50 of the Best Personal Website and Portfolio Examples in 2018

If you’re a student (or anyone, really) you need a website. It’s your chance to establish an online home base, impress recruiters, and provide something that will set you apart from the stacks of static resumes that everyone else is submitting for job applications.

But creating your own website can be overwhelming. Even if you’ve got the basic technical details down, the possibilities for design, layout, and text are nearly endless.

Because of this, it can be helpful to see some examples of what other people are doing. That way, when you create (or even update) your website, you’ll have some ideas of what to do to ensure that your website doesn’t look (or sound) like it’s from 1995.

That’s why we created this post. It’s a compilation of 50 of our favorite personal website examples from around the internet. In addition to showcasing the site, each example also includes an explanation of what the example can teach you about creating your own website.

To make it easier to navigate, we’ve broken the post down into the following sections. That way, if you’re looking to build a site with a particular purpose or need tips on design, you can skip to the relevant section:

We hope this list gives you the inspiration you need to make your own website (when you’re ready, you can follow our complete tutorial here).

Let’s get started!

Solo Professional Website Examples

To begin, we have a roundup of some solo professional websites. Some of them are online freelancers, while others own brick and mortar businesses. This may not be the sort of site you need as a student, but you won’t be in college forever (that would mean we’re failing at our job). If you decide to work for yourself, these are the sorts of sites you’d want to create.

And even if you take a full-time job, you can still learn a lot about personal branding from the way these folks have set up their sites.

1. Grant Baldwin

Grant Baldwin Website

Grant Baldwin is a seasoned professional speaker, and he’s taken that experience to create online trainings for others who want to learn how to speak in public or improve their existing speaking businesses. To learn more about how Grant got started speaking, check out Thomas’s interview with him in Episode 22 of the College Info Geek Podcast.

Here’s what you can take away from his website:

  • Clear navigation – One challenge for solo professionals is how to promote a variety of services without overwhelming site visitors. Grant handles this well on his homepage, promoting his current offer for experienced professional speakers while also giving a link for people who are interested in learning how to get started speaking for the first time.

2. Zachary Sexton

Zach Sexton Website

Continuing with the theme of former College Info Geek Podcast guests, we have Zachary Sexton’s website. Back when Thomas interviewed Zachary, he was working as a productivity coach and writer for Asian Efficiency. Since then, he’s gone solo, and he now helps solo professionals automate their business processes.

What you can learn from the site:

  • Concise tagline – “Productivity for solo professionals” is a clear statement of what Zachary does and why people should hire him.

3. Rebecca Parson

Rebecca Parson Website

Rebecca Parson is a freelance copywriter. I subscribe to her weekly newsletter (which you should totally check out if you’re interested in learning more about the art of selling with words). Her website has a lot to teach anyone looking to build a website to sell their services:

  • Clear contact information – Right at the top of the site, Rebecca has her phone number and email, ensuring that potential clients know how to get in touch with her. Putting your phone number on your website isn’t something we’d recommend unless you have a separate business phone (and are prepared to receive lots of spam calls). But having a professional email address is always a good idea (just don’t make it the email you use to sign into your online accounts).

4. Al Kavadlo

Al Kavadlo Website

Al’s site is a bit of a wildcard. While he does do some business online, he’s better known for his in-person workshops and YouTube videos of gravity-defying calisthenics and gymnastics. Still, he doesn’t neglect the value that comes from having a personal website. Here’s what Al’s site can teach you:

  • Branding with personality – Al isn’t a conventional guy, and his site design reflects that, using a black and yellow color scheme reminiscent of caution tape as well as a gritty font to show off his personality.

5. Dr. Steven Kinnear

Dr. Steven Kinnear Website

Dr. Steven Kinnear’s site is one that Thomas created back when he was a freelance web designer. Dr. Kinnear is a physician, but he’s also so much more, as his site shows. Here’s what his site can teach you:

  • Unconventional branding – Among other things, Dr. Kinnear describes himself as a “doctorpreneur”. This invented word is both intriguing and descriptive of Dr. Kinnear’s unconventional professional pursuits, in which he combines his medical knowledge with other business ventures.

6. Desiree Adaway

Desiree Adaway Website

Desiree Adaway consults with organizations to help them build resilient, equitable, and inclusive cultures. Here’s what you can learn from her site:

  • Prominent photo – Desiree has chosen a photo that projects authority while still being approachable.

7. James Ranson

James Ranson Website

If you’re a long-time reader of College Info Geek, then James’s name may be familiar. Thomas interviewed him way back in 2014 on Episode 41 of the College Info Geek Podcast. Today, James is a book coach, editor, ghostwriter, and a personal friend.

What you can learn from the site:

  • Branding – With the trademarked phrase “The Master Wordsmith”, James shows that his work is of the utmost quality. He’s not just a “professional” or an “expert”–he’s a “master”.

Student Website Examples

You may think that you don’t need a website as a student; isn’t a LinkedIn profile enough? This couldn’t be further from the truth. If you’re a student, you absolutely need a website. To show you that it’s possible, here are some inspiring website examples taken from CIG reader submissions:

8. Roxine Kee

Roxine Kee Website

Roxine is a student, but she’s also a writer for College Info Geek. She took our advice to heart and created a personal blog/website (she even added an Impossible List!). Here’s what you can take away from Roxine’s site:

  • Bold mission statement – Right at the top of the site, Roxine has written “Figure Out Life | Do the Crazy | Never Settle”. This makes it clear to visitors that she’s not just any other student–she’s on a serious life quest.

9. Elizabeth Lundin

Elizabeth Lundin Website

Okay, so I promise we’re not just featuring CIG writers, but I couldn’t write this post without including the website of our latest hire: Elizabeth Lundin. Elizabeth is a kickass freelance writer with a website to showcase her work and tell her own story. Here’s what her site can teach you:

  • Affirmative, inviting homepage – Who doesn’t want to be told, “You’re Awesome.”? This statement invites readers in, and then “Let’s Tell Your Story” leads into the services that Elizabeth offers. You can do the same whether you’re offering freelance services or just want to direct visitors to your portfolio.

10. Kimberly Horton

Kimberly Horton Website

When Thomas put out a call on Twitter for submissions, we received an overwhelming number. Kimberly Horton’s was one that stood out to me for its inviting design (and did we mention that Kimberly is only a freshman? Great things are clearly in her future if she already has a website). Here’s what students can take away from this site:

  • Well-written “Start Here” page – The “Start Here” page is a tactic that lots of online businesses use, but Kimberly shows you can also do the same to great effect with a personal website. This page gives visitors an overview of who Kimberly is, what she’s studying, and where she’s from. It also includes plenty of links to places where people can learn more about her, such as her resume, LinkedIn profile, and blog.

11. Taha Khan

Taha Khan Website

Taha Khan’s website was another standout submission from CIG readers. He’s an undergraduate studying Politics, Philosophy, and Economics while also producing YouTube videos that explore the intersection between education, critical thinking and comedy. Here’s what you can learn from his site:

  • Showcasing accomplishments – I love how Taha has a “Press” section at the top of the website. If you’ve been featured in any sort of media outlet, then you should definitely make note of it as it can seriously impress recruiters and boost your credibility. Also, you can’t see it in the above image, but Taha’s site URL is taharkhan.com, incorporating his middle initial. This is a strategy to consider if you still want to use your name as your domain but your first + last name combo is already taken.

Public Figure Website Examples

Next up, let’s look at a selection of websites from public figures. Some are YouTubers and podcasters, others are the CEOs of large companies, and still others are acclaimed novelists. All of them, however, have excellent websites that have a lot to teach us about website creation.

12. CGP Grey

CGP Grey Website

C.G.P. Grey is a YouTuber, podcaster, and most recently co-founder of Standard, a “community of digital creators” (in the interest of full disclosure, Thomas is a member). Grey does a lot of different things, in other words, and his site reflects that. In fact, it’s our favorite takeaway from his site:

  • Minimalist project list – Grey is fairly well-known on the internet, so he doesn’t use his about page to write a lot about himself. Instead, he just links to his projects and lets the work speak for itself. This may not be the best strategy for students (since you’re still establishing yourself), but it is an approach you can take if you have something really impressive that just needs a link.

13. Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk is a serial entrepreneur, podcaster, and CEO of the full-service digital agency VaynerMedia. He’s bold and in-your-face, and his site reflects that. To get a sense of his style, check out Thomas’s interview with him way back in the day on Episode 8 of the College Info Geek Podcast (was that really almost 5 years ago???). Here’s what you can learn:

  • Featured video – There’s not doubt that Gary is in-charge, based on the video of him addressing his entire company in his authoritative, inspiring style. If you have an awesome video that shows off your accomplishments, then featuring it on the front page of your site can be a great way to stand out (just make sure it’s not a crappy phone video–that just undermines your credibility)

14. Hank Green

Hank Green Website

 

Hank Green is something of an internet celebrity, as well as the co-founder of a lot of projects (including some I wasn’t aware of, who knew he was one of the co-founders of VidCon?). Thomas even collaborated with him to produce a primer on study skills for the Crash Course series. Here’s what you can learn from his website:

  • Project showcase with personality – Hank has done a lot of different things, as he humorously admits in the first line of his about page. It’s an example of how you can show off lots of accomplishments without taking yourself too seriously (or writing an impenetrable wall of text).

15. John Green

John Green Website

The other half of the Vlogbrothers, John Green is best-known for his bestselling novels, though he also collaborates with Hank on projects such as Crash Course and VidCon. This is what you can take away from his site:

  • Compact project showcase – In one paragraph, John gives you everything you need to know about his major accomplishments. He includes links to his books, and then follows with links to his most acclaimed online projects. There’s also a link to learn more if you’re so inclined. This kind of summary is super helpful to include on your website, even if you’re not (yet) as accomplished as John. Give a concise summary; don’t overwhelm visitors with your life story right off the bat.

16. Teju Cole

Teju Cole Personal Website

Teju Cole is one of my favorite contemporary authors, so I had to include his website, especially after I saw it’s clean design. Cole’s site is an instructive contrast to John Green’s. Both are authors, but in very different areas; their site designs reflect that. Here’s what you can learn from Cole’s site:

  • Showcasing a variety of work – Cole is best known for his novels, but he’s also a photographer and frequent contributor to magazines such as The Atlantic. His site showcases this variety of work, using one of his photos on the home page and also including press mentions that help boost his credibility while also giving visitors an idea of what his work is about.

Personal Branding Website Examples

I’ve already touched on personal branding a bit in this post, but next up I want to look at some websites that are killing it with how they showcase the site owner’s personality and style.

17. Andrew Huang

Andrew Huang Website

Andrew Huang is a musician, producer, and YouTuber. I’ve been following his YouTube channel longer (and more consistently) than any other (except for the CIG YouTube channel, of course). His videos are creative, funny, and always impressive. Here’s what his site can teach us:

  • Unique photo – The site tagline informs us that “Andrew is music”, but the photo says so much more. Andrew is also creative, stylish, and unconventional. Most of us won’t be able to get a photo like this (and it wouldn’t be appropriate for most of us, anyway). But it’s a lesson in how you can use photos on your website to showcase your personality, whatever that might be.

18. Tommy Edison

Tommy Edison Website

The self-proclaimed “Blind Film Critic”, Tommy Edison runs another of my favorite YouTube channels: The Tommy Edison Experience. On this channel, he answers questions about what it’s like to have been blind since birth, all with his signature blend of humor and wit. Here’s what his site can teach us about branding:

  • Innovative brand – “Blind Film Critic” has to be one of my favorite branding statements on the internet. It defies expectations, taking two things that most people would never put in the same sentence to create a brand (and YouTube series) that’s totally unique.

19. Tom Scott

Tom Scott Website

Another of my favorite YouTubers (I promise not every examples is from YouTube), Tom Scott runs a channel where he explores amazing places, things you might not know, and more (his channel is kind of hard to explain but really fun to watch). He uses his sit to showcase this work as well as to promote his speaking work. Here’s what he can teach you about branding:

  • Self-deprecating humor – If you use it correctly, then a bit of self-deprecation can make your site more approachable. Tom does this perfectly, slipping in the phrase “They’ll probably come back to haunt me in a few years’ time” before linking to both his social media and various current projects. Be careful, though, as this type of humor can also come off as a lack of self-confidence if you do it incorrectly.

20. Clarissa Rodriguez

Clarissa Rodriguez Website

We love to showcase the work of other people who are helping student succeed in college, and Clarissa Rodriguez is one of those people. She offers an online course on study skills, as well as personalized study consultations. You can learn more about her inspiring story of going from failing multiple classes to graduating college with honors in Thomas’s interview with her on Episode 68 of the College Info Geek Podcast.

Looking at her site, you can also learn some important lessons about personal branding:

  • Unconventional contact method – There’s a lot I love about this homepage: the photo and fonts have tons of personality, and the tone of the writing is encouraging and supportive. But my favorite part is how Clarissa has integrated a Facebook Messenger contact button into the site. No matter what page you’re on, you can click this button to instantly connect with Clarissa in a way that’s more personal and immediate than email or a traditional contact form. If you’d like to do something similar on your site, she’s using a WordPress plugin called Zotabox to make it possible.

21. Nasos Papadopoulos

Nasos Papadopoulos Website

Nasos Papadopoulos is the founder of MetaLearn, of method and series of courses that teaches you how to learn things on your own. The site also has superb branding:

  • Inviting, confident photo – There’s so much to like about the photo that Nasos uses. It’s well-lit, friendly, and also includes the nice detail of the world map in the background (which subtly implies Nasos’s worldliness and expertise). As humans, we can’t help be drawn to photos of people, so this photo is the perfect tool to invite people into the site and encourage them to stick around.

22. Matthew Barby

Matthew Barby Website

In addition to writing and editing blog posts for this site, I also work on SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Briefly, it’s the field of getting your website to show up as high as possible in Google search results (or technically other search engines, but in practice that tends to be Google as its the dominant player).

Matthew Barby’s site has been my main guide as I’ve been teaching myself SEO. Additionally, the site is a masterpiece of personal branding:

  • Compelling tagline – This site could easily have gone into the “Design” section for the way it blends text with a large featured image, but the main takeaway for me is how it emphasizes Matthew’s pro status. “Learn SEO from a Pro” is exactly what I and anyone else who wants to learn SEO want to see (who would want to learn SEO from an amateur?). And it’s all the more effective because he backs up the claim with massive SEO tutorials and case studies that demonstrate just what a professional he is.

23. Isa Adney

Isa Adney Website

Isa Adney is a writer and webinar producer for ConvertKit, as well as author of the book Community College Success. She appeared in Episode 46 of the College Info Geek Podcast, where she discussed how to make community college an ivy league experience. Here’s what her site can teach you about branding:

  • Incorporate your accomplishments – Isa has appeared on both national television and published Amazon’s #1 book on community college. She makes sure to highlight these accomplishments in the sidebar of her site, something you can also consider to showcase your accomplishments.

24. Tasha Meys

Tasha Meys Website

 

Tasha Meys is an artist, photographer, social media consultant, and world traveler. Her site showcases all of this work with a brand that is colorful and exciting. Here’s what her site can teach you about branding:

  • Elegant work showcase – If you’re an artist, then it makes sense to show off your art as prominently as you can in your site design. This is what Tasha has done, going with a dreamy self-portrait right in the banner of her site. It also showcases her recipes and photography, giving her huge credibility with potential clients from the first glance.

25. Shanice Miller

Shanice Miller Website

At College Info Geek, one of our main goals is to show you that you can go to an excellent college and have a great experience without taking on student loans. Shanice Miller’s story shows you that you can do just that; she earned so many scholarships that she actually got paid $10,000 to attend college.

You can learn more about her story in Episode 34 of the College Info Geek Podcast, and you can also learn a lot from her site about personal branding:

  • Authoritative logo – My favorite part of Shanice’s site is the logo at the top, featuring a bold “Debt Free” stamp. A good logo goes a long way, provided you can get one that’s well-designed.

Website Design Examples

Next, we move to the design portion of this guide. Many of these sites showcase the work of graphic, product, or UX designers; unsurprisingly, they are well-designed. But others showcase the work of authors, photographers, and thought leaders, showing that you don’t have to be a designer to have a compelling site design. All of them serve as an inspiration.

26. Edna Cerrillos

Edna Cerrillos Website

As you can clearly see from the first glance, Edna Cerrillos is a designer (a product and UX/UI designer to be more precise). As you would expect from a designer’s personal website, Edna’s site can teach us some important design lessons:

  • Image links – I love the way the featured images link to items in Edna’s portfolio. If you click on the image, it directs you to a more detailed project case study. This is an excellent strategy for cleanly featuring a variety of portfolio work in one page.

27. Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay Website

Roxane Gay is an author, essayist, and speaker. She’s one of my (other) favorite contemporary authors, so I was delighted to see that her site is also an excellent example of design:

  • Minimalism with personality – The image you see above is exactly what appears when you visit Roxane’s site. There are no additional menus or text–just the one footer menu with links to everything a visitor would want to know, all backed by a pleasing geometric design. The “one n” is also a nice branding touch.

28. Charli Marie

Charli Marie Website Load Animation

Charli Marie is a designer and traveler who currently works for email marketing software company ConvertKit in addition to other design-related projects. The site is a design masterpiece:

  • Tasteful animation – Using animations in your site design is tricky to do well. Done the wrong way, it can make your site look like a spammy page that belongs back in the 90’s. Charli shows, however, that it is possible to use animation to add personality without distracting or annoying site visitors. If you have the skills and design chops to do so, then by all means include animation in your site. But do so with caution.

29. Diogo Correia

Diogo Correia Website

Diogo Correia is a student, developer, and runner. But what most caught my eye about his site was its design:

  • Unconventional portfolio design – I love how Diogo uses a timeline in place of a traditional portfolio page. Touches like this can really set you apart in the eyes of recruiters who spend most of their days slogging through boring resumes or cookie-cutter website designs.

30. Anna Ellenberger

Anna Ellenberger Website

Anna Ellenberger is a designer and illustrator. In the past, she did the design for College Info Geek, and she continues to be a collaborator on the site. You can learn more about her journey as a graphic design student in Episode 32 of the College Info Geek Podcast. Here’s what we can learn from her site:

  • Dramatic color scheme – The white text against the dark (but still colorful) background really makes this site pop. There’s no doubt, even before I’ve seen here portfolio, that Anna knows her stuff when it comes to design.

31. Scott Santens

Scott Santens Website

Scott Santens is a writer and basic income advocate. But he also has a well-designed website to serve as an online home base for his writing and advocacy. Here are my favorite parts of the design:

  • Concise design and navigation – Scott has links to all his different projects right within the main page of his site. He also has an easily accessible “Search” bar to make the site even easier to navigate.

32. Sara Stenman

Sara Stenman Website

Sara Stenman is a graphic designer, photographer, and artist. The main page of Sarah’s site can teach us about:

  • Intense minimalism – This is the most barebones site design in this post. It’s the digital equivalent of a business card, featuring two links, two colors, a logo, and a total of six words. You may not want to be this minimalist, but you can refer to this site to see how less can truly be more.

Website Copy Examples

In marketing and advertising, “copy” refers to the words you use to get your message across. The following sites use especially effective copy, whether they’re promoting services or just giving you an overview of the creator’s projects.

33. Chris Brogan

Chris Brogan Website

Chris Brogan’s site is a great example of how good copy is important no matter where you are in your career. Here’s what you can learn from the site:

  • Clear value proposition – Chris doesn’t take up lots of space talking about who he is or what he’s accomplished; he uses the valuable real estate of the homepage to show visitors what he does (and why they’d want to work with him).

34. Sean O’Connor

Sean O'Connor Website Load Animation

Sean O’Connor is…well, many things, and his site reflects that. I could have put it in the “Design” section, but I think it’s an even better lesson in effective site copy:

  • Concise and memorable – “I help grow brands that help the world” is a concise statement of purpose that sticks with you. Distilling what you do into such a compact format is no easy task, but it’s a powerful tool for marketing yourself. How would you describe what you do in once sentences?

35. Joel Runyon

Joel Runyon Website

Joel Runyon is a world traveler, ultra marathon runner, and business founder. Thomas interviewed him back in Episode 43 of the College Info Geek Podcast after learning about his Impossible List concept (an improved version of the classic “bucket list” that I’ve also incorporated into my website).

Here’s what you can learn from Joel about writing website copy:

  • Pick 3 things – Summing yourself up in a few words is a challenge, and you certainly do more than one thing. But if you have a giant bullet list of 15 different projects or skills, it can be overwhelming to site visitors. Joel’s site showcase a tactic you can use as well when writing a summary of what you do: pick 3 things. Joel’s are travel, ultra marathon running, and building businesses. What would yours be?

36. Taylor Pearson

Taylor Pearson Website

Taylor Pearson is an author, essayist, and entrepreneur. I first discovered him through his book The End of Jobs, and I’ve since become a fan of his current project, Get Apprenticeship. If you’re a student or recent graduate looking to gain on-the-job training at a remote startup, you should check it out.

I’m equally a fan of the copy on his homepage, which can teach you:

  • Humility – Taylor writes about emerging, uncertain fields such as blockchain tech and the future of work. He does so with rigorous, well-researched arguments. But Taylor also admits that he doesn’t have all the answers, which is essential to do if you’re going to be putting your thoughts out on the internet. It’s also great blogging advice: you don’t have to know everything–just share what you’ve learned.

37. Tan Pham

Tan Pham Website

Tan Pham is many things, as his site shows. Here’s my biggest takeaway:

  • Values first – This is such an unconventional about page, covering everything from Tan’s values to hobbies to location to professional work. I love how he starts not with a statement of the work he does to make money, but rather the legacy he hopes to leave, the impact he hopes to have. Yet, he does this while still managing to mention his professional pursuits and playful personality.

38. Pat Flynn

Pat Flynn Website

Pat Flynn is a podcaster, YouTuber, blogger, author, and entrepreneur. He’s best known for founding Smart Passive Income, a site that teaches people how to start their own online passive income businesses (while still remaining ethical and helpful). To learn more about Pat’s journey, check out Thomas’s interview with him in Episode 7 of the College Info Geek Podcast. Here’s what Pat’s site can teach you about copy:

  • A compelling story – Pat includes a short blurb on this page of his site that draws readers in and invites them to learn more. Particularly compelling is the statement “He overcame career adversity at an early age by finding his own path and true passion”. If I didn’t already know Pat’s story, this would certainly make me want to read more to find out what this career adversity was and how exactly Pat overcame it.

Blog Examples

If you want to start a blog, you should go for it! No matter what field you want to pursue, writing regularly is a way to clarify your thoughts and show potential employers that you know how to communicate (an essential soft skill). The following are some of my favorite blog examples:

39. Scott Young

Scott Young Website

Scott Young’s blog covers all aspects of how to learn on your own. Whether it was completing MIT’s Computer Science curriculum in a year or spending a year speaking no English, Scott’s experiments are an inspiration to anyone who wants to learn things outside the classroom. Here’s what he can teach you about starting a blog:

  • Document your experiments – You don’t have to be an expert to start a blog. Scott wasn’t a computer scientist when he started the MIT Challenge; in fact, the whole appeal of the series was that he had no prior knowledge of the subject. You don’t have to be as ambitious to apply the same principle to your blog. You could document fitness challenges, writing experiments, or anything where you can share progress and push your current abilities.

40. James Clear

James Clear Website

James Clear’s blog touches on many different subjects, as his about page explains. But my favorite part of James’s blog, the thing that keeps me coming back for new articles, is this:

41. Nat Eliason

Nat Eliason Website

Nat Eliason has an excellent blog, as well as one of my favorite weekly email newsletters across the internet. He was a big inspiration to me to forego a traditional job, as well as as showing me that you don’t have to have a main topic for your blog. Also, for the sake of transparency, I currently do a fair amount of freelance work for his agency Growth Machine (though I was a fan of his work way before that).

The main lesson aspiring bloggers can learn from his site is:

  • Write about what interests you – Nat has written about everything from water fasting to how to location arbitrage. And he continues to write about new things as his interests change. This is an inspiring personal blogging strategy, one I encourage you to adopt if you just want to start a blog to put down your thoughts without the goal of creating a business (which has a whole different set of considerations).

42. Austin Kleon

Austin Kleon Website

Austin Kleon is a self-described “writer who draws”. I turn to his books Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work whenever I’m in need of inspiration, and I’m also an avid follower of his daily blog. Here’s what he can teach aspiring bloggers:

  • Show your work – Okay, so this is a rip-off of his book title, but the whole premise of Kleon’s site is to show his works in progress, sketches, and rough ideas. I love seeing him think through a problem over the course of weeks or months, of how his thinking evolves on issues related to art and life. You can do the same no matter what sort of work you do; use your blog as a place to showcase your progress.

43. Cal Newport

Cal Newport Website

Cal Newport is an author, blogger, and computer science professor at Georgetown University. His latest book, Deep Work, is one of the most influential non-fiction books I’ve read. Furthermore, his books about college success were influential when Thomas was starting this site and remain on our reading list for students. He’s such an influence that Thomas interviewed him twice: first on Episode 35 of the College Info Geek Podcast and again on Episode 100.

Here’s what Cal can teach you about blogging:

  • Write less; say more – Many of Cal’s posts are quite short, sometimes just a few hundred words. Yet they’re consistently interesting and thoughtful. This shows that you don’t have to write long blog posts to have a valuable blog; a short, information-dense post can be more valuable than a long, bloated one.

Portfolio Site Examples

To close out this post, I want to highlight a few of my favorite portfolio sites. The people featured are a diverse bunch of writers, designers, developers, and filmmakers, but all have sites that do an excellent job of showing off their work to potential clients or employers.

44. Kristin Wong

Kristin Wong Website

 

Kristin Wong is a personal finance writer and author of the book Get MoneyShe’s also been a mentor to me in my own writing and freelancing career; Thomas interviewed her back in Episode 27 of the College Info Geek Podcast. Here’s what you can learn from her site:

  • Use media logos – Kristin has been featured in some pretty impressive places, including The New York Times. If you have any kind of press or media feature for something you’ve written or otherwise accomplished, using logos from the relevant media outlets (with permission, of course) can be an immediate boost to your credibility.

45. Aja Frost

Aja Frost Website

 

Aja Frost is a freelance writer, content marketer, and most recently the editor of HubSpot’s Sales Blog. She got started writing when she was still a student, earning enough to pay off her student loans and build a solid income stream even before she graduated. You can hear more about that story in Episode 97 of the College Info Geek Podcast.

Here’s what you can learn from her site:

  • Classic, easy navigation – The top menu of the site has everything you need to find and see more of Aja’s work. We’ve seen a lot of fancy layouts in this post for showcasing work, but there’s nothing wrong with keeping it simple; some designs are classic for a reason.

46. Adil Majid

Adil Majid Website

 

Adil Majid is a product designer at wearable activity tracker startup Spire. Here’s what you can learn about portfolio creation from Adil’s site:

  • Updated case studies – Adil has updated case studies featured prominently on his portfolio page. Each of these case studies dives into a project, showing how Adil thinks and works through problems. Even if you’re a student, you can do the same with projects you worked on for classes or things you’re working on outside the classroom.

47. Martin Boehme

Martin Boehme Website

Martin Boehme is in charge of all things code and development here at College Info Geek. He also co-hosts the College Info Geek Podcast and spends his free time learning languages and taking photos. Here’s what his site can teach you:

  • One-page portfolio design – In just one concise page, Martin lists all his interests and accomplishments. There are links if you want to learn/see more about each of them, but on the main page he keeps things simple, with each heading written as a sentence for easy skimming. You can do the same when you want to show off your work and interests.

48. Ashley Diers

Ashley Diers Website

Ashley Diers handles all things graphic design and illustration here at College Info Geek, as well as running an Etsy store where she sells her original illustrations. Here’s what you can learn from her site:

  • Images are compelling – In Ashley’s case, the best way for her to showcase her work is to put the images right on the front page. This wouldn’t be the right strategy for everyone, but even if the work you do is less visual, you can still use images as a way to draw people in to see more of your projects.

49. Daniel Grindrod

Daniel Grindrod Website

Daniel Grindrod is a videographer and photographer. His website showcases this immediately. Here’s what his site can teach you about creating a portfolio:

  • Highlight reel – The first thing visitors to his site see is an embedded video showcasing his most recent work. Incorporating video into your site is always a good move (videos are intriguing). But even if you don’t have video work to showcase, you could still have a video that shows off your different projects (though this can be easier to do for some types of work than others).

50. Jon Miron

John Miron Website

Jon Miron is a design and product engineer. Here’s what you can learn from his portfolio website:

  • Innovative featured images – If you visit Jon’s site, you’ll see that the background image behind “Driving forward innovative products & services” is actually a gif showcasing one of Jon’s designs in action. This is an unconventional way to use moving images in within your site design, as opposed to just pasted on top the existing design elements.

Conclusion

If you’ve made it this far, then you must be really dedicated to creating a personal website. Thanks for reading; I hope this guide gave you some inspiration and direction, whether you’re building your first site or giving your current one a facelift. To learn more about how to create a personal website, have a look at our other guides:

Happy website creation!

Image Credits: featured image

Ransom Patterson is a content writer, saxophonist, and recovering literature major. When he's not enjoying long hikes through the Appalachian wilderness, he's stroking his lush beard and pondering what book to read next.

Hey there! Please note that some links in the article may be referral links, meaning that if you buy something through them, I'll earn a commission (at no extra cost to you). This helps to support CIG, but please don't buy anything unless you truly believe it'll benefit you! You can learn more here. Thank you :)

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