[MUSIC] In the last lesson, we covered why you need to build your own website to help market you as a brand. In this lesson, I'll explain some tips for building your professional brand website such as not using advertising on your page, using your name for search engine optimization and building your portfolio. Wordpress.com is a commercial organization that is an arm of WordPress the publishing software and that's a good option if you don't want to figure out the technology for now. Now they do have some restrictions. For example, let's say your site get hacked and some bad guy was putting spam on your site. WordPress.com could take away your ability to post to your site, because you're posting spam, your publishing spam. There are some limitations and it's a really good idea to figure out how to do the do it yourself variety at some point. WordPress.com is easy, it's quick to get started, it's not a big hurdle and you can always make the transition later if you want to. In fact, WordPress.com does make it pretty easy to do this. You can even register your domain there on WordPress.com. They charge a fee. It's a little more than some of the other registrars, but only a few dollars. It is a small annual fee to have your own domain on a WordPress.com site, but it's really, really worth it. Something that I am going to make the argument is important, is please don't put advertisement on your site. A lot of people does this to try and pay the couple of dollars a month that it costs to host the site. If you're on your own domain, I think it's less than $20 a year on WordPress.com and a lot of people try and offset those costs with advertising. The problem is, there's a couple of problems. First, it slows down your site's loading time and that has negative implications with Google and other search engines. But actually a lot more important than that, is that when you have some kind of an ad network running ads on your content, you really have very little control over what kind of ads show up there. t think they give you some basic controls, like they're not going to put an ad to some adult content site. But you really can't vouch for the ethics or the business practices of the companies that are advertising on your site, you really just don't want to do that. You only make a few cents anyway, it's very, very small revenue stream. It cheapens your site, it slows your site down and it just makes it look like a lot of other spammy, not very high quality sites. So, I would not put any advertising on your site. I would spend a couple of dollars, I believe that you can get premium themes on WordPress.com. Those are just better looking themes than the basic ones they have. Again, very, very cost effective for just a better looking site, a site that has some design to it and looks good. Why are you doing this? What are the benefits? First one is that over time, you will probably rank for your name, and that depends on what your name is. My name is Sonia Simone, and it was quite easy for me to rank for my own name. When employees Google my name and employers Google my name or prospective clients Google my name, up I come right at the top of the search engine. And that's a good thing, you're controlling what people see when they look for your name. Now, my business partner's name is Brian Clark, it's a common name and there are in fact some other people who have done notable things who also have that name. So it took him longer to rank for his name. Just depending what your name is, it varies quite a bit in how difficult it's going to be. I'm going to give you a tip right at the end of this for how to help if you have a common name that a lot of other people share. Because it's very useful as a contact marketing professional to write for your own name. Rank, of course, meaning appearing at the top of the search engine results when somebody types into Google or Bing or Yahoo for your name. Something that you want is right near the top of the results. The other benefit is that this is a place to put your portfolio. Over time, throughout your career, you want to add links to any content that's on the web that you created for a company, whether you are a freelancer or an employee. It's also a place to put your personality and put your writing. Now hopefully, it goes without saying, you do not want to put your drunk spring break photos here, depending on what kind of company you're applying to. Give people a sense of what it's like to work with you. Show friendly, interesting professionalism and go ahead and talk about your philosophy of content, your philosophy of writing, business lessons you've learned, things like that. For this kind of site, you want to keep things overall very positive as a general rule. There are a few people, almost all of them are freelancers, who can make a sort of snarky crankiness work. It can work but if you are looking to work in a larger organization, it tends to be the kind of thing that HR managers don't have an awesome amount of sense of humor about. Overall, you want to keep things very positive, professional, but not boring.