six ways to make your copywriting portfolio stand out featured image

6 Ways to Make Your Copywriting Portfolio Stand Out

Copywriters are part of a league of online wordsmiths that furiously pound their keyboards in efforts to deliver their services on a wide variety of topics to an even broader diversity of clients. It’s an extremely competitive occupation represented in all types of professional environments, be it via top advertising agencies in the country to freelance scribers who display their SEO copywriting talents from the comforts of their couch. 
copywriter sitting at a café, writing on laptop

But as the needs and demands of copywriters become more fierce, emphasizing your skills to the fullest to stand out amidst the sea of other aspiring professionals in the field is now a top priority for copywriters to succeed and thrive in the business.

The biggest way one can do this is by delivering companies with an exceptional copywriting portfolio that clearly demonstrates how and why you’re the right person for the job. Take a look at these six ways you can make your copywriting portfolio stand out and get you started doing what you do best in no time: 

1) Simple, Yet Elegant 

Gone are the days where a run-of-the-mill resume, complete with the bullet points of information highlighting your achievements and skills, will blow any employer’s socks off, let alone get your foot in the door. The first thing hiring companies will be looking for in a copywriting applicant is creativity, and the easiest way to demonstrate your inner imagination is through your portfolio.

simple, elegant copywriter portfolio example

This copywriter's portfolio provides a clear introduction, up front.

Creating your own domain page has never been easier, with the help of website builders such as WordPress, Squarespace or Cargo Collective. Social media websites are also a good place to cultivate all sorts of work. Medium, for example, is a free blogging platform that has somewhere between 85 and 100 million monthly active users Use these resources to design a website layout that’s easy to navigate around to click on your writing samples or bio, but also features a sophisticated aesthetic that’s unique in style.

Don’t overdo it with infinite tabs, as the more clicks an employer has to perform, the higher amount of their time you’re taking up. Your highlighted copywriting samples of your choosing should be the first thing an employer sees when visiting your page, and if they’re intrigued enough, they’ll click on for further analyzation. 

Are you thinking about building a website? Read this first – Luxury Web Design Tips for Your Small Business

2) Only the Best 

When mulling over which samples of your work you should use for your copywriting portfolio, never settle for anything less than your best. All it takes to be passed upon by an employer is for them to read one weaker piece you’ve chosen to showcase that fails to demonstrate the creative ways you approach copywriting.

Copywriter awards section on website

This copywriter portfolio juxtaposes examples with awards, experience and references.

Your stronger pieces may include everything from showing off specific knowledge pertaining to the client you wrote for, such as an extremely in-depth whitepaper or report. They can also display your ability to latch onto a variety of tones, as well as any pieces you wrote that were paired with visually striking artwork. A good rule of thumb to take into account is to only choose the pieces you’re not only most proud of but would be impressed by if you were someone else reading it for the first time. 

Are you trying to find a better approach to your copywriting? Read our post: Ultimate Guide to SEO Copywriting

3) Showcase Writing Diversity or Specialties

Copywriting constantly requires writers to spread their talents out to accommodate some of the most specific products or companies imaginable. Whether you’ve written whitepapers on medical equipment or maintained a home and gardening blog, showcasing your writing diversity is a good way to let an employer know that whatever they throw at you, you’ll be ready to take it on. Depending on the type of copywriting job you're applying for, highlight all the different styles you’re capable of, be it press releases, ebooks, on-site copy, etc. 

copywriter portfolio clothing specialist

You may want to decide on narrowing-in on a niche if you have the experience. Otherwise, it's best to prepare for many types of writing formats when applying for general copywriting jobs.

If you have enough experience, like from the copywriter's website above, then you may be able to find a "niche" to fill. Whether you're a clothing specialist, know a lot about 401Ks or have an inside track on the sports betting market, drill down into what unique knowledge you can supply to the market.

4) DIY Capability 

If you’re relatively new in the field of copywriting or have only begun to start out in a freelance position, you don’t have to be self-conscious about the lack of published work you have. Instead of fretting over any possible lack of experience, just write whatever it is you feel is absent in your portfolio. Create a blog for a fictional business, or draft a fake press release for a company you’re applying to. The more initiative you show that you’re ready to work, the more credibility you’ll add to a beginner’s portfolio. 

Check out these copywriting resources for help:

5) Content Speaks for Itself 

While it’s never a bad idea to include rationales regarding the explanation for any particular samples in your portfolio, overdoing them is only a turnoff in the eyes of employers. Try to keep any accompanying write-ups with your writing samples at a maximum of 100 words, and only include specific details, such as what style the company in question demanded or how a piece demonstrates effective SEO skills. Remember, your selected content should be the one doing most the talking.

Are you searching for new things to write about? Take a look at our post: How to Overcome Writer's Block

6) Keep Portfolios Updated 

One of the bigger details employers look out for are any notable gaps in activity in your portfolio. You should constantly be updating your copywriting portfolio to come across as active and consistent, two qualities that complete the trifecta of what companies look for, along with creativity. Even if it’s been awhile since you’ve gotten any work published, at least update the layout of your online portfolio, or upload any new copywriting content you’ve been working on your own.      

Erik Donham - nyc copywriter portfolio

To draw the user in, this New York City copywriter's portfolio supplies movable images and copy that displays over hover.

When it comes to crafting copy, perfection pays off.

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