Monday, December 22, 2008

how to gain exposure for your art online

How to gain exposure for your art online

It is common for me to receive dozens of questions each month concerning advice on how to develop or improve online presence. There are many artists who want to improve exposure for their art by utilizing the Internet. The problem is that most do not know how to do it efficiently. True, there are many books about this subject on the market. However, there is also a world of information online that one can obtain without cost. It all starts with a simple search.

Search ‘online exposure for art’, ‘how to gain exposure for your art online’, or any number of combinations and you will most likely find some useful information. Google searches for ‘art business’, ‘art market’, or simply ‘online exposure’ can also be helpful. Below I will provide some general advice about obtaining exposure and creating presence online for your art.

One of your main goals will be to obtain traffic to your personal art website or the profiles that you have created on online art communities such as www.myartspace.com. This is a task that will involve some organization if you desire to do it well. Thus, be prepared to spend 15 minutes to an hour each day updating specific online efforts and posting links. The sacrifice of time is minimal when compared to what can be achieved.

Many artists make the mistake of thinking that the effort involved in gaining exposure and presence online is a one trick pony. These artists will create profiles on select online art communities or create a personal website thinking that alone will build their online presence. They create a personal site and online art community profiles-- but fail to update or promote them. Again, that tactic is a one trick pony that will have mediocre results at best. It is kind of like going to the gym only to leave shortly after setting up equipment. In other words, creating a personal website or online art community profile is just the starting point.

True, those minimal efforts will certainly help with online exposure and presence, but it is not an efficient way to establish yourself online if you allow them to gather cyber dust, so to speak. In order to receive a steady flow of traffic to your art online you must spread your links like wildfire on the World Wide Web. There are several ways to go about it. For example, if you visit an online forum you will want to include a link to your main art site at the end of any comment you make. Often there will be a space provided for the URL. If so, use it! This goes for Myspace bulletins, Facebook messages, Livejournal entries, blog comments… and so on.

You can also take advantage of email. When you write or reply to someone you will want to include links below your name at the bottom of your message. That will hopefully spur curious readers to visit your personal website or the profiles you have on online art communities. Email can be a powerful tool for gaining exposure. Especially if you establish an e-letter in order to keep family, friends, past buyers and other interested individuals current about your art practice, exhibits, and updated about your website and online efforts.

My point in all of this is that you can't simply create a personal website or community profile for your art thinking that the site(s) alone will do all the work for you. True, having your work on any site will bring visitors to your art, but you need to do some work yourself in order to maximize that traffic. You need to have your name and links to your art on as many sites as possible. You need to pass those links on whenever the opportunity arises. Remember that there is nothing wrong with promoting who you are and what you do. There is no room to be shy-- especially when we are talking about the internet.

On a side note, artists also need to think about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). That is a topic that I will go into further detail about in the near future.

Take care, Stay true,

Brian Sherwin
Senior Editor
www.myartspace.com

5 comments:

Glenn said...

Thanks for taking the time to write on this important topic. You reminded me that I'm not doing enough myself. I found some great suggestions on eHow.com as well.

Anonymous said...

Brian, can you put all your advice articles into one post? Just the links so they are easy to find. They have been very helpful.

David LaMorte said...

I think you missed a whole list of other great ways to expose your art. For the past few years I have been using facebook, twitter, podcasts, blogs, commenting on blogs, instant messaging and my personal social networks to drive traffic to my website.

Are you going to address these topics in an upcoming post? I would more than happy to write you a post on how to use social media to spread your art around.

Siret said...

I think I am the one that only is capable of setting up profiles and not updating them properly later on. What can I say - I always find more fun to spend the time with creating rather than promoting (it seems like way too hard work). I think I should improve on that though. Thanks for the remainder :D

Balhatain said...

Hi David,

Gaining exposure for art online is an ongoing topic on the Myartspace Blog. In fact, if you do a Google search for 'Gaining exposure for art' or 'Gaining exposure for art online' you will notice that this blog has high placement for said topics.

I've discussed the importance of having a blog and using social networks in the past and will probably touch on it again in the future. There is so much to cover. I'm actually working on an entry about SEO at this time.

I include labels such as 'art advice' and 'ecommerce' on my entries so that people can look over entries from the past. However, Anon has a good idea.