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The #1 reason your freelance writing samples aren’t winning you any work

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You’re a good writer.

And you know it.

You feel confident that you’ve got a strong portfolio full of writing samples that show off your chops.

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There’s just one problem:

While your samples are well-written, they aren’t helping you sell your freelance writing services.

And you wonder why this is happening. You don’t understand how your mad writing skills can be so easily overlooked.

Well, I’ll tell you:

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Your writing isn’t the issue here.

This is the real reason your freelance writing samples aren’t winning you work:

Your writing samples don’t position your niche expertise.

If your portfolio contains samples about a bunch of unrelated topics, you’ve got a big problem with the way you’re marketing yourself.

Because high-paying clients aren’t looking for variety – they’re looking for proof that you know your stuff when it comes to their specific industry.

In other words, you need to pick a freelance writing niche and create samples that show you have expertise in that niche.

(Unless, you know, you actually want to be stuck with low-paying clients.)

Put yourself in a client’s shoes for a second – imagine you work for a technology company, and you’re tasked with hiring a new writer.

Are you going to be quick to hire a writer who has a bunch of random samples and no clear niche?

Or are you going to hire a technology freelance writer who has a portfolio full of writing samples about technology?

You’re going to hire the second one – every time.

Even if they’re technically not as good of a writer, you’ll still pick them because of how they’re marketing themselves as a perfect fit for the exact kind of content you need.

An example of how to create an effective writing sample

Let’s say you specialize in writing B2B technology blog posts – that’s your niche.

One way you could create a good writing sample is to give your target client some marketing tips related to what you do.

For example, you might create a blog post called:

X Reasons Why Your B2B Technology Business Needs a Blog

By doing this, you’d not only position yourself as a B2B technology business expert – you’d get your potential clients thinking about why it’s a good idea to hire you.

Another approach is to simply write about the subject matter you’d normally write about for clients in your niche.

So, continuing with the B2B technology niche example, you might write a blog post about a specific type of technology.

You can self-publish posts like these using a tool like Medium or LinkedIn Publisher, or you can pitch them as guest post ideas to blogs in your niche industry.

Try to at least land a couple guest posts – having bylines on blogs your target clients regularly read will help you build your credibility.

Remember, being a good writer isn’t enough to make you a success

The way you market yourself is often far more important than your actual writing skills.

Don’t get me wrong – you absolutely need to be a good writer who knows what they’re doing.

But you also have to make clients understand why you’re a good fit for them – they should know it the second they see your freelance writer website and writing samples.

Bottom line:

Stop worrying about variety in your writing portfolio, and start focusing more on positioning your expertise to a specific clientele.

Because trust me – picking a profitable niche and marketing your niche expertise is one of the best things you’ll do for your freelance writing career.

What are your best tips for creating effective freelance writing samples? Share in the comments section below!

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About Jorden Roper

Jorden Roper is the fuchsia-haired founder of Writing Revolt, where she shares no-BS advice for freelance writers and bloggers. Get her free, in-depth course on how to build a highly profitable freelance writing business (even if you’re a total newbie) here!

Leave a Comment



  1. Hey Jorden,

    Great article! You hit the nail on the head with this one. You know, when I first learned this.. I was SO excited that the light had finally came on for me.

    It’s easier for writers to think they need to showcase how they can do “it all”, when that’s actual the opposite of what professional clients are looking for.


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