Freelance writers, journalists, and bloggers need to show editors and prospect clients examples of their work. It can be a hassle though — you have to attach clips to an e-mail, or put them up on your own website, or try to direct that editor/client to several different websites.
But British journalist and fellow freelancer Nicholas Holmes has come up with a brilliant way for you to easily showcase your clips in one slick portfolio on one website. That website is cuttings.me. (Why “cuttings”? Because that’s the British term for a published clip or other writing sample.) He kindly agreed to an interview about his new service.
Interview with Founder Nicholas Holmes
What inspired you to create a site for freelance writers and journalists to feature their published work?
I started cuttings.me because as far as I could see, there was nothing like it out there — I needed a simple way to collate my clips as I was sick of sending over a collection of URLs/PDFs etc to anyone who requested them.
I didn’t want to set up a whole WordPress/Joomla site for what I thought should be a relatively simple page, so I thought I’d have a go at creating something fresh which other people could use too.
What are the top features of cuttings.me?
Cuttings.me is really about creating a beautiful, personal journalism space to be proud of — it allows people to write a bio, add their social media links, upload clips and theme the whole thing as they want. It takes just a few minutes to create a great space with a personal URL (e.g. cuttings.me/yourname).
I would say the customization options and the file upload features are among the most powerful. You can really personalize a page by selecting your own colors or images, helping to put that unique personal brand on there. Once that’s done, you add clips either using a link or by uploading a PDF file, which makes it great for print journalists to showcase their work.
How can cuttings.me help a freelance writer/journalist who already has his or her own website?
Cuttings.me is designed to be easy – it takes under a minute to add or edit a clip and you can rearrange them just by dragging them around. Plus, there’s no need to worry about the design as it’s all done for you. So if you have a website that’s a hassle to maintain, a cuttings.me page will definitely prove an easier way to showcase your portfolio — lots of users choose to link to their cuttings.me page from their website.
You allow links to the writer’s website and social media profiles. Which social media links are allowed, and are you open to expanding those in the future?
At the moment you can add Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr and a blog. I’ve already had a bit of feedback on this and the options will be expanding shortly — if there’s enough feedback, I’m always open to something!
How do you address potential permissions issues for both uploaded PDF clips and photos?
Users are required to ensure that they have permission to upload copyrighted material, whether that’s a PDF clip or a photo, in the same way that I would hope they would if they posted it on a personal blog.
Right now the site isn’t set up for a visitor to see the writing portfolios of people who’ve joined. Will it stay that way, and what are the pros and cons of that?
Good question. There’s a balance to be struck here I think – while many users want to share their portfolios far and wide, some are more private. Your cuttings.me URL stays private until you decide to share it at the moment, which I think is the best option. That said, the latest addition is an opt-in ‘gallery’ of profiles on the front page which people have been very keen to join.
In the future, people signing up to the site are likely to be asked whether they want a public or a private profile, which should keep everyone happy.
How Can People Give You Feedback?
END of the interview — thank you Nicholas!
Setting Up My Profile and Create My Portfolio Was Easy
It took about ten minutes to set up my writing portfolio on cuttings.me, and after that it was about a minute or less to add each “cutting” (clip or publication). I chose one post from each of my main blogs, plus a guest blog post I wrote.
What do you think of cuttings.me? What are its advantages? Potential disadvantages? Any questions or suggestions for Nicholas?