Creating Your Online Portfolio

small-bs-magazine-coverI’ve been a professional writer for many years. First as a freelancer writing articles for print publications such as magazines and yearly anthologies. Then I got into online writing, for what would now be considered content mills. Most of those first online sites I wrote for are no longer in existence but it was good experience on how to push out a rather high volume of content in a relatively short amount of time.

Then I started freelancing, then had a few full-time, in-house positions – SEO Copywriter, Senior Copywriter  and Digital Content Specialist were a few of my titles. At the very end of 2013 I stepped away from the full-time corporate world and went back to freelancing for a variety of clients. The problem with freelancing, is that you don’t get any benefits, no paid holidays, no health insurance, no vacation time, etc. But I always seemed to be looking for work, looking for my next client, which can be a bit stressful after awhile.

My goal for 2015 was to find a full-time, in-house salaried position. I answered an ad on Craigslist the end of February, don’t laugh, I’ve found quite a few legitimate writing jobs on Craigslist. Anyways, I was offered an in-house position for a corporate company with 6+ brands. That position started part-time for the month of March and went full-time as of April 1st (no joke)!

I’m making okay $, and decided to purchase a newer car – 2015 Nissan Rogue with 12,000 miles on it. So now that I have a car payment, higher car insurance and am hoping to move into my own place within a few months, it’s time to start taking on a few freelancing jobs on top of my regular job. Or ask my boss for a raise, but I’ve only been there a couple of months and don’t want to rock the boat.

Online Portfolio

So anyways, I’m always struggling on how to best present writing samples to freelance clients. I had a cover letter that included links to lots of samples, but unfortunately many of those links end up going to inactive websites – startups close, businesses restructure, etc. I decided to totally revamp my writing sample document and came up with this online portfolio:

I’ve also copied the portfolio to this blog post so you can take a closer look. The key to having a successful online portfolio is to keep it updated. Not wanting to worry about broken links, I’ve copied the individual pieces of content to my computer (JPG or PDF depending on the format), then uploaded all the content to my The Creative Cottage blog. That gives me a permanent location for the content in the event the company goes M.I.A. If a client needs to see examples of live content, I can personalize the cover letter I send to them to include links to 2-3 samples of content that is still available online.

I’m sure there’s software programs, websites, etc that let you come up with a really cool portfolio, but what if something happens to those companies? I like having my portfolio on my website – hopefully that’s not going anywhere!

Lynn Smythe’s Portfolio
Phone: 561-951-8194


I am a Digital Content Strategist specializing in SEO Copywriting, Public Relations, Reputation Management, Crisis Communications and Social Media Marketing. Always looking for new consulting and freelancing opportunities.

I have over 11 years B2C and B2B content marketing experience including:

  • Content & Marketing Analysis – for startups and existing businesses looking to expand
  • Editorial Calendars – to create comprehensive content marketing plan for all company brands
  • Website Development – creating sites maps, researching, writing, editing content for all web pages
  • Magazine Articles – interviewing Subject Matter Experts (SME), researching, writing, editing
  • Blog Articles – including uploading content to client’s content management system (WordPress, MODX), adding images, in-bound and out-bound links, title and meta descriptions
  • Landing Pages – including creating call to action (CTA)
  • Corporate biographies – including CEO, managers and all employees – for use on websites, print publications and as introductions at public speaking engagements
  • Infographics – researching, writing and creating wireframe mock ups for graphic designer
  • Press Releases – for new product launches, grand openings, community service initiatives, award announcements, etc
  • Newsletters – weekly email newsletters using both Constant Contact and Mail Chimp
  • E-blasts – to announce upcoming conferences, events and trade shows
  • Scripts – worked with Human Resources to create in-house training manuals for different departments
  • Power Point Presentations – used for team building, workshop presentations and in-house training manuals
  • E-Commerce Product Descriptions – for Magento, Shopify, eBay and WooCommerce online catalogs
  • Social Media Marketing (SMM) – SMM editorial calendar and HootSuite for posts to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Tumblr, Medium, Google+
  • Managing Remote Freelance Writers – I’ve worked for 2 marketing agencies and 1 advertising agency in the past, all who had multiple (20+) clients. I had a monthly freelance budget (paid for by the agency) and hired and managed freelancers who helped create blog articles and social media posts letting me concentrate on more complex writing, editing and marketing projects


Cover of July, 2016 issue Behavioral SightingsCompany: Behavioral Sightings
Scope of project – Senior Contributing Editor for Behavioral Sightings magazine. Responsible for researching, writing and editing all editorial content appearing in each issue of the monthly magazine.

Note: click on the magazine cover image to view a PDF file of the content I wrote for the June, 2016 issue of Behavioral Sightings.

Content Deliverables for June 2016 Issue:

  • Letter From the Editor
  • Contributors Biography Page
  • Event Sightings: Innovations in Recovery
  • Event Sightings: Behavioral Healthcare Power Breakfast
  • Spotlight On: – Connecting People
  • Spotlight On: State of Recovery Conference
  • Event Sightings: Orange County Heroes 6K Run
  • Spotlight On: Paul Auchterlonie – Treating the Complete Person
  • Event Sightings: Rx Summit


Company: Vision Precision Holding
Scope of project: research and write content for infographics to accompany patient education articles I wrote for their Stanton Optical brand. Create wireframe mockup of infographic before handing off to graphic designer for completion. NOTE: For a detailed look at any of these emails, click on the picture, then click on the zoom button to see the infographic in original size.

AR_lenses Bifocals Eye_exam_frequency Lenses-that_transition Progressive_lenses










Screenshot 2016-06-01 14.19.29Company:
Scope of project – created site map of website layout, researched and developed content for 9 page website.

    1. Homepage
    2. About Us
    3. One-On-One Therapy
    4. Personal Coaching
    5. Group Sessions
    6. Continuing Education
    7. FAQ
    8. Affiliates
    9. Contact


Screenshot 2016-06-01 14.17.45Company:

Scope of project – researched and developed content for 8 page website.

    1. Homepage
    2. Editorial
    3. Audience
    4. Circulation
    5. Marketing
    6. Advertising
    7. Events
    8. Contact Us


Scope of project – research and write newsletter focusing on a different marketing topic each week. Emailed to their B2B clients via Constant Contact.

          1. Providing Great Customer Service
          2. Your Patients are More than Revenue Dollars
          3. Lead Generation for Addiction Treatment Industry
          4. Conference-Networking-Tips
          5. Why Aren’t You Tracking Calls?
          6. Common Call Center Mistakes

Scope of project – research and write newsletter focusing on a different practice area each week. Emailed to their B2B clients via Constant Contact.

            1. Treatment Centers and the NIMBY War Cry
            2. Litigation for Treatment Facilities
            3. Licensing for Addiction Treatment Centers
            4. Tax Law for Addiction Treatment Centers
            5. Accreditation for Addiction Treatment Centers
            6. Find the Perfect Site for Your Treatment Center


Scope of project – write short e-blasts (emails) to sell products and services and market their attendance at industry events, conferences and trade shows.

NOTE: For a detailed look at any of these emails, click on the picture, then click on the zoom button to see the eblast in original size.

Thank you for attending Phoenix Lunch & Learn
Addiction Executive Panel Series
Atlanta Lunch & Learn Series
Nashville Lunch & Learn Series
Introducing Buffered Calls - 72 Hour BOGO Sale from
Thank you for attending Innovations in Recovery
Costa Mesa Lunch & Learn SeriesBuffered Calls from
Thank you for attending BH Panel Series in Costa Mesa
WCSAD Conference