An online portfolio is a website that shows your work – whether it’s art, graphic design, or something less visual like writing – and allows you to interact with customers and grow your audience. An online portfolio is essential for creatives, but it is also a smart idea for anybody who wants to create a good impression online.
If you’re wondering how to make an awesome online portfolio and connect with others through your website, this article will work you through the step-by-step process of creating an online portfolio for free. Carefully read through.
What Is An Online Portfolio?
An online portfolio or digital portfolio is an online representation of the work you’ve done, your skills, and your experiences. Oftentimes, it includes your resume, summary of qualification, skills, pictorial representation of your work samples, and more. An online portfolio is usually created on a website, blog, or even a video channel.
According to Wikipedia, an online portfolio is a collection of electronic evidence put together by a user on the web. They are a demonstration of the users’ abilities and skillsets.
Why Do You Need An Online Portfolio?
It is increasingly important for artists, engineers, computer scientists, photographers, designers, filmmakers, and other creative people to be able to show and promote their work. Regardless of the platforms you use, a portfolio allows more people to view your work and provides them a greater idea of your abilities.
They present abilities and projects in a strong and visually appealing manner that compliments the material in your resume and cover letter. They also allow you to arrange your work in one location – even if it spans many fields.
What Should Be In An Online Portfolio?
There are a whole lot of things you can put in your online portfolio however, to keep it simple and better, your online portfolio should keenly explain who you are, the services you offer, results, or pictorial representations of services offered, your contact page and possible FAQs.
How Can I Create An Online Portfolio?
Creating an online portfolio is a great call for anyone looking to share their skills and connect with others. Whether you’re a photographer or a landscape gardener looking to boost your online presence, here are steps to follow in order to create an online portfolio for free.
#1 Pick the perfect portfolio platform
A fantastic web-building platform is the greatest place to start when creating a great portfolio. You have several options to select from, and the ideal one for you will be determined by your needs and tastes. One of the portfolio platforms to use is website builders. Website builders give you the opportunity to build an online portfolio without spending a dime. All you need to get started is an internet connection that enables you to drag and drop images, customize your text and designs and finally upload your own content.
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#2 Design your portfolio
After choosing the platform to build your portfolio on, the next good step to take is to design the portfolio in the simplest manner showcasing your professionalism and industry expertise. This aspect of the work can be outsourced to a web designer who knows how best to design the portfolio. Nonetheless, website builders like Squarespace come with stunning pre-built designs for you to customize.
To design the best portfolio website, you need to keep it simple, use white spaces, visible fonts, best colors, and lastly space your contents out.
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#3 Show off your work
As earlier stated, the sole aim of having an online portfolio is to showcase your works. After you must have given the website a perfect design, you need to carefully select the best works to put on the platform. In a bid to do this, make sure you don’t bore or overwhelm your potential visitors with little or so much to see.
Experiment with several forms and styles until you find one that feels perfect for you. Remember to utilize white space to avoid cluttering the page and to provide context for each example to emphasize your abilities. Ensure you include examples on your homepage as this gives visitors an immediate idea of what you do.
Lastly, you can back up the pictures and videos of your work with relatable stories either from you the owner, or satisfied clients. That said, don’t write too much – the work should take center stage and speak for itself, with any text simply there to support and give backstory, framing each piece with context.
#4 Use social proof
Including testimonials in form of social proof gives credence to whatever you display on the web. This goes on to tell potential clients that your performance thus far is valued.
If you have ever done work for a client before, you can ask them to provide testimonials. Though this might not be an all-easy task, you need to press harder to get the reviews you want.
You can also garner social proof by using social media. Create accounts and link to them from your portfolio website – this will show visitors that other people are interested in your work and following your projects.
You can even install your social feed onto your portfolio. This can be a great way of showing what you’re working on at the moment or completed projects.
#5 Write an engaging about page
Your about page should briefly sell you in the fewest minutes. This section of the online portfolio is not where you tell your life history, all you are expected to do here is, pen down the few relevant details of who is behind the portfolio and what you can do for the visitors.
In order not to sound bland, you can let your personality come through and focus more on the client.
#6 Create a contact page
The main aim of having an online portfolio is to generate more works, make new contacts, and have a wider reach. Therefore, the need to include a contact page in your online portfolio can’t be overstretched.
It is quite simple to create a contact page — most design themes have a contact page that you simply need to edit. If your theme does not have a contact page, you may select an app (or plugin if you use WordPress) and create one with a few clicks.
Your contact page must be easy to find, distinct, and contain all the relevant contact details.
#7 Do SEO
Having an online portfolio that isn’t discoverable on search engines brings the effort put to setting it up to ruins. To make the best out of your online portfolio, you need to do proper Search Engine Optimization. This will help your portfolio rank better on search results.
You can optimize your page by using appropriate headers, optimizing images, writing meta titles and descriptions, creating links, and listing your services.
#8 Always keep it fresh
In a bid to stay on top, you need to always spice your portfolio by putting up content regularly. This can be in form of hosting a blog session or posting your achievements as they come in. This way, you keep your online portfolio fresh and relevant.
What Are The Best Portfolio Builders?
Choosing the right platform for your portfolio will help you develop a strong, attractive online presence. Modern website builders tend to be very beginner-friendly and easy to use, which means that you don’t necessarily need to have a lot of tech experience to use them.
Our list of best portfolio builders was carefully curated after thorough research and consultations were done.
An online portfolio is a website that shows your work – whether it’s art, graphic design, or something less visual like writing – and allows you to interact with customers and grow your audience
An online portfolio allows more people to view your work and provides them a greater idea of your abilities.
The best platforms for building online portfolios are; Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, Site123, etc.
Having walked you through the steps you need to follow to build your own online portfolio, the next thing to do is act upon the knowledge gained.