View Full Version : is getting a website worth it?

Claudia in Alaska
02-27-2014, 07:07 PM
so I've been picked up by a couple galleries and am making my first (few, tentative) sales. I'm thinking about increasing my exposure by setting up a website.

Those of you who have a website: do you find that it significantly increases your chances of selling stuff? Or do most of your sales come from galleries?

I'm having feeble hopes and secret wet dreams that maybe in a few years or so I'll sell stuff steadily enough to have a bit of a supplemental income on the side. It would be nice after I retire (in about 15 years or so..). But yeah, I'm a realist, so I don't expect my art to ever support me completely.

02-27-2014, 08:32 PM
I believe it is, if only for 1 reason. It shows you are serious about what you are doing, which in turn, which cause people to respond the same. In this day and age, to not use the internet as part of your marketing campaign is shooting yourself in the foot. I'd also set up a facebook page, and make your work pinable for pinterest, as well as carry business cards.

For a website, Wix.com is great for artists. They have beautiful templates that can be easily customized, and a whole section just on templates for galleries of work. I only pay $14.99 a month for mine, and the software to create it is part of the deal. You do all the revisions right in a web browser.

Do you have business cards? Moo.com makes great cards for artists because you can pick a handful of your best work and have each card printed with a different painting, with your info on the back. I think you can choose up to 10 different paintings, and it's like having a mini gallery with you at all times.

Lastly, don't overlook linkedin.com, even for artists. About 80% of the traffic to my site has come from there.

While you start selling work directly on-line? That's hard to say. Will you increase your exposure? Absolutely. And I find it's incredible the number of times I hand out my cards during random conversations.

Congratulations on your recent successes, and keep that train moving!!!

02-27-2014, 08:33 PM
Also, have you applied to any associations? That is some great stuff to put on your website. My site is divided into the 3 aspects of art work I do, so it's not just fine art related. Here's a site of a friend of mine I think is wonderful as an idea of what to contain. I don't know what she created it on. Based on the professionalism, I'd say she paid someone to do it.


02-28-2014, 04:31 PM
I've never posted anything for sale online and I don't have a website. But lately I have been toying with the idea of listing some paintings on the Daily Paintworks site ---- http://www.dailypaintworks.com

Their presentation is good and they have good traffic. And it seems more focused than Etsy. The cost is thirteen dollars a month plus 3% of the winning bid when you sell.

A gallery there on Daily Paintworks PLUS a lively and interesting blog might be a way to dip your foot into the online sales realm without having your own website. If there's a stampede of buyers for your work, then you can switch to direct sales via your own site and save the 3% commission.

By the by, I think there's a whole section here in WC devoted to art marketing and I wouldn't be surprised if there is a lot there about artists' websites and how to make an outstanding one.

In the meantime, does anyone have any experience with Daily Paintworks that they'd like to share?


02-28-2014, 05:30 PM
I have experience, but not much. I just joined almost three weeks ago on the advice of a couple other artists who say they have done well. I haven't sold anything and my paintings get few views but this stuff takes time. There are quite a few well known artists on there so there must be something to it.

BTW, the 3% commission is only on auction sales, if you list the piece with just a "Buy it now" price there is no commission.


Claudia in Alaska
03-03-2014, 02:05 AM
thanks all; I'll check these out!

03-03-2014, 10:25 AM
I think it is worth it. Even if it does not generate many sales it does show that you are a serious artist and not just a hobbyist. It's also a place where previuos buyers can check out other works that are available. I have not generated a lot of sales from mine but I have also received offers to give demonstrations and lessons. Check out ipage.com. they are very inexpensive and have a weebly drop and drag site builder which is very easy to use.

03-03-2014, 11:35 AM
I believe the reason most people do not see many sales directly from their website is the website does not make it easy enough for a person to buy. The problem with these cheap or free templates is they usually do not include ecommerce functions. If the viewer cannot click on a button and be immediately taken to a page where they can "check out" the item and pay for it, it's far less likely they will bother. I'm especially baffled by artist websites that don't even have the price posted yet have a link to contact the artist if interested. Do they want to sell from their website or not? To me that's a mixed message and most potential customers will just move on.

Bottom line, if you want to sell from your website invest in the kind of website that makes it easy for the potential buyer to buy your art. If all you want is an online portfolio any template/host will do, (and if you don't have ecommerce built into your website then it is essentially just a portfolio). This is why I decided to start with Daily Paintworks, it's very easy for customers to buy from your gallery there and it's easy for me to put buy links in my blog that will take a buyer directly to the item details for that painting inside my DPW gallery and allow them to buy the painting from there. In fact, that reminds me, I need to go back to old posts in my blog and add buy links. A full website is a ways down the road for me, but when I do get one you can bet it will have full ecommerce functions.


03-03-2014, 02:53 PM
. . . . This is why I decided to start with Daily Paintworks, it's very easy for customers to buy from your gallery there and it's easy for me to put buy links in my blog that will take a buyer directly to the item details for that painting inside my DPW gallery and allow them to buy the painting from there . . . .
David, you are exactly spot on with those earlier observations on how sometimes the artist is making it more difficult to buy instead of easier. (That coyness about posting prices -- what's that all about anyway? :rolleyes: )

Anyway, you make a good case for Daily Paintworks PLUS a healthy active interesting blog as a good way to get started. You've convinced me!


03-04-2014, 10:55 PM
Getting a website is great for building your brand but at the end of the day it is really hard to be found unless the visitor already knows your name.

If you are looking to reach a new market, you are far better to go with a site that already has a lot of traffic and where buyers are likely to be browsing for original art for sale.

If you have buyers already then a web site just makes it easier for them to deal with you.

The online galleries will always draw more visitors as their sites generally have more paintings and are better optimized for the search engines. Google, for example, will put more weighting on the number of pages (e.g. paintings), blog articles, inbound links etc. A site like dailypaintworks will always outshine you in this respect.

If you don't want to go with something like dailypaintworks or fineartamerica, then find a gallery with a web presence to represent you. I am represented by a local gallery that specializes in art British Columbia artists.

03-04-2014, 11:44 PM
Getting a website is great for building your brand but at the end of the day it is really hard to be found unless the visitor already knows your name.

I disagree. If you do the SEO right a website can actually work better than FAA or DPW. I don't know why but I've never seen a DPW gallery come up in a Google search. FAA pages will come up in a Google search but only as a page of search results for the whole site, not to any particular artist's page, at least that's been my experience. However, just naming my images on my blog right they sometimes come up on a Google image search. Don't assume that everyone that is interested in buying art only looks at art gallery websites, I guarantee many of them are doing Google searches to look for art, I know of several artists that have done well selling over their website just by collectors finding their art via a web search.


03-05-2014, 12:42 AM
I just attended an art seminar this last weekend. Two guest speakers were gallery owners and curator of museum. If you want to be taken serious as artist they all say emphatically that website is a must. Its just the way it is today, and todays technology.

Not so much about artists making direct sales (from their prospective) but more about seeing artist work, their bio, are they producing enough work, how to contact them, etc.

Im in same stage as Claudia in Alaska, and use blog, which has worked great as a portfolio for people to view my work. I am seriously considering using what David does, Daily Paintworks, in conjuction with blog

Posting prices on blog wasn't good idea according to speakers at seminar. If you are represented by gallery, you better charge same as gallery, definetly not lower price, or you are not a good business partner with them, as they are providing marketing, advertising for you. Smaller pieces, studies, prints, was different, not so much a big deal with those type of works.

Marc Hanson blog is example of what I want to do in near future, before I invest in actual website http://marchanson.blogspot.com/ Just like David's, by the way!

03-05-2014, 01:26 AM
Marc Hanson has a website too though;


He doesn't make it easy to buy from his website, but it's obvious his focus is on gallery representation and putting on workshops. I think he only sells his plein air studies on DPW.

Unless your goal is gallery representation I'd be careful about listening to website/blog advice from gallery owners. I don't know why they would say not to put prices on your blog, quite a few successful artists do, pastelist Karen Margulis (http://kemstudios.blogspot.com/)for example.

Bottom line is there are as many ways to develop an art career as there are artists. I've found when studying art business advice there is all kinds of conflicting information out there, and even many of the generally accepted "rules" are often violated by successful artists, (though "do not undercut your gallery" is one that definitely shouldn't be violated if you want to have a successful gallery career!). All you can do is consider all the advice and then do what feels right for you.

That's why I've chosen my route, since I work full time and have no external support I needed something relatively simple and easy to get started. Whether it will work or not I really don't know, I do know it's worked for some others so that's enough reason to try.


03-06-2014, 08:21 PM
To clarify and sum up what I've learned from gallery owners, show curators, museum curators, other artists, etc. the past couple years:

a. Absolutely yes, have a website or blog, with address on business card, that you can easily hand out to people
b. Keep it professional looking and up to date
c. Have it so people can "get to know you", for example "about me" page, which can include recent shows entered, awards received
d. Have it so people can know how to contact you
e. Have an artist statement of some sort
f. Make sure any links in website still work
g. Easy to navigate
h. Have good quality images of your work posted, no fuzzies

To me as a business owner, (non-art, day job), this all makes sense to me

David, I think your blog is a great example.