Your website is your calling card, your brochure and the best place to showcase your work. Your website is the first impression many people will have of you and your stature as an artist. You want to brand yourself as a successful and creative artist, not someone with no credibility. Here are a few common mistakes to consider when putting together your site:
1. No free websites. Nothing screams amateur more than a banner along the top or bottom of your website stating it was free. If you can’t afford a website, you can’t afford to be in business. You can get a free WordPress website and host it for $100 or less a year.
2. Difficult to find contact information. Make it easy for people to get in touch with you by having a CONTACT US tab in your menu. It’s a great idea to have your contact information on every page. I suggest including your email as well. I personally hate filling out those web forms. It seems that half the time they don’t even work.
3. Dead links. Go through your entire website periodically to make sure all the links work. Anytime you add a new blog post or anything to the website, be sure to test it completely before putting it out to the world.
4. Typos, misspelled words or improper grammar. You can get a free version of Grammarly to help you if you struggle with spelling and grammar. Art collectors are generally highly educated people. Bad grammar is a big turn off.
5. Ads. It’s tempting to think you will make money by installing Google Adsense on your site. Just say no. Ads for random products are right up there with free websites. Ads will hurt your credibility.
6. Pop ups. I am not completely opposed to pop ups but they need to be used in moderation. If someone lands on your site and a pop up immediately asks them to sign up for something, there is a good chance they’ll just leave your site. They don’t know you well enough to sign up for your mailing list. Let them have 20 seconds or so to peruse your site before you ask them to do something.
7. Insecure or confusing shopping cart. If you are selling your artwork online, you’ll need to provide a way for your buyer to buy. It has to be easy. This is another reason to put your contact information on every page. If someone is not internet savvy, invite them to give you a call. I like to talk to everyone who wants to purchase my artwork. In many cases, they’ll find that they were going to order a piece way too small for their space. After a consultation, they’ll buy a bigger piece.
I’ll be writing more about creating a good artist website so stay tuned!
If you haven’t yet, join us over in our Facebook group, “Selling Your Photography As Art” The group is for sharing and giving tips with like-minded photographic artists.
Photographer, instructor and speaker.
Peggy Farren is an award winning, professional photographer, author, instructor and speaker. She’s been interviewed and featured on TV and in many national and local publications.