Building an Online Home: The Hub of a Science Journalist

Photo courtesy of Julia Rosen

With hundreds of themes on WordPress.com, writers have many options for building a space for their work. On her website, science journalist Julia Rosen compiles her writing from across publications — from Nautilus to the Los Angeles Times — and carves out a space to introduce herself to editors and readers.


Photo courtesy of Julia Rosen
Photo courtesy of Julia Rosen

Science writer Julia Rosen is interested in everything — from energy to fossils to food — and enjoys cooking, gardening, and the outdoors. As you can imagine, her writing spans many topics, and can be found in magazines, newspapers, and websites like Science, Nature, the Los Angeles Times, Orion, Discover, Nautilus, and High Country News.

“As a freelancer, I needed a site that would showcase my work and give editors who might hire me a chance to see what I do,” says Julia. “I wanted the look and feel of the website to quickly telegraph a few things about me: I’m a journalist, and I primarily cover earth and environmental science.”

Your homepage can be configured differently — add a custom logo, a call to action button, or even a video. Visit Gateway’s demo site.

Using the Gateway theme, she displays a full-width header image at the top of her site — a photo of northwest Greenland, taken on a scientific expedition in 2015. “Before I became a writer, I did a PhD in climate science, and have spent three seasons in Greenland doing research. I still write often about Greenland and the Arctic.”

The front page of Julia Rosen's website

You can try out the options of Gateway (and your own theme) in the Customizer.

The Gateway theme has a special homepage template that allows for a “hero title” or custom headline — in Julia’s case, a quote from English poet John Keats. “This quote sums up the idea that animates much of my writing — that the earth is an endless source of wonder, if you can decipher its secrets. That’s hopefully where I come in,” says Julia. Front and center, the Keats quote immediately personalizes her homepage and reveals some of her varied interests.

This quote sums up the idea that animates much of my writing — that the earth is an endless source of wonder, if you can decipher its secrets. That’s hopefully where I come in.

Below the header, Julia displays an easy-to-navigate menu, with tabs to essential About and Contact pages and a photo gallery. You can browse her writing via two dropdown menus: All Writing, which groups posts by popular categories (science, law, food, podcasts, and essays), and Writing by Publication, which organizes her freelance writing by publication name. “Since I write for lots of different magazines, I wanted a place where readers could come to find all my writing in one place.”

The custom menu on Julia Rosen's website

She displays a featured content area underneath her “Welcome” greeting: three posts with featured images. This section allows Julia to showcase specific content, which she can update at any time by adding a “featured” tag to certain posts. “I like the ability to have a few stories on my homepage. If an editor visits and knows nothing about me, I want them to check out the stories I am most proud of, and that represent the kind of work I want to do more of, not just whatever I wrote last.”

julia-rosen_featured-stories

At the bottom of her site, Julia uses Gateway’s three footer areas for a handful of widgets, including an area for new readers to subscribe via email, a search field, and her most recent tweets.


Love this look? Get inspired by other people using Gateway, like author Pepper Winters, Janelle at The Coffee Cafe, and photoblogger David Watkis.

January 9, 2017Design, Science, ,