Websites for Artists – the Easy Way

By Carolyn Edlund

Every artist needs a website – without one, you’re invisible. Here’s an easy way to get started.

 

I recently connected with Leah Markham of ArtistsWebsites.net, to review her video course called “Create Your Own Artist’s Website.” It’s perfect for the beginner, but has lots of great information for more experienced users, too.

This course is really complete, with 15 video segments, which you can purchase in whole or in part. My favorite thing about the whole course is how easy to follow her video presentations are, and how patiently she presents each aspect of building and promoting your website. She includes tons of details, including analytics (and how to interpret them), photographing and adding images, shopping carts, social media, and email marketing.

And, Leah even offers the option to build an artist’s website for you, with instructions which make it easy for you to update on your own. It’s a complete package that I totally loved and would recommend. So that’s what I’m doing. I decided to become an affiliate with Leah, so getting a terrific course on creating your website also supports this blog.

Leah kindly included this top ten list of things you need to utilize your website effectively. How many apply to your current website?

  1. Domain name with your name in it – As an artist your work will always be recognized and known by your name, so your domain should include your full name such as www.joesmith.com. If the domain you want is taken you could add ‘art’ or ‘artist’ after your name or include your middle initial. If you create a product that is unique you could use words within your domain name that people would search for to find your product within search engines.
  2. Clean, simple and easy to navigate – Make sure it’s user-friendly
  3. Name at the top of every page – Visitors can come into your website at any page through search engines, so make sure your name is visible on every page.
  4. Artwork should be the focus – Avoid flashy elements that distract people from viewing the artwork.
  5. Keep it up-to-date – Art is often not a quick purchase decision item. Collectors will re-visit your website to see your new work and they want to see that you are producing artwork on a regular basis. So keep your website up-to-date and let collectors know when new work is available. Utilize the homepage to show an image of your best work or a notable piece, such as an award-winner or work featured in an upcoming exhibition.
  6. Be search engine friendly – Use keywords throughout the page titles, headings, links, and image file names. For example, if you are a Canadian landscape artist you would use keywords such as landscape paintings, Canadian landscape artist, original landscape art, etc. Also, incoming links are a large part of how Google ranks your website. If other websites link to you, especially websites with high traffic, search engines view your website as potentially being more reputable and relevant than others because you are being referred by others so they in turn want to refer you. Ways to encourage others to link to your website include offering link exchanges with other artists, provide your galleries with your website address, and submit your website to online directories and art listings. There are many websites where you can do this for free (visit the Resources page at www.artistswebsites.net for a list to get you started).
  7. Encourage others to spread the word – Including a ShareThis (www.sharethis.com) or addtoany (www.addtoany.com) button on each page, especially the pages featuring your artwork, will make it easy for visitors to send a note to a friend to check out your work with one click of a button.
  8. Know who is visiting your website – Google Analytics is a great free tool that gives you valuable information about the people visiting your website.
  9. Keep in contact with collectors through e-mail marketing – When you come in contact with people interested in your work, ask them for their email address or if they would like to be added to your email list. If you give potential customers a business card they often forget about it, so asking for their information and permission to contact them allows you to follow-up with them.
  10. Promote your website – Include your website address on everything.

 

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