Ready for a new website?
Yes, you could do it yourself by using any of the template sites available. But when you take the step to have a site thoroughly customized to your branding and goals, there are things you can do to lower your monetary investment.
Designers can’t pull together a design from nothing. They need you to do your part.
When you do this, you will save money and have a more harmonious relationship with your designer. Here are four steps to get you started.
Step 1: Research
Look at other artist sites. When you find one you like, deconstruct it to figure out why you’re drawn to it.
When you’re on a site that you find attractive, is it because of …
– Font (styles and sizes)?
– Layout of pages?
– Image sizes?
Also, know which features you want on your site. Do you want a blog? An eCommerce platform? Email sign-up?
You should also be researching your designer in this phase.
Your emails, blog and website have the potential to engage readers or turn them off.
How can you design your content so that people keep reading and look forward to hearing from you?
You’re creating a composition not only with your art, but also with words and design elements.
It’s an empty wall on which you showcase your work. Let me emphasize that: The focus should be on your art, not on a decorative font, logo, or the colors you choose.
Every decision you make when creating online content should be about elevating the art.
Having said that, you can elevate the art and retain readers’ interest with these tips.
Images Make An Impact
You are so lucky. You sell something that is visually interesting to look at. This is a big plus in today’s world of online marketing because images have become paramount.
Exploit this advantage!
You have a great relationship with your Web designer and hosting service right now, but you can’t predict what might happen in the future.
I’ve witnessed so many artists stuck because they were abandoned by their webmaster and have no idea how to access their site. Don’t let this happen to you!
You are a savvy artist-entrepreneur, so prepare for the future to make sure you maintain control of your career. In this case, that means overseeing your Internet presence.
Below is a list with all of the information you need from the people who maintain your sites.
If you have an important exhibition coming up, give it the space it deserves. Create a special page on your website just for your show.
You probably already have a page for all of your exhibitions, but I’m talking about a single page that features only your special show.
This will be the premier place you send people for details about your special show.
Why would you only share this info on Facebook or in an email when you can create a storefront for your art? You’re paying for the virtual real estate already. Might as well use it!
Everything will be in one spot rather than scattered around online or in someone’s inbox.
The URL (website address) should be one that’s easy to share and to remember rather than a string of slashes and numbers. This isn’t always as easy if you have a template site, but make it happen if possible.
Here’s what your exhibition page should include:
Not all artists’ websites are created with sales in mind.
For many artists, a website is a digital portfolio – an introduction for gallerists, curators, and other opportunities. If this is you, some of what I share here doesn’t apply. However, you could still benefit from heeding much of this advice.
There are numerous factors as to why some art sells better online than others: the work is more “popular” or more affordable, or some artists use their lists and social media more effectively.
On the other hand, here are four errors you should look at correcting immediately if you’re trying to make sales from your site. Each is a step toward making it easier for people to buy.
1. You make people click multiple times to see the art.
If your website hasn’t been updated in years, you might have an old template that makes people click numerous links to see your art. It’s time for a major overhaul.
It’s been a while since I’ve written about blogging, so I thought it was time to share some thoughts I’ve had and revisit some past ideas on the topic.
Let’s dive right in.
The Benefits of Blogs for Artists
There are three clear benefits to blogging.
1. More content attracts more eyeballs for your art.
It’s tempting to forego a blog for social media: “Who needs a blog when I have Facebook?” The danger in building up all of your content on Facebook is that you can’t control Facebook. They’ll do whatever earns their shareholders the most money.
But you can control a blog. Blogging allows you to build content on your own site, which attracts traffic. You’ll benefit from posting on a blog and then sharing to social media, rather than posting only on social media.
2. The more you write about your art, the more you will discover about its meaning and your purpose and the better you will be able to articulate your work to collectors, curators, and writers.
This is the #1 reason to blog.
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