@Megan A wrote:
What about linking to a wordpress site and posting stuff there?
I haven't done it personally (my personal WordPress site has high-quality writing, but somewhat adult subject matter, so I wouldn't use it to show my professionalism; I mean, my WP username is "AngryHomos", which means pretty much what it implies) but if this isn't the case for you, it could be valuable. Keep in mind that most clients who view your portfolio are looking for included samples, and many probably won't venture off of Upwork to find them. (This isn't verified by anything; but generally speaking, I know most employers and employer-like scenarios wouldn't want to look all over the place to see your work quality. Reviews and direct samples are great because they can be easily viewed.)
I have a liberal view of work experience. On my profiles, resume, LinkedIn profile, etc. I would list any relevant experience whether paid or not, whether done for myself or someone else. It needs to be actual experience, I don't advocate making things up. I don't think it really matters whether it was done for a company or not in most cases.
I do leave out experience that I don't think is relevant to the purpose. I use to do this with my resume. I had a full version that was pages long and contained everything. When I would apply for a job, I would pick and choose the relevant experience and education and leave the rest out. I had a period of time where I juggled three part-time W-2 jobs so I had a lot of jobs I could list. I don't use a resume much anymore, but I do similar with my profiles.