Guest blogger: Kim Bruce
After researching, comparing and gathering information on what you need to know to make a choice between WordPress, Squarespace, Wix or Weebly, I have come to the conclusion that there is no conclusion.
Each of these services has something to offer depending on your needs.
For example, if you’re a hobby artist, a free Weebly site, which includes their paid ads, may suffice.
An artist with little or no computer skills may want a simple drag-and-drop interface, which is available with all services (drag-and-drop themes are available for WordPress).
A professional artist may, and probably should, prefer the power that the WordPress platform offers.
In all honesty, I find it very difficult to compare Squarespace, Wix or Weebly with WordPress the self-hosted version (WordPress.org).
WordPress is different. It’s a robust, scalable, open source (free) application that can be whatever you need it to be.
Ta da! We did it!
We have a new look at Art Biz Coach, and I’m using today’s post to give you the inside scoop on how all of the pieces came together.
Back in January, I asked if your brand was missing you because I had concluded, with the help of my mastermind buddies, that my personality was a little absent from the Art Biz Coach brand, especially in the visual manifestation of Art Biz Coach.
So I hired Rachel Dunham of Brand Therapy to work some magic on me. We’ve been working on this for more than two months.
The First Steps to a New Brand
I didn’t pay Rachel $75 to come up with a quick logo. I wanted a much deeper process for a more profound transformation.
The darnedest thing about having a website: just because you build it doesn’t mean people will come.
Creating a website is just the first step. Now you have to get people to visit it, and driving traffic to your site is an ongoing task. It should always be top of mind.
©John-Michael Korpal, Twig Balloons. Mixed media, 6 x 8 feet. Used with permission.
See if you could add some of these ideas to your marketing mix and get more eyes on your art.
Best, Basic Practices
1. Write a newsletter article with a hook, which requires recipients to visit your site to read the end of the article.
2. Tell people why they should click. What’s in it for them?
3. Give something away to people who visit your site and sign up for your list.
This article is an edited excerpt from the soon-to-be-released newest edition of I’d Rather Be in the Studio.
This Quick-Start Manual outlines the key areas you need to work on if you want more blog visitors. And who doesn’t want more blog visitors?
Focus on Content
More than anything else, good content will attract people to your blog. Create a regular schedule – perhaps once a week in the beginning – of writing and posting images of your art. Readers need to know they can depend on you.
Feature other people on your blog, like loyal blogger Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson did (above image). It encourages those people to share with their followers. I was so happy to see this nice write-up of my visit with Elizabeth that I couldn’t wait to share it on Twitter and
Is your website overdue for an overhaul?
It used to be cool to have a white website with a light gray font. It was even cooler if the font required a magnifying glass to read it.
This was the rage, oh, about 12 years ago. Then we realized how hard it is to read tiny pale fonts.
Artists also latched on to black backgrounds for their sites thinking it made the work “pop,” when it actually did the opposite: weighed down and overpowered the art. Black backgrounds with light text, we have discovered, are also notoriously difficult to read.
Things change. Are you adapting?
The Art Biz Coach home page from January of 2005 looks dated with the small images, dense text, and out-of-control menu.
The average age of Internet users has skyrocketed. Older eyes just don’t have
Your blog won’t become popular overnight. Blogging is a process, a commitment. After last week’s article, The Gold Mine in Your Artist Blog, several people commented to the tune of: My blog is no gold mine. I can’t get any traffic or interaction with people. In nearly 10 years of blogging and many years of teaching artists to blog, I have witnessed a large number of artists build successful blogs.
In my last post, I made the case that your blog is a gold mine for you. What I didn’t say is that it’s only a gold mine if you are consistently committed to blogging and to improving with each post. You can only fulfill this commitment with rich content.
Last week I asked on the Art Biz Blog how you’re going to be marketing your art differently now that Facebook Reach is plummeting. It’s tempting to just jump to another social media site. (Google+ anyone?). I would encourage you, as I always have, to build up content on your site first.
Guest blogger Cynthia Morris writes: “There’s a certain someone in my field who has a huge following. This certain someone also has a great blog. I found myself constantly referring to the blog as an example of what a good blog should be. And I admit it, I had blog envy. . . . ”
Guest blogger Holly Van Hart shares she read in several places that you could “create your own website in 10 minutes” with WordPress. While she never believed it would take 10 minutes, she never imagined it would take 100 hours. Perhaps you can benefit from Holly’s experience. “I already had an art website, a contract with a web hosting service, a domain name, and a blog hosted by Google (Blogger). But my site was 5 years old and needed to be totally overhauled with new, fresh content and current styling. It also needed to be integrated with my blog. . . .