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Re: Portfolio creation for brand new/aspiring freelancer

Active Member
Jacob S Member Since: Dec 19, 2016
1 of 7

Hello upwork writers! I am brand new to the community and to freelancing in general.  I have a love of writing and reading and decided that I am going to give freelancing a shot. I realize it will take time to build contacts and my portfolio, but wanted to ask for any advice about getting that first job.


 I wrote loads of research papers in college and write fiction in my free time but I’ve never been paid for any of it so I’m not quite sure what to put in my portfolio. Is it okay to use papers from college that I’m particularly proud of? My other thought was to just start writing short news and lifestyle articles to put up as examples of my skills and interests. What I’m aiming for is to write, research, or edit blog or magazine articles. Any advice or input would be greatly appreciated!!!




Community Guru
Kim F Member Since: Aug 26, 2015
2 of 7

> Is it okay to use papers from college that I’m particularly proud of?


I wouldn't. Although you're obviously allowed to, unless you have plenty of other material in your portfolio it suggests you are looking for that type of work and happy to commit academic fraud by writing other people's papers. That can both get you invitations you don't want and make others pass you by. Using college papers also marks you as an amateur.


It would be a better idea to - as you suggest - create a selection of different pieces that reflect the type of work you're looking for and post those. 



Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
3 of 7

re: "Is it okay to use papers from college that I’m particularly proud of?"


There is absolutely no rule against including this material.


Whether or not you should do so is a different matter.


What is really bad is to have no portfolio items at all. If you have writing that you wrote in college and it is impressive, and that's all you have for now, then you may well want to include it.


If you write new material that more closely reflects the type of writing you want to do professionally here on Upwork, then you can always delete older pieces and add new pieces.

Active Member
Jacob S Member Since: Dec 19, 2016
4 of 7

Thanks for the input!

Active Member
Jacob S Member Since: Dec 19, 2016
5 of 7

Thanks for the advice Kim. 

Community Guru
Cheryl K Member Since: Jul 16, 2015
6 of 7


This is what I would do.

Go to your Google account and set up Blogger app


Set up a blog about something that interests you or something that you want to write about professionally.

Start blogging and publishing your blogs. Be sure to add free art from Pexels or a place like that so your blogs look nice too. 

When you publish a blog, send a link to it from your Facebook page and then Tweet it.  This way you might even build a following.

As long as you do not include your contact information on your blog you can link to it from Upwork.

Voila!  You have just built your portfolio!

When I started at E-Lance, I set up a blog about gardening and racked up some following on the Google+ community boards.  One of my very first jobs was the write about two different aquaponic systems.  While my target niche was healthcare (I had an e-book on allergies in my portfolio) I also proved that I could write on other topics and that my writing was compelling enough to attract an audience/comments/ and shares.

I haven't touched that blog in ages, but it served its purpose and it was FREE

Give it a go!


Community Guru
Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
7 of 7

I say this repeatedly to all aspiring freelance writers....




What TYPE of articles?


Also, I'm sorry, but your profile tends to read like a singles ad. What are you offering the client in terms of writing, specifically?


It's fine that you have a passion for words and enjoy writing, most of us in the writing category do!


However, as a client (and I am a client as well as a freelancer), I'd stop after the first two sentences. There are thousands (ok, perhaps tens of thousands or more) of other writers or would-be writers on Upwork. Many, if not most, have at least a Bachelor's Degree.


What makes YOUR offering DIFFERENT?


Freelance writing is also about MARKETING yourself. I'd highly recommend that be your first research focus: How to market yourself as a freelance writer. 


If I needed someone to do research or write an article, why should I choose YOU over say one of the other aspirants?