.
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.
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.
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!