Get a Better Job With a Professional Online Portfolio & Blog
- 2 hours on-demand video
- 1 article
- 9 downloadable resources
- Full lifetime access
- Access on mobile and TV
- Certificate of Completion
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- Build your personal brand website to show your work online and promote yourself offline and beyond social media.
- Build a portfolio website with examples of the amazing work you've done.
- Document and develop ideas on your blog to improve your skills and improve your expertise in your field.
- Increase your exposure to employers and clients with a website that will impress.
- If you can create a LinkedIn or Facebook profile, you can take this course.
- Basic graphic editing skills which can be done with a free tool like Canva.
- You will need one application (Filezilla).
If you can create a Facebook profile, you can take this course.
If you're a freelancer, contractor, consultant, job seeker, or employed but open to job opportunities this course is a must to build your visibility.
You should take this course and create a professional website right now to:
- Achieve career security in a world where job security no longer exists.
- Skip gatekeepers, talk directly to the hiring manager every time.
- Get a personalized domain & website to show off on your LinkedIn profile, resume/CV, email signature, and more!
- Be found by recruiters, there's nothing more satisfying than being headhunted.
- Have a loyal reader of your blog hire you for your dream job.
- Make hidden job opportunities appear and be seeked out for these opportunities.
- Have examples of your work to show so you qualify for higher paying work.
- Get a back-stage tour of how to achieve the success I did.
The outcome of this course has increased my salary by $15000 USD per year and I've achieved my dream of working from home.
After completing this course you'll be able to:
- Create a website for professional success or a business.
- Achieve financial freedom.
- Open doors to previously unreachable opportunities.
- Tap into the hidden job market by networking and easily building trust.
I'll share with you the website I built over the past 5 years so you can achieve it in less than a day.
My engaging, interactive teaching style will help you be successful.
I cover the following:
- Custom domains and website hosting.
- Install Wordpress and making it unique to you.
- Plugins to make your website irresistible.
- Create great content to achieve your goals.
- Maintain your website and secure it.
- Evolving your website with your career.
I use the following tools:
- GoDaddy Hosting ($42 USD)
- Wordpress (Free)
- WPZoom StartingUp Theme ($75 USD) some parts of the course are specific to WPZoom themes
- Professional website that gets you work (priceless)
- Professionals who freelance, contract, consult, are seeking a job, and are employed but always open to new job opportunities.
- This course is focused on helping you build a better personal brand online with a portfolio website.
- Those willing to invest in their career future. Approximately $100-$120 USD the first year and $90-$110 USD following years.
My name is Nick Leffler and I'm an Instructional Designer.
I've been developing my personal brand website using Wordpress for the past five years. I maintain a portfolio of my work to help promote my skills.
To further my skills and have a developing presence in the community I also regularly post to my blog.
The modern workplace is an extremely volatile environment these days. Creativity in the way you approach your job is vital to your survival and a personal brand website will make sure your creativity is prominent.
Your website can create a hub for your work to be sure potential employers and clients won't have to hunt for your best stuff.
This article I wrote tells the story of how you can take your career to the next step and be seen as the best person for the job whether you're a freelancer going for your next client or an employee trying to get a promotion internally or to a new position.
If you don't show yourself off then nobody will ever see what you can do, and you'll find yourself in a difficult spot. Having a hub for your personal brand is vital, and a custom website built by you is the best way to do this.
There are tons of free options out there for a website and blog but these are my three very important reasons on why you should invest a little money into who you are and what you can do.
- You'll be in control of your website and personal brand from beginning to end. WordPress.com, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. can't offer that to you.
The power of customization.
You can customize your website however you want without limitations. You get to choose your theme, your content, and your plugins.
You will never have an ad on your website unless you choose to have one.
No ads, ever.
Having a consistent personal brand for your website across devices (computer, tablet, smartphone) is important.
I explain the importance of this consistency and what you should avoid.
Responsive web design and a responsive theme makes it easy for you to cater to visitors no matter how they access your website.
I'll help you choose an effective domain name for your new website.
It's important to make it personal, professional, and clear to somebody who has no ideas who you are or what you do.
Your domain must be renewed yearly or my recommendation is to pay for several years at a time, you can usually get a discount if you do.
My new favorite domain registrar has been Google Domains. If you have a Google account, you're already set. Almost all domains are only $12 USD which is a great price because it comes with privacy protection (your address and email etc are not publicly available). The cost for this with GoDaddy is significantly more expensive.
I removed the top 5 best domain registrars and replaced it with Google Domains. Another option is NameCheap though, I've included my affiliate link for that. The Google Domains option isn't an affiliate link though, but I recommend that first (I'm not doing this just for the money, genuine advice as you can see).
There are a lot of options out there for hosting your Wordpress website. Some are better than others.
It's important to factor your specific needs into your choice. Some things to keep in mind are ease of usability, customer service, and speed.
- SiteGound (the best-rated host for speed, reliability, and support. I recently switched and I am blown away by the speed and support. Below is an affiliate link.)
- InMotion Hosting
- DreamHost (affiliate link)
- GoDaddy (I used this for the course because of price and standard features)
- BlueHost (affiliate link)
I'm not compensated for any of these recommendations, they are only some of the more well known hosts. If you have had an excellent experience please share in the discussion.
Is Cloudflare worth it? Yes! This lecture helps you set up Cloudflare to help keep hackers at bay.
I'll walk you through redirecting your website through Cloudflare's DNS servers which will stop bad guys before they even get to your host.
I'll also cover some of the issues I've experienced and resolved while using Cloudflare.
You have a host, a domain, and all of it's protected. Now I'll help you install Wordpress on your host and make sure it's configured with the best settings to make things easy.
Most hosts come with a Wordpress installation script which makes it a bit easier to install, but there's still some settings which I'll cover.
Your site name and description need to be simple and recognizable. Always keep in mind a visitor has no idea who you are or what you do and won't have the patience to search and find out.
I install Wordpress 4.1 (Dinah) and will update this video if anything changes.
When setting up your personal brand website, free is not the way to go.
Spend time picking out a theme so you end up with one as unique as you are and that can be easily customizable to your personal brand.
I will provide resources for your search. Recommendations are welcome in the discussion or on Twitter #web4pbrand.
I will be using the StartingUp theme from WPZoom (I'm not compensated for promoting their templates) and I'm using Venture on Technkl.
Starting with an already unique theme is great, but making it as unique as you is even better.
I'll show you all the important parts to customize it including:
- The importance of creating a personal brand color palette and a tool (Adobe Color) to help you do it.
- Creating a logo for your website.
- The small but useful touch of adding a favicon.
- Removing the designed by branding of the theme.
Plugins are an easy way to expand the capabilities of Wordpress. They can also be a burden to your visitors though.
Be sure to not install more than 10 plugins although the fewer the better. I'll cover deleting plugins and installing the following plugins:
- Easy Fancybox
This is just an introduction to plugins, I will be installing more as they become relevent.
Maintaining a blog is a big job, but one with great pay-offs. I'll cover the plugins that will help create an even better experience for you and readers.
I'll install and customize the following plugins:
- Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP)
- External Comment Plugin (Update Coming Soon: I install Livefyre in the recording, I now use Disqus exclusively and recommend the same. I'll also update the plugin to Disqus Conditional Load)
- Estimated Post Reading Time
I'll help you make sure your website is a valuable piece of your personal brand by showing a consistent image that promotes your professional story.
A few things you'll need to clarify before you start putting content into your website:
- What's your purpose?
- Show who you are.
- It takes time.
- Relate it to you.
- Write professional, positive, authentic.
- Write for yourself.
- Stay positive and professional.
- Be relevant.
- Constantly evolve and never stay still.
If you already have a blog on a free service, I'll show you how to import content from other services.
I'll be using Wordpress.com as an example. This will require installing a new plugin which will then be deleted when the process is complete.
You can move your content over from services like Blogger, LiveJournal, Tumblr, Wordpress.com, RSS, and more.
I'll help you set up the basic pages of your website to ensure you're communicating valuable information that's consistent and professional to your visitors and potential employers/customers.
The two pages I'll be adding are:
- A clear home page so visitors know what I'm all about.
- An about me page that's consistent with my social media information.
I'll also show how to change the permalinks in Wordpress which determine how addresses to each page will look.
Once you've set up the basic content, it's time to link it together with navigation links.
I'll be be setting up:
- Main navigation between all of my web pages.
- Navigation to my social media sites which goes over an introduction to widgets.
- Links to content on and off my website.
I'll show you how set up your portfolio, one of the most important parts of your personal brand website.
Your portfolio will help stay relevant in rapidly changing times and you'll make connections within your industry therefore opening the door to future opportunities.
Portfolio's can be used to show of any type of project you've done from an audio script to the UX Design of a mobile app. Remember though to always set up a featured image to enhance the look of your portfolio page.
The examples I go over are:
- Gallery of my photography.
- An HTML5 animation with an image that links to the project in a lightbox using Easy Fancybox.
I also have set up one of the scripts I wrote for this course as a project but do not show the details, it's available on nickleffler.com
I'll help you setup and configure a blog to help you stay relevant in your industry.
A blog will help you learn and reflect so visitors know what your personal brand is all about.
I'll share a story of my blogging woes which hopefully helps make the point on why it's important to always keep your blog updated.
I also cover important things for your blog like setting up an RSS feed, how to promote your posts easily on social media, and how to set up a post to publish on a certain day and time.
Adding a featured image is also an important part of your blog post, even if you don't put an image in the post itself.
I'll help you create and customize a contact page. It's important to have a contact page rather than just your email address although both is a great option.
A contact form will protect you from spam, make it easy for your visitors to contact you, and create an experience that is the same across all devices (desktop, tablet, smartphone).
Wordpress is always coming out with updates to the software, it's important to keep up with those updates to keep your website safe from hackers.
- Major Wordpress updates.
- Minor Wordpress updates.
- Updating plugins.
- Updating a custom theme to keep your customizations.
There's nothing worse than losing your entire website. I'll help you backup your website so disaster never takes down your hard work.
This video covers backing up just the Wordpress content (pages, blog posts, portfolio items, etc) and a seperate backup that covers your website including all the files you've uploaded.
I'll show you where to check your site statistics and how to set up your smartphone so you can access them there too.
Jetpack has all the statistics you'll need although I also cover where to put Google Analytics so you're sure to have all the information necessary to see where visitors are coming from, going, and viewing from any device you would like to view them on.
I'll show you where to get a free video of a user going through your website and show you what it's all about.
I also provide a link in the resources section of my video. UserTesting Peek is a useful way to see if your website makes sense to someone who's never been there before.
I'll help you get ideas to promote your personal brand in new ways. Your new website provides a more unique and full experience to show off who you are to employers and customers.
I promote my website and content using some of the following methods:
- Social media sites including LinkedIn.
- A personal portfolio hashtag.
- Delayed posts with additional scheduled social media posts.
This Lecture is optional.
Post your website in the discussions for this Lecture if you'd like to share.
This is a place where you can share what you've created during your journey on this course.
It'll also give you an opportunity to:
- Share tips with the class.
- Help others improve their personal brand website.
- Help you improve yours.
- Share your hard work so we can all see what everyone else has created.