Resources To Build That Perfect Portfolio Website

By Benét J. Wilson, NABJ Program Chair, NABJ DJTF chair & freelance aviation/travel journalist and blogger

Yesterday, Marissa Evans, a student at Marquette University, posted an item from the 10000 Words blog: 5 Free Sites to Help Journalists Build an Online Portfolio – 10,000 Words. But the good folks weren’t at last year’s NABJ Annual Convention & Career Fair discovered a better resource.

Michelle Johnson, Associate Professor of the Practice, Journalism at Boston University (and one of my digital journalism heroes), did a workshop at last year’s convention –The One-minute Media Mogul: Creating Online Portfolios — that was much more informative.  When I got laid off last October, Michelle was one of the first people I called. I wanted to get her notes from her great presentation.

She kindly gave me permission to share them, so here they are, as promised. I’d love to hear from you on which site you decide to use, and send links to see what you came up with.  Thanks!!

For Building a Free/Low-cost Portfolio or Website
WordPress.com
Wix.com
Tumblr.com
Weebly.com
Squarespace.com
Bluehost.com (for setting up a “self-hosted” version of WordPress)

Tips: Creating an Online Portfolio Using WordPress
WordPress is not just for blogging! It’s a full-fledged “content management system” that you can use to build a web site. With just a few tweaks, you can easily and quickly launch your own site. See these articles for details:
CUNY: Creating a Top-Notch Journalist Portfolio

How to Build a Distinctive Portfolio Site
WordPress.com vs hosted WordPress

“Self-hosted” WordPress Bluehost.com tutorials:
How to Install WordPress
Installing Themes
Setting up WordPress as a CMS
http://wordpress.forthenovice.com (videos)

WordPress.com Tutorials/Help
If you are using the free version of WordPress, look here for tips on how to configure your site: WordPress.com Support

Embedding documents
Do you want to embed :
Scribd.com - Need to embed a pdf of your resume? Try scribd.
Docstoc.com – Similiar to Scribd.
Tutorial: How to Embed PDF, Spreadsheets, etc. into WordPress
WordPress Plugin: Google Doc Embedder (Note: this works only for the self-hosted version of WordPress, not the free version.

WordPress Themes (aka templates)
Wordpress.com Theme Showcase: http://theme.wordpress.com/themes/

Note: The themes below are for “self-hosted” WordPress sites. You cannot install your own themes on the freebie sites available at wordpress.com.

Graph Paper Press: Great templates for photographers, visual types
Gabfire: For creating a news site.
Themeforest.net: My personal favorite. Tip: Click on “Wordpress” in the navigation bar first to filter out other formats.

WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org
This article compares the two.

 

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