Guide to a portfolio website

January 10th, 2020

A Comprehensive Guide to Portfolio Website

Ever wondered how to land lots of direct clients?


Whether you provide content writing services or build enriching websites, without a portfolio, it is tough to get a sufficient client base to get your business running profitably. Moreover, you might have a lot of skills but if you don’t know how to showcase them then they won’t benefit you at all. 


With that said, let us have a look at the ABC of a portfolio website, their importance and the way to build one for you. Let’s start with a warm introduction.



Introduction


In your freelance or business journey, you must stick to the fact that clients don't give a damn about what you know. Rather, they just care about what you can provide so that they get the value for the money they spend on you.


Now, the main question that arises is how to tell clients that you can be beneficial for them? (If you won't then someone else will).


Well, for that, the industry has a weapon which is better known as a portfolio website.



What is a portfolio website?


A portfolio is typically a showcase of the most impressing work you’ve done in a specific niche whether it is creating art, taking photos, making designs, developing websites, or even writing content. You basically show your best work in a portfolio. 


In a similar manner, a portfolio website is a platform where you showcase this talent. This enables your prospects to see your skills (better known as samples) so that they can decide if they should hire you or not.


So basically, your probability of getting hired depends majorly on this and the best thing is that it is all in your hands. You are the one who will be making the portfolio and only you can decide if it is good enough to get you some bucks or not.


These are some common traits of a portfolio website:

  • First off, it’s not a technique or a method. Rather, it is just a way to display your content in a pictorial form.

  • They usually do not contain loads of text and focus mainly on attractive visuals.

  • A portfolio website usually has several grid elements that consist of a number of images. They are usually organized in a way that the user gets a great experience while using the website.


There might be several other pages on a portfolio website such as a contact page, about page, and core competencies page. All these pages are essential for a portfolio website since they help a customer to get to know everything about your service and so that they can contact you with ease.


There are several benefits of having a portfolio website, and getting direct leads is just one of the many benefits that it provides. In the further sections, we will discuss why you really should take your time to build a portfolio website.



The reason why you need a portfolio website


The task of building a portfolio website might be exhaustive and you’ll surely need to invest time, money, and resources to make one. However, there are a lot of reasons that will make it a win-win for you.


Here are the most prominent reasons to have a portfolio website: 

  1. Get exposure – As said earlier, there is no value in what you know, but what you provide is a matter of concern for clients. With a portfolio, you will be able to showcase your work and clients can see your innovative ideas and efforts.  

  2. Get yourself known in the community – It’s better to let the world know what you can do but for a much better exposure it won’t hurt to share your ideas and mindset about the industry through a blog straight from your portfolio. 

  3. Empower your ideas – Your ideas are not only a thing to show off, but a powerful portal of knowledge for you and others. You will find it easy to retrieve the data for future use and will be able to make future projects better. In short, your ideas will become a helpful resource for others and will get more powerful with time. 

  4. Secure your career – tides can shift their sides anytime in life and there is no guarantee that you will stay in your current job for long (government servants aside please). Therefore, a portfolio will not only help you to stay secure against such circumstances but will also help you to maintain your CV on a regular basis. The portfolio website will ensure that you will always be updated in front of the work providers.  

  5. The opportunity of learning – You are making a portfolio to show your competencies and you already know that more is better in this case. Therefore, you will automatically develop your mindset to learn new things and new skills day by day so that you can fill your portfolio website even more. Not only this, but you will be able to keep track of your learning through a portfolio as well. 



Examples of Portfolio Website


It is said that inspiration can come from anywhere, so why not from the best portfolios out there? The World Wide Web is occupied with a large chunk of portfolios since people understand their importance. Therefore, if you want to land direct clients then you need to be more unique than the competitors. 

Your online portfolio needs to be highly impressive otherwise it won’t stand a chance against the competitors. Therefore, to help you understand the level of creativity, we have compiled a list of the most creative portfolios that we caught on our radar.

Robby Leonardi

Robby  Leonardi


This portfolio can be found at rleonardi.com and it is special because it involves a completely interactive experience in it. Gone are the days when people used to build portfolios with nothing but a list of regular old content. This bad boy can easily steal your client (and your girl too). Robby invented this amazing video game based portfolio that you will never stop scrolling.

Yul Moreau

Yul Moreau


This portfolio incorporates a whole new atmosphere which is better understood when visited. It is just a perfect example of great use of visuals for improving engagements. This is just a single page website with videos and images embedded but in a clever way. 

Daniel Spatzek

Daniel Spatzek


When someone asks, what the perfect combination of both the graphic design and web design is,  then danielspatzek.com is the only answer we have. This guy is like when someone says “dude, I’m the best at making innovative use of multiple skills” then Daniel is like “hold my beer!” With just a magical touch of CSS tricks and cool animations, this website seems no less than a living creature that portrays beauty.

Toy Fight

Toy Fight


This website is an amazing example of a highly creative usage of colors that grabs user attention in no time. Furthermore, this website is highly minimal and the navigations are like cheese. The website shows that creativity can also be achieved with simple designs and vibrant colors. This can surely make visitors stay longer on the website.


So, these are some of the great innovative examples of a portfolio website and it is highly suggested that you should take inspiration from these and create something original by yourself. 



Tips on creating a portfolio website with LiquidBlox?


The examples shown earlier were custom coded by some amazing individuals. But in case you are not a developer, you are better off with a Visual Website Builder like LiquidBlox. It gives you creative freedom without need for tech skills.


With LiquidBlox I suggest you just start experimenting. You also have chat support available and a lot of tutorials like the following we recommend checking out when making a portfolio website.



For designing the look and feel


In case you know how to code



Tips on creating a portfolio website with Wordpress? 


You can also make a portfolio website using WordPress. In this, you can use your pre-existing theme and incorporate a portfolio within it. Here's a list of the plug-ins that will help along the way:



Awesome filterable portfolio


Awesome is not just in this plug-in's name but also in its applications. It certainly lives up to its name to the fullest. By doing this, you can create a portfolio of your own and filter it on the basis of your criteria. There are several attractive animations and hover-effects that couple up and make an amazing user interface. Furthermore, it also allows you to add up as many categories as you want. Its simplicity is what makes it truly awesome.



Portfolio 


The name might be simple but the design of this plug-in is highly dynamic. With this, you can certainly showcase all your work in compelling ways. This plug-in allows you to create a dedicated page for making a portfolio and you can include numerous things in it such as project details, descriptions, screenshots, URLs, and even the date when you completed that specific project. You are free to modify the slider and change the image sizes as well.



WP-portfolio 


Yeah… yet another simple named plug-in but guess what, one does not need to have a fancy name if it lives up to its capabilities. With this feature-rich plug-in, you can just take a nap and when you wake up your portfolio will be ready automatically. All you need to do is add thumbnails, insert the shortcode, and say this guide is best 3 times and then voila your portfolio will be ready. This is certainly a great magic trick to show your friends (and clients as well).


With these plug-ins the major barrier - lack of coding skills, is already broken and all you need to do is install these plug-ins in your existing Wordpress website and you are good to go. Moreover, the set-up process is highly interactive due to which you will learn the process on the go. Rest assured that within an hour you will create something you’ll be proud of. 



What should be included in a portfolio website?


Here are the skeletal things for a fulfilling portfolio website: 



Design


This is very important and necessary if you have a portfolio website. To make your website attractive you must choose a compelling design. When you select a good design, your customer is attracted to your website. You can provide your business information by making a list. Just remember one thing. If your work examples are highly visual and colorful, you might want to go with a plain white or black background. Another option is to select a color scheme to be different and have contrast. Both need excellent visual skills to provide a great user experience.



Logo with a tagline


When you make your portfolio website you need an attractive logo and tagline. Don't make it too complicated; make it simple text-based with your brand name. It presents and describes your business and you as well.



High-quality images


As we discussed above, selecting the right design for your portfolio is important, but you also need the right images to complement your layout. The images that you use on your portfolio website should be of high quality.



Services and contact information


Every customer wants the best services from their service provider. If you have a portfolio website then you must make sure that you add your contact information on your homepage. On that page, you should add the email address of your business. If you have any other source of contact, add that too. When you add proper information about contact and services, your customer can easily contact and make a connection with you. Nowadays a LinkedIn profile link is important as well.



Information about you


Most of the customers want to know your professional story. So make sure you add your life story, not personal, but how you learn, what you have achieved in this field, awards and so on. You can freely express your feelings and opinions.



Free sample


No matter what services you provide on the portfolio website. To make your website generate more leads to eventually become customers you can provide one free sample for your new leads.



How do I grow the audience of my portfolio site?


Well, the only method to grow a portfolio website is to get more work done and added to your portfolio. This way it will grow with time and eventually, appear fulfilling to the clients and satisfying to you. Here are some other tips for growing your portfolio website:



Complete as many projects as you can


The major part of a portfolio website is the projects section and you need to ensure that it has plenty of content. You cannot expect the clients to trust you with just two things in the name of projects. Clients always look after diversification so make sure you can work on different niches. The best way to do this  is by completing all the pending projects first, listing them and then starting new projects. You might say that you can't get projects but in that case, follow the next tip.



Create personal projects 


Besides working for clients, reflect your creativity by creating projects of your own. Put yourself in the position of a client and judge a portfolio based on the number of personal projects and the projects done for the clients. Even if you don’t have enough projects done for the clients, your personal projects have got you covered. Therefore, always work on personal projects and list them on your portfolio. 



Learn new skills 


Our main objective throughout the beginning was to show the clients what we got for them. And that's certainly dependent on the number of skills we have. Let's say you are a content writer and you have listed all your skills such as SEO, keyword stuffing, etc. But clients need conversions so you must learn the process of making content engaging and then you can add that up to your skills list. Therefore, find out what clients are looking for, learn it, and list it. That’s the easiest way to grow your portfolio gradually. 



Adopt new designs


It is also worth mentioning that trends fade away real quick and there is no such thing as a classic. Even the example websites that are mentioned above in this article might change their designs really soon. This is because it is mandatory to keep updating new designs and ensure that your portfolio always looks fresh and enriching. 


So make sure that you follow the above tips not just to grow your portfolio, but to increase your skill set as well. You must aim towards being a better self than growing a mere website because that's what is going to help you in the future.



Bonus Tips: How to use Portfolio Website to grow your traffic


Admit it! We all want to elevate our professional status because there are several benefits associated with it. Promoting yourself digitally is not only cost-effective but powerful as well. Staying online doesn't attract customers but having an attractive online calling card does. Here are some tips that will help you to gain more traffic on your portfolio website and will take self-promotion to a whole new level without annoying social media spam: 



Research, research, and apply 


Building links and improving the website is cool but it all starts after nice keyword research, just like your day begins after a strong coffee. You must find the queries that people are searching for and on the basis of the audience you are targeting. This will also be determined by the volume of traffic on the keyword and the difficulty to rank with it.



Stay real 


Keywords are important but not necessarily everywhere. Be sure that your content looks realistic and doesn't highlight the keywords as if they are blueberries that are embedded on the top of a pudding. Make sure that they make sense with the sentence and the overall content creates meaning and is easily understandable. Also, stick with your niche and don’t go unnecessarily out of the topic just for the sake of using keywords. 



Avoid making it "overly creative"


As Toptal's lead design Blog editor Miklos Philips point out in his blog post:

"The portfolio presentation is too idiosyncratic and “overly creative,” which hampers usability and makes navigation difficult. Make the portfolio easy to review. It’s best to impress with the work, not the portfolio’s design. The focus should be on delivering what clients are looking for without excess fancy."



Be a cheetah


The loading time of your website decides if the user will stay on your website or not. And that affects the rankings on SERP as well (which accounts for the major part of free traffic). So make sure that the loading speed of your website is pretty good and the whole content gets available to the visitor within three seconds. For that, you can optimize the images and shift to better hosting and can even remove unnecessary elements from the website. At last, you can check the loading time of your website through Google’s website speed checker tool. 



Build backlinks


So far the major ranking factor is still building relevant links to your website and you can never even think of ignoring it. Make sure that you build links on your related websites either by guest posting or by creating helpful content. Make sure that you stay away from shady practices such as PBN’s and web 2.0’s. Otherwise, you may have to face a penalty. 



Bottom Line 


That was quite a long journey but finally, the guide succeeded to provide valuable and complete information on a portfolio website. Our work ends here, but yours is about to start. Follow the guide and make a stunning portfolio of your own. So go ahead and grab those clients now!

Guide to a portfolio website

January 10th, 2020

A Comprehensive Guide to Portfolio Website

Ever wondered how to land lots of direct clients?


Whether you provide content writing services or build enriching websites, without a portfolio, it is tough to get a sufficient client base to get your business running profitably. Moreover, you might have a lot of skills but if you don’t know how to showcase them then they won’t benefit you at all. 


With that said, let us have a look at the ABC of a portfolio website, their importance and the way to build one for you. Let’s start with a warm introduction.



Introduction


In your freelance or business journey, you must stick to the fact that clients don't give a damn about what you know. Rather, they just care about what you can provide so that they get the value for the money they spend on you.


Now, the main question that arises is how to tell clients that you can be beneficial for them? (If you won't then someone else will).


Well, for that, the industry has a weapon which is better known as a portfolio website.



What is a portfolio website?


A portfolio is typically a showcase of the most impressing work you’ve done in a specific niche whether it is creating art, taking photos, making designs, developing websites, or even writing content. You basically show your best work in a portfolio. 


In a similar manner, a portfolio website is a platform where you showcase this talent. This enables your prospects to see your skills (better known as samples) so that they can decide if they should hire you or not.


So basically, your probability of getting hired depends majorly on this and the best thing is that it is all in your hands. You are the one who will be making the portfolio and only you can decide if it is good enough to get you some bucks or not.


These are some common traits of a portfolio website:

  • First off, it’s not a technique or a method. Rather, it is just a way to display your content in a pictorial form.

  • They usually do not contain loads of text and focus mainly on attractive visuals.

  • A portfolio website usually has several grid elements that consist of a number of images. They are usually organized in a way that the user gets a great experience while using the website.


There might be several other pages on a portfolio website such as a contact page, about page, and core competencies page. All these pages are essential for a portfolio website since they help a customer to get to know everything about your service and so that they can contact you with ease.


There are several benefits of having a portfolio website, and getting direct leads is just one of the many benefits that it provides. In the further sections, we will discuss why you really should take your time to build a portfolio website.



The reason why you need a portfolio website


The task of building a portfolio website might be exhaustive and you’ll surely need to invest time, money, and resources to make one. However, there are a lot of reasons that will make it a win-win for you.


Here are the most prominent reasons to have a portfolio website: 

  1. Get exposure – As said earlier, there is no value in what you know, but what you provide is a matter of concern for clients. With a portfolio, you will be able to showcase your work and clients can see your innovative ideas and efforts.  

  2. Get yourself known in the community – It’s better to let the world know what you can do but for a much better exposure it won’t hurt to share your ideas and mindset about the industry through a blog straight from your portfolio. 

  3. Empower your ideas – Your ideas are not only a thing to show off, but a powerful portal of knowledge for you and others. You will find it easy to retrieve the data for future use and will be able to make future projects better. In short, your ideas will become a helpful resource for others and will get more powerful with time. 

  4. Secure your career – tides can shift their sides anytime in life and there is no guarantee that you will stay in your current job for long (government servants aside please). Therefore, a portfolio will not only help you to stay secure against such circumstances but will also help you to maintain your CV on a regular basis. The portfolio website will ensure that you will always be updated in front of the work providers.  

  5. The opportunity of learning – You are making a portfolio to show your competencies and you already know that more is better in this case. Therefore, you will automatically develop your mindset to learn new things and new skills day by day so that you can fill your portfolio website even more. Not only this, but you will be able to keep track of your learning through a portfolio as well. 



Examples of Portfolio Website


It is said that inspiration can come from anywhere, so why not from the best portfolios out there? The World Wide Web is occupied with a large chunk of portfolios since people understand their importance. Therefore, if you want to land direct clients then you need to be more unique than the competitors. 

Your online portfolio needs to be highly impressive otherwise it won’t stand a chance against the competitors. Therefore, to help you understand the level of creativity, we have compiled a list of the most creative portfolios that we caught on our radar.

Robby Leonardi

Robby  Leonardi


This portfolio can be found at rleonardi.com and it is special because it involves a completely interactive experience in it. Gone are the days when people used to build portfolios with nothing but a list of regular old content. This bad boy can easily steal your client (and your girl too). Robby invented this amazing video game based portfolio that you will never stop scrolling.

Yul Moreau

Yul Moreau


This portfolio incorporates a whole new atmosphere which is better understood when visited. It is just a perfect example of great use of visuals for improving engagements. This is just a single page website with videos and images embedded but in a clever way. 

Daniel Spatzek

Daniel Spatzek


When someone asks, what the perfect combination of both the graphic design and web design is,  then danielspatzek.com is the only answer we have. This guy is like when someone says “dude, I’m the best at making innovative use of multiple skills” then Daniel is like “hold my beer!” With just a magical touch of CSS tricks and cool animations, this website seems no less than a living creature that portrays beauty.

Toy Fight

Toy Fight


This website is an amazing example of a highly creative usage of colors that grabs user attention in no time. Furthermore, this website is highly minimal and the navigations are like cheese. The website shows that creativity can also be achieved with simple designs and vibrant colors. This can surely make visitors stay longer on the website.


So, these are some of the great innovative examples of a portfolio website and it is highly suggested that you should take inspiration from these and create something original by yourself. 



Tips on creating a portfolio website with LiquidBlox?


The examples shown earlier were custom coded by some amazing individuals. But in case you are not a developer, you are better off with a Visual Website Builder like LiquidBlox. It gives you creative freedom without need for tech skills.


With LiquidBlox I suggest you just start experimenting. You also have chat support available and a lot of tutorials like the following we recommend checking out when making a portfolio website.



For designing the look and feel


In case you know how to code



Tips on creating a portfolio website with Wordpress? 


You can also make a portfolio website using WordPress. In this, you can use your pre-existing theme and incorporate a portfolio within it. Here's a list of the plug-ins that will help along the way:



Awesome filterable portfolio


Awesome is not just in this plug-in's name but also in its applications. It certainly lives up to its name to the fullest. By doing this, you can create a portfolio of your own and filter it on the basis of your criteria. There are several attractive animations and hover-effects that couple up and make an amazing user interface. Furthermore, it also allows you to add up as many categories as you want. Its simplicity is what makes it truly awesome.



Portfolio 


The name might be simple but the design of this plug-in is highly dynamic. With this, you can certainly showcase all your work in compelling ways. This plug-in allows you to create a dedicated page for making a portfolio and you can include numerous things in it such as project details, descriptions, screenshots, URLs, and even the date when you completed that specific project. You are free to modify the slider and change the image sizes as well.



WP-portfolio 


Yeah… yet another simple named plug-in but guess what, one does not need to have a fancy name if it lives up to its capabilities. With this feature-rich plug-in, you can just take a nap and when you wake up your portfolio will be ready automatically. All you need to do is add thumbnails, insert the shortcode, and say this guide is best 3 times and then voila your portfolio will be ready. This is certainly a great magic trick to show your friends (and clients as well).


With these plug-ins the major barrier - lack of coding skills, is already broken and all you need to do is install these plug-ins in your existing Wordpress website and you are good to go. Moreover, the set-up process is highly interactive due to which you will learn the process on the go. Rest assured that within an hour you will create something you’ll be proud of. 



What should be included in a portfolio website?


Here are the skeletal things for a fulfilling portfolio website: 



Design


This is very important and necessary if you have a portfolio website. To make your website attractive you must choose a compelling design. When you select a good design, your customer is attracted to your website. You can provide your business information by making a list. Just remember one thing. If your work examples are highly visual and colorful, you might want to go with a plain white or black background. Another option is to select a color scheme to be different and have contrast. Both need excellent visual skills to provide a great user experience.



Logo with a tagline


When you make your portfolio website you need an attractive logo and tagline. Don't make it too complicated; make it simple text-based with your brand name. It presents and describes your business and you as well.



High-quality images


As we discussed above, selecting the right design for your portfolio is important, but you also need the right images to complement your layout. The images that you use on your portfolio website should be of high quality.



Services and contact information


Every customer wants the best services from their service provider. If you have a portfolio website then you must make sure that you add your contact information on your homepage. On that page, you should add the email address of your business. If you have any other source of contact, add that too. When you add proper information about contact and services, your customer can easily contact and make a connection with you. Nowadays a LinkedIn profile link is important as well.



Information about you


Most of the customers want to know your professional story. So make sure you add your life story, not personal, but how you learn, what you have achieved in this field, awards and so on. You can freely express your feelings and opinions.



Free sample


No matter what services you provide on the portfolio website. To make your website generate more leads to eventually become customers you can provide one free sample for your new leads.



How do I grow the audience of my portfolio site?


Well, the only method to grow a portfolio website is to get more work done and added to your portfolio. This way it will grow with time and eventually, appear fulfilling to the clients and satisfying to you. Here are some other tips for growing your portfolio website:



Complete as many projects as you can


The major part of a portfolio website is the projects section and you need to ensure that it has plenty of content. You cannot expect the clients to trust you with just two things in the name of projects. Clients always look after diversification so make sure you can work on different niches. The best way to do this  is by completing all the pending projects first, listing them and then starting new projects. You might say that you can't get projects but in that case, follow the next tip.



Create personal projects 


Besides working for clients, reflect your creativity by creating projects of your own. Put yourself in the position of a client and judge a portfolio based on the number of personal projects and the projects done for the clients. Even if you don’t have enough projects done for the clients, your personal projects have got you covered. Therefore, always work on personal projects and list them on your portfolio. 



Learn new skills 


Our main objective throughout the beginning was to show the clients what we got for them. And that's certainly dependent on the number of skills we have. Let's say you are a content writer and you have listed all your skills such as SEO, keyword stuffing, etc. But clients need conversions so you must learn the process of making content engaging and then you can add that up to your skills list. Therefore, find out what clients are looking for, learn it, and list it. That’s the easiest way to grow your portfolio gradually. 



Adopt new designs


It is also worth mentioning that trends fade away real quick and there is no such thing as a classic. Even the example websites that are mentioned above in this article might change their designs really soon. This is because it is mandatory to keep updating new designs and ensure that your portfolio always looks fresh and enriching. 


So make sure that you follow the above tips not just to grow your portfolio, but to increase your skill set as well. You must aim towards being a better self than growing a mere website because that's what is going to help you in the future.



Bonus Tips: How to use Portfolio Website to grow your traffic


Admit it! We all want to elevate our professional status because there are several benefits associated with it. Promoting yourself digitally is not only cost-effective but powerful as well. Staying online doesn't attract customers but having an attractive online calling card does. Here are some tips that will help you to gain more traffic on your portfolio website and will take self-promotion to a whole new level without annoying social media spam: 



Research, research, and apply 


Building links and improving the website is cool but it all starts after nice keyword research, just like your day begins after a strong coffee. You must find the queries that people are searching for and on the basis of the audience you are targeting. This will also be determined by the volume of traffic on the keyword and the difficulty to rank with it.



Stay real 


Keywords are important but not necessarily everywhere. Be sure that your content looks realistic and doesn't highlight the keywords as if they are blueberries that are embedded on the top of a pudding. Make sure that they make sense with the sentence and the overall content creates meaning and is easily understandable. Also, stick with your niche and don’t go unnecessarily out of the topic just for the sake of using keywords. 



Avoid making it "overly creative"


As Toptal's lead design Blog editor Miklos Philips point out in his blog post:

"The portfolio presentation is too idiosyncratic and “overly creative,” which hampers usability and makes navigation difficult. Make the portfolio easy to review. It’s best to impress with the work, not the portfolio’s design. The focus should be on delivering what clients are looking for without excess fancy."



Be a cheetah


The loading time of your website decides if the user will stay on your website or not. And that affects the rankings on SERP as well (which accounts for the major part of free traffic). So make sure that the loading speed of your website is pretty good and the whole content gets available to the visitor within three seconds. For that, you can optimize the images and shift to better hosting and can even remove unnecessary elements from the website. At last, you can check the loading time of your website through Google’s website speed checker tool. 



Build backlinks


So far the major ranking factor is still building relevant links to your website and you can never even think of ignoring it. Make sure that you build links on your related websites either by guest posting or by creating helpful content. Make sure that you stay away from shady practices such as PBN’s and web 2.0’s. Otherwise, you may have to face a penalty. 



Bottom Line 


That was quite a long journey but finally, the guide succeeded to provide valuable and complete information on a portfolio website. Our work ends here, but yours is about to start. Follow the guide and make a stunning portfolio of your own. So go ahead and grab those clients now!

Guide to a portfolio website

January 10th, 2020

A Comprehensive Guide to Portfolio Website

Ever wondered how to land lots of direct clients?


Whether you provide content writing services or build enriching websites, without a portfolio, it is tough to get a sufficient client base to get your business running profitably. Moreover, you might have a lot of skills but if you don’t know how to showcase them then they won’t benefit you at all. 


With that said, let us have a look at the ABC of a portfolio website, their importance and the way to build one for you. Let’s start with a warm introduction.



Introduction


In your freelance or business journey, you must stick to the fact that clients don't give a damn about what you know. Rather, they just care about what you can provide so that they get the value for the money they spend on you.


Now, the main question that arises is how to tell clients that you can be beneficial for them? (If you won't then someone else will).


Well, for that, the industry has a weapon which is better known as a portfolio website.



What is a portfolio website?


A portfolio is typically a showcase of the most impressing work you’ve done in a specific niche whether it is creating art, taking photos, making designs, developing websites, or even writing content. You basically show your best work in a portfolio. 


In a similar manner, a portfolio website is a platform where you showcase this talent. This enables your prospects to see your skills (better known as samples) so that they can decide if they should hire you or not.


So basically, your probability of getting hired depends majorly on this and the best thing is that it is all in your hands. You are the one who will be making the portfolio and only you can decide if it is good enough to get you some bucks or not.


These are some common traits of a portfolio website:

  • First off, it’s not a technique or a method. Rather, it is just a way to display your content in a pictorial form.

  • They usually do not contain loads of text and focus mainly on attractive visuals.

  • A portfolio website usually has several grid elements that consist of a number of images. They are usually organized in a way that the user gets a great experience while using the website.


There might be several other pages on a portfolio website such as a contact page, about page, and core competencies page. All these pages are essential for a portfolio website since they help a customer to get to know everything about your service and so that they can contact you with ease.


There are several benefits of having a portfolio website, and getting direct leads is just one of the many benefits that it provides. In the further sections, we will discuss why you really should take your time to build a portfolio website.



The reason why you need a portfolio website


The task of building a portfolio website might be exhaustive and you’ll surely need to invest time, money, and resources to make one. However, there are a lot of reasons that will make it a win-win for you.


Here are the most prominent reasons to have a portfolio website: 

  1. Get exposure – As said earlier, there is no value in what you know, but what you provide is a matter of concern for clients. With a portfolio, you will be able to showcase your work and clients can see your innovative ideas and efforts.  

  2. Get yourself known in the community – It’s better to let the world know what you can do but for a much better exposure it won’t hurt to share your ideas and mindset about the industry through a blog straight from your portfolio. 

  3. Empower your ideas – Your ideas are not only a thing to show off, but a powerful portal of knowledge for you and others. You will find it easy to retrieve the data for future use and will be able to make future projects better. In short, your ideas will become a helpful resource for others and will get more powerful with time. 

  4. Secure your career – tides can shift their sides anytime in life and there is no guarantee that you will stay in your current job for long (government servants aside please). Therefore, a portfolio will not only help you to stay secure against such circumstances but will also help you to maintain your CV on a regular basis. The portfolio website will ensure that you will always be updated in front of the work providers.  

  5. The opportunity of learning – You are making a portfolio to show your competencies and you already know that more is better in this case. Therefore, you will automatically develop your mindset to learn new things and new skills day by day so that you can fill your portfolio website even more. Not only this, but you will be able to keep track of your learning through a portfolio as well. 



Examples of Portfolio Website


It is said that inspiration can come from anywhere, so why not from the best portfolios out there? The World Wide Web is occupied with a large chunk of portfolios since people understand their importance. Therefore, if you want to land direct clients then you need to be more unique than the competitors. 

Your online portfolio needs to be highly impressive otherwise it won’t stand a chance against the competitors. Therefore, to help you understand the level of creativity, we have compiled a list of the most creative portfolios that we caught on our radar.

Robby Leonardi

Robby  Leonardi


This portfolio can be found at rleonardi.com and it is special because it involves a completely interactive experience in it. Gone are the days when people used to build portfolios with nothing but a list of regular old content. This bad boy can easily steal your client (and your girl too). Robby invented this amazing video game based portfolio that you will never stop scrolling.

Yul Moreau

Yul Moreau


This portfolio incorporates a whole new atmosphere which is better understood when visited. It is just a perfect example of great use of visuals for improving engagements. This is just a single page website with videos and images embedded but in a clever way. 

Daniel Spatzek

Daniel Spatzek


When someone asks, what the perfect combination of both the graphic design and web design is,  then danielspatzek.com is the only answer we have. This guy is like when someone says “dude, I’m the best at making innovative use of multiple skills” then Daniel is like “hold my beer!” With just a magical touch of CSS tricks and cool animations, this website seems no less than a living creature that portrays beauty.

Toy Fight

Toy Fight


This website is an amazing example of a highly creative usage of colors that grabs user attention in no time. Furthermore, this website is highly minimal and the navigations are like cheese. The website shows that creativity can also be achieved with simple designs and vibrant colors. This can surely make visitors stay longer on the website.


So, these are some of the great innovative examples of a portfolio website and it is highly suggested that you should take inspiration from these and create something original by yourself. 



Tips on creating a portfolio website with LiquidBlox?


The examples shown earlier were custom coded by some amazing individuals. But in case you are not a developer, you are better off with a Visual Website Builder like LiquidBlox. It gives you creative freedom without need for tech skills.


With LiquidBlox I suggest you just start experimenting. You also have chat support available and a lot of tutorials like the following we recommend checking out when making a portfolio website.



For designing the look and feel


In case you know how to code



Tips on creating a portfolio website with Wordpress? 


You can also make a portfolio website using WordPress. In this, you can use your pre-existing theme and incorporate a portfolio within it. Here's a list of the plug-ins that will help along the way:



Awesome filterable portfolio


Awesome is not just in this plug-in's name but also in its applications. It certainly lives up to its name to the fullest. By doing this, you can create a portfolio of your own and filter it on the basis of your criteria. There are several attractive animations and hover-effects that couple up and make an amazing user interface. Furthermore, it also allows you to add up as many categories as you want. Its simplicity is what makes it truly awesome.



Portfolio 


The name might be simple but the design of this plug-in is highly dynamic. With this, you can certainly showcase all your work in compelling ways. This plug-in allows you to create a dedicated page for making a portfolio and you can include numerous things in it such as project details, descriptions, screenshots, URLs, and even the date when you completed that specific project. You are free to modify the slider and change the image sizes as well.



WP-portfolio 


Yeah… yet another simple named plug-in but guess what, one does not need to have a fancy name if it lives up to its capabilities. With this feature-rich plug-in, you can just take a nap and when you wake up your portfolio will be ready automatically. All you need to do is add thumbnails, insert the shortcode, and say this guide is best 3 times and then voila your portfolio will be ready. This is certainly a great magic trick to show your friends (and clients as well).


With these plug-ins the major barrier - lack of coding skills, is already broken and all you need to do is install these plug-ins in your existing Wordpress website and you are good to go. Moreover, the set-up process is highly interactive due to which you will learn the process on the go. Rest assured that within an hour you will create something you’ll be proud of. 



What should be included in a portfolio website?


Here are the skeletal things for a fulfilling portfolio website: 



Design


This is very important and necessary if you have a portfolio website. To make your website attractive you must choose a compelling design. When you select a good design, your customer is attracted to your website. You can provide your business information by making a list. Just remember one thing. If your work examples are highly visual and colorful, you might want to go with a plain white or black background. Another option is to select a color scheme to be different and have contrast. Both need excellent visual skills to provide a great user experience.



Logo with a tagline


When you make your portfolio website you need an attractive logo and tagline. Don't make it too complicated; make it simple text-based with your brand name. It presents and describes your business and you as well.



High-quality images


As we discussed above, selecting the right design for your portfolio is important, but you also need the right images to complement your layout. The images that you use on your portfolio website should be of high quality.



Services and contact information


Every customer wants the best services from their service provider. If you have a portfolio website then you must make sure that you add your contact information on your homepage. On that page, you should add the email address of your business. If you have any other source of contact, add that too. When you add proper information about contact and services, your customer can easily contact and make a connection with you. Nowadays a LinkedIn profile link is important as well.



Information about you


Most of the customers want to know your professional story. So make sure you add your life story, not personal, but how you learn, what you have achieved in this field, awards and so on. You can freely express your feelings and opinions.



Free sample


No matter what services you provide on the portfolio website. To make your website generate more leads to eventually become customers you can provide one free sample for your new leads.



How do I grow the audience of my portfolio site?


Well, the only method to grow a portfolio website is to get more work done and added to your portfolio. This way it will grow with time and eventually, appear fulfilling to the clients and satisfying to you. Here are some other tips for growing your portfolio website:



Complete as many projects as you can


The major part of a portfolio website is the projects section and you need to ensure that it has plenty of content. You cannot expect the clients to trust you with just two things in the name of projects. Clients always look after diversification so make sure you can work on different niches. The best way to do this  is by completing all the pending projects first, listing them and then starting new projects. You might say that you can't get projects but in that case, follow the next tip.



Create personal projects 


Besides working for clients, reflect your creativity by creating projects of your own. Put yourself in the position of a client and judge a portfolio based on the number of personal projects and the projects done for the clients. Even if you don’t have enough projects done for the clients, your personal projects have got you covered. Therefore, always work on personal projects and list them on your portfolio. 



Learn new skills 


Our main objective throughout the beginning was to show the clients what we got for them. And that's certainly dependent on the number of skills we have. Let's say you are a content writer and you have listed all your skills such as SEO, keyword stuffing, etc. But clients need conversions so you must learn the process of making content engaging and then you can add that up to your skills list. Therefore, find out what clients are looking for, learn it, and list it. That’s the easiest way to grow your portfolio gradually. 



Adopt new designs


It is also worth mentioning that trends fade away real quick and there is no such thing as a classic. Even the example websites that are mentioned above in this article might change their designs really soon. This is because it is mandatory to keep updating new designs and ensure that your portfolio always looks fresh and enriching. 


So make sure that you follow the above tips not just to grow your portfolio, but to increase your skill set as well. You must aim towards being a better self than growing a mere website because that's what is going to help you in the future.



Bonus Tips: How to use Portfolio Website to grow your traffic


Admit it! We all want to elevate our professional status because there are several benefits associated with it. Promoting yourself digitally is not only cost-effective but powerful as well. Staying online doesn't attract customers but having an attractive online calling card does. Here are some tips that will help you to gain more traffic on your portfolio website and will take self-promotion to a whole new level without annoying social media spam: 



Research, research, and apply 


Building links and improving the website is cool but it all starts after nice keyword research, just like your day begins after a strong coffee. You must find the queries that people are searching for and on the basis of the audience you are targeting. This will also be determined by the volume of traffic on the keyword and the difficulty to rank with it.



Stay real 


Keywords are important but not necessarily everywhere. Be sure that your content looks realistic and doesn't highlight the keywords as if they are blueberries that are embedded on the top of a pudding. Make sure that they make sense with the sentence and the overall content creates meaning and is easily understandable. Also, stick with your niche and don’t go unnecessarily out of the topic just for the sake of using keywords. 



Avoid making it "overly creative"


As Toptal's lead design Blog editor Miklos Philips point out in his blog post:

"The portfolio presentation is too idiosyncratic and “overly creative,” which hampers usability and makes navigation difficult. Make the portfolio easy to review. It’s best to impress with the work, not the portfolio’s design. The focus should be on delivering what clients are looking for without excess fancy."



Be a cheetah


The loading time of your website decides if the user will stay on your website or not. And that affects the rankings on SERP as well (which accounts for the major part of free traffic). So make sure that the loading speed of your website is pretty good and the whole content gets available to the visitor within three seconds. For that, you can optimize the images and shift to better hosting and can even remove unnecessary elements from the website. At last, you can check the loading time of your website through Google’s website speed checker tool. 



Build backlinks


So far the major ranking factor is still building relevant links to your website and you can never even think of ignoring it. Make sure that you build links on your related websites either by guest posting or by creating helpful content. Make sure that you stay away from shady practices such as PBN’s and web 2.0’s. Otherwise, you may have to face a penalty. 



Bottom Line 


That was quite a long journey but finally, the guide succeeded to provide valuable and complete information on a portfolio website. Our work ends here, but yours is about to start. Follow the guide and make a stunning portfolio of your own. So go ahead and grab those clients now!