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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.