Okay, I’m back talking about that budding portfolio site of yours.
You can read about other online-presence goodness with the warning not to be an ass on the internet and why are you hiding on the internet?. Then some online portfolio goodness with why you have that blog to begin with and what to do with that portfolio blog you already have.
I can hear some of you frantically tweaking your Blogger blog to make it a little more functional as a nice portfolio site. That’s great.
But I want you to see what else is out there.
Because a Blogger blog is just that. A blog. And maybe a blog isn’t the best way to show off your best work that is your portfolio.
What am I getting at?
Blogger doesn’t have a static page option. And that, in my opinion, is what makes it a less desirable choice for a portfolio site.
If you made some of the tweaks I suggested in my last post on your Blogger site and are happy with it, cool. But if you want to take it one step further and still keep it FREE, read on.
First, a little Blog 101
I call this whole site a BLOG. And it is. That is its main function. What you are reading right now is a POST. Every new entry I write is a post, not a blog (just so we’re clear on that).
Look above at my tabs. There is Home which just brings you back to my posts (because that’s how I’ve set it up).
Then there is Downloads (which has my fantabulous new storyboard template pack displayed…got it yet?), Resources (which I really have to beef up a bit), Work With Karen (because, you know you want to), About Karen, Contact and Archives.
All of these tabs lead you to static PAGES. Pages are meant to stay put, whereas posts, get moved down the line every time you add a new one. Like you might be doing now on Blogger when you post a new video or sketch.
Like I mentioned before, a real portfolio should be a showcase of your best work. Do you think you should be adding new sketches every week and calling that your best work? No, probably not. You want that best work to be organized, static and easy to navigate.
If you choose to have a blog on your site, by all means put up those sketches! But they should be the gravy and your best work is the tofurkey and potatoes. Know what I mean?
Say hello to PAGES
Where do you get pages? Unfortunately not on Blogger. But you can get them at WordPress.com and Weebly.com. And probably some other places, but since I’m no ‘blog-guru’, this is all I’m focusing on right now.
I was only going to focus on WordPress.com because I knew it pretty well. I started this blog on there and stayed for two months before moving to my own hosting. (I’ll talk all about that stuff next time. Just keep in mind, it involves some moola.)
But then one of my readers brought Weebly.com to my attention and it looks like it will do the trick too. I haven’t tried it myself, but here’s Maureen’s site (thanks for the tip!) and Rufin’s site (also on Weebly.com).
See how clean and organized they are?
And no extra visual ‘noise’ to take the viewer away from you, you, you.
With both of these services you can create static pages along with a blog, or just have the static pages (or just a blog but we’re trying to get away from that here, right? Right).
You can set a static page or the blog as your ‘home’ page. Or you can not have a blog at all and set it up just to be a static site.
One thing that appealed to me about Weebly was its ‘no sidebar’ option. This keeps the pages very clean and your attention on the content. You can add a sidebar if you like though.
I don’t think you can eliminate the sidebars completely from WordPress.com (not sure though), but it may just depend on what theme you choose.
Yes, lots o’ themes!
Both of these services have a number of themes to choose from. With some themes, you just type in your site’s name and it will show up in the header, and with others you can upload your own custom banner.
I prefer this option for artists. It really lets you customize your little ‘home on the web’ and make it your own.
There are limitations to these sites, of course (being free and all).
I know on WordPress.com you can’t put up any ads or make money on your blog with affiliate links or anything (if you don’t know what those are, don’t worry about it). If you break the rules, they can shut down your blog.
Keep that in mind.
It looks like you can put adsense ads on a Weebly.com site, but for a portfolio I wouldn’t recommend it.
For each of these free options your site will be called ‘yourportfolio.wordpress.com’ or ‘yourportfolio.weebly.com’ just like Blogger does.
For both sites you can remove that and have your own domain name pointing there…but it’ll cost ya. I’ll touch more on that stuff next time.
There are other upgrade options for both (with cost), but I won’t bore you with that here. Check out the features and support pages for these two free website services.
Now, you don’t have to rip down your Blogger site right this minute!
I just wanted to open your eyes to a more professional looking way to showcase your portfolio without breaking the bank. (And FYI: in WordPress.com you can import a Blogger blog.)
I’m just saying check them out.
Poke around a bit.
Try them out.
You can always shut them down if the service is not for you.
And if you are using one of these services for your portfolio, let us know in the comments.
Show us your stuff!
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