Q&A – As an artist how can I promote my artwork better?

  • Hi there, Let’s start off with some things that first come to my mind that should help #1 a blog for your website – blog about all kinds of art and techniques… Answer Q&A’s about art… that would REALLY get some help to your site. Then blog about other artsy trends and what-nots – but keep it mostly related to art stuff. Your feelings/perspectives on this and that… it could even be rants and raves about others art.. just be careful on that on though, lol. #2 you may consider having a Zazzle store and put your artwork on gift products. In the description ALWAYS mention your website and give a link. You can increase the cost of the gift products by whatever % you like. Then you can make a small commission and at the same time draw traffic to your website. It takes a while to make any “real” money through Zazzle so consider it more of an opportunity to advertise. You can also put some of your zazzle gift products on your website. I think it’s pretty fun and real easy to use! #3 Deviantart.com – there are a gazillion artist on there that show off their artwork and get involved in groups. They rant, they rave and they get followers and they follow. Always, always post website links wherever you put any of your artwork pictures, and put it in the description field that way the search engines find your website address on multiple websites – it’s called link building.  Be wary of deviantart though, they have a lot of people that post a lot of bad artwork that you may very well not want to see.  I HATE visiting their homepage if I’m not logged in.  Kind of like Youtube, it’s full of perverse ads until you are logged in and it knows your personal settings.  (even still with the personal settings there’s trouble brewing).  So if/when I go in I go straight to my own channel, post my own stuff, answer questions from people that send me notes and then I’m out of there again. #4 More link building. Visit other websites and make comments on their website articles pertaining to art, when you make a comment it usually gives you the opportunity to add your website address. This link will go with your name when your comment is published. This is VERY helpful for search engines as they see your website being promoted on other websites (which is the idea of #2 and #3) #5 put together some wonderful photos and make some Youtube videos with them. Youtube has this tool where you just load the images and choose some free songs they provide and wa’la you have a slideshow video of your artwork! Be sure to put your website information in the description and use awesome key words in the title…. keywords that relate to your kind of artwork/photography, skills and tools. Consider making a bunch of videos that feature different feelings or topics, or whatever… just the more the merrier. Ok, that’s the first stuff that comes to my mind. That should keep you rather busy as well! heh! Oh! And if you have a blog – if it’s WordPress there is a tool called Publicize which is linked to the Jetpack plugin.  It can post your newest blog on your facebook fan page automatically for you. It also posts to twitter, pin and Google+ if you have those accounts as well. The more automatic posts, the less you have to do yourself. Woot, woot! I’m sure I can think of…

  • Good pictures are equally important for selling products online as is the website itself, dare I say even more important. Don’t let the product photos you have rob the product and make them look cheap.  By adding special effects to your images you can actually make your product look cheap and less appealing, especially photos with distracting borders and clip art around them. The best thing you could do is take clean and clear pictures of your products and do not add all kinds of “special effects around them”. When you take pictures try to use the same background colors and similar complimentary displays (eg. Flowers or leaves for an accent).  Flowers, leaves and other pretty yet simple things can really help as well.  Just be sure they are similar, that they do not distract but rather compliment the item you are trying to sell.  Such as an orange sitting next to a jar of orange facial cream – as seen in the featured image (photo credit: SMMCosmetics.com). Having a lot of different backgrounds and colors behind your product can make your store look cluttered/messy.  This will cause a person to not want to hang around much longer resulting in a dramatic loss of product sells and page hits. I strongly suggest using a pure white background (or very light gray) if you can get one.  Black backgrounds can look really classy as well but I think white is by far the easiest to work with and shows off your products very well. Some huge roll out paper or boards might work, even the ones they have at Wal-mart can be used above and below the product, especially if you can not afford to have your product pictures taken professionally.  However, never use wrinkled paper or wrinkled sheets as your background. Wrinkled sheets are very obvious, obnoxious and distracting. I’ve seen many sellers try to use wrinkled sheets, even I did this unknowingly when I first started to sell products online. But again it is very obvious, very distracting and kills a lot of the class a product has to offer the buyer. Let your beautiful products sell themselves. Also, showcase your product images one at a time, collages are great for the family wall and for a website homepage, but can be overwhelming or annoying when it comes to a product page.  Keep things simple and clean, and again, let your products sell themselves. Large clear photos of the products with a very minimal background will help you sell your products and make it more likely for you to get the price you are hoping for.

  • I’m always looking to give my customers the best quote possible so knowing what work is involved really makes a difference! Here are some quick questions I commonly ask new clients before I provide them a project quote: What service/s are you considering hiring me for? popular answers: eBay store design eBay auction template website design labeling, CD/DVD or packaging design Facebook cover design other (please be specific) How would you like your design to look? What kind of products do you sell or plan to sell / if any? How many pages are you interested in having me custom design for you? page examples could be homepage about us auction template faqs front or back cover for a flyer brochure pages (how many) other (please be specific) Are there any special features or functions you would like it to have? Is there a design or a website page that you admire, or some things about it you like a lot?  If so, please send me a link so I can get an idea of what kind of look of functionality you are interested in having.   For print marketing inquiries I also ask these important questions: Is there a specific size or file type (such as psd, pdf, eps, ai, other) you need the design to be in? Do you have a template outline for me to use that your printing company has provided you?     So now you know what I’ll probably ask you…  

  • Designs I do not work on: Adult content or sexy designs (ie. lingerie shops and sexy fashion clothing lines), Nude art, and Occult oriented. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions concerning this.

  • The time it takes to finish a project varies from project to project and person to person. If our communication is very good and I’m able to get the look you want a reasonable time frame will be as such: For flash package projects It normally takes me 3-4 weeks, possibly longer. Non Flash projects normally 2-3 weeks. I will try to have a sample to show you within the first week if at all possible. There are some instances that I may be delayed but I will be in constant communication with you so you are reassured I’m still “on the job”. My passion is to provide you quality before speed but be assured, if you take a look at my extensive feedback history, I’m not the type of person that likes to have my customers waiting on me at all. If time is of the essence please email me and ask if there will be any delays and what time-frame you can expect to have your project completed, as again it all depends from project to project and person to person. Thank you!

  • I accept Paypal, Postal Money Orders, Business Checks (although I will wait until it clears before starting any work). Cash is accepted from local Oklahoma residents and in some cases I accept trade/bartering for the full or partial amount due. Don’t hesitate to email me if you’d be interested in a full or partial trade!

  • Yes, but please bear in mind that the project will not be completed until after the final payment has been made. I do not take remaining payments after the project is completed, but rather before or during the designing process. If you are on a budget and need to time it out accordingly, just let me know, I’m pretty flexible. Please email me to make payment arrangements if needed.

  • You will have 100% ownership of any design I create for you. Other than showing your design in my portfolio and as examples of my work, I will not use nor sell your design to another person, ever. However, if your design has royalty free photo’s used within the design you may have certain usage limitations on those specific photo’s. For instance, iStockPhoto’s does not allow their photos to be used as a persons personal logo without permission of it’s original designer; as it brings into question who has true ownership to the design, the maker of the logo, or the person purchasing it. However, great news, if I have designed an image myself for you that is included in your design, you automatically have my permission to use it where ever and however many times you wish! I do require that all of my designs (ebay store, auction template, website and web stores) have a Made To Be Unique branding logo tastefully placed at the bottom of the page at all times, unless stated and upon mutual agreement. PLEASE NOTE:  My custom designs are also meant to be Unique, meaning, not to be shown under more than one business or personal name. By bidding on my services you agree not to resale your design for personal gain (unless upon mutual agreement).

  • Yes, I would be happy to, but I’ll be honest with you, I have no idea what’s in my future and if God plans to take me home someday soon… Neither does any other web designing company, so if you want to be assured that you’ll have your designs tomorrow and the next day and the next, without fear of me falling off the face of this earth, then I strongly suggest you host your own images and pages. But again, I would be happy to if you would like me to, as it saves me a LOT of extra work. Be warned, this is most likely the reason why you see other web designers boasting that they’ll HOST for free (it’s so much easier that way).

  • The best encouragement I have to offer you is my 11+ years of unalterable eBay feedback. I have been a seller since 2000, so there’s a lot of feedback there that speaks for my service, my speed, my designing capabilities and most importantly, my integrity! Please note that while I still sell on ebay from time to time it has become rare, so while the feedback there does reach back as far as 2000, there may not be many current feedbacks added. This is only because I am no longer dependent on eBay for my income, I’ve been able to pull away from ebay and do well w/out it… So I only list on ebay when I realllly want to. A pleasant goal most business owners might consider seeking to achieve themselves. You are also welcome to visit my Testimonials page to read years worth of client testimonials. And feel free to even contact any of them for a personal a reference.

  • I have no problem waiting to begin your design if you need a little time to plan out any specific needs. Hiring me now might save you money in the long run as I might give myself a raise later on. My objective is like most everyone’s; work less and get paid more. I would love to spend more time with my children regardless of my love and addiction for design!

  • Q: Can I link my facebook likes to the website? I have seen the feature when people like the facebook page it refelects like a counter on the website. A:  I believe this is what you’re wanting https://developers.facebook.com/docs/plugins/like-box-for-pages/ Personally I don’t think the count (number of fans) should show until there’s a number worth boasting about.  What I recommend having in the meantime is social buttons on your site in the footer. If you have Sommerce Template for WordPress you can find some neat social button codes here: http://demo.yithemes.com/sommerce/shortcode/media-widgets/ The social media options are near the bottom.  It shows you a list of the options you can link to… eg facebook, rss, twitter, youtube, etc. enjoy!

  • Ok here’s what looks like a great facebook to WordPress integration application. http://www.rssgraffiti.com I found that the one in jetpack called publicize doesn’t seem to work the way I want it to, at least not for me but this one is really impressing me! The problem I was having with publicize is that it would publicize my wordpress blog posts to my own personal profile page.  I don’t want my business blog posts to go on my personal profile page, all that business, blogging, CSS, ebay, HTML and tutorials would scare all my friends away!  lol… but I do want those posts available on my business fan page for those who are already interested in those topics.  And this is how I ran into this RSS Graffiti facebook application. It’ll take any rss feed you want and post updates to your facebook fan page for free.  They have additional services available for a fee, but it doesn’t look like it’s needed for “small scale” posting. There are so many sites with rss feeds, don’t just stop with your blog rss.  If you sell on ebay I bet there’s an rss feed for your ebay store products as well! Give it a try!

  • Anyone that knows me knows that I LOVE pictures…  Well, if they didn’t know that, they should, because I do!  I have a fetish for good stock photo images.   There are some nice freebie stock images you can find on the internet if you browse long enough, but I personally enjoy using professional stock photo images most of all. A good stock photo image can make any website designer or illustrator look good!  even an OK designer can look great if they have a great stock photo image to work with!  I learned this in the beginning of my web designing career, lol.  So yes, I LOVE professional stock photo images. This past weekend one of my clients shared a deal with me that one of his friends shared with him.  It was for 150 professional stock photo images from Depositphotos for only $49.  My mouth nearly hit the floor with disbelief when I saw the deal.  You see stock photo images can be VERY pricey… They cost a lot, especially the best of the best!  And when you want more than one, well, be prepared to spend $60, $80, $100 and more for a SMALL yet good collection of stock photo images!  150 stock photo images for the price of $49 and you can get the largest size available is just incredible! I passed on the link to some of my other clients who were also very excited about the offer.  I hope they jump on it before this deal expires (whenever that is).  Here’s a link to the page if I’ve caught your attention as well. Depositphotos has other great stockphoto deals, so be sure to check them out if this offer happens to be over.  They have wonderful stock photo models, stock backgrounds, stock vectors, stock illustrations and more! I’ll be putting together some custom banner advertisements for my friend and client at smmcosmetics.com using one of the professional stock photo images at Depositphotos showing a beautiful model woman wearing makeup.  I plan to altar the color of her eye shadow to different eye shadow shades that will match my clients eye shadow collection.  This photo-manipulation will help my client advertise her different eye shadow shades.  I look forward to working on this project soon! Shortly after that I plan to put together some more wonderful articles on one of my own hobby websites (survivingtheoregontrail.com) which features educational information and products for home school families looking to live more healthy and organic lifestyles.  I found the most wonderful stock photo collections at Depositphotos. I was nearly jumping out of my seat when I saw them and opened them up. You’ve got to check these babies out!  See I KNOW I would be spending a LOT of money on just 1 of these photos even if they were sold separately.  But these stock photo collections have MANY items that I’m already interested in getting – all in one lump image.  I am such a winner today, yay me!  lol…  and you can be too!  When you look through their stock images, use the keyword “Collection” and see what wonderful collections you come up with.  Because I’m interested in herbs, plants and foods, this is the amazing collection of collections I came up with!  Check out my lightbox here. When you are looking through stock photo images be sure to set up a lightbox like I have done.  Having a lightbox enables you to save a bunch of your favorite images to one place so that you can later on find your favorites, or compare them to each other so…

  •   A very important part of the process of website and ebay store designs is choosing good stock photos.  If you want to have the best presentation for your products you absolutely need good pictures, pictures of your products and pictures to help compliment and sell your product! I use istockphoto stock images in nearly all of my client projects.  There are other stockphoto sites, but I’ve been real happy with istockphoto’s selection so I don’t browse much outside of it when it comes to my clients projects. When you sign-up with istockphoto (which that part is free btw)… consider creating a lightbox like I have done.  That way you can have a “file” of all your personal favorite models and images you would like to (or strongly consider) use throughout your website design.  Lightboxes are very helpful.  You can even break them up into categories such as Eyes Lips Face (great for foundation) Skincare Etc. Later on the files will be there and will save you a lot of time when you don’t have much of it and need something fast.  How to save a picture to a lightbox (if you’re not familiar with this part of it) Go to the picture you like Such as: http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-3710320-isolated-mineral-make-up-with-brush.php?st=e799ee6 Under the picture click “Save to Lightbox” This will give you the option to create a new lightbox or to use a current one. Later on when you want to check out your lightboxes at the bottom of the screen theres a gray bar and when you’re logged in at the far right corner of the bottom gray bar there will be a link that says “Lightboxes”.  This is where you can view your saved lightboxes. 

  • Question It appears that America have been on holiday since Thanksgiving.  I have a few questions you might be able to answer. Is Thanksgiving on the same date each year? What is Black Friday? It looks like I missed an opportunity for some sales. I’ve also seen the term Cyber Monday. What’s that?   Answer Yah our Thanksgiving Holidays are almost as treasured to Americans as Christmas and 4th of July.  It’s a big event.  Many people will get 2 paid vacation days off to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and family.  Same for Christmas (btw – we don’t celebrate Christmas ourselves, I’m just sharing matter of factly – but we do enjoy Thanksgiving!)  Black Friday is the main 1 day event where Americans forget who they are and put on a very animalistic nature for the sake of saving a few bucks.  The measures they do to observe this disturbing day is inhuman.  My husband read that this year 2 people were run over in a parking lot, people are knocking people over, bringing handguns to Wal-Marts, fist fighting, literally breaking doors down (LITERALLY) to get inside a store.  It is sickness.  And a great point was made that all the time people put into a LONG OVERNIGHT waiting line outside a store (ON THANKSGIVING EVENING till the next morning) that all that time they could have put in the same amount of extra work hours in at work and would have been able to get the same product they’re standing in line for. I was disgusted when I heard people were staying in line over night at a Toys-R-Us of all places…..  A Kids toy place!  I mean really… stay home with your kids on Thanksgiving, they’ll love you more for it than the toy you’d stand in line for hours just to save $20 or $50 bucks. It is sad and disgusting at the same time. As far as sells opportunity, sure its defiantly a time to throw out some sales pitches.  All holidays are advertising opportunities.  Black Friday is just another “reason” for the season – of shopping.  But it mostly pertains to retail chains.  There are many online businesses that will try to do a “pre-Black Friday” sale in order to get the peoples money BEFORE they spend it all on Black Friday at the retail chains.  This works to some degree.  But I think it’s a minor degree.  These people that rush in line at the stores and stay overnight there with their sleeping bags and what-not – also do it for the “experience” and thrill… and sheer stupidity.  (eh hem… as you can see I’m quite perturbed over this particular day, lol) It was pointed out just looking at the animalistic nature of these people rushing in and grabbing and fighting and hurting each other (OVER ELECTRONICS) how much worse would it be if our economy were to go through a meltdown / economic disaster.  The people are just uncontrolled… and how much worse would it be if it were not a Black Friday – but a depression or terrorist attack that made us have to fend for ourselves.  They’d be animals out there.. no humanity about them whatsoever. ARGh. Sorry… venting while answering your question. Heh. Ok, back to holiday sales. It’d be a good idea for you to get a list of American Holidays and popular events.  Any holiday or popular event is typically a advertising opportunity.  Companies will find whatever holiday or “reason” they can to throw a sales pitch… and it works.  Give a person a reason to shop, and…

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