More than just a writing portfolio
Most of us started our writing portfolios because we wanted to use them as a tool for finding writing gigs. After all, you need a platform for sharing your work if you want to show editors and clients what you can do. But a writing portfolio isn't just something you throw away once you get the job.
1. Writing portfolio = Website
We talk all the time about "writing portfolios" but what we really mean is "websites for writers". The word portfolio is defined as a "set of pieces of creative works." But professional writers should go for something more comprehensive: alongside your "creative works" is your biography, resume, blog, home page, testimonials, contact information... the list goes on. Your writing portfolio website is a comprehensive view of who you are and what you do. This in turn helps you...
2. Define yourself as a professional, not a wannabe
We were recently featured on journalism.co.uk in an article about making the most of portfolio platforms. I'll tell you what I told them:
"For writers, especially new ones, you're trying as hard as you can to portray yourself as a professional and one of those things is having a website that is tailored for you and doesn't look like everybody else's."
Professionals in any industry, be it a writer, graphic designer or plumber, have a proper website with their own domain name. That website should encompass your portfolio, plus deliver those little extras that tell the world that you're a pro who takes their job seriously.
2. An ongoing catalogue of your clips and writing samples
One of the things I've appreciated most about my own portfolio is that it's helped me keep a record of my best writing and published works over the years. It's an archive of my publications and also a pretty solid motivational tool - I love looking back at what I've done and seeing how far I've come. It's a little extra push to keep me going for the next gig, and the next writing sample to add to my portfolio.