It is important to have an online portfolio when you are searching for a home based job. If you are competing with someone for a position and you have similar skill sets and experience, the person who is going to rise above is the one with a professional-looking portfolio.
This applies to not just writing, graphics, or website design people, but research, transcription, and typing as well. Think of all the different samples you can showcase - a perfectly typed and formatted page, a sample spreadsheet compiled from topics that you have researched, a short story or article that you wrote.
Even if you don't have examples of things that you were paid to do, you can create samples that show what you are capable of.
Get very creative and think up all kinds of dummy samples. Do your best work and show off the skills you've got! Show your entire range of skills in the form of "Examples Only" samples. You aren't lying to your future customers...you are showing them examples of what you are capable of. Employers are typically more interested in what you are able to do for them, as opposed to what you've done for others, so it is important to show them what you can do in the form of dummy brochures, logos, transcription samples, research spreadsheets and other types of samples.
Volunteering! - Your services are in demand at local non-profit organizations. This is a terrific way to pad your portfolio. It's also a great way to get paying jobs too! Most of the individuals who volunteer their time at local charities are business owners and prominent people. They love hiring people who are like-minded, so make sure you get out there and show your charitable side. Let the charity know that the work you do for them for free will be featured in your portfolio, and that you would like to provide their name as a reference. Non-profit organizations are happy to comply with this request, and they are often your biggest fans.