Putting Your Best Foot Forward: How to Make Your Own Portfolio Website Online

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Jan 1, 2019

Jan 1, 2019 • by Rebecca Smith

If you want to know how to make a portfolio website, you're in the right place. 

You have as little as approximately seven seconds to make an impression on your visitors.  This means it's essential to put your best foot forward to engage with potential clients. 

Luckily for you, we have a few handy hints and tips to help steer you in the right direction. Let's dive in!

How to Build a Portfolio

First things first, you'll need to choose a platform to host your portfolio. Most people opt for Wix or WordPress, but be sure to do your research before committing anything- this is the only way to get a feel for the best option for you.

Once you've decided, you can follow all the below advice. However, for more specific guidance on using these kinds of software, head to YouTube and check out a few tutorials. 

1. Curate Your Best Work

Go through all your previous work and carefully select your best pieces to display on your online portfolio

Top Tip: Showcase the kind of work you want to do going forward. This increases the likelihood of scoring your ideal gigs. 

Ideally, you want to publish five of your previous projects. All of these should be of impeccable quality. After all, it's better to have a few pieces that are superb, than tons of projects that are sub-par.

Sadly, the overall quality of your portfolio will be dictated by the standard of your weakest project.

2. Presentation is Key

Now you've selected your work; consider how you'll present it.

Top Tip: Visitors like to know the stories behind the finished item. So, document every step of your projects. For example, you should include:

  • Your initial concepts
  • Early sketches
  • The finished product

Handy Hack: Always present images of your finished piece first, then follow up with more detailed shots of your creative process. This communicates the story of how your project came into fruition. 

In addition to presenting photos, write a brief paragraph and title contextualizing your work. Your headline should hint at what your project's about. 

Your copy should be simple enough for visitors to scan through your text and still get the general gist of what you're saying.

3. Keep Things Simple

The design of a portfolio website needs to be straightforward. This helps to ensure your content remains the core focus, not fancy web design. 

Opt for a simple navigational menu and minimal web sections and pages. You should also pick one font and stick to it- this is imperative for keeping the look of your website consistent. The same rule applies to choosing a color scheme for your site. 

4. Craft a Bio 

Your 'About Me' page should communicate your story. Yes, this will probably include some of your previous projects, but it shouldn't be a comprehensive list of your past jobs.

Instead, here are a few things you might want to consider writing about:

  • Have a thought? Share it: You're sure to have a unique perspective on your work, so highlight your artistic mission statement.
  • Share your story: By this we mean, listing the things that led you to your career. Was there a conversation that inspired you? Or, a project you worked on? Or, an event you attended? You name it, write it down! Be approachable. Don't be afraid to pepper your copy with fun facts about yourself. This works wonders for encouraging people to reach out and inquire about your services. 
  • Show that you're credible: Showcase your professionalism by highlighting notable clients you've worked with, press mentions, or features in reputable publications.

If you heed all the above advice, you shouldn't go too far with your 'About me' page. 

5. Make Your Services Clear

You need a page on your portfolio site that highlights the services you offer (if you're a freelancer). Alternatively, you need to communicate when you're available to work and what you're ideal job is (if you're looking for employment).

If a prospect is considering hiring you, give them a gentle push to reach out and contact you. If you want a visitor to take action, ask them directly. 

This means giving them a few options on how to contact you. Whether it's a contact form, an email address, or a telephone number- just make sure there's a way for prospects to reach out to you. 

After all, one of the primary benefits of a website is getting the extra business!

6. Keep Things Fresh

Now you've created a portfolio; you'll need to keep it updated. As your career progresses, you'll take on better and better projects. So, if you want your portfolio to be at it's most effective, commit to refreshing it regularly.

Top Tip: Try to review your online portfolio at least once a month. This works wonders for helping you keep on top of things! 

Do You Now Know How to Make a Portfolio?

We hope this actionable advice helped give you a better idea on how to make a portfolio website!

Plus, if you enjoyed this piece, we're confident you'll love the other features published on our blog. Over there we discuss everything from finding a job with a good working environment to tips on applying for jobs out of state. Enjoy!

Alternatively, if you have any career related questions, please feel free to reach out and contact us. We'll get back to you as soon as we possibly can. Speak soon!