Well, since the ‘blog paranoia’ is riding high, I feel I should continue this little series I have going on.
Have you given that some thought? Good.
Because now I get into some nitty-gritty. Some practical advice on what to do with that willy-nilly, half-assed portfolio blog you have going on there.
Please keep in mind I am no expert on this stuff. Heck, I even make fun of some people who ‘blog about blogging’ for crying out loud.
And here I am.
Blogging about blogging. *sigh*
Oh well. Some of you need the help, so let’s get cracking.
Even though the last post may have looked like I was crapping on Blogger blogs, I really wasn’t. It’s just that a lot of animation types seem to start out on Blogger.
And guess what? That’s OK. Really.
Again, I want to stress that I am talking to people who have (or want to have) a blog as a PORTFOLIO. Some of you are trying to do it and some of you are doing it wrong.
Because in my personal opinion (and you know I have one), I think a true portfolio site is better presented as a static site. (Or a ‘combo’ static and blog site, but that will have to wait for now.)
Because a portfolio should be a representation of your best work. Period.
Is that little doodle you did at the coffee shop a representation of your best work? Maybe not. Is it good enough to put up on a blog-blog? Sure. But in your portfolio? Nah.
See what I’m getting at?
If you want to continue that blog-blog for fun, connecting with people and sharing stuff you found on YouTube and all that, do it.
But for your portfolio, you might want to start another one. Or if your current site isn’t too far off, alter the one you have.
“You mean I can keep my Blogger blog as a portfolio?” Yes, you can.
These tips are if you have no money to spend and don’t want to leave Blogger. I’ll cover what to do if you have a bit of money and even a bit more money in future posts.
So what can you do to make that Blogger blog a better portfolio site?
Quite a few things actually.
1. Give it a good name. Preferably your name. I talked about this in the Why You Hiding post already, but it’s good to bring it up again. If you can get your name in Blogger, do it. Or find a good alternative like “JoeBlowPortfolio” or “JaneDoeArt” or something Google friendly for finding you by name.
2. Have a sidebar ‘About’ with a photo. Put it in the sidebar. Don’t just use that little ‘about’ link to that silly Blogger profile page. Write a good, short bio so people can see it right away and know who you are and what you’re about. Putting up a photo of yourself will show you are a real person. It can have a good impact on the viewer to help us get to know you a bit.
3. Have clear contact information in the sidebar. Give it its own space. The less people have to ‘click’ to contact you, the better. Be smart about it. Don’t put up your home address or anything. Email is fine. But if your email address is “firstname.lastname@example.org” you might want to get another one. Get your name or some version of your name whenever possible. Look professional!
4. Dump the blogroll and other outside links. Yes, that’s what I said. This is your portfolio. You don’t want to give them any reason to click away to another artist’s blog (well, mine is OK. Put mine on there twice. 😉 ). On a blog-blog, a blogroll is fine, but your portfolio should be all about you.
5. Dump the ads. Tacky, tacky, tacky. No ads on your portfolio please.
6. Remove the timestamps on the posts. It’s not really needed on a portfolio and will give a more permanent feel to it. Check your Blogger settings on how to do this. You can still put a dated copyright notice in the sidebar to show it’s current.
7. Categorize the posts. This is one way to organize your work on a Blogger site. Have a ‘storyboard’ category and put all your boards under it. Have a ‘character design’ one and do the same. Make it as easy as possible for someone new to your site to navigate through your work. This is key.
8. Turn off comments. You don’t need people leaving comments (nasty or otherwise) on your portfolio. Good for a blog-blog, not needed for a portfolio.
9. Get rid of the Blogger navigation bar at the top. Yes, you can do that. Here’s a video tutorial I found on how. How to Remove the Blogger Navigation Bar. Ignore all the affiliate stuff he’s talking about. Just see how to add the simple code to do this. Here’s an article on how to do it too. http://hubpages.com/hub/How-To-Remove-The-Blogger-Nav-Bar
All this is a good place to start anyway. Here’s a few other things to consider:
- Include a downloadable PDF of your resume and/or portfolio. Have that readily available in the sidebar too. I won’t get into the finer points on how to do that here, but it’s a good option to offer.
- Make a nice, custom header image for the banner (no naked chicks please!).
- Only put low rez images on your site. You could also watermark them with copyright notices. People swipe stuff all over the internet. Protect your work as much as you can.
Here’s a site of a buddy of mine who has done a lot (not all) of what I’m talking about here. Give Quinn’s site a look to see how a clean Blogger blog can make a decent portfolio after all.
This post is long enough and I still have more to say. Because a free site doesn’t stop at Blogger. I haven’t even touched on WordPress.
But I guess I will in the next ‘blogging on blogging’ post.
Gads. I’ll be blogging about Twitter before you know it. I must be stopped!
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