What You Should Include in Your Copywriter Portfolio
What You Should Include in Your Copywriter Portfolio
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 91% of B2B organizations use content marketing. To fuel the development of content, businesses need experienced copywriters, but almost more importantly, versatile copywriters. Browse through any job board and you’ll see copywriter job listings looking for candidates who can write in a wide range of formats, and do it all well.
When you’re preparing your copywriter portfolio (as many job listings require), choose samples that show you have the ability to be a versatile and effective writer, no matter the medium. That means you should include both long and short works that you’ve written, pieces that range in tone, and writing that was done for both editorial and commercial purposes, to throw out a few examples. Also, employers will generally be more impressed by pieces that have been published, whether in a digital or print format. Keep reading below for several examples of the types of content to include in your portfolio, and why.
Social Media Content
Social media is one of the simplest methods businesses have to communicate with their customers. Staggering amounts of organizations use social media, including 50 million Facebook business page users. In your portfolio, include social posts that you have written for any major network, in addition to profile bio wording, and social media ad content, to show that you have the ability to communicate effectively with a limited word count. When you’re selecting the pieces to include, prioritize posts that got a large amount of engagement and views, as well as any that went viral.
Short ad copy is a great addition to your copywriter portfolio. It’s often tougher to write quality short content than it is longer content, and ad copy can also show off your persuasive writing skills. As this example from Toronto LiveGreen shows, visuals are key for ads, but the words are also necessary to make sure the message hits home.
Consider the notoriety of the brand or company that’s being advertised when you’re picking a sample.
Much of the writing you will do as a copywriter is likely going to be digital. Website copy, such as landing pages, show a writer’s ability to create content that not only informs but also works with the site design to guide the reader through a site in an intended way.
Blog Posts and Articles
Blog writing is at the same time ridiculously easy and devilishly hard. Anyone can publish a blog post; few can write a post that actually makes an impact and offers something different than all the other content on the topic. Include links in your copywriter portfolio to several of your top blog posts as well as pageview statistics if those are available to you.
SEO continues to evolve, and many businesses want to see SEO proficiency in their writers. Include any content you have written that has been optimized for better search listings. As SEO changes so rapidly, you may need to include an explanation that a previous piece of content was optimized for SEO best practices at the time it was written.
eBooks and Whitepapers
You may have heard that people’s attention spans have all but dwindled away, but well-researched, long-form content such as eBooks, white papers, and blog series is still valuable to employers. A well-designed, in-depth document is a great addition to your copywriter profile because it shows research skills and the ability to see a difficult and complex project through to the end.
Email writing is a good addition to your portfolio because it can be so drastically different than other forms of writing. Email writing needs to grab readers before they even open the email and hold their attention beyond that. As this example of an email from writer James Clear shows, great email writing starts with an intriguing and clickable subject.
In addition to focusing on quality of writing, include emails that saw high open rates and click-through rates to demonstrate the impact of your copywriting.
Case studies are a very effective form of marketing; according to a report from the Content Marketing Institute, 73 percent of B2B organizations that engage in content marketing also use case studies in their content marketing mix. People trust the opinions of people like them, and thus case studies with quotes and easily scannable results can be a great way to get new customers. Case studies can be long and journalistic like this example from MailChimp:
USE CASE STUDIES
Alternately they can be scannable and punchy like this Wishpond example:
If you have done case studies in the past, include these in your portfolio.
Even if you are applying for copywriting positions, employers may be interested to see any journalistic or editorial samples you have. Journalism as a discipline maintains high standards for accuracy in writing. This is a hugely important trait for copywriters to possess, especially since copywriters often have to be their own (and other co-workers’) editors.
Real, concrete writing samples are key when you’re a copywriter. Employers want to read the content you’ve written and published for other companies in the past so that they can imagine you writing for their brand and really see if your skills measure up to your resume. When you’re gathering your samples be sure to include as many as possible of the pieces of content listed here in your copywriter portfolio.
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