If you’re an author who wants to learn how to build an online portfolio, then you’ve come to the right place. This article goes over the key elements of a portfolio and then looks at 10 WordPress themes that can make that portfolio shine.
Key Elements of an Author’s Portfolio
A portfolio is a way to showcase your talents and build your audience, as pointed out by writer and web designer Lori Soard. To help it achieve those goals, Soard recommends that a portfolio contain the following elements:
- Content that is tailored to a specific audience. For example, if you write how-to books, your content will look much different than if you write romance novels. To help you get there, Soard also advises the creation of buyer personas.
- An about page. When people visit this page, they should learn about the purpose behind your writing and gain a general idea of who you are as a person.
- A logo that reflects who you are as an author. This doesn’t need to be intricate; in fact, Soard says that your name in an attractive script is one option.
- A page that lists your books and provides details about them. This is necessary even if your books are listed elsewhere on your site, like on your homepage.
- A call to action, which should prod visitors to take the action you wish them to take. For instance, if your goal is to use your portfolio to attract clients for your freelance writing business, then an effective call to action will prompt visitors to get in touch about your services.
Those are the basic components of an effective portfolio, but to make a portfolio truly sing, you should consider the use of a WordPress theme, which alters your website’s design. A theme can affect elements such as layout, typography, the way content is displayed, and many other facets of a website.
Best WordPress Themes for Writers and Authors
To take your portfolio to the next level, look into using one of the following WordPress themes. They have been produced by Grace Themes. The themes all have an individual cost of $29, or you can buy access to the entire Grace Themes suite for $79.
Some of these themes are suitable for writers in author in virtually any genre, while others have specific niches in mind. Additionally, keep in mind that this post covers some, but not all, of the plugins and other features supported by each theme. To see the full list, visit that theme’s page.
Among the simplest of Grace Themes’ offerings is their Personal Blogging theme. Grace Themes has positioned this theme as a user-friendly, clean-looking option. However, despite its relatively simple design and appearance, the theme offers a robust number of features, including customization of nearly everything on your site as well as integration with plugins such as WooCommerce and Yoast SEO.
Amplitude is a theme designed for creating full-screen websites, whether they take the form of minimalist blogs or more intricate portfolios of work. It is ideal for writers who enjoy combining imagery with their text. To help you build a following, the theme also includes support for social media integration, an e-commerce section, and testimonials.
If your focus is more on newspaper or magazine writing, then Grace Mag might be the theme for you. It can be set up as a news website, or it can lean more in the personal blog direction. Like Amplitude and many other Grace Themes products, this theme makes social-media promotion easy, and it is WooCommerce-compatible.
The Grace News theme is suitable for writers with a wide variety of focus areas. Overall, it re-creates the look and feel of a magazine, though that magazine is endlessly customizable. Grace News presents a slick, professional look to visitors; however, it is also designed to be user-friendly from the creator’s end. Setup is quick but highly flexible.
If your focus as a writer is fashion, then consider the Classy theme. It was designed to support fashion stores, but the same features that make it easy for fashion stores to show off their clothes—namely, the striking visuals—make it ideal for fashion writers who want to spiff up their stories with attractive photos. This theme’s Yoast SEO compatibility makes it easier for you to get your work noticed.
Classy isn’t the only Grace Themes offering suitable for fashion writers and bloggers. Another option for people in this niche is the Glamour World theme. This one was specifically designed to make building a fashion blog easy.
The Combine theme is another Grace Themes product that authors may find useful. The theme is very flexible and sports an elegant appearance. Notably for authors, the theme also makes it easy to display a portfolio as well as testimonials. And its smooth-scrolling feature can give visitors a pleasant experience as they read through your work.
Want to optimize your WordPress site specifically for sports writing? Look into the Sports Club theme. Whether you’re looking for focus your site on a specific team or league, this theme makes it easy to publish information like upcoming game schedules, scores, news, and photos.
The Music Club theme sports a number of features that can make it attractive to music bloggers. Want to show off images of recent music events? This theme has a slider built in for just that. Want to keep your audience updated on upcoming concerts and other events? The Music Club theme supports a feature for that as well. It also has useful components like an MP3 player and a popup box to play videos.
If visual storytelling or photojournalism is your passion, then the Wide Range theme could be ideal for you. Like Amplitude, it is designed for creating full-screen websites. This means that if you complement your writing with photography or other visual elements, you can display your work in a large, appealing format. The theme’s SEO features are the icing on the cake.