Social networks seem to be the main promotional avenue for online artists. There's good reason for that. For example, with Facebook, it's relatively easy to create a Facebook page, invite friends and online contacts, and consistently share new artworks, thoughts and art show invites. Over time, it can be quite effective in gathering a large network of followers.
But, social media generally should not be the main method of art promotion for artists. In fact, it has been proven to be much more useful when used in conjunction with a professional artist website, a website which can be shared at various places an artist frequents on the internet (ie. Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, etc.).
But, artists often would rather spend time creating art than learning how to design a website from scratch. Hence, the popularity of free website creators, where artists can easily create a website, often having a drag and drop interface. The main disadvantage of these sites though, is that they do not belong to you, and quite honestly do not make the artist appear professional at all. The domain name is not a personal one. Don't you think www.YOURNAME.com leaves a better impression to potential art buyers than www.YOURNAME.fineartamerica.com? The "fineartamerica" gives the impression of "amateur artist| to the website visitor, since anyone can set up such a site.
The other issue is price. Hiring a web designing firm to create a website from the ground up can run into thousands of dollars. That's way too pricey for most. But, there are much cheaper options.
One we recommend is Wix, because of its ease of use and is very affordable for anyone. Plus, it's free to try out. Using Wix to build websites is intuitive and simple. There's no large manuals to read or lengthy courses to learn. You don't even have to learn website programming languages such as HTML and CSS. Also, anytime you choose to do so, you can upgrade to a premium plan, and enjoy that personal domain and professional website of your dreams. Just check it out here and have your new website built in no time.
I have used Wix extensively myself and must say that I like it a lot. Here are some past articles I have written about Wix:
Creating a Free Online Portfolio
Create HTML5 Website With Wix
Benefits of Having a Website for Art
- You can sell art easier. Imagine someone searching Google for an artwork to buy. They find a series of links to social profiles and other websites such as Fine Art America and Behance.
- It shows you are serious about your art career.
- It implies that you care about how your art is presented.
- It shows you are going places. Art buyers often buy because they want something they can invest in and increase in value.You are more likely to instill this confidence by having a professional artist website.
- Easier to build an email list. The email list is the most valuable business tool for marketers of all types. Include a form on your website to attract email subscribers, and gradually build that list of targeted art buyers you can promote to and sell artworks to over and over again.
- More professional looking. As I already explained above, the artist website implies a much larger degree of professionalism than any social profile or free website.
- Help you gain more followers. Visitors arriving from social networks are more likely to follow if they see you have a well structured and attractive web presence.
Do you have a website to promote your art? How has it helped you? Please leave comments below.