For the past two posts, I have been covering some of the greatest myths and lies that have affected artists on the web. See links to these posts at the end of this article.
You should know that some of the biggest myths circulate for one main reason – monetary gain. Some internet companies try to deceive artists into signing up for their services by advocating certain myths and lies. Having said this, there are reputable and trusted services on the web. Artists just have to know where to look.
I have featured many portfolio services at Artpromotivate, and have been very quiet about stating opinions about each one. I have been taking the unbiased approach. But, I know this approach does not help any of you. I know you want my opinion, so this is what I will be giving to you from now on. So, without any more waiting, here is the greatest myth for artists on the internet!
Why pay for a website when I can get one for free?
I thought this for a long time, until I finally got my own website. I can honestly say that getting my own website is the best thing I have done for promoting my art.
I once had the mentality that if I can get it for free, why would I want to pay for it? I know many have this attitude. The internet is full of free portfolios, free tools, and free everything else. But I have discovered some things that the people who offer these free services will not tell you.
They tell you to signup for the free website or service so that they can get your email. They know the free website looks unprofessional, but they will not tell you this. All they want for now is for you to sign up, and set up your site. Then they will continually send emails explaining the benefits of upgrading.
What if you do not upgrade? Well, you are stuck with an unprofessional site that you spent all the time and energy in constructing. They will never tell you that the free site is worthless and unprofessional for art business. They just want you work on your site long enough so that you discover that for yourself. Then, they are hoping that you will be “forced” to upgrade because you do not want to throw away all that hard work and start over.
So, I’ve discovered that even though these people make themselves appear like they are giving you something of worth and value, they are not at all! They know a free portfolio is worthless… but if they told you that, then you would not signup in the first place. I’m sure many of you already know this, but internet newbies can be easily caught up in all these free offers and waste a lot of time because of it.
I know, because I was an internet newbie once and wasted countless hours constructing free sites that I thought would help promote my art – but only made me appear very unprofessional.
What I’ve been saying from the very beginning at this site, I will reiterate. If the only reason you want a website is to display art for friends and family, then a free website would be ok. But, if you are using it to showcase to collectors, and hoping to sell your art via the website, then a professional paid website is essential. You will have very little success until you get out of that free-seeker mentality and pay for your own site.
Your collectors will respect you for it, because they will know that you care enough about your art to display it in the best possible way.
As owner of Artpromotivate and an artist myself, I have a responsibility of sharing with you how to promote your art and telling you the truth. That is the slogan of this website – Motivating and Promoting Artists.
I can honestly tell you that free websites are horrible. I devoted so much time to them, and wish someone had told me that a long time ago – but I had to learn it the hard way. I do not want other artists to struggle with promoting their art like I did. I’m hoping that those of you who are dedicated to selling your art will invest in your careers and get that website. If you have the time to devote to it, I can guarantee you will not regret it.
The internet offers many ways of setting up a website. I plan on covering some of the trusted paid options for artists in future posts. But, if you do not want to wait, take a look at one of the artist website services that I am recommending for friends of this website – Wix.
The first two posts in this myths series can be found here:
Myths About Art Promotion on the Internet – Part 1
Internet Marketing Myths – Part 2
I am interested in hearing some of the experiences of artists who have taken that important step to get their own website. How has it helped you with promoting your art?
I guess i am one of those "newbies" you talk about...i built my own site this summer on Weebly for free after buying my domain. I am very happy with the look of it and have had very favorable comments about it. Do you know of any success stories with it? Others have in fact asked me to make one for them.
I'd appreciate feedback! Www.saramorison.com
Thank you, sara
The site looks awesome! But, what I'm talking about in this article is not the look of the website. Free websites can look good, but many of them have ads... Weebly has one for its own service right at the bottom. This can be removed for $5 a month.
Interesting article. I discovered yola.com while looking at local artists on Craigslist. One artist had a simple site that allowed me to get a feel for what kind of art this person did, but it wasn't super fancy by any means...just to promote their art. At the bottom of the page there was a link where I could get my own free site, so I clicked. And actually, after reviewing the options of the free and upgraded options, I ended up buying my site with my own name (www.einzelstueckart.com) so that I didn't have to use 'yola' in the url to confuse potential art enthusiasts. From the start I had a feeling this was the way to go, and there are a lot more perks that I enjoy such as the Facebook 'like' button to name just one. I also have almost no computer experience, and with that having been said, I would say that it was quite easy to design my site myself. Yola makes it easy for people like me to understand how to build your own site. I also have my own email with @einzelstueckart.com at the end, which, to the purpose of this article, makes me come across and feel a bit more professional. If art is a business, you have to invest in it.ReplyDelete
Thanks Nikki... great job on the site!!
Hey Graham, thanks for this article, its really brought to the forefront of my mind what i already knew, that i have to get my free website upgraded so i can look, and essentially be taken more seriously as an artist. Im currently using weebly and i like everything about it except that "weebly" is in my url when i share my website details, it feels so unproffessional. Thanks againReplyDelete