Fast forward to 2020 and most writers aren’t photocopying their writing clips and sending to publications via snail mail anymore. These days, showcasing your work online has become the focus. As the editor of a regional magazine, I agree with this sentiment. When a new writer pitches me an idea, I am much more likely to give them the assignment if they have a blog or website where I can view their writing style via online writing samples and clips.
I also interview contestants in WOW’s flash fiction and creative non-fiction contests, and one thing I hear a lot from these writers is “Wow! You did your research on these interview questions.” When trying to develop interview questions for another writer, it is so much easier if I can view their work and projects online. Even if they don’t have a website, if they include a list of places they’ve been published in their bio, I can check those clips out and develop interview questions by reading their prose.
If you don’t have an online portfolio, don’t let the technical aspect of it intimidate you. There are sites like Wix, Squarespace and WordPress that are easy-to use, free and provide most of the features you’ll be looking for. They also have stock photos you can use if you don’t have any of your own. I personally purchased a domain name 15 years ago and have slowly upgraded my site over the years. Now I use a WordPress template and recently invested a small amount of money ($20-$25) to buy a new template that has more features, such as widgets for social media, a home page to host my blog posts and other pages where I can link to my podcast and writing clips. You can start out simple and work your way into adding more bells and whistles to your site when you feel comfortable.
LinkedIn is also another professional site where you can share your work in posts that any of your connections can see and read. Asking editors or other professionals in the writing/publishing industry for a quick recommendation is an easy way to get your work noticed. I’d love to hear if you already have a place online to showcase your work.