5 steps to create and build a killer journalism portfolio

5 steps to create and build a killer journalism portfolio

When applying for your jobs or sending pitches to editors, having some examples of your work is a must. While some job descriptions will specifically ask for a certain number of articles to be shared in certain formats, others request a journalism portfolio. The same goes for pitching; When you are pitching, you will want to have some work examples lined up that you can quickly attach to the bottom of your email – especially if your pitch is timely.

If you find yourself asking: ‘How do I start?’ – don’t worry. We have gathered some top tips on how to create a journalism portfolio for you below:

#1 Find a way to manage your content (and routinely check it!):

There are many different content management websites out there – popular choices include WordPress or Wix. While these two are more geared towards website building, they are free and easy to use. Other options often used by journalists include Muck Rack and clippings.me. You can also list out your work on LinkTree as a low-tech start.

 

WordPress

Wix

Muck Rack

clippings.me

LinkTree


Whichever option you choose, make sure you regularly check that all parts of your website are working (including links and layout), to not put anyone off from reading your work due to design issues or broken links. 

#2 Write as much as you can:

This point might seem like a given but it is important that your portfolio showcases your most recent work and is updated regularly. While it isn’t wrong to still include older pieces in your portfolio, especially if you are particularly proud of them, you should still always show your skills as they are currently.


You should also show your talents that set you apart from others. Maybe you can show your expertise in a certain niche or, vice versa, show that you are a jack of all trades.

#3 Make sure your articles are publicly available:

Make sure that any work that you have done is available online in some way. Check that links to online stories are still valid and consider backing up your stories with tools like Wayback Machine.

If you have work that has not been published – be that stories you wrote in your own time or stories that you wrote as part of coursework – consider creating a website or blog to publish this work, or you could always try to pitch parts of this work as an idea to relevant editors and publications.

#4 Make it shareable:

Your portfolio should be easy to share on your CV, email and social media. This means it should not have a domain name that is too lengthy or unprofessional. 

 

Many people now also use LinkTree – a form of online launchpad. LinkTree let’s you add your social media accounts, your portfolio, and anything else that constitutes your online presence into a sleek, menu-style format and creates a short link you can pass on to others or stick in your Twitter and Insta bio.

#5 Share your work:

Share your portfolio – be that with friends and family, your followers on social media, in your CV or with editors. Stick it to the top of your Twitter feed or your Instagram bio. 

 

Remember, your portfolio is a collection of your work – something you should be proud of! 

 

When looking for work, organisations and editors will never dislike the option to have a portfolio they can look at (if they wish to), so sharing it will only benefit you. 

If you are actively applying for jobs or pitching editors that request a portfolio, you will want to consider some extra steps when it comes to sharing your portfolio and consider the organisation you are applying for/ pitching to: 

  • What type of content do they like to see that you should maybe highlight in your portfolio? 
  • What format do they wish to see your work in? 

Do they want to see a broad portfolio or a collection of some explicitly chosen (maybe niche) pieces?

A good portfolio is something that can set you apart from other candidates and can help you show – rather than just tell – organisations and editors why you are the right person for the job. We hope these tips are useful for you to create and build your own killer journalism portfolio!

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