After a few years of blogging, I noticed the business card situation was getting a little wonky. In any given conversation we could be talking about IFB, The Coveted, eat, sleep, denim.. or Evolving Influence and that didn't even count the times people could be inquiring about consulting, and that certainly does not fit into the editorial calendars of any fashion blog. I had multiple cards, cards with all the sites listed, handing a card from IFB saying I had another site called The Coveted. It was a mess, and don't even get me started when people ask what I do for a living.
Coveted Media was an idea born out of trying to consolidate all my web properties as well as a single branded entity. I had set up an LLC under that name and got the web domain, and set up the website as a portfolio to showcase the work I can do. The great thing about this is that I can develop external projects, and grow my career beyond the blogs themselves.
When You Know It's Time
You don't have to have a ton of sites, or wait four years like I did. Any time you decide to start your business, it's a good time to set up a website. If you are looking to grow your business beyond your blog, it's important to have a site that showcases your blog(s), provides descriptions of the services and the value you can provide your potential clients so they have have a single resource to view your skills.
You Already Have the Skills To Build Your Portfolio
If you built your blog, you have the skills to put together a portfolio site. The truth is, many companies use blog content management systems (CMS) like WordPress.org to power their websites. The trick is using a theme that is flexible enough to communicate that message you want. I ended up using Boast on Woothemes for CovetedMedia.com and stripped it down to adhere to my liking, taking out all the dates and comments as it doesn't function like a blog where new content is posted daily and users come there to interact. Using WordPress to power the site has a lot of benefits, one being updatable on the front end and the back end, two you can create user accounts so others can help manage content to keep things fresh and three it's a hell of a lot easier and cheaper than building your own html site or paying someone else to do it.
It's Always a Work in Progress
My good friend Wendy Brandes likes to say, “Perfect is the enemy of good.” In other words, your site doesn't have to be perfect and the most kick ass destination on the internet. The fact it exists is good enough. Have your work listed, a little bit about you and what you can do. Provide enough information so visitors can get an idea of what you're about, but also provide them a reason to get in touch with you (if that's what you want).
For me, the truth is, I'm still figuring out what I'm good at. There are certain things that have a proven track record, and I have a reputation for (hopefully a good one). Since I'm still discovering what it is that makes my services so unique the website is great for being flexible enough to grow with my career.
What Do You Want Your Career to Look Like?
The beauty of building a portfolio site is that you can create a vision for the career you always wanted. It helps to make it a reality once you start making it really happen. Of course, don't make stuff up… it's so important that the portfolio site presents facts like a resume would, because nothing is tackier than misrepresentation. A portfolio site can help shape your career by showcasing the very skills that make your unique qualities valuable.