How To Create a Copywriting Portfolio

Today I’ll show you how to create a copywriting portfolio so you can start landing clients.

What Should a Copywriter’s Portfolio Contain?

Your copywriting portfolio should contain relevant work to the copywriting niche you’re looking to get into.

For example, if you want to become a Twitter (X) Ghostwriter, you need to have samples of ghostwriting in your portfolio.

How To Create a Copywriting Portfolio

The best way to create a copywriting portfolio is to start some projects.

I’ll give some examples for different niches below:

  1. Ghostwriting
  2. Newsletters
  3. Ad Copy
  4. Blog Posts

1. Ghostwriting

Make sure you understand who you want to target first.

Your target market for ghostwriting could be CEO, SaaS founders or Fitness entrepreneurs.

Then you want to create some samples of social media posts and be able to clearly show the performance of these posts.

If writing for fitness entrepreneurs, what I would do is create a fitness account and then grow it.

Understand how to write hooks and headlines which grab people's attention and drive maximum reach.

Practice writing these posts and launching them.

Once they get eyeballs, check your analytics and screenshot their performance.

how to create a copywriting portfolio images

Create 10-15 banger social media posts, add them to your portfolio and put them on your landing page.

Once your portfolio is built, I didn’t need much to get started and you don’t either:

2. Newsletters

First, I would create my own newsletter and grow it.

While you're doing that, figure out who you’re going to write newsletters for and then write some sample newsletters for those people.

Hop on Twitter (X), find semi-successful business owners with newsletters and offer to write several for free.

Or even better, look at their last newsletters and write 2-3 new one’s without the expectation the person will use them.

You’re going to face some objections.

The newsletter can feel personal to the prospect, you might get some push back from the prospect letting a complete stranger write one for their audience.

Tell them, they don’t have to use your work. Let them know they can steal bits and pieces of the newsletter. If they do, ask to see how it performs.

If it performs well, get the screenshots and put them in your portfolio.

Build a relationship with the person and they may even do a video testimonial or review for you which you can use to get paying clients.

3. Ad Copy

Some hot markets for Ad copy are info product and coaching businesses.

Read all the books you can on ad copy.

These 3 are a great start:

  • Ca$hvertising - Drew Whitman.
  • The Ultimate Sales Letter - Dan Kennedy1.
  • The Adweek Copywriting Handbook - Joe Sugerman

Then spend time on Youtube watching ads.

Pay attention to the one’s which repeat because those are likely the most successful.

Download the videos and convert them from speech to text.

Rewrite the scripts for those ads.

Add those scripts to your portfolio.

Start firing cold DMs on Twitter (X) or cold email.

You might get some pushback, because no one wants to risk paying money on dud ads with beginners.

To eliminate risk, you can offer to work on a performance basis and split or cover the ad costs.

4. Blog Posts

If you want to get paid well for SEO copywriting, I suggest you learn how to write guest posts.

All you need is one quality guest post from a well-known site and then the rest will snowball.

Before you reach out to content managers at companies, start your own blog and make sure the quality of your content is top-notch.

Include custom graphics, video embeds and if you can prove it gets organic traffic from Google, even better.

More Copywriting Portfolio Ideas

Create one AMAZING case study.

It doesn’t even need to be with a client.

Fat personal trainers make $0.

Editors with crappy videos make $0.

Ghostwriters with 50 followers make $0.

If you want clients, turn yourself into a case study.

Rewrite hooks.

Create a swipe file of any scroll stopper headlines which make you want to read.

Analyze why they performed well.

You can do this on different platforms.

Here’s an example with medium

  • Create a medium account
  • Look at the “for you” page
  • Create a swipe file of all the headlines which grab your attention
  • Read the content
  • Rewrite them

Another method is to pretend you work for someone and rewrite several hooks as if you are them.

You can take a potential client's work and make it better. If they like it, you're hired.

All you have to do is find brands with boring hooks (trust me, there’s a sea of them). Then, take a crack at making it better.

To find these companies:

  • Find products/services in the niche you're targeting
  • Click on their web pages from Google and read landing page hooks
  • Search their sites on Facebook Ad Library for previous ad creative

You can do this with DTC ecommerce brands, which primarily rely on creative branded content. You'll be able to write ads and product headlines for them and unleash your creativity.

Rewrite Lead magnets.

Same concept as rewriting hooks, but keep an eye out for email/landing pages that need a lot of improvement. Newsletter companies are especially good for this.

All you have to do is:

  • Sign up for their newsletters
  • Wait for them to come in
  • Find ways to write more compelling copy
  • Reach out to them saying, "I've been subscribed to your newsletter for awhile..."

Rewrite offers.

Markets aren’t “saturated”, offers just suck.

Learn how to make barnburner offers, and add them to your portfolio.

Find businesses who have terrible offers and then rewrite them.

An offer could be:

  • a loyalty promo
  • a short-term deal
  • regular product pricing
  • an abandoned cart sequence

Pay attention to online ads, landing pages and also brands you currently shop with.

Who is Dakota?

I show you how to build a high-paying creative business without doing work you hate.

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