5 things every artist needs on their website
It’s no secret that building an online presence is an excellent way to launch or grow your career as an artist, maker or designer. I love exploring the endless streams of creative websites I come across online!
Having said that, I’ve noticed something starting. I see so many wonderfully talented artists who create websites that are just a bit “blah”. Worse than that, I see so many artists who forget to include the absolute basics!
So let’s drive straight into those five things that every artist should have on their website - including YOU!
1 - Examples of your beautiful work
You have beautiful work to share with the world and your website is your time to shine. Show samples of your art on your home page for sure, but set up a gallery page to showcase your different art mediums, projects, commissions, etc.
Setting up an archive of blog posts, organized by topics, is another great way to showcase your work for your website visitors. Opt for high-quality photos or scans.
2 - A clear way to buy from you
Add a link to your shop in your main navigation, right at the top of your website. Even if this is just a link to your Etsy shop, include it.
The spot on the far right of your menu bar is prime, so if you want to move visitors to your shop, add your shop link as the last one.
You don’t want to make people work to buy a piece of art or sign up for one of your classes.
3 - An opportunity to join your mailing list
Setting up a mailing list is one of the most impactful things you can do for your creative business. You might be thinking, “I already have a decent social media following, I don’t need to add those people to an email list,” but you’d be wrong.
Social media platforms are constantly changing - updates to the Facebook algorithm, for example, mean that fewer and fewer people are seeing posts and then sometimes platforms close down completely. Remember Vine? (No? That’s kind of my point!) When a whole platform shuts down, you lose that entire list of contacts, but if you’ve got them on a mailing list, they’re yours to keep.
You also control what they receive from you. Having a mailing list is your opportunity to reach out to people who have already said they “want” to hear from you. Take the time to send them information about you, your story, your art and any other topics that you want to share with them. Build a relationship with your list and treat them extra special.
Learn to create your own website…Maker’s Tech U doors open to new members on 9/26.
4 - A clear way to contact you
I love that the internet allows you to reach so many people; gone are the days when artists were simply a name on a little white card in a gallery. Now we can really connect. People can get in touch to share ideas and love notes; they can request commissions; they can approach us about exciting collaborations or teaching opportunities… but only if they can figure out how to contact you.
Make sure you have a way for website visitors to contact you. Do not make them hunt for it because they will likely just get frustrated.
Some years ago, I wanted to extend an invitation to a fellow artist for a collaboration. I went to her website to get her email so I could send her a message. I searched all over her site and could not find a way to reach her. You don’t want to miss out on opportunities, so I can’t stress enough how important it is to include a link to contact you in your main navigation and footer of your website.
5 - Content that shows your story and your process
It’s not quite enough to have a website that shows off your portfolio, your online shop and your email address. You also need a little bit of something extra if you want to stand out from all the other artists out there. People love seeing “behind the scenes” of a creative life, they love seeing what you’re doing and how you do it. Think about how you can share that, whether it’s through blog posts or short videos.
Your About Me page is the most visited on your website so make the most of it. Be sure to include a photo of yourself and share your story in your bio. It is best to write it in the first person, including fun and relatable information about you. Think about including fun facts, testimonials, publications, etc.
See how simple it is to tweak your website so that you can start getting the results you’re looking for? Go forth and create!
Have a blessed day!