When I started as a “professional” graphic & web designer in 2007, I perused galleries all over the place for inspiration, wondering what it took to make it onto these sites. I assumed these had to be well-known designers with an amazingly deep understanding of development, compliant coding, or were born with endless amounts of creative ideas. I’m not saying they aren’t those people, but it’s not all of them. I know this, because I’ve recently found myself surprisingly amongst them.
Like I said, I started in 2007, so I consider myself a novice still as far as design goes. I worked ridiculously hard to come up with a concept that met all of my desires for a portfolio site: trendy, clean, compliant (well, as much as it could be, given my lack of development knowledge), SEO friendly, & most importantly, gave the visitor a true feeling of who I am as a designer & person.
Once I finished my site, I randomly decided to submit it to OnePageLove.com (a gallery of one page sites where I found a lot of inspiration). I most certainly didn’t expect to have them feature me, so you can imagine my surprise in February when I discovered they had. That was it for me, I was satisfied. It was the first time I had ever gotten featured on a site (for anything), and I had hundreds and hundreds of visitors to boot; so I felt I had accomplished enough for my 2nd portfolio site. But it turns out, that wasn’t the end of it. 🙂
I won’t give you the whole spiel, but I’ll say that I recently found out through Google Analytics (without any work/submissions on my end) that I was also featured on CSS Mania, Design Modo, Instant Shift, Most Inspired, The Design Inspiration (another site I often go to for inspiration), inspiiired.com, The Deep End Design, some random foreign sites & someone’s Pinterest page. From when I launched my site in August 2011 to the end of last year, I had 294 visitors to my site (most were potential employers or most likely family members) ;)… so far for 2012 I’ve had over 4,200 unique visitors (how exciting is that?!).
So the whole point of my random rant, is that what I’ve discovered the secrets to getting your site noticed are…
- be aware of what’s up-and-coming in design
- keep your code as clean as can be
- Have some SEO (link to and from it – allow those spiders to crawl)
- stay true to who you are
- AND SUBMIT, SUBMIT, SUBMIT!