Create an Online Writing Portfolio in Five Steps

Written by Monica Shaw

I created my first online writing portfolio over 15 years ago using Wordpress, a great tool if you’re a techie but let’s face it, most writers would rather be writing than messing around with a website. I created Writer’s Residence for all the writers out there who need a portfolio to market their work but don’t necessarily have the skills or patience to build a website.  

The format follows a simple five step framework that any writer can use to create a website, whether you’re using Writer’s Residence or some other tool. Follow these steps to organize your thoughts and structure your portfolio without getting overwhelmed in the technical minutia. 

A couple tips before you get started. 

  1. Gather a few of your best writing samples so that they’re ready to go live - these could be links, scanned articles, PDF documents, or anything else. 

  2. Think about your bio. How would you introduce yourself to editors and clients? What’s your unique selling point (USP)? 

My writing portfolio has evolved over the years, but it’s always been built on this simple five step framework.  

1. Essential Details

This is probably the easiest part. Your portfolio should include: 

  • Your name - Obviously! 

  • Your contact details - people need to know how to reach you and commission your work.

  • A profile picture - as much as I cringe at sharing my picture with the world, it’s a powerful way to add personality to your portfolio and connect with people in this increasingly virtual world. 

At Writer’s Residence this is covered in the Profile section of your settings page. 

2. Your Home Page

This is the first page people see when they visit your portfolio so make sure it shines. 

This is a great place to introduce yourself to your readers who will want to know: 

  • What type of writer are you? (Journalist, copywriter, author, blogger, ghostwriter, etc)

  • What's your background? 

  • Do you specialize in any particular topics? 

  • What makes you special? What's your unique selling point (USP)? 

  • Show off a few writing samples that you’re particularly proud of. 

There’s no hard and fast rules here. Showcase your uniqueness. You can see how I’ve done this in my portfolio

At Writer’s Residence we provide writers with some placeholder text to get them started, and have a feature that allows writers to showcase their chosen writing samples on their website. 

3. Your Writing Samples 

This is pretty obvious! Your writing samples will depend on the type of writer you are, but can include:

  • Links to work that have been published online

  • Scanned work or clippings in PDF, PNG, or JPG format

  • Video or sound recordings of work that you’ve written

  • Business documents

  • Press releases

  • Research papers 

  • White papers

  • Flyers 

  • Poetry 

  • Novels

  • Plain text  

Upload your best work to include in your writing portfolio. If you’re new to the business and struggling to gather writing samples, read our blog post on how to create a writing portfolio if you’ve never been published. 

At Writer’s Residence we support writing samples in any format and allow hosting for an unlimited number of writing samples. In this way your writing portfolio can also serve as an archive of your work. 

4. Your Resume 

This isn’t absolutely necessary but it always helps to showcase your work history, experience, and any special awards or affiliations.  

At Writer’s Residence we have a simple resume builder that makes it easy to build out your resume in a format that’s suitable for the industry.  

5. Your Portfolio’s Design  

Most writing portfolio services offer design options, from basic themes to fully customizable templates. Now I know this is all about freeing up your time to write rather than fiddling with a website, but a few simple tricks can help you personalize the design of your portfolio website and cultivate a unique brand.  

  • Use a header image that reflects the type of work you do (much of my work is in the great outdoors so I’ve made this a feature of my portfolio’s header image) 

  • Use colors to set the mood - most services offer a range of color palettes that you can choose from 

  • Use a website theme that favors functionality over design - 

At Writer’s Residence, we let our users choose from three totally customizable themes. To make it easy, we have a set of headers, color palettes, and fonts that you can choose from, or go totally custom with your own header and color selection.

With these five fundamental pieces of an online writing portfolio, you can be online with a sharable portfolio with minimal effort. I’m of course biased and think that Writer’s Residence is the most straightforward option out there. Feel free to try it yourself!


Monica Shaw

I founded Writer's Residence alongside my own journey as a professional writer in 2008. Today, I continue to work as a writer among other side hustles that contribute towards my freelance lifestyle. I write for other businesses - white papers, research reports, web content, and other forms of copywriting - as well as for pleasure on my own personal websites, and