If you’re an artist that has recently joined BoundlessGallery.com, Imagekind.com or ArtistRising.com, then you should know that you’re in for some competition.
(Update: BoundlessGallery is no longer in business. Learn why they closed.)
About a month ago after writing an article that compared art websites by traffic, I began to wonder exactly how many artists were on each site. It seemed to me that the more artists there are on one website, the less likely it is that your work will be found.
The other opinion, of course, is that more artists in one place will bring in more traffic, which balances everything out.
Whichever opinion you hold, here’s my breakdown of the number of artists using each website.
To start off, Boundless Gallery was the only website of the three that listed all of its artists by name in one place.
I personally counted 2,090 Boundless Gallery artists by going through each letter of their nicely alphabetized lists and adding up the total.
Imagekind took a little more thought. They don’t say how many artists they have online, and when I talked with a representative they chose not to share that information.
So, I decided to ask Google to “count” each artist for me.
I typed into Google: site:http://imagekind.com/MemberProfile which is just an advanced search request for all the pages on the internet that have “http://imagekind.com/MemberProfile” in their web address. (Click the link to see the most current numbers for yourself.)
At the time this article was written, that search resulted in 4,740 pages, each one for a different Imagekind artist.
As far as Google was concerned, Imagekind had 4,740 members, but is Google correct? To test it, I went ahead with another search that I knew I could prove.
I decided to type in site:http://imagekind.com/GalleryProfile to see how many galleries there are on Imagekind since I know some artists have more than one.
Google returned 5,210 gallery pages which I double-checked at Imagekind itself by just browsing the galleries. The number Imagekind gave was 5,324, which is a difference of 114.
Most likely that’s because Google’s not indexing new pages on Imagekind as fast as it’s growing, but even with the discrepancy it’s close enough to make me confident in my first search.
As for Artist Rising, I did the same type of thing and typed in site:http://gallery.artistrising.com/Homepage.
Google only came up with 932 artist homepages, and, get this, they all had the same vague title: “Artist Home Page.”
That’s definitely not good for SEO. Hopefully Artist Rising will get to work and put the artist’s name in the title like Imagekind and Boundless Gallery do. (NOTE: for the current number of artists at Artist Rising, just visit artistrising.com.)
Bad SEO aside, at the time I wrote this article it seems that Artist Rising is on the bottom end with just under 1,000; Boundless Gallery holds the middle spot with 2,100; and Imagekind leads with nearly 4,800.
If you’re an artist, you’re probably already thinking about what this means for you. Do you want to be a big fish in a small pond, or a small fish in a big one?
One of the reasons I launched foliotwist (an art website company) was to make it possible for artists to do their own thing on their own terms—to have their own pond. I know it’s not for everyone, but if you’re interested you should check it out.
And as always, feel free to send me your opinions about the pros and cons to having many artists on a single website. I’d love to hear what you think.