You Do Not Need A Portfolio — Start Writing

You can be a paid writer ASAP & for free!

Jyssica Schwartz
4 min readDec 13, 2017


Photo by Clark Tibbs on Unsplash

So, I have long discussed how you should never, ever work for free. And I’ve talked about finding clients, maximizing social media, how to price yourself/determine your rates, and how it is free to start a service-based business.

But how should you get started? Where should your focus and energy and time go?

What about at the beginning, when you don’t have much work and need to build up your portfolio?!

First of all, you do not need a portfolio. I’ve said it a million times, and I will say it a million more. Do not EVER work for free for clients and you don’t need a portfolio.

You do need writing samples. So even if you are completely inexperienced and unpublished, you can just go write 2–3 writing samples, no more than 500–750 words on any topics you choose.

Your samples are proof of your writing abilities and general style. You can send them as Word or PDF to a potential client, or you can put them on your personal blog or Medium and send them as links.

How do you know if your writing is good enough? Simple. Stop judging yourself and look for clients — which is free to do. If people are willing to pay you, then your writing is good enough.

That is not to say that you shouldn’t continue to improve and grow and learn and evolve your writing, but if someone is ready to pay you real money, then your writing is at least good enough for them, which means it will be good for others, too.

Creating a portfolio is something people do as a distraction from actually starting a business.

The same goes for spending time and money creating a fancy website, business cards, taking more classes, and everything else you can think of.

Until someone has agreed to pay you, you cannot know if your idea or service is a viable one.



Jyssica Schwartz

Entrepreneur, writer, editor, book coach, cat lover, weirdo, optimist. Author of “Write. Get Paid. Repeat.” & “Concept to Conclusion.”