Your online presence is more important than ever before, and it can ultimately make or break your entire career in the freelancing industry. This is particularly true if you are just getting started as a digital marketer, graphic designer, writer, programmer, etc.
If people aren’t familiar with you and your brand by word-of-mouth and reputation, then they need a quick, effective, and easy way to view your previous work.
While you can use your social media to do this, it will only go so far. It would help if you had more to expand your reach and make more connections.
This is where an online portfolio comes into the picture. An online portfolio — even a simple one in nature — will promote your freelance work and help you land prospective clients.
Let’s learn more about what an online portfolio is as well as six of the best portfolio websites for freelancers looking to expand their careers.
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What Is an Online Portfolio?
An online portfolio is a collection of your work that highlights your skills and abilities. You should include your qualifications, skills, certifications, degrees, awards or accolades, previous work experience, and examples of your work.
Depending on your particular field, the examples of your work will vary. Some examples include writing samples, photographs, spreadsheets, case studies, lesson plans, logo designs, etc.
Best Portfolio Websites for Freelance
Part of the Adobe family, Behance offers freelancers of different industries the opportunity to present their former work and skills.
It is by far one of the most popular free portfolio websites available to freelancers, and it is a great option for those who lack the time to create their very own self-hosted portfolio website.
Behance is a free portfolio website platform for freelancers in a variety of industries, including writers, illustrators, graphic designers, fashion influencers, and photographers.
Behance lets freelancers showcase some of their best previous work while also making connections and learning from other freelance creatives.
Many companies use Behance to hire creatives when they have a need. Further, freelancers have access to a job board that will help them find work and network connections.
Therefore, this site is great when you want to find new work and get your name out there.
Something that some of the other free portfolio websites don’t offer and Behance does is the display of how many people have viewed and liked your work.
This can be incredibly advantageous, but it can also prove to be riskier if those numbers aren’t high.
Oh, and did we mention that Behance is completely free for an online portfolio? Of course, if you want to take advantage of additional features and design options, then you can upgrade to a paid plan.
#2: Adobe Portfolio
Adobe Portfolio gives freelancers the chance to set up a gallery of previous work or a single-page website that showcases samples. It’s one of the most complete free portfolio websites.
It takes only minutes to set up a well-designed and personalized portfolio. The stock themes are optimized for all devices without any extra action taken on your part.
Adobe Portfolio can be integrated with Adobe Lightroom and Behance, which will allow your projects to be presented to a much wider audience.
One of the great things about Adobe Portfolio is that you have access to it if you currently have a Creative Cloud membership. You can get a 60-day free trial and then pay $9.99 per month afterward.
#3: Writer’s Residence
Operated by a programmer and writer duo out of the United Kingdom, Writer’s Residence offers portfolios that serve as a valuable marketing tool while also making it easy for freelancers to showcase their top-of-the-line work.
Regardless of where you are in your freelance career, the Writer’s Residence knows what you need. You get a well-designed website that will not only showcase your work but also emphasize your professionalism.
You can use a custom domain of your own, or you can choose to use the domain provided by the platform.
When designing your website where you will showcase your work, you can choose from one of their several creative templates. That’s right; there is no need to be savvy with HTML or coding.
However, you can use your knowledge of coding to take the design a step further. And, unlike some options for free portfolio websites, the Writer’s Residence makes it so you can get your website up within just 30 minutes!
The Writer’s Residence offers a 30-day free trial so you can test the waters. After that initial 30 days, you will need to pay $8.99 per month to maintain access to the platform and the portfolio that you have created.
They offer great customer support and the uploading of an unlimited number of samples.
#4: Journo Portfolio
Journo Portfolio allows freelancers to create a simple and modern online portfolio. The site’s dashboard is straightforward to use.
There are almost 10 distinctive themes that you can choose from and then sort your pieces into any number of content blocks or pages.
Journo Portfolio also features many options to share materials, such as a direct link or the uploading of videos, images, PDFs, etc.
There is also a live preview editor, allowing you to see what your site will look like as you go. In addition, your portfolio website will also be mobile-friendly without taking any extra steps.
One of the best features of the Journo Portfolio is the built-in analytics that will allow you to see the number of people who have visited your portfolio website, how long they spent there, and even where they came from.
Using Journo Portfolio is free. The free version allows you to host as many as 10 articles. You can upgrade to the Pro version, though, which costs $5 to $10 per month and will allow unlimited pages, the chance to use your domain, and article back-ups.
#5: Muck Rack
Muck Rack is considered a media database that allows freelance journalists to connect with PR professionals. This platform offers freelancers an easy way to showcase their valued work.
Aside from simply providing you with a place to store and highlight your work, you will have the chance to expand your network, connect with others, and even receive PR pitches.
You have the option to include certain topics that you prefer not to cover, which will ensure you aren’t shown irrelevant pitches based on your abilities and preferences.
Further, Muck Rack is designed in such a way that it will create and manage your portfolio for you. It does this by automatically compiling social media profiles and articles, which automatically keeps your portfolio up-to-date.
You can then opt to personalize your biography and/or choose from several spotlight pieces.
Muck Rack also features a news alert system that will help you keep track of tweets, stories, etc. regarding a certain brand, company, or storyline. This lets you see when stories are published related to your work.
The main downside to Muck Rack is that you may experience some formatting issues if you upload data from Excel. In addition, it doesn’t currently integrate with outside monitoring and reporting tools.
However, Muck Rack is free for everyone, with the potential to gain additional features if Muck Rack verifies you as a journalist.
Further, this platform may be one of the best and easiest ways to build your portfolio without quantity restrictions and grow your following.
Portfoliobox is a website-building platform that is designed specifically for photographers, although virtually any kind of designer can use this platform to develop a high-end portfolio website.
If you need to showcase your best work in a professional and responsive gallery, then Portfoliobox is the portfolio website for you.
Portfoliobox even makes it easy to sell your artwork and prints directly with an eCommerce link. The free plan with Portfoliobox offers the ability to create a blog that can attract a larger audience and generate potential leads for your website.
There are numerous themes available for your portfolio website, and it is unlikely that you won’t find one your liking. There is no need to be familiar with coding to edit the themes available and make them your own.
All it takes is a few clicks here and there and you will have an impressive-looking portfolio at your disposal.
Portfoliobox is free for 10 pages and 30 images. A premium subscription to Portfoliobox is available at $6.90 per month and offers additional features like 24/7 support, unlimited pages, and a domain name.
Wrap Up for Free Portfolio Websites
Regardless of whether you are just getting started in your freelance career and have no coding knowledge or you have a solid freelancing career with the expertise to code your theme, free portfolio websites are key to helping you build your career by attractively presenting your work.
If you are looking to grow your freelance career, you must be familiar with the latest graphic design trends in social media. Even with an online portfolio, your social media profile still plays a role in your future.