My Advice: Unless you have web design experience, hire someone to do it for you if you can afford it. If you have to do it yourself, I DO NOT recommend that you use WordPress. I would suggest you use one of the more user-friendly template-based platforms such as Wix or Weebly. I wish I had. Also, if you want the basics of selling art art online presented in a clear and consise way, Cory Huff’s How to Sell Your Art Online is packed full of essential information.
2. Write blog posts. I try to do this at least once a week, but I’m not really sure if it’s a wise use of the considerable chunks of time it takes up. As you can see if you look at the image and quote above, which purposely do NOT go together, there is a very wide discrepancy where this is concerned. There are any number of articles out there that claim to hold the secrets to making a fortune with your blog, and just as many saying it’s like spitting into the wind. I blog because I want to connect with people, and I work very hard to compile information that’s worth sharing. If I can save someone the trouble of researching SEO when I’ve already done it, I’m happy to do that. If they find their way from my blog to my shop, that’s a bonus.
3. Integrate a print-on-demand service into my ecommerce store. This was a complete fail. I was unable to find one that offered the products I wanted along with the ability to integrate with Woocommerce. There seem to be a few that are made to work with Shopify, but Woocommerce, not so much. I ended up using ArtPal, so I just linked my site to my print-on-demand gallery, at least for now.
Here is a good basic article about print-on-demand by Cory Huff of The Abundant Artist; you can also download a helpful POD service comparison chart. (By the way, I am not affiliated with, nor do I receive any money from Cory Huff or The Abundant Artist. But I think I should, don’t you?)
4. Organize my photos on the computer so I can find what I want when I want it. I’m trying. Really. But when? It’s not as high in the priority hierarchy as other things, so it tends to get little attention. However, I often waste time searching for a photo I want to use for a blog post. This aggravates me.
5. Re-size and re-name images for my website. The size I used for my old blog will not work for Woocommerce, and I learned that I was not labeling my images correctly for Search Engine Optimization. This took a LOT of time.
6. Learn correct Search Engine Optimization practices and implement them. This was a steep learning curve for me, and can be pretty complex, but I’m making progress. It’s something a lot of people ignore, as I did in the past. But it’s actually something you need to consider every time you write a blog post, add a new product to your store, or upload images. All I can say is, thank goodness for Yoast, a free SEO plugin designed for WordPress. It’s not the whole picture, but it’s a great start.
Online Media Masters’ article, SEO for Artists by Tom Dupuis, is the best comprehensive SEO guide specifically geared toward artists I have read.
The worst part of SEO, for me, is keyword research. Figuring out what focus keyword to use for each page takes a lot of time, as there are so many variables involved. I won’t go into that now, but if you need suggestions, just let me know.
Art Marketing That Doesn’t Suck by Christopher Kerry of Copic Marker Tutorials is a good place to start. He also has articles that go further into the many components of marketing, such as: sales funnels, finding your niche/ ideal customer, advertising, social media marketing, building an email list, and print-on-demand. There are lots more, but for now I’ll leave it at that.
9. edit the images with photoshop. I do both of these myself, to save money, though getting it done professionally would be better. I photograph outside, in open shade, so weather is a limiting factor. Now that I’m doing print-on-demand, it’s more important than ever to have clear, high-resolution images in the largest size possible.
10. Post new work on facebook, pinterest, twitter, and instagram to let people know about my blog post, which I’ve posted to let people know that I’ve posted it for sale on my website, and on ArtPal for print-on-demand.
12. Somehow figure out how to keep all my collage materials organized, and put stuff where it goes – ha! I actually have been working on this lately, and many things, like my feathers and plant materials, have been put safely into drawers. But I tend to frequently aquire new stuff, and of course, whenever I’m working on a piece of art, a big mess just seems to come out of nowhere…
14. Framing artwork. Having it done by a framer is incredibly expensive, so this is just not an option. I order my frames in sections, order the mats and plexiglass, and cut my own backing board and the mat board I mount the pieces on, and put it all together myself. What I hate about it is that inevitably, when you think you’re done, you have to take the whole thing apart because there’s a piece of fuzz or a dog hair in it. It’s maddening!
17. And much, much more… There are too many more tasks to mention, from little things like buying art supplies to spraying or varnishing the work to protect it. But there is one more major thing I forgot, and it’s…
18. Oh, yeah – making art! And I’m not joking, I really did almost leave that out!