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How to Get a Copywriting Portfolio That Will Get You Work

The freelance industry is growing, and with it, the opportunities for copywriters. But, if you’re looking to break into the field, where do you start?

Often, those interested in a career in copywriting will look for a stepping stone. After all, the perfect copywriting portfolio can open many doors—but it can also make or break your career. So, if you’re looking to get started or are already working and want to improve your game, this article is for you.

Create a Game Plan

To prepare for a copywriting career, it’s essential to look at where you’re going and plan out a strategy to get there. While a copywriting portfolio isn’t something that will get you hired solely by a publisher or advertising agency, it can certainly help get your foot in the door. To get started, you’ll need to determine what kind of copy you’ll be producing and for what kinds of clients. Once you have these factors, you can begin to build your portfolio.

Decide Which Type Of Copy To Develop

There are several different types of copy you might want to develop for different clients. For example, if you’re pitching a marketing plan to a corporate client, you might want to develop some marketing material—such as a sales letter, pitch, or ad—to communicate the plan. Alternatively, you could create a guide for employees on how to behave during a sales call. Creating copy for different clients allows you to demonstrate versatility, and it also gives you the opportunity to learn how to write each type of content. So, when you’re putting together your portfolio, make sure you develop content for different types of clients. This will make you look like a well-rounded and adaptable writer.

Build A Library Of Clips

To build a thriving freelance career, you’ll need to have a great deal of material to show to prospective clients. While it’s not necessary to have every piece of content you’ve ever written sitting in a single place, it’s a good idea to have several copies of your work in different places. So, to make sure you have everything, create a library of clips where you store each type of content you write. This library should be stored in a place where it can be easily accessed so you can find the content when you need it. Ideally, you’ll want to have separate libraries for different types of content you write (such as marketing and sales materials, for example). This will allow you to easily find the content you need while also having everything in one place.

Develop Testing Procedures

A good way to ensure the quality of your work is to create testing procedures for yourself. This means that, once you’ve completed a piece of content, you’ll need to put it through its paces to see if it is, in fact, of a high quality. It’s important to do this with every piece of content you produce, but especially those that are more elaborate or have a more detailed scope. This is because it’s often difficult to tell how a content product will turn out until you’ve actually produced it and tested it. So, by following a set of procedures, you can ensure that every piece of work you produce is of a high quality.

Get Feedback

Even experienced writers can benefit from some feedback after they’ve completed a piece of content. Whether it’s a pitch, ad, or marketing piece, getting feedback from an expert is invaluable. It can help you identify areas for improvement, and it can also help you see the content from a different perspective. So, after you’ve completed a piece of content and brought it to the best of your ability, give it to someone who’ll be able to give you some objective feedback.

Produce Great Content

Above all else, the content you produce will be the deciding factor as to whether or not you succeed as a copywriter. In order to produce great content, you must be able to put yourself in the shoes of your readers. If you want to write for business owners, for example, you’ll need to approach your job in a way that a business owner would. In terms of writing for the web, keep in mind that your readership will be digital, so you’ll need to adapt your writing to fit the screen. To produce content that is informative and engaging, there are several tried and true methods that can help.

Watch Your Language & Spelling

In most cases, your success as a copywriter will depend on your ability to write compelling and accurate copy. If your language and spelling are not up to par, even the most talented English professor cannot save you. To give you the best shot at success, write your content with spelling and grammar checks throughout the process. If you’re just getting started, save the copy you’ve produced so far as a draft, then go back and fix all the errors. As you become more experienced, you can start to take shortcuts—such as using online tools to check your spelling and grammar—but until then, it’s all the mistakes, and plenty of them.

Always Be Ready

Like many other types of jobs, being a copywriter is usually not considered a 9-5 type of job. Instead, it’s frequently considered a part time or side job. So, if you’re planning on being a full-time copywriter, make sure you’re ready to work hard and be available to take on as many assignments as possible. Similarly, be ready to put in the extra time needed to ensure that your content is of a high quality.

Along with a great writing style, a solid portfolio will open many doors for you. So, don’t be shy about getting started on your copywriting journey—just make sure you have everything you need before you begin.