For a freelance technical writer, a technical writing portfolio is as important as a resume when applying for technical writing gigs.
The concept of having a technical writing portfolio is no longer something new to the average freelance technical writer, especially for technical writers who have been in the game for quite some time, and have been able to land some technical writing gigs from different clients.
It’s undoubtedly true that having a well-organized and personalized technical writing portfolio that is niched down to what you write about has a major role to play when it comes to landing a writing gig because no client would want to hire someone who has no experience.
So how do you create a technical writing portfolio when you don’t have any clients or samples yet?
This article will show you how to create a technical writing portfolio from scratch, which in turn enables you to grow your technical writing career and help you become ready to land that huge technical writing gig.
What is a Technical Writing Portfolio?
A technical writing portfolio in this context is simply a collection of the best technical samples you have worked on. These samples could be documentation, technical content, whitepapers, user guides, manuals, etc.
A good technical writing portfolio contains only relevant, up-to-date content that showcases your best writing ability in the writing niche or niches you want to write for.
It gives your potential clients an idea of your skillset, and your style of writing, and for them to understand what type of technical writing project you can or have handled.
Freelance Technical Writing Examples
Below is a technical writing portfolio you can draw insights from when creating your technical writing portfolio from scratch.
Now you know what a technical writing portfolio is and how important it is in growing your freelance writing career.
How do you generate content samples to add to your writing portfolio when you’ve never written any sample before as a newbie technical writer?
Here is a quick way to get you started by creating enough samples for your writing portfolio.
These platforms below give you opportunities to create and publish articles, and blogs for free. So you can use the content to create your technical writing portfolio.
Clients also visit Medium to search for writers, so you have to make sure you give in your best shot. Getting good engagement stats on your articles and “claps,” from readers of your article may give anyone who wants to hire you the assurance to do so.
Tealfeed is also an open writing platform just like medium, where you can also write and publish your content for free all you have to do is sign up with them, and their interface is easy to navigate through even if you are just a beginner.
Guest Posting is not a platform but it is a very popular option among freelance technical writers. It is also the best form of gathering relevant samples for your technical writing portfolio.
In Guest Posting, you search for tech companies who are willing to work with you and publish your content on their website as a newbie. This method if done properly exposes you to the real world of freelance technical writing.
You can start by pitching your article idea to Masteringbackend as they are constantly looking for technical writers.
Now you should have published enough content samples using any of the above methods, we are ready to create our first technical writing portfolio.
Creating a Technical Writing Portfolio that stands out.
Creating a technical writing portfolio that would be able to bring trusted clients that are willing to pay you for technical writing gigs, will require you to put in quality time to its creation.
Taking the time out to select the best articles that you have written, that best showcase your talents, skills, and niche is the first thing you should do when creating your technical writing portfolio.
It’s also reasonable for your portfolio to highlight a particular niche in which you love to write. Then make it clear that you have real expertise in this niche even if you write in other niches.
You can use Contentre to create multiple portfolios in one place to streamline your portfolio to a particular niche or based on your client’s requirements.
After selecting your best articles, then it’s time to add more personalized context for each article you selected by answering the questions below.
- Why are you proud of this piece of content?
- What challenges did you face during its creation?
- What skills (except for writing) did you have to employ to get the job done?
- What’s the impact of the content? What problems did it solve? e.t.c
- What tools did you use?
This personalized information added to each article makes your technical writing portfolio stand out because you’re deliberately giving context to each sample which will make your potential client further understand your skillset and how you can bring value to their business.
This is why we built Contentre, to help you CREATE multiple personalized portfolios that get you hired in one place and also to help grow your freelance technical writing career.
How to Build Your Writing Portfolio
We can create the technical writing portfolio in two ways.
- Using WordPress or Coding
- Using Portfolio Building Platforms
Using WordPress or Coding
This method requires intensive knowledge of programming or a good knowledge of WordPress. It is also expensive and requires regular maintenance and checkups.
Here are the steps if this is a good option for you:
Choosing and registering a domain name
This is the first step to creating a writing portfolio for your technical writing.
If you already have a brand name you have set aside for your technical writing business, you can purchase a domain name around your brand name.
Here is a complete guide on how to acquire a domain name for your technical writing business.
Web hosting allows you to push your writing portfolio out there on the internet. Most domain name providers offer web hosting services so you can handle the two in one place all you have to do is subscribe for it.
Here is a complete guide on how to acquire a web hosting account for your technical writing business.
If you have been able to get a domain name and hosting, then you can move on to creating your online writing portfolio with sites such as WordPress.
This site helps you build a brand as a technical writer by offering easy-to-use portfolio templates, saving you the stress of starting from scratch. All you have to do is follow the instructions displayed on your screen.
Designing the pages of your website
On your portfolio websites, there are pages that you need to pay attention to when designing your pages. these pages include:
- A homepage: The homepage comprises the details of what you stand for and different menu icons for navigating through your website
- About page: The about page shows off your knowledge, your expertise, and your “values”
- Contacts page: The contact page is where potential customers can find details to reach you like your contacts or email
- Portfolio page: This is where all your work samples are displayed
Using Portfolio Building Platforms
Below is a list of platforms that you can use to create your writing portfolio without spending time and money on web hosting, maintenance, and lastly without any knowledge of programming or WordPress.
Contentre is a platform that is dedicated to technical writers. It was developed by technical writers for technical writers. It provides the best resources and tools to help you grow your freelance technical writing career.
With Contentre, you can create multiple personalized technical writing portfolios. You can either customize your portfolio using the drag-and-drop to best suit your brand or choose from thousands of templates.
It helps you organize all your content, manage clients, share samples, and publish your work in various places, all in one place.
You can explore examples of popular technical writing portfolios built with Contentre.
Other commonly used portfolio sites include:
Creating a technical writing portfolio from scratch is very important in your technical writing career and when searching for new technical writing clients.
So you need to put in your best and make sure that your portfolio reflects as perfectly as possible how professional you can be when delivering your technical writing services.
It should also be able to show the quality of your writing services by providing personalized context to each content sample while creating different portfolios for different niches or clients’ requirements.
We hope you take the time to follow the steps we have talked about so far, and if you do, we await your testimony as you land that technical writing gig.