A writing portfolio is easy to develop when you are writing online.
When we start out writing online, we hope to establish instant success. After a while we realise it isn’t quite like that. We have to work hard to become known and respected as a writer. We need to establish credibility. This isn’t always as easy as it seems. I started out writing about anything and everything that took my fancy. My thoughts were all over the place. I began to feel like a jack of all trades. A few decisions had to be made.
Areas of Expertise or Authority
Some sites encourage you to become an expert or authority in the subjects you like to write on. This can be an interesting experience, especially if you started out as scattered as I was. I made a list of all my published articles, classified them into loose groups, and soon a pattern started emerging. There were definitely things I felt more qualified to write about. There were other things I enjoyed having a go at, and I noticed poetry starting to creep in as well.
I now write for two sites, trying to do justice to both. If you write for more than one site, it is best to establish what work will be submitted to each site. I find it easier to have a clear idea of where I am sending a piece before I write it. Research the sites you write for carefully, making sure you understand the kind of writing best suited for each of them.
Advantages of a Portfolio
Having established your areas of expertise, it is then best to produce most of your work in these areas. That way you start building up a portfolio of work, with articles able to be linked to previous ones you’ve written. This obviously gives your work better exposure and the chance of a wider readership.
Another advantage is that when you do have a growing volume of work on a site, there is more chance other opportunities will come your way. There are many different ways you can write online. Many of them require you to submit samples of work before you are accepted. Having built up a portfolio of work, you then need only select the most appropriate piece for the new site.
A third advantage is being noticed by someone out there who is looking for someone to do exactly the sort of writing you do. Maybe someone needs short articles on a topic, or an even bigger project. Several writers on Triond have written of being approached to freelance for other sites.
Beginning writing is different from experienced writing. If you write regularly and read the work of others whose work you respect, your writing develops and improves. After awhile you should re-read your earlier pieces. Maybe they no longer seem relevant, or you cringe as you read them, knowing you can now do better.
It is wise to keep your online work of the highest standard you can manage. Your reputation as a writer depends on the opinion of others. Just as when reading a book, a reader needs read only one poorly written article and they probably won’t return to your work. There is nothing wrong with removing an article or piece of writing from your portfolio.
Read your earlier pieces through, deciding the best fate for each. You can choose to leave them where they are, but make the decision to write other similar ones, thus getting a link back to something that may not have been read for awhile. You can remove the article and rewrite it in more depth or with increased knowledge of both the writing process and the content matter. Or, you can completely ditch it. The choice is yours.
Your Personal Portfolio
Through reading your online portfolio, readers get a wider understanding of you as a person as well as you as a writer. Be proud of what you present to the world. Respect what you put into your portfolio and others will respect your writing.