For the past 6 weeks I’ve been exploring various mediums of art and types of photography. During this time I’ve run into a myriad of problems finding pieces to feature, or information about art or the artist. This series post is going to list some helpful hints for those wanting to sell online. Some of these hints seem to be a “well duh” hint. But it’s surprising how many people don’t do these simple things.
You’re Only As Strong As Your Weakest Link!
Links… such a simply thing, but frequently overlooked. For every website you sell from, your blog, your Flickr page, etc., you need to have links to and from your other sites. I too am guilty of not having all my links current (slap my hand). Granted, some on-line stores will frown upon you linking to another store. But you should have a central site, like a blog, that you can link to (blogs are another great selling tool, more on that later).
Links not only help potential customers find your on-line shop, but improve that ever-important Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If you don’t know about SEO, you can read up on it here. But in basic terms, it helps your visibility on the web and more specifically on search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.
Another way of thinking of links is… FREE ADVERTISING. I frequently post my knitted items on Flickr and Ravelry. But, if I don’t have a link back to my stores, then I could be missing out on potential sales.
When I’m looking for art to feature or even buy, I don’t stick to the obvious choices (i.e. Etsy, Artfire, Red Bubble), I also search Flickr, Smug Mug, blogs, etc. All of these are a great source for finding art. But, only if there are associated links or artist names associated with the photo or profile.
If you don’t want to mix your family photos with your creations, with links, contact names, etc. Then set up a business site and a personal site. No need to feel like your going too public with your home life, just separate them.
Make it easy for people to contact you about your work. Don’t make them dig. In general, the attention span of a person on the internet is very small. Don’t make them frustrated trying to find you or a way to contact you.
Links back to your various venues are especially important if you don’t sell under your own name. While I sell my artwork under my name, I sell my t-shirt designs under Wry Toast and my knitting under Wry Knot. Without links or a central site (my blog) it could be very difficult to find out about my various enterprises.
Along with making sure you have links, make sure your links are accurate. We all hate that 404 message… Keep a list of all the places your links appear, and keep them up to date.