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Old 06-29-2011, 04:40 PM
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Default Creating a Portfolio


I've worked as a copywriter for a book publisher for almost fifteen years, but once my twins are born (any week now!) childcare costs will exceed my take-home pay. I'm thinking that freelance copywriting will give me the flexibility I will need, and hopefully a decent income as well.

The bulk of my work has been for my employer's book and calendar catalogs, calendar back covers and boxes, and occasional promotional pieces. The problem is that for most of the copy I've written, I don't have the finished product. I took a few screenshots of calendar catalog copy from my employer's website, but for the most part I have just MS Word documents. Will these be suitable for a portfolio? Also, I assume most portfolios are created online these days?

I am so nervous about leaving the job I've had for so many years, but I have no choice. Also, anyone know what type of copywriting I should focus on, given my particular experience?

Thanks so much for any guidance you can provide.
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Old 06-29-2011, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Mochi View Post

Thanks so much for any guidance you can provide.
Sorry, I don't have guidance about copywriting, but I had to post because I have 7 week-old twins at home. Congrats on your impending bundles of joy!

I'm pretty sure that text-only samples are fine for you portfolio. What I've seen on sites like Elance is all .doc/PDF writing samples in portfolios.
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Old 06-30-2011, 06:35 AM
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Thanks, Randi! That is good to know. Congrats on your babies too! How is life with twins? Getting any writing done?
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Old 06-30-2011, 08:59 AM
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Different writers do things differently for their portfolio. I've seen some who use word or even wordpad files and they simply label things in italics.


This is my awesome headline!

Sort of like that. For your experience, I would think that you could find work with online retailers or catalogs. I've written product descriptions for several companies. The work is tedious and sometimes boring (I once had 300 rugs in a row to write about!) but the pay isn't bad in a lot of cases. I'm currently attempting to branch out from doing this type of work, but it has paid my bills and given me the experience I needed.

I found most of my clients by contacting companies who were related to my area of expertise and many of them eventually hired me.

Also, when doing your portfolio, if you can get a picture of the book or calendar... post that as a clickable link that pulls up your Word written copy. This will add a little more professional a look. Get the pdf files whenever possible from here on out, and then slowly replace them. Or at least a link to your work.

Oh, and a friend of mine is constantly sending me links for publishers who hire freelancers to do back of book copy... so that would work too.

Good luck!
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Old 06-30-2011, 02:55 PM
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Thanks for the helpful advice, Erin! I don't mind tedious (I'm used to that with my current job). I will look into catalog work--I agree it sounds about right given my experience.
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copywriting, portfolio

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