I have been a freelance web designer for more than 10 years and I've seen many new good designers struggling to get proper clients due to the lack of credibility and portfolio. I understand that new designers are desperate for clients and find it hard to charge higher rates due to price competitions from low level designers. What I'm going to share is a simple method for designers who need a credible portfolio to get better paying clients. This method has made me land deals with 2 big advertising agencies who subcontracted their jobs to me until today. Please take note that this works best if you already a good designer. If you're shitty designer it could backfire and ruin your credibility. WHAT YOU NEED Hosting with a couple of addon domains option. Money to buy domain name(s). Your time to work on the design (if you don't have work, then consider this is your time investment to get better payment) FIND EXPIRED DOMAIN Sign up to expireddomains.net and look for expired domains. Use the filter to search keywords or niche that suits you. For example, if you're good at designing restaurant-type websites, search for 'cafe' or 'pizza' and go through the results. For an example, lets look at the domain name above. Use the ACR column to see how the website looks like previously. Take a screenshot of the old website look, and register the domain name. Tips when registering domain names: Get Whois privacy features. We want to minimize the chances of your information from being know by public. REDESIGN OLD WEBSITE Here's how the website looks like in 2015 (and you're going to redesign this): Please bear in mind that you're about to design a website for businesses that probably still active (but didn't renew the domain or switched to a different domain name) or the business has already shut down. Just be cautious when include real address or phone numbers on the website. Don't forget to include a remark "Website design by <Your Name>" at the footer. Once done, upload it to a hosting server so it's available online. You can repeat this process as much as you like, depending on your budget and time. CREATE CASE STUDIES Once you have complete the new re-design of the website, it's time for you to make a case study for the design where you can show to the potential clients, before and after the redesign process. This is where you're going to seal the deal - by presenting your creativity in website makeover and how you could deliver the same result to new clients. PROTIP: When searching for expired domain, look for domain that belong to previous minisite campaign from giant consumer brands like Nestle or Gillete. For example, shown above is available domain for Walgreens #shareacoke campaign. But as any blackhat method, be creative & careful with this approach. If you showcase this type of domains on your portfolio website, you can impress clients who think you've done jobs for giant companies. CONCLUSION Bear in mind that this method is merely giving an old dead website a new fresh looks. As long as it's your own works, it would be a selling point to potential clients who now, have seen your capabilities, will have better consideration to hire you at better rates. Again, if you're naturally sucks at design, this won't probably work. All the best.