Monday, March 21, 2011

Is an Online Portfolio Of Business Writing Samples Necessary?

I still belong to a couple of freelance writer email groups. They continue to be a good source of information. Recently a writer posted a question asking whether or not business writing samples need to be posted on a website. This is an issue I wrestled around with a lot when I first started freelancing. I’ve done both: I’ve posted samples for public viewing, but currently do not have an online portfolio for public viewing.

I have plenty of samples available, and when a client requires one I choose one that seems most appropriate and send it. Now I’ll be completely honest – the reason I no longer have samples on my website is because when I made cosmetic changes to my site last year I just never bothered posting them.

The writer’s question caused me to really consider whether not having writing samples on my site has affected my business. Actually it really doesn’t seem to have made much difference. Several other writers in the group seemed to agree saying that they only provide samples of previous work upon client request.

In the end I suppose it’s a matter of opinion. Do you think posting an online portfolio is necessary?


Lori said...

Kim, my larger issue is my website isn't bringing in clients - at least not to my knowledge.

I have links on my site. I don't like how they're laid out (and that's my fault entirely), but I would be inclined to include uploaded client samples as long as the clients agree to letting me use their stuff online. Do I think it helps? Depends on the client, I suppose. I've had a few who want my business writing skills - it would help them. But the book editing clients don't return - I don't have anything to show them as I've signed NDAs for a lot of my work. I have a work-around for this - I'm thinking of showing a few paragraphs of my own - the "before" and "after" variety. The before is going to be the hard part. I can't force myself to write like that! LOL

Kimberly Ben said...

I've signed quite a few NDAs myself. Thankfully I do have a quite a few samples of my work clients have given me permission to use.

Interestingly when I changed my site from a static site to a blog I started receiving more client inquiries. The key is keeping it updated (something until recently has been difficult for me to do). i get a lot of 'tire kickers', but I get some good leads too.

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