When you are trying to enter a career that is saturated with many players, the task can be daunting.
A writing dossier can alleviate the problem. It is a writer’s personal reference book for showing their expertise to their audience.
In the field of writing, we have various categories of writers vying for premium writing opportunities.
Writers are content creators. They write scripts for actors; including YouTube videos. Writers create copy for advertisements, invent characters and plots for fictional books and novels, and conduct research and writing on non-fictional material that could be educational or life-changing. In any one of these fields, the content creator is a writer.
Regardless of how many career-writers exist, there are two main types of creators of the written word:
(1) The writers who work for themselves by producing novels, books and other written material that they made; and
(2) creators who work for others, by seeking out freelancing jobs, gigs, or employment opportunities with other companies.
It is important for all writers to have a portfolio or dossier: A book of work that shows their journey and experience through the creator landscape. This book of work is a reference point for anyone that wants to patronize the work of a self-employed writer; it is increasingly more useful if one wants to get hired for freelance jobs and gigs, or for regular opportunities with employers.
How do you build your writing portfolio so that you may stand out amidst the competition? You want to start gaining a reputation for your work by first working for yourself. This means that you are going to spend some time, anywhere from one month to six months, generating written content that will sell you as a writer who can get paid eventually.
Here are some of the ways to build your writing portfolio:
1. Give Value
It is not adequate to have a degree in, as an example, Literature or the Creative Arts; or perhaps simply a zeal for writing, without formal education, as these are not sufficient to give a person an edge in the writers’ marketplace.
Writers need to create the edge that will differentiate their individuality in their written works. The best way to accomplish this is by giving value for free. If a friend needs to make a production and is seeking a scriptwriter, offer a reasonable amount of your time to get the script written for them. If an advertisement is posted for volunteer positions for blogging, sign up for such offers.
Of course, working for free does not mean you will not have some stipulations in place about the expectations of the parties using your free services. You need to specify, for instance, how many writing revisions you will allow under such services; you need to express the period of time that the contract will end. You and the other party need to have an understanding of the quality of the work to be produced – That you will give it your best effort within your expertise level.
The key point in volunteering your services is to give value – Excellent value. It will represent your resume and you want the product to shine.
Volunteer jobs like this, once completed, will inform future employers that you have more than experience – You also possess the initiative and character to build yourself and to go to extra mile for expertise that will benefit their projects.
2. Create a Portfolio Website
As your volunteer or gig opportunities start to increase, it is a good idea to create a website that showcases the work you have been doing.
You may create a website blog, describing your experiences.
The website may be a collage of works, demonstrating the various companies or projects you have worked upon (after obtaining written permission from the project owners, of course).
You can post testimonials on your site from satisfied customers that have benefited from your work.
The website is an announcement that you are ready to take your career to the next level.
3. Seek Out Guest Blog Opportunities
When a website has external links connected to it, this is a reputation builder. You can gain quality external website links to your own site by guest blogging for other sites.
External links tie your website to another website. For instance, if you have a site, you should seek out opportunities from other websites to write for them as a guest blogger. With their permission, you can link their website to yours to reference a point or other that you want to make to visitors coming to your own site. The content from the external website is relevant for some information that you are displaying on yours.
For example, if you want visitors to your website to know that you have business blogging expertise, and you have created blogs for business sites, mention your expertise on your web page; and link your page to the external business website where you were a guest blogger.
I am a guest blogger for a business magazine: Grey Magazine. To showcase my experience of writing on business practices, I will link a blog on my own website to the page where I had written for Grey Magazine.
As an example, I wrote an article about 6 Essential Contracts That You Need Before Launching Your Start-Up. The article can be found here on the Grey Magazine website. I can reference this article on my website if I want website visitors to find a source where they can look up contracts they need for their business start-ups. It will also act as a reference point for my blogging activities on other sites, and a quality external link that builds a writing portfolio.
You may want to ensure that your external links are connected to reputable websites. This helps the Google search engine to rank your web page in categories of authority that may help your page to get found in organic searches, more often than not.
Most essentially, guest blogging is part of the strategy of building your writing portfolio.
4. Get Reviewed
This is one of the best ways of gaining an audience for your writing portfolio. An author who publishes a book on Amazon with 4,000 reviews will be considered as a better or more reputable author than the one who has only 40 reviews.
Though you may not have 4,000 reviews or a single review for any work you have created, a good way to start is to get reviewed by authority or peer websites and businesses. It will be an indicator that your book of business is gaining reputable recognition.
For more on how to earn reviews for your work, visit my blog about 3 Ways To Earn A Good Review For Your Writing Content.
Do you have any pointers on how you have built your portfolio of writing? Share it in the comments below!