A Step-by-Step Guide to Starting and Launching Your Personal Website

“Personal Branding” is a term that gets thrown a lot these days, but it’s probably not what you think it is. Personal branding is not just another term for self-promotion but rather the way you represent yourself as a leader and what values you are known for professionally.

A great way to start thinking about your personal brand is by going through the process of building a personal website.

The ability to build a website on its own is impressive to recruiters. It’s also a great way to display what you want hiring managers to see, show off your personality online, and take control of your Google search results.

We’ve created a step-by-step guide to get your personal website in motion, and trust us, building the site is the easy part!

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Start with a focus.

Before you start building a site, you should think about why you are building a site and who you are targeting. Are you trying to get hired for a specific role? Do you want people to read your blog? Thinking about a focus will help inform your design decisions later.

Define your leadership qualities.

Your personal brand is how you express yourself as a leader. Start by writing down what you think those qualities are and then ask three colleagues to do the same. If these qualities align, you are off to a great start. You can highlight these keywords in your professional headline.

Do your research.

Start analyzing personal websites and write down what you like and what you’d change for your own site. Here are a few questions to help you start thinking analytically:

  • How do they organize their categories?
  • Is it one long scrolling site or separated by pages?
  • What tone of voice do they use to introduce themselves?
  • What kind of images do they use?
  • Would you work with this person? Why or why not?

If you don’t have any personal sites in mind, here are a few you can analyze that are all built on the Wix.com platform:

Gather your content.

Create a folder on your computer with all of your images, relevant links, bio, etc. Here is an easy checklist to make sure you have everything you need to build the site:

  • A professional headline (one or two sentences that describe you)
  • A brief bio (be professional but you can also include a fun fact or two.)
  • A great headshot (make sure you have a headshot that represents your professional identity)
  • Contact information (name, email and phone number should be easy to find)
  • Your resume (create a text version for the site and downloadable PDF version for recruiters)
  • Samples of your work (this can be as simple as a list of links, but it’s preferable to keep viewers on your website with images and rich media)
  • Relevant multimedia (do you have videos, GIFs, or outstanding presentations you can embed?)
  • Testimonials (make sure to ask your references if you can use their names and photos on your website)
  • Social links (post links to your active social pages)

Select your categories.

Now that you have all your content, grab a pen and paper and write out how you will organize your content into categories. This may also be a good time to sketch out a basic outline of where things will go on your site.

Sign up for Wix.com and pick your template.

Check out the personal section at the bottom of the template list or if you already have a clear vision for your site, start from a blank template.

 

Learn the basics of the Wix editor.

Start getting to know a bit about Wix by watching this video and clicking around on topics you want to know more about. Keep in mind that you can quickly undo anything by pressing Command Z.

Build the site.

Keep design in mind while you are adding your content. You don’t want to clutter your site with too much stuff. You can always add additional pages, or break up blocks of text with images and videos. If you get stuck, check out the help center or call a Wix representative at 1-800-600-0949. If you happen to live in New York, you can also book a free in-person support session.

Create a mobile version of your site.

To switch to the Mobile Editor, simply click the Mobile icon at the top left of your Editor. From here you can change the placement and size of your elements, hide elements from your mobile site, create a Mobile Action Bar and even change the style of certain elements, such as text. If you are stuck, learn more about moving, resizing, and hiding elements.

Make sure people can find your site.

Optimizing your site for Google is crucial to jump to the top of search results when people search for you. Check out this short tutorial that shows you how to optimize your Wix site for search engines.

Publish your site.

Once you click publish in the top right hand corner of your screen, you officially have a personally branded site! Make sure to test all the links on your site and ask a few friends for feedback!

Connect your domain and upgrade. (optional)

Having your own domain is viewed as more professional than keeping the Wix branding in your URL. It’s about $10 a month to remove the Wix ads and connect your personal domain (and if you attend a FindSpark event (like Hustle Summit on July 17), we’ll send you a code for 50% off your Wix site!).

Photo Courtesy of Siyaka Taylor-Lewis

Promote

Step 1: Send an email to your friends, family and colleagues. You’ve worked hard this week to create your personal website–now it’s time to share it with the world! It will also be a great time to remind your network that you are looking for new opportunities.

Step 2: Promote on social and update your LinkedIn profile. Send a link out to your new website on your social channels, tweet @wix (we just might retweet), and update your LinkedIn profile with your new website URL.

We can’t wait to see your personal websites. Share your URL in the comments below, and we’ll share our favorites on social media!

Special Thanks to Our Partner:

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Special thanks to our partner Wix.comWix enables you to build a free and professional website, just the way you want it. With an HTML5 drag-and-drop website editor, designer-made templates, and tons of features, Wix gives you the tools to launch and manage your online presence. Click here to make your free Wix account and visit wixontheroad.com to find a free Wix event in your city!

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