I have always been a writer.
Ever since I learned to put pen to paper, I’ve been writing stories, poems, plays, and anything that puts my imagination into words.
When I discovered blogging, I quickly realized that SEO and writing go hand in hand. It became apparent that I had to optimize for organic search if I wanted readers to find my content.
Over time, I turned writing into a lucrative business and later into a full SEO career.
Along the way, I learned a few tips for getting a writing portfolio found by potential clients.
If you’re a content writer or copywriter, use these SEO tips to make your writing portfolio more visible online.
First, how do you create a writing portfolio?
There are many types of content portfolios.
In fact, you don’t even need a website to showcase your work.
You can use something as simple as a folder in Google Drive to house your sample content and share it with your clients.
You can publish articles on LinkedIn.
You can even save your work as a PDF and send it to potential clients.
However, if you want to rank your portfolio in organic search, having a website is probably the best bet.
This gives you the most flexibility to optimize your content, gain referral traffic, link to live examples, and much more.
So for this article, I’m going to cover how to use your website to host and link to specific examples of your published work.
1. Subscribe to an SEO Keyword Research Tool
SEO tools like Semrush, Ahrefs, and SpyFu allow you to identify key terms people are using to find services like yours.
They can quantify how many people (aka “users”) are searching for a term, how competitive that term is, and whether other websites are targeting it.
An SEO tool subscription is essential because you will have access to real data to inform your SEO strategy.
You will be able to research which keywords to target in your web page content and which topics to write about on your blog.
Additionally, you can use SEO tools to find out which keywords your competitors are targeting.
For example, you can enter a competitor’s domain into the SEO tool, see their keywords, and apply them to your own SEO strategy.
Many of these tools adopt a “freemium” model where you get certain features for free.
Others have a monthly subscription.
Having access to a reliable SEO tool will make all the difference!
2. Plan and launch your portfolio website
If you already have a website, you can use SEO tools to determine which keywords you should target on your existing web pages.
For example, if you have a page about SEO content writing services, you can use the term “SEO content writing services” (search volume: 720) in your page content, title, and description.
Do this for as many pages of your website as needed.
If you’re building a new website, you’re in a great position to plan your content from scratch.
First, think about all the services you offer.
Then use an SEO tool to find keywords that match those services.
Here’s an example of what that might look like for a copywriter portfolio:
- Home page: “sales copywriter” (search volume: 170), “sales page copywriter” (search volume: 50).
- Services page: “sales copywriting” (search volume: 110), “sales copywriting services” (search volume: 30).
- Service: Website Writing: “website editor” (search volume: 390).
- Service: Email Campaigns: “email copywriter” (search volume: 260).
Above, you can see how each page matches a relevant search term.
This guarantees you to create content and target terms with monthly search volume and, in turn, gives you a chance to drive organic traffic to your pages.
Seocopywriting.com is a great example of a website with landing pages optimized for its services; for example, SEO Writing Consulting and SEO Copywriting Services.
He also has a blog that covers content-related topics.
This site generates more than 500 organic visits per month!
3. Create a blogging schedule and strategy
The writing industry can be very competitive.
With so many writers online, many target most of the same keywords on their portfolio pages.
With that in mind, you’ll need to get creative with your blog content to drive more organic traffic and that’s, again, where your SEO tool comes in handy.
I don’t recommend that you just “fly away” when it comes to your blog.
If you put energy into writing content, you might as well target topics that will drive traffic to your website.
- Go to your SEO tool of choice and start researching general topics related to ‘writing’, ‘writer’, ‘editorial’, ‘content’, etc.
- Look at the list of keywords that appear in each category. Make a list of keywords that have search volume but have a low to medium competition score.
- Filter these keywords for those that might be better answered in a blog post. For example, “How to write a sales page” is a much better blog topic than “sales page” or “blogger”.
- Pull those keywords into a spreadsheet like Google Sheets or Excel. Add a column where you brainstorm a blog title that matches the chosen keyword. (For the example keyword above, a good title might be “How to write a sales page in 5 steps.”)
- Specify the dates when you plan to write, optimize and publish your blog posts. This will help you stick to a schedule.
- Once you’ve written an article, add an internal link to a related service page or your website’s Contact page to encourage users to work with you.
Keep in mind that you will want to create content that speaks to your target audience.
So, as a writer by trade, you probably don’t want to talk about “Thailand travel tips” or “best vacation recipes.”
Instead, you might want to write about “how to choose a copywriter”, “where to find copywriters”, “best content tips”, “what is content marketing”, etc.
4. Leverage LinkedIn articles and support
SEO can take time to pick up, especially if you have a new or small website.
I recommend leveraging platforms that are already generating a lot of traffic to direct users to your own website.
Medium is a great platform that allows anyone to post content for free.
You can write an article and then link to your website.
Some of my Medium articles have had over 10,000 reads – way more than I would get on my own blog.
The same goes for LinkedIn articles.
Your articles will appear for your connections and the connections of your connections.
You can then direct users to related pages or posts on your own website.
This strategy can help drive more users to your portfolio without waiting for SEO gains.
5. Reach for guest posting opportunities
Along the same lines, you can guest post on other websites to use their authority and traffic to your advantage.
In fact, I’ve gotten direct writing clients through guest posting on other blogs, websites, and ezines.
Contact other blogs related to your niche and offer to write for them.
Or apply to become a contributor to more reputable sites and publishers. Many will allow you to link to your website.
This strategy can help you gain backlinks to your website, which can improve your site’s SEO.
At the very least, many sites will help you market your content on their platforms and drive referral traffic to your site.
Guest posting brings a lot of benefits, especially if your website doesn’t get a lot of traffic yet.
6. Optimize Your Google Business Profile Page
Google Business Profile is a free platform that allows businesses to create an online profile and drive local and organic traffic.
If you offer writing services to local clients, you can benefit from a Google Business Profile listing.
For example, I have a Google business profile that advertises my SEO content services in my hometown of Seattle.
Just be aware that this listing will be linked to a physical address and phone number (you can use a Google number if you don’t want to use your personal number).
So if you are more private this might not be the way to go.
But if you’re comfortable with that exposure, a Google Business Profile listing can be a great way to generate leads and direct users to your writing portfolio.
7. Join Job Boards and Writer Directories
While you wait for your website to generate organic traffic, you can generate leads through popular writer job boards.
The most common platforms are Upwork and Fiverr.
Sites like these serve as freelance marketplaces where people submit a dissertation, you apply for the dissertation, and then you get paid for providing your services.
Many writers have had success with these platforms – although they tend to pay less than you might charge as a direct contractor.
A well-known Upwork writer is Alex Fasulo.
She is known to have generated over $300,000 on Upwork in just one year.
Still, she has her own writing portfolio to attract clients, teach other writers, and land speaking opportunities.
Submitting a profile to job boards and writer directories can be a smart way to grow your clientele and portfolio.
Grow your portfolio with SEO
SEO is one of the best ways to increase your writing portfolio’s online presence and drive organic traffic.
Used alongside other methods such as guest posting and submitting to writer directories, you can generate genuine leads through your website.
The key to having an effective SEO strategy is to use SEO tools to your advantage; it’s the best way to get accurate data to inform what content you should have on your website.
You can then use these tools to discover blog topics, research your competitors, and analyze your backlinks.
Want to get more writing clients?
Invest in SEO to passively drive organic traffic to your website and attract customers who are actively seeking your services.
Feature image: Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock