The Writing Life

…a literary journey

The Vault: Building a Copywriter Portfolio


I’ve recently started researching the best way to build a copywriting portfolio. While I’m quite busy with my corporate job during the day, writing and being a mom at night, I really want to spend some time trying to build a side career in copywriting. I have years of experience one way or another, whether it’s from building hundreds of websites in my earlier career, creating newsletters for my Internet team, or long ago, when reporting/writing headlines for a newspaper – but I’ve never focused solely on finding companies to specifically do copywriting for.

The first step I’m taking is building a digital portfolio, and to that end, have registered iamvickiroberts.com to focus on this venture. But before I can get paying  customers, I need some fresh samples. This is the easy part. Find some local companies, preferably fast-growing who will have a need for my services, and re-write their current advertising. Check out their website, get my hands on their flyers or brochures, find every flawed, clichéd or boring word and rock it out! Show them that I can think out of the box, and make them stand out from their competition. Once I’ve spent the time needed on this, I can create a “before” and “after” page that’s only a click away from prospective clients!

At the same time, I’ll start approaching some non-profits and offer to do pro-bono work for them. I’ve contacted a few agencies through volunteermatch.org. I’ve already heard back from a Veteran’s organization as well as North Porch, an Episcopal Diocese in New Jersey. Working with non-profits is a win-win for any writer starting to build a portfolio and an organization who doesn’t always have the funds to hire professional writers.

One plus I have is my SEO experience. I’ve worked with many pay-for-performance customers and have a good knowledge of keywords and how to construct a website that will heighten its relevancy in the search engines…this is an ever-changing field though, so definitely one where you have to keep up with what’s new.

Well…that’s it for now. I’m going to be using Thursday’s “The Vault” blogs to let you follow me on my progress on this venture. As always, I’d love to hear from you – especially any successful or even aspiring copywriters that want to share their tips and success stories here. Until then…write on.

4 comments on “The Vault: Building a Copywriter Portfolio

  1. silsen
    January 28, 2013

    So awesome that you’re looking for volunteer writing gigs! Volunteering is a great way to build skills, get experience, make connections, have fun and make a difference. Can’t wait to hear your story – definitely keep us updated, and we’ll share your experience with our network!

    Shari Ilsen
    Online Communications Manager
    VolunteerMatch

    • Anonymous
      January 28, 2013

      Thanks so much Shari…in fact I was able to connect with the director of Veteran’s 360 and have agreed to take on helping the with their brochures, press releases and articles, so I’ll definitely keep you updated!

  2. indytony
    January 24, 2013

    I admire your boldness in improving existing copy, then posting it.

    I’ve recently gotten a good volunteer writing gig with an emerging mediation practice wanting to do a “soft launch” and reach folks through a blog. The send me scholarly articles which I re-write as appealing blog posts which they review and post. I’m excited to see what develops.

    I wish you well.

    • Anonymous
      January 26, 2013

      That sounds good, and a possible paying gig in the future! Thanks so much for leaving a comment – Good luck with that, keep me updated!
      Vicki

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