Art Fair Insiders

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

10 tips to tune up your website for the New Year

Sitting around waiting for the shows to start? I know, not really, but how about spending some time on your "artist's retirement plan", aka your website and email lists?

  1. Buy a better domain name for your site that isn't just your name. Something that will make it easier for buyers and search engines to find. Not alexandrajohnson.com but maybe handblownglass.com, or Iowalandscapes.com, fibertowear.com, handmadepotstolove.com.

    Do a search for an available one at GoDaddy.com. They have wonderful tools to help you decide what your URL should be. Use a word that describes your art/craft, that identifies what you do that makes your work special and see what you can find.

  2. Update your show schedule now and continue throughout the year. Make it easy for yourself so each time you are accepted to a show you go in and add the show. While you're there link to the show's website and let the show know you did so they link back to you.

  3. Get serious about collecting emails. Add an email sign up box so you can build that list while you are sleeping. See this sign up box on all of my websites, upper right hand corner. It brings new subscribers daily. No work for me and it has led to nearly 60,000 subscribers. Granted, I've been gathering them for over 10 years.

  4. Instead of the "contact me" form on your site, add a link to "contact me" so they can contact you NOW that sends you an email. Don't let the prospect lose interest. Its the Internet, they want to reach you while they are thinking about it. Don't make them call you. They want the ease of email.

  5. Make sure that Contact Me is highly visible on your website, upper right hand corner.
  6. Change the copyright date at on your site or remove it permanently. Don't let it say 2013 ... 

  7. Update your headshot. I know you've got a smiling photo of yourself on the home page. People buy from us not only because the work is wonderful but because you are wonderful.

  8. Add images of your new work.

  9. Update your "About Me".

  10. Check out some other artists websites for inspiration if you get stuck.

Views: 798

Comment by Oscar Matos Linares on January 1, 2018 at 9:37am

I do this every January and some people thing is waste of time. I a working now in figure how to increase traffic on the website and more important get customers that actually make a purchase.

Comment by Cindy Welch on January 1, 2018 at 9:55am

Thanks, Connie, for this reminder.  I am working on mine as I get new photos done of product to add.  Now, thanks to this reminder, I remember I need to go in a clean up and streamline my pages.

Comment by Peggy Crago on January 1, 2018 at 11:17am

Thank you. That is good information.

Comment by Connie Mettler on January 1, 2018 at 11:32am

Good for you, Oscar. Smart. Here's a podcast we hosted a while back that talks about that issue that can maybe help you with that selling: What Good is a Website for Artists? My guest is my son Scott Fox who has had 3 books published on online marketing. The podcast has many useful tips similar to what are listed above.

Thank you, Cindy and Peggy. 

As to point 3 above, yesterday (New Year's Eve), e.g., I got 15 new signups. The message for us all, just get started. It may not look like much now, but continual small steps gradually gets you down the road.

Comment by Richard L. Sherer on January 1, 2018 at 2:24pm

Don't forget to update your price lists too. I update my site in the first quarter with new photos, new price lists and changes to promote anything that is moving slower. I send it to my computer guy.

Comment by Carol Larsen on January 3, 2018 at 10:15am

Just a few more:

1. once a month check all links on your site and on show sites that have you listed, many times the show sites get corrupted. I also have a massive list of sites that list similar events, I also check these sites as part of my monthly check to make sure dates and links work.

2. Visit your website on both standard computers and mobile optimized including the smallest smartphone. The newer style mobile optimized templates “move” things around depending, what you want at the top may be buried somewhere else. 

3. As Connie stated contact & sign-up at the top, next historical spot is bottom if you are not able to put at top.

4. Those with Etsy shops, invest in PatternbyEtsy so you can have all your stock plus all the amenities of standard websites. 

5. The links Connie suggested are excellent, once you purchase those, Godaddy will help you redirect them to point where you want them to go. 

6. Photos - many require repixalation to fit correctly on mobile devices, and could be why other content gets pushed around, so experiment. 

Part of my digital marketing plan for the year, I have been doing for a very long time.

Comment by Mckenna Hallett on January 3, 2018 at 10:27am

Great List, Connie! Regarding #1 - the domain name can be @yourname or @yournamestudio or whatever as you have suggested. However, consider having several and have all of them "point" to your most likely named site. For example, I have mygoldenwords as my main site, but I have esofselling (because of the guidebook) and easeofselling and theesofselling also and they all point to mygoldenwords. I have about 15 domains that get used in a variety of ways to help market my "brand".

AND DON'T forget to update your site's copyright date to 2017. Just did a review for an artist's site and its copyright was 2014 ---- opps! And so was the last show she listed --- bigger opps! Updating lets people know you are still actively involved with your business!

Finally: yes the email gather and sending regular (monthly at least) emails is the most important and effective (and cheap) tool at our disposal for creating sales. Don't leave home without a plan to grow your list.

Comment by Cindy Welch on January 3, 2018 at 10:45am

When I started out my domain name named what I did.  However, as I began to diversify, it no longer was an accurate picture of what I was doing.  I decided to from my former name (Custom Coasters by Cindy) to Cynthia Welch Designs.  It allows me to add or delete products without me feeling too pigeon-holed, so to speak.  I still do the travertine tile coasters, but I am also doing chalk painted pieces and furniture.  So for me, I needed to get away from a business name that labeled what I did to one that allows more freedom in my product line.

Comment by Connie Mettler on January 3, 2018 at 11:18am

These are really helpful ideas. Richard, updating prices certainly is important. On that (similar) I recently moved and can't believe the many places I have my address and phone number. Just now sending an email I saw that it still had the old phone # in the sig file. Details.

Carol, so exciting to me to see you taking it all so seriously. I know nothing about etsy so that is a great a tip. I also preview my sites on different browsers both Chrome and Safari. Check and have someone else check the links. 

We run all photos through a very cool free tool: webresizer.com to make sure images load quickly on this site, our others and in the emails.

The domain name is important for traffic and I agree Mckenna about owning multiple domain names but have them all point to your main site. Not sure how many names I own but besides the obvious ones you see on my 4 sites I also own "Best Art Fairs", "ArtFairRadio.com" and others purchased long ago that include "art fairs, craft shows, festivals, etc." The price is negligible.

Good thinking, Cindy. Upgrade and update your domain name and have all your sites new and old point to the one where you want people to find you. 

So pleased to see the comments on this topic. Does anyone else have any helpful tips or links to make it easy to stay connected with our audience?

Comment by Mckenna Hallett on January 18, 2018 at 12:12pm

Since no one else has chimed in for several days, I will share what I am about to blog about next week which is titled, "The 'Us' word and other mistakes." It definitely fits your "tips to make it easy to stay connected with our audience".

As a marketing professional and a website designer and "fixer", one of the most missed opportunities I see is a lack of authenticity. The About Me page is a good example of missing a connection.  

1. Don't write in the third person. That is not personal. This is YOUR site and your work and your voice, so tell them about you from the I, me, mine, perspective. Creating for "About the Artist", in the third person style, would work if your art is on someone else's site or on a gallery wall or in any way represented by someone else to the public. 

2. Avoid the "Us" word. Unless you are a big art studio sharing a site together, or you have virtual assistants who handle most of your business and marketing, you are not an "us". In fact, you should be very proud to not be an "us". And the person who you are connecting with at that moment will be happy not to get involved with an "us" company, and much more excited to imagine being in direct contact with you.

Two more cents: I agree that your email should be a link that automatically allows for instant contact and it should be easy to find. Use your footer to make sure there is a consistent place for people to find you. And DO include your phone number, especially if you have a shopping cart. They may have a quick question and you don't want them to abandon the cart when they don't hear from you instantly via email. 

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