Saturday, July 07, 2007

Purdy Picasa Portfolio

Regular visitors to my blog will notice there are some new features over on the right. Yes, I've finally integrated my portfolios into this here blog page.

In a previous post I asked for input about the best way to do this. I was tempted by the lure of some other blog hosts (like "Typepad") that allow for more customization options than "Blogger." The downside being that those other providers aren't free!

What I've settled for here may not be the most elegant solution, but it was incredibly easy to set up, and has more functions than I even need. My new portfolios have been uploaded into Picasa Web Galleries. Picasa is a free online picture gallery service that happens to be easily inserted into the Blogger templates. Check it out. It's owned by Google, just like Blogger. I wish I could add some bells and whistles--a way to navigate back to the main blog page would be nice. I'd also like to change the appearance of the gallery to match my blog's colors so it looks more like part of the same "site." Maybe one day they will expand the features and all my dreams will come true.

To be honest, I haven't even looked that deeply int0 the whole Picasa thing. I'm just happy that I got it to do what I wanted. That's the bottom line, in any case. I only wanted to integrate the blog & portfolio in a way that's easy to update. Mission accomplished.

It was actually pretty important because It's been a couple of years since I updated the old online portfolio. Egads.

Anyway, browse around the galleries if you have time. Let me know if you see anything wacky in the way the gallery works--OR in the art! If you happen to be in the business of hiring artists, of course I'd love it if you'd consider me for any projects, but I'd also like feedback as to what you'd like to see in these galleries that might not be represented.

Thank you and good night.


Marc Siry said...

I like the web galleries! The icons are large and clear, and I like the rollover caption function. I have my browser set to open links in a new tab, so navigating back to your blog is easy- but I wouldn't stress about it! Maybe you can put your URL in the description field them...even if it isn't HTML linked, people can still copy and paste!

I notice your galleries are 'unlisted,' meaning they don't show up in searches. Is that intentional?

Steve Buccellato said...

Thanks for the input, Marc!

The galleries are currently "unlisted" because I had it so only I could see them while I was setting them up. I can change that, but I'm not sure WHY that would be a good idea. I like the galleries in the context of the whole blog thing, but I'm not sure if there's any value in having people stumble across my images in a Google search.

Do YOU have an opinion on this? I'd love to hear it. (anyone else can chime in on this, too!)

Marc Siry said...

It has to do with 'optimizing yourself,' in terms of search engines.

I know you'd like to make yourself visible to folks with money (as opposed to people looking for 'partnerships to publish a rad comic') who would like to hire you for illustration projects. I bet until now, most of your commissions have come from professional contacts or referrals, which is fine- but I think you have an opportunity to cast a wider net.

By leaving your Picasa albums open, you're not so much increasing your chances of a random hit by a searcher as you are creating a stronger connection between the terms 'Steve Buccellato' and 'comic book illustrator' in Google's vast, Skynet-like mind. Google has indexed your page for sure- you 'own' page 1 results for a search on your name, which is good- but the following searches:

comic book illustrator for hire

illustrator for hire

comic book artist for hire

...don't show you within the first ten pages. The good news is, your only real competition on any of those searches is Steve Rude and Josef Rubinstien- so you have an opportunity to rank high in terms of professionals with some SEO (search engine optimization) fine-tuning.

Meanwhile, the following search:

comic book colorist for hire

...doesn't turn up any recognizable hits until page 12, where Marie describes being videotaped about STWDD.

With a little bit of strategic SEO work, I bet you could quickly rise up the ranks of the searches I mentioned (or similar searches). Here's some notes on that:

- LInkedIn is great in terms of both job inquiries from people with actual money, and SEO value. I noticed both Cat and Brian have rudimentary pages, but you don't seem to. I think an evening invested in that could help out. Check out my page to see an example of a well-rounded page with outbound links to sites I want people to find.

- Craigslist is also an SEO goldmine. Even if you don't want to get jobs from the people who browse Craigslist, posting a free ad ('Steve Buccellato, Illustrator for Hire') on the major city websites once or twice a month will help your inbound links to your portfolio and web pages.

- Do you participate in online forums? Make sure you have a signature file with your URL in it, hotlinked to your 'key phrase' if possible, like this:

Steve Buccellato, Illustrator For Hire

Again, it's less about someone actually clicking the link and more about building that relationship in Google and other search engines.

I'm just scratching the surface of what you can do to raise your online profile, especially to the recruiters, talent scouts, creative directors and others. These people typically use searches to find contractors to work on the type of work you're doing for big money ad agencies and corporations- and I think those are the type of people you want finding your website!

Fell free to email direct if you want to discuss further. Or visit my website: Marc Siry, Vice President of Online User Experience - oh my, I think I just optimized myself a little more! :-)

Sara Kocher said...

I second Marc on optimizing and linking and getting your name out there. I invited you to LinkedIn a while back, but I think it's expired by now. I don't think you need a invite to join, though.

Marc Siry said...

Just a followup to this 'optimizing yourself' conversation- I had to supply a bio for a conference I'm speaking at and I got lazy, so I just googled 'Marc Siry Bio' to pick it up from some other conference... and the first link was back to this page! So yes, it works :-D