Artists, Is Your Website 2009 Worthy?

By Mary Lawler in Art Business Advice > Selling Art Online

As I sat down to write this article about how important it is to keep your site fresh and current, I remembered that my own website at ArtID hasn’t been updated in ages.

Shame on me. It’s under complete re-construction right now and here’s why:

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Your website is your brochure and your business card. You wouldn’t keep handing out brochures that were old would you? The great thing is that although it costs money to print new brochures, updating your site is FREE.

So where to start?

Is your contact information correct? Review your artist’s statement and your bio and see if they still reflect the image of you that you want conveyed.

Simply stating that you are an artist who likes watercolors and lives in New Jersey isn’t going to cut it.

Conversely, including every show you have ever been in since you were six, every class you took (and from whom) isn’t needed. Neither are all your credentials. Your bio is not a resume, and buyers won’t care about your illustrious background as much as they’ll care about the quality and presentation of your work.

Speaking of quality and presentation. . .

Are your images as good as they could be? Are they in focus? Can you see your living room in the background? (You shouldn’t!) Is there a big flash reflection in the glass?

If necessary, take better photos of your art or have someone do it for you. All imaging editing software that comes with your digital camera will give you the ability to crop, straighten and even enhance your pictures.

Next, all successful retailers agree that moving your merchandise around will make it appear new even if it isn’t. If you don’t have new work to post, move the order of your images so return visitors don’t see the same thing first. If you move things around people who have been to your site will suddenly see images they never noticed before.

And how about those descriptions?

Could your text use a little freshening up too? The more accurate the information and filled with tag words the better. Here’s an article I put on my blog a while back with more details on that.

Now that I mention blogs, are you using one yet? A blog is like your brochure. Buyers want all kinds of information about you, such as how you work, why you work, and what inspires you.

Let them know what you’re working on now and when you’re going to be in your next show. People may even want to know what you look like, since it helps them make a connection with you.

Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see any comments on your blog, either—that doesn’t mean your blog isn’t being read, just that most people don’t leave comments.

A new year means a lot of new opportunities. Take a minute to update your website and then go make the most of 2009.

For more articles by Mary Lawler, please visit her art blog at ArtID.com.

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