Freelancer’s Guide to Create an Online Portfolio

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The importance of having a professional online portfolio is more important than ever because it will maximize your visibility and presence.

Creating your portfolio website allows you to share and showcase your work easily with potential clients.

In this post, you’ll learn how to create a budget-friendly but professional looking online portfolio.

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DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no additional cost to you. Please read my full disclaimer here for more info.

First, who should have an online portfolio?

Online portfolios aren’t just for certain fields or industries anymore.

Here are some career paths where online portfolios are an absolute must:

and more!

As you can see from the list, not all the jobs are “creative” work, but having a portfolio is definitely advantageous.

What to showcase if my work doesn’t have any visuals?

Here are a few portfolio ideas for work that’s not so visually oriented:

  • Case Studies
  • Research
  • Lab Reports
  • Presentations
  • Certifications
  • Functional Design
  • Technical Design
  • Code (WordPress can include code like this)

and more!

These are all great opportunities to show how you think, work, and solve problems.

How to create an online portfolio?

Here is a step-by-step guide to creating your online portfolio.

  1. Organize your work samples
  2. Collect testimonials (if you have)
  3. Write your bio
  4. Create a portfolio site
  5. Get a domain name and hosting
  6. Add contact page
  7. If you can, add your social media accounts

#1 Organize your work samples

Choose your best work. You’re going for quality, not quantity.

For example, AJ is a web designer and developer based in Nashville, Tennessee. AJ included only 3 works, but it is very powerful and impressive!

I also spent a lot of time reading AJ’s “the making of ” pages. (It was very interesting!) These pages introduce how AJ came up with ideas and how to plan web development.

#2 Collect testimonials (if you have)

Word of mouth recommendations are powerful, include it if you could get a “review of your service” from your past clients. However, this is not a must-have. If you don’t have one, it’s absolutely fine.

#3 Write your bio

Do not write too personal things. (Your name, what you do, your educational background, work experience may be enough.) Remember, it’s online. Anyone in the world can see your portfolio.

#4 Create a portfolio site

If you’re a web developer or a graphic designer, creating your own online portfolio is a good start. (because you can include the site itself as a portfolio piece)

In that case, you’ll need coding skills like HTML and CSS as well as knowledge about web hosting.

To save time, you can download free templates and edit them. And also, check Creative Market! This site sells a portfolio website template for $2 – $200.

If you are not familiar with coding, WordPress, or Portfolio Website Services are great options.

WordPress is an excellent platform to create a variety of websites like online stores, blogs, business sites, portfolios, web magazines, etc.

WordPress can handle different types of media too! You can embed YouTube videos, Instagram photos, Tweets, and Soundcloud audio by just pasting the URL.

Related Post: Everything You Need to Know About WordPress 2020

If you want a simple portfolio website, use portfolio services like Pixpa!

The difference between WordPress and portfolio services like Pixpa is how to manage it. Pixpa is specialized in showing work beautifully. WordPress is a little bit more complex than Pixpa because it can create a variety of websites.

If I were you, I’ll choose Pixpa for a portfolio. It’s a very beautiful design for both desktop and mobile devices. You can also get a 15-day free trial. No credit card is required.

Credit: Pixpa

#5 Get a domain name and hosting

A domain name is an address where Internet users can access your portfolio website.

Your website name and domain name don’t have to be the same. But most people register domain name = site name for marketing purposes. Every domain name is unique. Two websites can’t have the same name. Make sure your ideal domain name is not taken by someone.

Tips: The most domain name is FREE for a year with web hosting like Bluehost, Scala Hosting, Hostinger, and HostGator. Purchase web hosting before the domain name. I purchased the domain name first and missed a free domain opportunity. Save money! Use all the “free” advantages!

Before you sign up for any web hosting, I highly recommend comparing web hosting services. There are different types of servers to host a website and all at different price points. Web hosting does not need to be expensive, especially for a portfolio or personal website.

For example, this blog, Happier Freelancing costs about $32 a year. It’s $2.66 a month! I use the easiest and most affordable managed WordPress hosting called EasyWP.

#6 Add contact page

Add the contact page, so potential clients can contact you! Most people add a contact form or Gmail address on this page. If you want to be more professional, you can purchase a domain-based email. I use Namecheap private email hosting for this blog. It only costs $9.50 per year.

#7 If you can, add your social media accounts

Believe it or not, most recruiters google your name before they contact you. Online presence is more important now than ever. Adding a social media account is not essential, but social media accounts help potential clients to get to know you better.

Wrapping Up

The gig economy is a fast-growing employment option. Project-based jobs and independent contractors are in high demand. Creating a portfolio website will help you to get a freelance job!

If you want someone to review your portfolio or have any questions, I’m here to help! I’ll usually respond within 24 hours. DM me on Twitter.

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