How long has it been since you have taken a close look at your online portfolio? If it has been longer than a couple of months, you should set aside some time to go through it carefully and make some changes as necessary. Since this is the way you share what you can do to potential clients, it makes sense to update your online portfolio regularly.
What is an Online Portfolio?
Your online portfolio is where you can display samples of your work. Rather than having to go through your records to choose something to show to potential clients, your portfolio is available online on a 24/7 basis.
A note about what to include in your portfolio: While you can certainly link to work that has been published under your own name, if you have been doing ghostwriting work for a client ask for permission before you post it. If you are given the go-ahead, link to a .PDF version of your work and include a link to the online version if you know where it has been posted.
Reasons to Update your Online Portfolio Regularly
1. Your portfolio is a living document, just like your resume.
In order to show potential clients what you can do for them, you’ll want to keep your portfolio updated with fresh samples. The more you write, the more skilled you will become at your craft. The last thing you will want is to have clients making decisions about whether they want to hire you based on work you completed a few years ago.
Have you ever gone back to look at work that you completed at the beginning of your career compared to what you are producing now? I suspect that you will see a difference in your style over time. Show your clients what you can do for them right now by giving them up to date samples to see in your portfolio.
2. You may have added new writing specialties that you would like to promote.
Have you added something new to the types of writing you can offer to clients? If you have added SEO writing, copywriting, blogging, newsletter writing, article writing, e-books, editing, ghostwriting, press releases, etc., to your list of services and have samples to share, then you should update your portfolio to reflect this fact.
3. It gives you the opportunity to weed out samples in areas you no longer wish to pursue.
Over time, you will find there are some types of writing you either don’t like or simply are not your particular strength. As you build your freelance writing business, you will likely be able to focus on areas of writing that are a better fit for your skills and abilities. Your portfolio should be used to not only showcase your best work to show to prospective clients, but also indicate the type of work that you want to do.
4. You can tailor your samples to the types of clients you want to attract.
If you have decided that there is a particular niche market where you want to concentrate your efforts, you can start to collect samples that fit in with that market. Be sure to feature them in your portfolio so that your potential clients will get to know you as a writer who specializes in either certain topics or specific types of writing.
5. Prospective clients can make a hiring decision more quickly.
Rather than waiting to receive samples of your work, a prospective client can see them online right away. Having an online portfolio can make the hiring process shorter and more convenient for both of you.
6. It makes sense to update your online portfolio for SEO purposes.
Give Google and other search engines fresh content to for their crawlers to index regularly. Taking this step can help you improve your search engine ranking. You may end up finding new clients from organic searches. Updating your portfolio to reflect the type of freelance writing services you are currently offering is another tool you can use to promote yourself and your freelance writing services, both to your current clients and potential ones.
Not all freelance writers post their resume online, and the decision about whether to do so is a personal one. (You may choose to post a downloadable .PDF to your resume rather than posting the information on a public webpage.) Your online portfolio should be updated regularly so that clients can see the type of work you are currently doing and the quality you can offer.
Here are some other online articles about online portfolios: