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Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals

I need a new website and found out professionaly it would cost around $800. maybe more.  Does it really matter about how my website looks?  I could get a simple one done much cheaper, but might still have problems like I have now.  I created my own - took 3 months lots of help, and is still not easy to update.  Is it worth the $$$ to have peace of mind.  what are your ideas

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It's great, isn't it, Diana, to be able to update yourself? Things keep coming up and not to have to call or email someone to change something is terrific. I had someone call me this morning about a show I'd posted and he asked me to change something. I had the editing page open and I fixed it as we talked. He was pleased.

Listening to the Arts report on NPR this morning I heard a wonderful profile about artist Joseph Cornell, who created collage. After looking at his website I wondered if he was the inspiration for the wonderful "boxes" full of story that others have created. This is a beautiful website: http://www.josephcornellbox.com/

Maybe some ideas for you.

Hello - Lots of that depends on what you want to do on a website. Is it an e-commerce site where you hope to conduct sales or is it simply a place for people to see your work? People seem to have a good deal of e-commerce success on Etsy and the money involved is minimal but you need to be aware of strategies employed on that site to create awareness for your product.

I can speak best to the use of a Facebook Page which functions as my website. I conduct all of my sales at festivals so e-commerce is not important to me. What is important to me is telling my story and offering up pictures of my latest work. It is simple to do and very effective. Social Networks do an excellent job of providing an interactive environment for you and your customers. When I am really on my game, I begin to pepper my Facebook page with new photos of my work in the week prior to the show. I dribble out bits and pieces to keep people engaged and get them excited about my work. People really want to know about an artist, their work and their life so I give them all that I am comfortable with sharing.

What else can you do on your Facebook Page? Run a contest, Invite the people who follow you to your upcoming Events. The fact that you can update so easily and engage people makes this the best choice for me. People share their interests on Facebook all the time which means your work potentially reaches a much wider audience than that achieved on a static website. 

None of this talk about Facebook means a thing unless you make the time to engage your audience / customers but Facebook has a way to help you there as well. You can create timed releases of your posts - I just figured that out. If it is more convenient and effective to spend one evening doing all the posts you want for the next couple of weeks, Facebook gives you that option by letting you select a future date to air the posts that you have created.

There are countless apps to enhance the way you use Facebook (more seemingly everyday). I've only scratched the surface in my efforts but there is only so much time in the day!

Best of luck with whatever methods you choose.


Sincerely,

Eddie Smith

Salacoa Valley Studio

I use Zenfolio. It is $120 a year, for the premium site. I consider $12.00 a month a pretty inexpensive investment for advertisement and e-commerce capabilities. Also, I don't have to maintain it, which brings peace of mind, other than update as needed. Response to needing help is extremely prompt and courteous.I've used it mainly as a "gallery" or "business card".  I've made a few sales from it, but I really haven't taken full advantage of what the site offers, in terms of e-commerce. I also listened to the Scott Fox POD cast on AFI radio and plan on making some changes based on it; namely the e-mail form.

Here's my site.

www.willothewrist.com

Use this code QSV-SF9-BCM  to receive a 10% discount on your subscription.   

It is that time of the year when artists (in the less temperate areas of the country) are working at home, a great time to put some time into their websites. 

Where to start? I know it is overwhelming, so many options, so how about while working listen to a couple of podcasts?

Specifically: 

What Good is a Website for Artists? -- Scott Fox helps you position your site and builds the case for an up to date site: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/artfairs/2012/08/14/what-good-is-a-web...

Online Marketing for Artists -- Internet expert Scott Fox assesses artist's websites with great tips for making them work in your marketing plan: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/artfairs/2011/11/18/online-marketing-f...

Are You Homeless? We talk about IndieMade.com, a website building service specifically for people in our business, very reasonably priced: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/artfairs/2013/01/16/are-you-homeless

And some additional useful tips: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/artfairs/2013/05/23/4th-annual-artfair... - Tips from the experts.

I listened to the first one and learned some really good new details. There's a bit of audio trouble throughout, but I understood most of what Scott said. THANKS A MILLION!

Off course it does because people initially like to search about you know about you and understand how long you have been in the market, though today’s world is becoming digital so it has become an essential part to make a website about your business.

I buy more artwork from artists through their websites than I now purchase at art fairs.

Of course, you probably already know about the quality based upon having seen it in person or something? Anyway, that's nice to hear. Our site is merglennstudios dot com. Check us out. Finely detailed Imaginative Realism soft pastel & pastel pencil presented in handcrafted picture frames.

After I comment, I'll check out those links you've posted, Connie. I'm always fine tuning.

 

We use Fine Art Studios Online (FASO). Created and designed with artists in mind by Clint Watson, a former gallery art dealer. Your site doesn't have to look like mine since you can change the templates. This is an art minded service rather than a place where anyone goes to create a site. I pay $26 per month and love the freedom of it and look and everything. Our site is merglennstudios dot com.

I forgot to mention that FASO is e-commerce ready, so all websites have the ability to be a store. The whole idea from Clint is that artists be able to sell their work.

 

I always hear that artists don't want to pay for a website, and I used to be one of 'em. I always hear artists say they don't have time to create a website or update it or other excuses, and I used to be one of 'em. NOT ME ANYMORE.

 

Now when someone asks me if I have a website, I say "I have a great website." There's a big difference in how you'll feel and the message you are projecting to others when you say you feel good about your website.

 

I still don't have an email sign up on there, and I'm not sure why I don't. I'll be looking into that NOW.

 

Connie's podcast talk with her son Scott (see the link upthread on this page) is worth listening to, certainly. His take is that artists should do their websites themselves. I agree. But I don't want to learn HTML and become a programmer. I'm not sure that's what Scott means, either. So I got lucky one day (or at least I think so) when I discovered FASO. The service takes some learning, but it ain't HTML and code. It allows an artist to quickly change and edit and do whatever it takes to manage website content without the need of a designer or other go-between. I can do it whenever I want to do it. Used to be that if I saw a glitch the webmaster didn't see, I had to notify him and then he'd change it. And I never had the ability to just DO IT MYSELF. Well, FASO changed that for me. THeir customer service is outstanding as well. Help is always available and quick.

 

I might be inclined someday soon to get back in there and use a a different template and change the colors up a bit. Just yesterday I removed the outline boxes from around the perimeter of my thumbnails and it looks cleaner. I still need to create a better ABOUT US page since ours is still a bit mysterious feeling and less inviting (you'll hear about that topic in the podcast as well.) You know, we're artists and we think showing our art is more important, anyway. So we're less inclined to give out too much information about ourselves. Well, we do need to spend more time on that part of our site.

 

I don't think flash features are good for artists sites, and neither does FASO. So I don't use them. Just about every website I encounter with flash features, unless they are quick loading and simple, I'll abandon the site quickly.

 

So lets all stop making excuses about our websites. Get a website that you can manage yourself. Be like Nike and JUST DO IT. WOOHOO!

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