We present a low-cost fabrication procedure for the production of nanoscale periodic GaAs nanopillar arrays, using the nanosphere lithography technique as a templating mechanism and the electrochemical metal assisted etch process (MacEtch). The room-temperature photoluminescence (PL) and Raman spectroscopic properties of the fabricated pillars are detailed, as are the structural properties (scanning electron microscopy) and fabrication process. From our PL measurements, we observe a singular GaAs emission at 1.43 eV with no indications of any blue or green emissions, but with a slight redshift due to porosity induced by the MacEtch process and characteristic of porous GaAs (p-GaAs). This is further confirmed via Raman spectroscopy, where additionally we observe the formation of an external cladding of elemental As around our nanopillar features. The optical emission is enhanced by an order magnitude (similar to 300%) for our nanopillar sample relative to the planar unprocessed GaAs reference.