In my opinion, collaboration is almost always a good thing. . . and especially when it comes to marketing and selling your art online.
Yes, a lot of artists have their own art blog these days (which I highly recommend), and many have portfolio sites as well—but if there’s one way to make your art stand out and get noticed, it’s to get together with several other like-minded artists and set up a single website for all of you.
OK, so that might seem rather paradoxical when you think about it—after all, why would YOUR art stand out more if you’re a part of a group?
Well, it actually does depend on how large the group is. Too large and you WON’T stand out. But if you have anywhere from 5 to 15 artists total, it’s perfect.
For example, this fine art photography website just began a few weeks ago. It’s called FineArtPhotoBlog.com and it features seven photographers from around the world. Even though it’s new, I’ve already got a hunch that it’ll do well.
Why? First, because with seven photographers contributing their artwork, it’ll be easier to keep updated than a single-person art blog would be. And second, because when people visit they’ll get a wider variety of photos and much more artwork all in one place (so they’ll be more likely to find something they like and come back).
All that extra artwork and visitor interest can also translate into more inbound links and word-of-mouth publicity from around the web. . . which could eventually mean a lot more traffic than a normal art blog gets.
And there’s another benefit to collaborating with other artists too: as long as you’ve got several people involved, you can hire a designer or a web programmer (or both) and split the costs to keep things cheap.
Of course, this whole “collaboration” idea isn’t new. The Daily Painter’s Guild has been around for quite a while now (with fifteen amazing painters) and I’m sure there are other group websites that do quite well too.
Just to be crystal clear, I’m definitely not saying that you should quit your own art blog to start a collaborative art website—every member of both The Daily Painter’s Guild and Fine Art Photo Blog have their own blogs or personal websites too.
After all, having multiple ways to reach an audience can’t really hurt your chances.
But if you’re looking for a way to expand your online presence, why not find a few artists you could see yourself sharing a website with and give it a shot? Or at least throw a few ideas around and see what happens.
It could be that a collaborative marketing effort might be just the thing you need.
By the way, I’d suggest visiting a few sites like the ones in this article to get a feel for what’s necessary in a collaborative website. Like any new venture, seeing what has worked for other artists is one of the best ways to get started.