Monday, 11 May 2015

3 Steps to Building an Awesome Personal Website

In my last blog post, I noted that the question is no longer IF you have a personal brand, but whether you choose to build your personal brand or let it be defined by others.

In the professional world, especially in a “people industry,” like marketing, it is common for potential employers and colleagues to look up your information before even meeting you.  So why not make a lasting first impression through a personal website? Yes, you read that correctly!

Making your site is easy and completely worth it. Plus I will help you get started with the right tools.  Lucky for you, it only takes 3 easy steps to build your own website.

1. Commit Time

Understanding that a website is dynamic and not static is key. The moment you accomplish something, you can add it to your website. Unlike a resume, you don’t need to print new copies of it and send it out to your contacts over and over; you just update it. People can continually come back and see what you’re up to. Setting up a website is time consuming but, if you do it enough, you can add ‘web design’ as a skill on your resume!

2. Choose a Platform 

There are plenty of options out there that can help you create a fantastic online representation of yourself. Here are 4 of my favorite platforms ranked in order of user-friendliness, style, and customer service.

- Here’s how it works: You can log in to your LinkedIn account, and Strikingly uses that information to create a site optimized both for web and mobile devices in less than 10 seconds. The free plan covers one site with minimal functionality. Premium features, such as a custom domain name and analytics data, run $8 to $20 per month, but are optional. Personally, Strikingly is my favorite platform to date!

- If you're looking to build a landing page with basic info and one image, this is the platform for you! I wish I could expand, but is just that simple. 


- Perhaps the biggest advantage of the SquareSpace interface is how easy it is to get started. You simply choose one of the pre-built templates and adjust it to fit your color and layout preferences. You can get started with a site for as little as $8 per month, depending on your needs. As much as I like SquareSpace's design, it's too minimalistic for my taste.


Designing your site on Weebly is as easy as dragging and dropping elements you want onto your page. Select a theme and, BAM! Your new website is done. I like Weebly specifically because it provides a nice balance between simple and customizable, letting you create a site just the way you want it without getting bogged down in the technical details of running a website. The icing on the cake is that Weebly is completely FREE to use if you use their provided domain.

3. Build the Content

There are a few pages you should create from the start. Set aside 2-3 hours to write exactly what you want these pages to say about yourself. In writing, be informative, but don't bog your readers down with pages and pages of text. Also, be sure to include some images that are visually appealing. Here are the 3 pages you'll want your website to have:

  • A brief About Me page, which you'll set us as your home page:
  • A Resume page where you can list your education, work, etc.,: 
  • And a Contact page, to let people know how they can get in touch with you:

4. Showcase Your Work

These days, creative professionals often treat their personal websites as their portfolios, where they collect their work in a way that makes it easy for hiring managers to see their experience. If you’re a writer, you might include clips from articles you’ve published on the web. If you’re in marketing, you could include examples of campaigns you ran or descriptions of events you helped coordinate. Even if you’re in sales or business development, talk about some of the companies you’ve worked with in sales, or give an idea about your sales numbers. Be creative!

See? You have more to show off than you thought. Now get going and fill up that personal website! To check out my own website as an example, visit Think you have a great personal website? Share it with me by leaving the link in a comment below or tweet it to us @Swagger_Media!

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