How to Build a Copywriting Portfolio + 15 Inspiring Examples
Building a strong copywriting portfolio is easy – once you have a few successful projects under your belt.
You’ve probably heard the age-old question, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?”
Many aspiring copywriters have a similar quandary about their copywriting portfolio:
How do you get samples without getting hired, and how do you find copywriting clients without samples?
Keep in mind a writing sample has one primary purpose: to show prospective clients you actually know how to write effective copy.
Will every client ask for samples? Most new clients will. Especially if you don’t have any other proof of your capabilities, like testimonials posted on your website or a list of previous clients to share. If you’re a new copywriter, you most likely have neither of those yet.
Even if you do, a client who is not familiar with you will probably want to see a sample of your work before hiring you.
This article will help you create copywriting samples for your portfolio to give prospective clients confidence in your writing ability.
You’ll also find fifteen examples of copywriting portfolios for inspiration to start building your own.
You Don’t Need a Lot of Samples In a Copywriting Portfolio
Many writers picture copywriter portfolios as giant binders bulging with writing samples that get hauled around when meeting clients.
Or a slick page on their website with dozens of examples of the work they’ve done for big-name companies.
But the reality is, you only need a few samples. And who you wrote them for doesn’t even matter.
Clients just want to see an example of your writing – that’s all a sample is – so they can gauge whether or not you understand copywriting principles and can write effectively.
They are far too busy to wade through a pile of writing samples. And they don't need to …
It’s easy for them to tell in a matter of minutes whether you are a fit for them.
They will usually only ask for a sample or two.
So, which copywriting samples should you send?
Send the ones that best match the client’s project. For example, if they’re considering hiring you to write emails, send email samples you’ve written.
If you don’t have a sample of the same type, the next best thing is to send a sales letter you’ve written. Copywriting for a sales letter will include most, if not all, of the same elements. The client just needs to see a sample of your work that demonstrates similar writing techniques.
Another strategy, recommended by B2B expert Steve Slaunwhite, is to put together a portfolio of related writing samples.
”For example, you may not have written a white paper before, but you may have written an e-book or long-form magazine article. Those projects are comparable in length and style and require similar skills, such as research, interviewing, and clear writing and storytelling.”
Or, if you have knowledge, experience, or insights into your prospect’s industry, you can send a writing sample which shows you understand their market, lingo, and target audience.
Keep in mind what they are trying to discover … Can you write copy for them?
And it’s easy to prove you can once you know how to build a copywriting portfolio that gets results.
Before we dive into the how-to, let’s look at some real-life portfolio examples. You’ll learn what makes an impressive copywriting portfolio — and realize that building your own isn’t as daunting as it sounds.
15 Copywriting Portfolio Examples
What does a copywriting portfolio look like? Get inspired with these great copywriter portfolio examples, so you can start landing your dream clients right away. The list features a wide range of professional copywriters, some of whom learned the craft through our copywriting courses.
Example #1: Kayla Hollatz
Kayla Hollatz checks all the boxes of a well-designed copywriting portfolio homepage. Her site is visually stunning but never distracts from her clear, compelling offer: conversion copywriting with personality.
High-paying copywriting clients want to know you can deliver results, and Kayla makes her credentials clear by including success metrics with each copywriting portfolio example.
Don’t have project analytics yet? Testimonials work well, too. Don’t be afraid to ask friends or colleagues for reviews if you’re just starting out.
You’ll notice that Kayla’s copywriter portfolio displays a broad range of clients, so prospects immediately know if she’s a good match for their needs. You can get a snapshot of each project with her straightforward introductions or peruse her work in detail by clicking ‘View Project.’
Example #2: est creative
Here’s what I love about est creative’s copywriting portfolio:
Emily isn’t just a copywriter and content strategist; she’s a master at her craft. She makes it clear from the get-go why you should hire her instead of a content mill or doing it yourself.
Hop over to Emily’s copywriter portfolio, and you’ll see she supports her expertise with a simple but intriguing headline: 17 years. 10 industries. Hundreds of creative briefs.
Emily’s lengthy portfolio could be overwhelming — but it’s not. That’s because a well-organized sidebar lets prospects easily search for projects based on industry or brand, an easy way to find relevant case studies.
Remember, potential clients want to see the writing projects most similar to their needs (not everything you’ve ever penned.)
Example #3: Michal Eisikowitz
You'll be hard-pressed to find a more creative copywriter website than that of Michal Eisikowitz. Michal makes clever use of business “doppelgangers”, so prospects instantly feel seen and understood. Then, Michal provides an easy solution to her client's pain points: hire a perfectionist copywriter obsessed with high-performing copy, so you win every time.
Michal has worked with over 150 clients, but she chooses to showcase only a few on her copywriter portfolio. This is a clever way to go in-depth on projects that best represent your work and skillset.
Notice Michal leads each case study with a testimonial. Then, she explains the background, the client’s problem, and — most importantly — her solution. Michal ends with a gorgeous Call To Action, so prospects know the exact next step to take to get the copy solutions they need.
Example #4: Dinma Writes
Choosing between copywriting niches is a proven way to earn more as a writer. So, let’s take a look at Dinma Writes, a copywriter who uniquely positions herself as an expert B2B copywriter in tech and food writing. Anyone in these industries will know Chidinma understands their unique needs and likely hire her over the competition.
Chidinma’s copywriter portfolio emphasizes relevant work in her B2B copywriting niches, and you can easily click through any featured image to read her work in its entirety.
Another intelligent detail on her copywriter portfolio? Prospects can’t miss the bright blue ‘Contact Me’ button at the top of her portfolio page — a simple yet effective Call To Action.
Example #5: Elna Cain
Elna Cain is a freelance copywriter from Canada. Her copywriter website doesn’t waste any time showing off her Klout; with logos from The Huffington Post and OptinMonster, it’s obvious Elna knows and means business. (If you’re a new copywriter, asking to be a guest blogger is a fast way to build your credibility.)
Elna boasts a far-reaching copywriter portfolio with clients across many industries. She helps prospects avoid overwhelm by displaying a portfolio navigation bar at the top of her samples.
Example #6: The Expat Copywriter
Elena’s copywriter website oozes with personality. And that’s a very good thing because Elena’s brand focuses on unique, emotion-driven content that’s custom-catered to her target audience.
Elena chooses to highlight projects that illustrate vastly different tones and styles. Her thoughtful selection of projects portrays her ability to capture voice and tone. Elena also states that she’s bilingual — a hard-to-find copywriting skill that differentiates her from other copywriters.
Example #7: Gari Cruze
Gari Cruze knows his copywriting clients are busy. They don’t want to slog through countless accolades — and Gari doesn’t make them. Instead, his copywriting portfolio features colorful, inviting images, so users can immediately learn more about relevant projects.
Click on the images, and you’ll notice Gari provides only the information you absolutely need to know: background details, project specifications, and results generated.
Gari also realizes his website doubles as a copywriting sample; each sentence is masterfully crafted to showcase his wit and wordsmithery.
Example #8: Steve Maurer
The main function of a copywriter portfolio website is to make it as easy as possible for prospective clients to hire you.
On Steve Maurer’s portfolio page, it’s crystal-clear how to contact him. No bells and whistles, just the exact next steps copywriting clients need to take to get in touch.
Steve’s copywriter portfolio also features a gorgeous case study, followed by relevant content marketing and ghostwriting examples.
Pro tip: Wondering how to become a ghostwriter? Our guide breaks down everything you need to know.
Example #9: Visibility Up
Visibility Up knows most industrial tech companies struggle to find copywriters who understand the nuances of their industry. That’s where Visibility Up founder, Ralph McGinnis, comes in. With 18 years of industrial tech experience and extensive social proof, Ralph clearly positions himself as the industrial tech copywriter.
Ralph’s copywriting portfolio is clean and well-organized. Search for the project that best suits your needs, then click the link for more details.
Don’t see what you’re looking for? Ralph offers to provide samples on spec — a wise idea if you’re still building up your writing samples.
Example #10: Kristen Stelzer
Kristen is a niche copywriter who specializes in “transforming tech for your market.” Her chic but straightforward website makes excellent use of specific, well-written testimonials. After all, who doesn’t want to work with a “unicorn” or a “silver bullet”?
Kristen’s copywriting portfolio page includes links to a comprehensive and diverse client base, yet doesn't feel repetitive. Media mentions and additional testimonials further validate Kristen’s expertise.
Example #11: Kismet Copywriting
Li Vasquez-Noone has written extensively for AWAI, so we’re well acquainted with her writing wizardry. Here’s what makes Li’s copywriting portfolio so great, though …
Not only does Li include client copywriting projects, but she also links to sample lead generation emails created for AWAI's signature copywriting course. Completing course exercises is a sure-fire way to build your copywriter portfolio. This is one of the many reasons investing in a copywriting course is worth it. I go in-depth on this in Tip #12 below.
Example #12: Lazar Marketing
How do you use storytelling in your website copy to captivate an audience and inspire them to take action? Hop over to Lazar Marketing for inspiration.
Candace isn’t just a copywriter but a lawyer, too. She uses this to create vivid mental imagery throughout her copywriter website.
Read a few lines of her homepage, and you’ll quickly realize you need Candace on your side to grow your business. Candace’s portfolio page is straight-to-the-point and well organized, so prospects can easily learn more about her projects and background.
Example #13: Content Clear
Content Clear Marketing helps you sell more with persuasive online copywriting, so every word, click, and offer attracts more customers.
With hundreds of websites under their belt, Content Clear Marketing chooses to exhibit a selective copywriting portfolio. I appreciate that their client list is organized alphabetically for easy scanning.
Looking for a copywriting portfolio example specific to your industry but don’t see it here? Prospects can request a related sample.
Example #14: Pet Copywriter
Pet Copywriter’s portfolio page doesn’t beat around the bush: if you’re a pet or veterinary company in need of copywriting and content marketing, then you’re in the right place.
With a long list of industry-specific clients and projects, Pet Copywriter is another example of how niching down can make you a more efficient and effective copywriter. Not sure how to find the niche for you? Discover the easiest way to choose a copywriting niche here.
Example #15: Gold Feather Copywriting
Don’t leave copywriting clients guessing if they’ve landed in the right place. Instead, take a note from Gold Feather Copywriting and speak to their pain points right away — then provide an easy solution to their needs.
Like the other excellent copywriter portfolios we've seen, Gold Feather Copywriting demonstrates her direct response copywriting skills with sample work.
She includes a summary of the project, so prospects know exactly how she supported her clients — and the results she generated.
9 Ways to Build Up Your Copywriting Portfolio and Get Hired
Now that you’ve seen top copywriter portfolio examples, you have some ideas on how to put yours together. But what if you don’t have any writing samples to include?
Remember, you only need a couple of samples to get hired. Here are nine different ways to produce copywriting samples for your portfolio.
1. Complete a Course Exercise
Many copywriting courses (such as The AWAI Method™ for Becoming a Skilled, In-Demand Copywriter) include a copywriting exercise. If you’ve completed such a course, then you have a sample already.
Even better if it has been reviewed by a working copywriter and you’ve gotten feedback on it. If your copy hasn’t been reviewed, then have some of your copywriting peers review it. You’ll end up with a stronger sample to show prospects.
As writers, we’re not often the best judge of our own work, so letting others review it is good practice. And this applies not only to your samples, but for any writing you do!
2. Do Spec Assignments
Some companies will ask you to write “on spec.” This is a lot like an actor going on an audition. Companies ask writers to submit copy for a specified assignment. Then they select the writer that fits their need at the time.
Any specs you write make great samples for your copywriting portfolio.
Now you might be thinking, “Is it really a good sample even if I’m not selected for the job?”
Not getting hired doesn’t mean your writing isn’t good; it just means that other people are a better fit for the project.
And it’s not uncommon for writers who submit copywriting spec assignments to be contacted by the company months later:
“Remember that spec you wrote for us? We’d like to hire you.”
3. Reach Out to Your Network
Talk to your friends, family, co-workers, and people you do business with (hairstylist, chiropractor, accountant, owner of the coffee shop, etc.) and tell them you’re a copywriter.
You’d be surprised how many people know someone who runs their own business or has contacts in a business you could write for.
In a small business where the owner is also responsible for the marketing, they may not know much about copywriting and don’t have time to focus on it. That means more than likely they will be very receptive to your help.
If you have an existing relationship with a business owner, the conversation about writing copy for them will be easier.
4. Work for Free
When it comes to building your copywriter portfolio, this is a hotly debated topic. On one side, some people say you should never work for free because it undervalues your skills and the profession.
Others believe that it’s ok for a new copywriter to take on a few free assignments to gain experience, build their portfolio, and come away with client testimonials (be sure to ask for them.)
You can also consider bartering your writing for a return favor or free or discounted products and services.
Use a contract to stipulate that the fee is zero (or in consideration of other forms of payment) and that you get to use the sample for your own marketing. If a testimonial is part of the deal, put it in the contract as well.
It’s a good idea to make it clear this is a one-time offer so they don’t expect you to work for free next time.
5. Write for a Civic, Nonprofit, or Other Group
Churches, civic clubs, schools, nonprofits, fundraisers, animal rescues, and other groups have marketing needs. After all, their goals could be to raise awareness, raise money, or get people to attend an event that benefits their organization.
Most of these groups have a website that could probably use some improvement, a newsletter that needs articles, or a blog that could use more posts.
Some groups have budgets to hire professionals, but a lot of them have limited funding, so they just do it themselves. These groups will be receptive to your offer of help, especially if it doesn’t cost them very much.
In turn, you get a sample for your copywriting portfolio. Find a group whose cause you support and do some writing for them. It’s a win-win.
6. Polish your Copywriting Business Marketing Materials
Many new copywriters overlook their own business as a source of samples for their copywriter portfolio.
Your professional website is filled with several pieces of sales copy and content. If you have a blog, that counts as a sample.
Do you have a lead-generation magnet prospects can opt in to receive? That’s a copywriting sample, as well as the landing page that goes along with it.
Do you send out prospecting emails or an email marketing newsletter? Do you appear high on the search engines? That’s proof of your SEO capabilities.
The truth is, your website may be the first sample your prospects see before they even talk to you. Make sure it’s a powerful example of your copywriting skills.
7. Share Other Work Experience Samples
You can also include writing samples from your current or prior employers …
Maybe you’ve written press releases, sales letters, blog posts, articles for industry publications or the company magazine, convention materials, or newsletter pieces that worked well.
As long as they’re relevant samples that demonstrate the quality of your writing, you can include them.
8. Write About a Product or Service You Use
Do you use a product or service you love so much that you tell everyone about it? Write some sales copy, an email, or an article about it!
This is a great way to create a sample because you’re already very enthusiastic about it, which will come out in your copy.
The sample doesn’t have to have been published. You can even add the disclaimer that this is a sample only, not a published piece.
Being passionate about your topic will help you create a solid sample for your portfolio.
9. Rewrite Copy for a Prospective Client
This idea for your copywriter portfolio targets a company you’d like to work with. Choose one of their products or services. If you know they are looking for writers for a specific product or service, choose that one.
Find some of the copy they’re currently using. It could be their website copy, a landing page, product description, sales letter, or an email. Rewrite that copy, making it better.
Send them the sample with a professional cover letter saying you have a different approach or new idea for the copy that you think would work well. Of course, you’d never say their existing copy is bad or needs improvement. Instead, focus on your enthusiasm for their product.
Presenting Your Copywriting Samples So You Get Hired
Now that you have your copywriting samples created, it’s time to present them to your potential client.
Create a portfolio page on your website using the examples we shared for inspiration. Present each sample on a separate page.
It’s also helpful to create a professional-looking document for each sample, that you can share directly with prospects. At the top of the document, add your business information, including name, email address, phone number, and website. If you have a logo, you can put it on there too.
Whether you are presenting samples on your website or separate documents, provide the following context to showcase each piece and demonstrate your expertise:
- Purpose of the piece: “This email is for a lead generation campaign.”
- Audience of the piece: “The target audience is prospects who are unfamiliar with the product.” (You could include basic demographic or psychographic information, but nothing proprietary.)
- Constraints or specific requirements of the piece: “The client stipulated specific language that needed to be included.”
- Outcome: “This piece helped the client achieve _______.”
Describe the context of how your sample was used so the client understands how your copy met the needs of the campaign. Make this description concise … just enough to say what it is. Your sample will immediately follow the introduction.
Prospective clients will be more impressed by this professional sample presentation than they will by a raw sample titled “Sample for [business name here].”
Now It’s Your Turn
As you get more writing experience (and more samples), update your copywriting portfolio with your best work.
Keep it at the ready for whenever you’re asked, “Do you have any samples you can send me?”
You can answer with confidence, “I sure do, and I’ll send them to you right away.”
There’s always a client somewhere waiting to see samples from your copywriting portfolio. When you build a solid portfolio, you’ll impress your prospective customers and increase your odds of hearing, “You’re hired!”
This was a great article! It gave great ideas for samples and I love the way the samples should be presented. It sounds pretty easy to accomplish and makes me believe that I can do this.