Whether you fund your digital nomad lifestyle through freelance graphic design, stock photography or any other online job, you’ll need a website to promote yourself and your talents to potential clients. Whilst you could potentially get away with just having great profiles set up on the freelancing websites such as oDesk (if that’s appropriate for your chosen online profession), it’s still always useful to have a website to increase your online presence.
First of all, you need a domain name, which you can purchase from any number of registrars. We use Bluehost – they’re cheap and reliable. Try to pick something unique and memorable – your name is always a good choice if you’re an online freelancer, particularly in creative professions where your identity and personal style are important. If the .com domain is available go for that, but .net and .org etc are also ok and shouldn’t affect your google ranking.
If you plan on making money as a blogger or travel writer, you’ll want to choose something relevant to the topic you want to write about – perhaps your digital nomad lifestyle or the places you visit on your travels.
There are any number of hosting plans available online – your domain registrar will have a few options for you to choose from, and wordpress is extremely popular. If you’re just looking for a simple portfolio site, consider one of the many package options – sites like this will have a simple drag and drop interface and often have the option to purchase a domain name thrown in – although this can be more expensive.
Go for something simple, modern and easy to navigate. Whether you want to showcase your portraits, client testimonials or samples of your travel writing, you want your work to be the main focus, so avoid overly busy designs.
I won’t go into much detail here as this is a huge topic! For search engine optimisation purposes avoid fancy flash portfolios and make sure your content is highly focused and relevant to your profession. Don’t be tempted to fill your site with tons of keywords in an attempt to increase your google ranking – this will just come across as spammy and put clients off. (In any case, you’ll probably just be pointing clients to your website directly, since ranking high on google for terms like ‘graphic designer‘ or ‘travel writer‘ is nigh on impossible.)
Is there anything else that is crucial to a good portfolio website? Comment below!