Marketing August 15, 2020 Last updated August 14th, 2020 144 Reads share

5 Sites Where You Can Instantly Publish Live Portfolio Pieces

Image Credit: DepositPhotos

We’ve all seen those posts.

‘Start making money as a freelance writer with NO EXPERIENCE!’

Sure. They make it sound so easy, don’t they?

Except that when you start to delve into it a little deeper, you realize that most of the people who are telling you this did NOT start without experience, and it’s pretty hard to get someone to hire you when you’re a newbie.

It can even be hard to get someone to let you guest post when you are new!

You need to build up credibility, and the best way to do this is with a freelance writing portfolio, so you can show potential clients that you can write.

But …. how do you show potential clients samples if you have NO EXPERIENCE?! 

I know, I know, it can feel like an endless loop when you’re starting out!

There are a few ways that I often see other bloggers suggesting.

You can:

  • Create a blog and use posts as samples 
  • Publish articles on LinkedIn Publisher 
  • Guest Post 
  • Write for friends and family 

These can all be great ways to create samples – but they don’t work for everyone.

What if you don’t have ANY friends or family members with a business or a blog?

What if you can’t get accepted for a guest post because you’re competing with established writers who are trying to boost traffic.

What if your clients don’t trust your ability because your samples come from your own blog or your LinkedIn page?

These are genuine challenges that new freelancers face, and I know how frustrating it can be.

But luckily, there IS another option that many bloggers don’t talk about.

One that means you can create portfolio samples with links to famous publications that look professional and that you can do right now.

Sounds too good to be true, right?

Enter online publishing platforms.

These are sites that allow you to post articles, then and there for free.

Not only will these sites give you a link to a website (that isn’t your own) to include on the portfolio that looks professional and offers you credibility, you’ll also be getting your articles out there for people to see, so you’ll be building exposure at the same time.

Some sites even pay you for your articles.

I’ve put together a list of 5 of these sites ( which are continuously recommended by other freelancers) so you can start creating writing samples that make you LOOK like you’ve been writing for years.

1. MEDIUM

Medium is the best online publication that allows freelancers (or anyone, for that matter) to write content and publish it for free.

You can write about anything on medium – but they recommend you to write long-form pieces that are either ‘think’ or educational.

As a new freelancer, I was recommended Medium by many other bloggers, and now it’s MY top recommendation too.

Why Should You Use It?

  • Medium is used by governments, magazines, authors, business authorities, well-known bloggers, and new writers. Adding samples and links to articles published on Medium to your portfolio will make you look professional and build credibility with potential clients.
  • Medium allows you to connect your social media followers AND connect with the community that already exists in Medium. If you already have a following, you can connect them on medium so they can find you quickly, but you can also promote your self with each article by adding social media handles at the end. Medium also has a strong community of writers and bloggers that are already in your niche that you can connect with, and you’ll get exposure to a massive audience because Medium is popular, and people look to it as an authority and for information.
  •  Medium allows you to view your analytics for each article, so you can see what is performing well and what isn’t. Medium also helps you with SEO and gives you pointers as to what makes a great article, so you’ll automatically start creating writing samples for your portfolio that are optimized and that impress clients. Medium also has editors who review articles they think are good, and they will recommend these to readers, so they’ll help you get exposure for your articles and your name if your writing is excellent.
  • You can get paid. Medium has a partner program, that is free to sign up to, and once you fill in all the information, you can get paid if your articles are popular on the site. Other members of Medium who like your articles can give you ‘claps,’ which are basically likes, and the more time spent by members reading your articles, the more money you can make.

2. THE ELEPHANT JOURNAL

The elephant journal is similar to Medium, but it asks for articles to focus on ‘mindfulness’. It includes categories that range from recipes and health to travel and family, so depending on your freelance niche, there’s likely a place for you.

Why Should You Use It?

  • The Elephant Journal allows you to post instantly and get a linked, professional-looking article that you can add to your portfolio. The editors often check your work to make sure it’s grammatically correct, but you get a live link instantly, which boosts your portfolio. The articles are suggested to be around 800 words, so it’s a great place to build samples and links for your portfolio quickly.
  • The Elephant Journal is a community in the same way that medium is, so it is full of other writers, potential clients, and audiences for exposure. Like Medium, other members of the community can ‘like’ and promote your work to get you more views, and if the editors like your work, they will help to promote your articles.

3. HUBPAGES

Hubpages is like Medium – you post articles that go live, that then have a chance to be seen by a broader audience. The editors can be little pickier than other sites, and if you post an article that doesn’t meet their standards, they’ll contact you and ask you to improve it (they will, however, offer you free editing advice which can be helpful to get you better samples.)

Why Should You Use It?

  • Hubpages is designed to help you create good quality samples and articles. They have a bunch of tips on how to create pieces that will be promoted and featured by the editorial team.They also have a lot of features that you can use when creating articles, like videos, tables, graphs, and polls, which can add an edge to your portfolio samples and give you experience in creating intricate work.
  • Hubpages has a strong community that can help you connect with publishers and clients, other bloggers and writers, and audience members within your niche. Many users cite this community as being the best part of Hubpages because other users are usually open to mentorship and are generous with advice.
  • Hubpages has an excellent reputation. Not only does it have a tremendous amount of traffic every day, that offers good exposure (especially if you have a featured article), but the high standards of the editing team mean that clients know the work on Hubpages is of a good standard, and this gives you credibility.

The Not-so-Great Part

Although Hubpages is great in many ways, there is a catch for new writers that stops it from being as good as other sites.

You’re required to go through a ‘boot camp’ when signing up – meaning you need to write five articles that are considered good enough to be featured. This can make it a little harder to quickly create samples that you can use for live portfolio links.

Live journal is an online publishing and content creation site that focuses on community and social media shares. The content that is shared can be about anything and everything and isn’t limited to articles either.

4. LIVE JOURNAL

Live journal is an online publishing and content creation site that focuses on community and social media shares. The kind of content that can be shared can be about anything and everything, and it isn’t limited to articles either.

Why Should You Use It?

  • Live Journal gets a lot of traffic on a day to day basis, and it’s fairly well recognized as a website, so it looks good to have something recognizable on your portfolio. Live journal also has a massive global community that can help you build and connect with a wide range of readers – be those potential clients or a possible audience.
  • Live Journal doesn’t limit you to a specific topic, and you don’t have to meet a specific editorial standard to post content, which means if you’re trying to build up a portfolio that includes live samples quickly, Live Journal is an easy way to do that.

The Not-so-Great Part

Live journal is well known, but it’s not necessarily famous for having amazing content, and the site itself can look a little unprofessional and spammy, so the quality of your samples won’t be as high as links from somewhere like Medium or Hubpages.

This also affects the type of community that you can build on live journal, so this site really is better for beginners who just want to create samples quickly.

5. AIRTRACT

AirTract is another online site that allows you to post your own articles (or create courses)

Why Should You Use It?

  • There are no strict content guidelines, so you’re able to quickly create and publish articles that will give you live links to add to your portfolio.
  • The layout on AirTract blog posts looks good, and the quality of many of the posts are great, so the links that you’ll be creating will take potential clients to blog post and articles that look legit.
  • AirTract lets you publish and post any kind of content or subject matter, so regardless of your niche, you can create samples and publish them with ease.

The Not-so-Great Part

The (lack of) submission rules at Airtract means that it’s not regarded as an authority or a site that guarantees you a good reputation, so it’s better to use Airtract when you’re just starting as a blogger.

The sites itself, once you go onto the home page, is pretty poorly written, with plenty of spelling and grammatical mistakes, so I would recommend Airtract as a jumping-off point – then try to move onto sites like medium or get job samples as soon as possible.

I hope that this is useful for new bloggers out there! Let me know in the comments if you have any other ideas to add!

If you liked this post or know someone who will, then give it a share!

DepositPhotos – blogging

Elle Juliette

Elle Juliette

Elle is a digital marketing and finance writer who likes helping entrepreneurs grow their business and making money make sense. When not writing she can be found at the beach, hiking, or avidly completing crosswords.

Read Full Bio