Is it Instagram, Facebook or maybe there is another option to consider, when you want to present your work as a poet? In this article we will dive into the possibilities that you can use and the best news: they’re all free to use! Since this is a series of articles about showcasing your work, this is the first section. It covers some of the most used blog platforms that are out there and all of them can be used to showcase your work.
First of all
We realize, that not everyone has the money to create an own website to present their work. You are a writer, not a web designer or programmer. That is why we came up with some nice packages to ensure that you can be the proud owner of a real website. With that in mind, we know that this doesn’t really match with the introduction to this article. We ask money for this. However, there are other options to consider when it comes to presenting your work.
Yes, the first thing poets and writers think about is social media. Remember a few things that are important when it comes to using social media.
First of all, you are the user, not the owner of the platform you are using. You are not the owner. Yes, you are also not the owner of the options discussed in this article. There is a difference. The social media company that offers you this account, can decide to use your information without you knowing about this. By this we mean: the images you are uploading. Some platforms can decide to sell these images. Don’t think you are safe, when you are just publishing your poems. Some companies can decide to use poetry as a form of advertising.
Second, the work you are publishing is yours and some will not agree to that. Plagiarism is a big problem these days. You can file a report stating the work is yours. We saw that is was more helpful, when there was a reference to an external source where the image or poem was first published. In order to do so, you must publish your work first in your online portfolio and then publish your work to social media.
So many options
Yes, there are so many options to choose from, when it comes to creating an online portfolio. We will discuss the most used options. If you have a success story about an option that is not discussed in this article, please let us know!
To decide what option is best to use, you can make a list of features. This list could include the following options:
Even when you are using a pseudonym, it is a good thing to introduce yourself. Since the beginning of the Internet, an about-page were available on websites. This is the basic part of a website. This should include a biography and some relevant links to other websites you are using (social media).
- Contact page
If you are truly committed to writing and you want others to contact you about your writings, then you definitely need this page. Who knows, maybe there is some publisher out there who scouts the Internet and finds your page. Don’t you want this publisher to contact you?!
- Blog or portfolio
Basically, you can consider these alike. Yes, there is a difference when it comes to terminology. In this case, the blog will showcase your work, just like a portfolio does. Every writer or poet should have a page or a section like this.
Why not let others do the things for you! There are options available, that make sure your work is published to social media after publication on your website. But, there are other ways to automate your website. Nobody needs or wants spam, right? There are automatic ways to eliminate spam and have a clean inbox.
What extras do you need? Think about these extras. These can be different for everyone. Make sure, that the platform you decide to use has the ability to use these extras.
After you finished with this list, it’s time to think about the options. To make it easier for you, we made a list of most used platforms.
You might have heard about WordPress. WordPress started out in 2003 as a content management system for blogs. You were supposed to install the software yourself and maintain your own website. Two years later, in 2005, WordPress.com started and from that moment you were able to create a blog using the WordPress domain. Nowadays, you can even attach your own domain to your WordPress website. Rememeber, WordPress.com is not the same as WordPress.org. WordPress.org still offers the chance to download the stand-alone version for your own domain. WordPress.com lets you create a blog.
Based on the membership, you will find there are a lot of options available on this website. These extras are called plugins. You don’t need to worry about design, because it is possible to chose from a wide variety of lay-outs. Most of them are for free, just like the plugins.
Many website hosters offer the chance to install WordPress as a content management system. Stil, you need to pay for your domain and webhosting space.
It is probably the oldest service available to create a blog. Blogger started out in 1999 and in 2003, Google bought Blogger. Since that moment, it looks time stood still for this platform. The design seems outdated and there are not a lot of possibilities to choose from. Since 2011, the options did not receive any major updates.
Medium was first launched in 2012. The platform claims, that it is made for social journalism. Still, you can use it to create an online portfolio. There isn’t much to choose from, when it comes to the lay-out. Basically, it mostly the same for everyone. If you want to combine your poems with writings and let the readers focus on your writing, Medium is the platform to choose. It allows you to embed videos from other platforms into your posts (just like WordPress.com does by the way).
This is a great way to start your portfolio, however, there might come a time when you realize that Medium is too limited.
You might not think about Tumblr, when creating an online portfolio. That is because Tumblr is maybe to simple to use. Still, Tumblr has some nifty ways to share your work to social media. The learning curve isn’t to high, so why not give it a try! Tumblr can also act as a shadow website for your work. From WordPress it easy to publish your content automatically to Tumblr.
Starting out a website at Wix.com is something that takes time. Just like WordPress, Wix offers a lot of functionality. Some options are limited, when you use a free account. Unfortunately, you will notice once you start using this platform. The power of Wix is that it functions well on every device. It doesn’t matter if the website is visited from a mobile phone or computer.
This platform doesn’t only provide blog options. It claims, that it enables those who use it, to create a complete website. For those of you who love drag-and-drop functions, this is your weapon of choice. When it comes to customization or designing your website, you will find out that the functions are limited.
So, what do I choose?
Yes, we are fans of WordPress! The website you are viewing is WordPress driven. Or, in other words: we use WordPress. We customized the website and added functionalities to serve our visitors better. We don’t use the WordPress.com-version, but the stand alone version. Still, we find the version that is offered through WordPress.com the best option. It allows you to choose from a wide variety of plugins and choose the design that really fits your needs. It is actively maintained by its owners, thus making it a reliable and stable environment to use.
In the next edition, we will dive deeper into something that many of you really want explanation about: automatic posting to social media. We will also publish a vlog about this subject, very soon!