This is a sponsored post for the .PRESS domain extension.
An online portfolio can help journalists showcase their work as well as establish their brand identity – critical steps to journalists finding success in a digital-first era. Here are five tips on setting up a successful portfolio website:
1. Secure your domain name.
It’s best to pick a memorable and relevant domain name for your website. For most journalists, that means choosing a URL that includes their full name. Unfortunately, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find .com URLs that are still available. The good news is that there are far more options beyond the .com, .org and .net legacy extensions. A new option – and relevant – option for journalists is .PRESS.
.PRESS actually offers a discount to SPJ members, and, earlier this year, donated a portion of its proceeds from new SPJ registrations back to the organization in honor of World Press Freedom Day.
“Journalists want to have a way to showcase their best work online, and creating a .PRESS domain where they can create and develop their own portfolios is a great way to do that,” SPJ Executive Director Joe Skeel said.
2. Decide on a platform.
Gone are the days of having to build a site from scratch. From WordPress to Squarespace to Clippings.Me, there are so many options that make it easy to create a portfolio in just a few minutes. Any platform you choose can be later linked to your domain name once the site is built. An alternative option is to use the website builder that .PRESS offers. It comes with several features, including an easy-to-use Visual Editor, 180 different themes to choose from and even access to 85,000 stock images.
3. Don’t forget the key content.
What you include on the site will, of course, vary depending on who you are and what your purpose is for building the site. For example, are you a soon-to-be-college grad who is on the hunt for a job? Or are you someone with more experience looking for speaking opportunities? Make that clear on your site. But regardless, there are four important pieces of content that most portfolio sites need: your bio, resume or CV, clips and contact information. Contact information should include both your email address and any links to social media profiles you may have.
4. Choose your clips wisely.
A common mistake among young journalists is that they include every piece of journalism they’ve ever done. It’s not necessary to do that. Instead, emphasize your best work, the pieces that you’re proud of and the ones that are more likely to land you a job.
5. Use your URL as a way to brand yourself.
Once you’ve got your portfolio website built, remember that people need to see it. You can include it in the bio information on your social media profiles, link to it in your email signature and print it on your business cards. And never forget to send the link when applying to a new job.
“By this point, it seems that any half-decent .com domain is either in use or been taken by domain squatters,” Ed Moyse, the co-founder of Hey.Press, said. “There’s no way we could find a .com that’s as memorable and sharable.”
Moyse said he doesn’t believe his company, JournoRequests, which connects users with journalists, would have seen the success it has if not for using a .PRESS extension.
Bianca Fortis is the associate editor at MediaShift, an independent journalist and a social media consultant. She is a founding member of the Transborder Media storytelling collective. Follow her on Twitter @biancafortis.