There are many attributes an artist needs, besides creating, to run an art business. I never in my wildest dreams would have thought I needed to do so much writing or become technically apt (to a degree!) to manage my business, like this blog for example.
I'm not complaining as it has been a wonderful experience to improve my rudimentary writing skills and each application has to be tackled in a different way. From writing articles for magazines to artist statements to blogs, they are all require a particular approach. If you are an emerging artist, writing will become part of your practice, so start the journey as soon as possible by researching artist biographies and statements, etc and practice your own writing skills.
My working life had previously been physical, working a cattle property and my writing was minimal and diminished over the years. The first thing I taught myself was to touch type online. It took months to become adept at the skill and at one stage I thought I would never improve and become speedy but the hours of practice has paid off big time and now it is automatic to watch the screen instead of the keys as I type, a huge bonus!
I often get asked questions about my website so I thought it might be a good topic to explore. These are just my thoughts and it is always best to ask other artist's their opinion to get a rounded view.
It suits my nature to build and manage the website myself. This way I have control over the design and updates. I chose Wix for the platform and have had no issues. It is easy to use and the help sections is extensive. By doing it myself, I don't have to involve another party and have gained much needed technical knowledge which is essential today.
There are many do's and don'ts to have on a website and it is best to research this and put your own ideas forward. A biography and background information on yourself, is of course, necessary. For the artwork, it is helpful to have a short description with the artwork and details of size and frame. Images must be clear with no distracting edges, frames or shadows. Shipping has to be considered and Wix offers many options.
Your domain name is precious and should be treated as such. Register it with a host so that it belongs to you and not to a reseller. If it is out of your control and something goes wrong, you loose your brand, your search engine ratings and all your virtual information attached to your domain, like your email address, signage, stationery, etc.
One aspect I feel is a must today, is to have a store with prices and a buy now button. If a viewer feels a connection to a piece of your art and would like to purchase the piece, it should be easy for them. Art has been slow to sell online but there is a definite trend to this becoming normal practice so a store is a must, even if it is small.
Keep the website updated with current work and news. It is disappointing to visit an artist's website to see it has not been updated for years, social media does not replace this, not all the public is on these platforms. Also updating the site regularly keeps the website active and improves it's ranking in search engines.
My website building skills were recently put to the test when I built a new website for the gallery. It took many hours to develop as it is quite extensive but I was happy with the result and again, it was a huge learning curve and I was so pleased I could contribute this skill to the group. I would love your feedback, so please take a look and let me know your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org