Does it make sense to have a personal website today?

December 1, 2020
Personal Branding

This year I had the opportunity and honor to become a mentor to the students of the Master in Visual and Digital Media (MVDM) of IE University in Madrid.
Having attended the same master's myself, I am well aware these students are among the top in their field in branding, content creation, photo and video production as well as post-production. The final sessions were (logically) career-focused, and we discussed the topics of personal branding and networking.
At this point, one student asked: "does it make sense to have a personal website today?".

You are not pleasing an algorithm


I do believe that having a personal website today is beneficial. Not only because you can store in one place links towards other platforms where you may be active, but primarily because here you can tell your own story how you want it to be said.
On your website, no algorithm ranks what you post according to what someone else's interests are. If you want to highlight your teamwork capabilities and show them off with a few examples when I will visit your website that is what I will see because you are putting in the effort to show it to me.
In a work environment we are often defined by what other people think of us, if you can present yourself in a way that will make you recognize for the qualities you want to be known for, you will have a considerable advantage. Therefore, I see no harm in starting to do so on your personal website.

Today we often observe and evaluate a brand's story-telling abilities, you should do the same with your own personal brand. You should tell your story, and to do it, you should not merely rely on a social network's algorithm. Social media feeds often show users what they want to see, they are programmed in a way that can lead to a confirmation bias. If you put your website URL in your CV though, you are leading the hiring manager into your story and, from there, they can then decide to scroll your social media platforms, but they will have already formed an opinion on you based on what you showed them.
Consider this: in 2019 economists conducted an experiment where they added roughly 2.000 characters to the Wikipedia entries of a few Spanish towns whose Wiki pages were quite bare in languages different from Spanish. This relatively small 'upgrade' seems to have led to a 9% increase in tourist activity in those cities. Now, you are not a city, but if you open a personal website, you will increase the chances of being found on the web and be recognized for the topics you wish to be associated to.

Is a personal website a blog?

If you are not a writer or do not like to write you are not required to open a blog, just create a static webpage that tells people what you do or what you are passionate about.
If you are a content creator you can use your page as a portfolio and show your best work.
If you are not a writer or do not like to write, you are not required to open a blog, just create a static webpage that tells people what you do or what you are passionate about. If you are a content creator, you can use your page as a portfolio and show your best work. Whatever you decide to include in your website there is only one thing to keep in mind: publish only things that you would be comfortable sharing in front of an audience filled with potential bosses, recruiters, colleagues or investors. This piece of advice is valuable both in a website and in a social media context. Once you tarnish your reputation, it is complicated to polish it.

The cost of creating a website today, both in monetary and time expenditure, is pretty low. Both a domain and hosting won't set you back a significant amount. Furthermore, if you don't know or don't enjoy coding, there are a plethora of no-code tools that will get the job done for you. Therefore, there really isn't a real reason not to create a personal website for yourself.

Photo by Lee Campbell on Unsplash

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Alessia Cappello

Alessia eases brands, agencies and publishers measure their online advertising effectiveness. She is a digital marketing and advertising enthusiast by day. Passionate about the intersection between technology, art & culture by night.

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