Estimated reading time: 5 mins
You might have heard a few freelancing success stories, whether they be from the internet or your friends. Freelancing can be a lucrative endeavor if done right, that’s where knowing the fact on how to do it comes into place.
Freelancers need to be on a constant lookout for opportunities, as the competition is fierce due to a rise in popularity. Given the situation, having a platform to showcase your skills is a must and there’s no better way to do so other than creating your own portfolio site.
Why Bother Creating It Yourself?
To be fair, whether you’re a photographer, writer, designer, or a developer, the internet can provide for all. Various online platforms enable you to build a portfolio by simply signing up on their sites. Some of them do not even have a price tag.
But, the options are pre-built for you and further customizations is not possible. It simply doesn’t make you stand out. On the other hand, if you create your own portfolio site, the sky is the limit, especially if you know how to code. Even if you don’t, creating a stunning website is fairly easy with various CMS platforms and web builders.
More importantly, a custom portfolio site will make you look more professional – a plus from the get-go.
5 Tips to Consider when Creating a Portfolio Site
Here are some of the tips for you to consider when starting out with a portfolio site:
1. Pick a Reliable Hosting Provider
Web hosting is what makes your site (portfolio in this case) going. Everything from placing your site’s files to making sure your online portfolio doesn’t go down.
When picking a reliable hosting provider, there are a few things you should always look out for, here is part of the criteria that makes a good web hosting provider.
Uptime and downtime, which represents how often your site goes down. Please be mindful that the minimum industry standard is 99%. Simply look away from anything lower than that.
Load time should be taken as seriously too. You can make sure that your site will always be accessible and fast. Anything higher than a 3 second page load time increases the bounce rate significantly.
Customer support is the last of the important hosting trifecta. You never expect to have issues, but they do happen, and at that point, customer support should be there to save day.
To get in-depth knowledge and overall understanding about web hosting, check this link
2. Take Care of Your Design
The attempt to win over your clients starts when they visit your site for the first time, gauging out the design and browsing through the menus.
First off, please dress to impress. Install an eye-catching theme and make your home page neat and attractive – using images and custom fonts, for instance. The point is, your site has to grab attention at first sight, as 38% of visitors don’t want to engage further with websites with unattractive layouts
Second, believe the hype surrounding responsive websites and make your site the same way. The main idea is, your site should load equally well across different types of devices. Take the Google’s Mobile-Friendly test and make your site responsive with these proven-to-work techniques. Plus, they’re all beginner-friendly.
3. Showcase Your Best Work
As a freelancer, remember that your credentials come from, well, freelance work. Whatever job you took up might count towards your portfolio but keep in mind that showcasing the best of the best leaves a bigger impact for potential employers.
For instance, if you’re a freelance writer, you definitely need to highlight articles that are published on big media companies/websites. For freelance developers, think of the hardest projects you have taken on and conquered. Don’t shy away from framing your achievements for what they are!
Plus, make sure that everything shown is triple-checked. There should be no typos in your writing samples. The same thing goes for a photography portfolio, pixelated images are not tolerable. Same goes for all portfolio sites.
4. Include All the Important Details
To avoid missing important details, try to put yourselves into the clients’ shoes and ask: what information do you want to see on a portfolio site?
For instance, I’d like to know your personal bio right off the bat, which may include full name, country of residence, and experience. I would then check your fee along with the preferred currency. Plus, a simple pitch explaining your personal qualities and skills will go a long way, while not needing a lot of effort.
Other common details are your logo/photo, relevant social handles, and contact information. For the last one, make sure to make it as detailed as possible. Consider that 51% of visitors are not satisfied with contact details on the web, your clients should never feel that way.
5. Enhance Your SEO Performance
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) increases the chance of a site to rank high on, well, search engines. Even though it works best for websites with a lot of content, you can still apply some of the tricks here.
The most basic one is to define the main keyword you’d want to be associated with. Conduct simple keyword research if possible – the more it represents your site, the better. Once defined, use the keyword in various textual copies of your site, but keep it natural.
If your sites use a lot of images, always fill out the alt text section. Inserting your keyword in the title of your images is also recommended. But, again, avoid keyword stuffing at all cost. To help increase your site’s visibility on SERPs, make sure to list your site there.
The 5 steps covered will at least make sure that your site is following some sort of structure and would not end up like the millions of websites that don’t get a single visitor.
If I were to emphasize one more thing though, I would go for the branding. Pick a nice logo or photo to be put on your site – for the former, you can use some logo makers here. To make your pitch look more credible, consider including some solid testimonials.
More importantly, take your domain name seriously. Be it your own name or a brand name, make sure that it represents the core values that you’re trying to offer. Use name generators to help you come up with the best possible domain name.
Once everything is taken care of, there’s not much to be done. Just promote yourself and get ready for success!