by Guest Blogger, Katie Brenneman - An online portfolio is an artist’s bread and butter in this digital age. Maybe you’ve already put a lot of time and effort into building a beautiful portfolio or website showcasing your work.

However, it’s not exactly effective if no one is looking at it.

Unfortunately, you’re facing an uphill battle. Search engine algorithms will automatically skew toward more established artists. So, it’s time to step into the world of branding and marketing.

Thankfully, you don’t have to have a lot of experience in the advertising industry to make your portfolio stand out. Let’s cover a few quick tips on how you can boost your portfolio’s presence and get your work the attention it deserves.

Familiarize Yourself With SEO

If you already have an online portfolio, one of the easiest ways to get more visitors is to master the basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). You’ve likely heard of keyword searches and how important they are to getting noticed. However, there are also things you can do to optimize your site internally, including

  • Including a site map
  • Optimizing visual content
  • Easy navigation
  • Fixing broken links
  • Updating content regularly

By making your portfolio a priority, you’ll naturally boost SEO. But, if you’re still struggling to attract visitors, take the time to learn the basics when it comes to keywords and what people are searching for, and you’ll see an even bigger boost in your digital audience.

Utilize Social Media

Even if you’re not a marketing pro, almost everyone is familiar with at least one social media platform. Use that to your advantage to market your portfolio.

For example, Instagram is an ideal platform for sharing photos and artwork. It’s a great place to share pieces of your work and inspire people to head to your website or portfolio for more. It’s easy to use, but make sure you’re always optimizing your photos and sharing the right sizes, or they could end up looking blurry and unprofessional.

You can also use Instagram and other social media platforms to connect with potential fans and followers. It’s a great way to spark conversation and boost word-of-mouth interest in your portfolio.

Don’t Ditch Traditional Portfolios

While it’s true that everything seems digital these days and you should absolutely have an online portfolio, there’s still something to be said for print media. People still like tangible things, and something as simple as a flyer with a QR code that leads back to your portfolio can be impactful and interesting. Consider leaving flyers or brochures in places like

  • Coffee shops
  • Art galleries
  • Libraries
  • Book stores

You can also choose to work with an existing publication that caters to art lovers or even other artists. Doing so will help you hone in on your target audience and can bring your brand and portfolio to life in a way that digital can’t always capture.

Whether you’re a budding artist trying to get your name out there or you’ve enjoyed a long career but need a marketing boost, use these ideas to boost the presence of your online portfolio, and engage with those who want to support you and your work.

Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, mental health, education, and fitness-related content. When she isn't writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter.

As an artist, you want people to see your work. After all, the more people get to appreciate your art, the more you can advance your career as an artist and ideally sell more art. One way to do this is by marketing yourself online, either on your own or with someone’s help. Read on to find out the top 10 marketing tips and trends you can use to increase your art website traffic.

#1 Master SEO Basics

Start by learning all the SEO basics. You need to know how to perform keyword research and how to use these keywords in your content. Learn about on-site optimization to further improve your website (e.g. proper navigation, creating a sitemap, etc.)

#2 Optimize Visual Content

Pay special attention to all the visual content you publish because it is crucial for you as an artist. Your images and videos need to be of high quality, but you should also add all the right details to them for SEO (e.g. alt tags for images, descriptions and keywords for videos). Don’t forget to add social sharing buttons to let your audience share your artwork elsewhere.

#3 Start Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is one of the best ways to get more backlinks to your website. If you don’t have time to do it yourself, there are professional writing services you can reach out to for assistance. When you publish your content on someone else’s website or blog, you can include a link to your own site which will guide their audience to you.

#4 Develop Your Link Profile

In addition to getting more backlinks, you should also develop your link profile by using both external and internal links in your website content. Internal links will help you keep users on your website longer while external links (especially to the sources of the facts or statistics you used) will help you look more reputable in the eyes of your audience.

#5 Utilize Social Media

Social media is essential for marketing you and your art. Create your profiles on different social media platforms and regularly remind your followers about your website. Don’t forget to use social media marketing techniques to successfully promote your content on those platforms (e.g. hashtags, tagging, locations, commenting, live streaming).

#6 Promote Word-of-Mouth

Word-of-mouth can easily spread the word about you, but instead of waiting for someone to start talking about you, you can promote word-of-mouth yourself. Reach out to your fans, followers and collectors of your work and ask them to provide a review or testimonial of your work. Then, you can post these on your website and share on your social platforms to get people interested in your art.

#7 Connect with Other Artists

Instead of relying solely on your own efforts and being a lone wolf, it’s a good idea to reach out to other artists like yourself and promote each other. You can partner with other artists to create unique art, host giveaways, and promote each other in different ways. Having these connections will also play a role in helping you advance your career.

#8 Engage with Your Audience

Engagement is important not just for your metrics but also for connecting with your fans. Encourage discussions in the comment section on your website and social media profiles, reply to comments, and so on. All of this shows that you are a friendly person who is happy to engage and connect with their audience.

#9 Make A Posting Schedule

To stay consistent, you will need to create a posting schedule for all the content you publish on your website or social media profiles. This way, you will always have a steady stream of content for your audience to discover and consume.

#10 Measure Performance and Improve

Last but not least, don’t forget to measure the performance of your web content and your website itself to improve your future digital marketing activities. Your updated strategy needs to have the necessary changes that will improve your metrics. Take into account everything – traffic, average session time, conversion rate, comments, social shares, and so on.

Wrapping Up

There are quite a few ways you can successfully reach a wider audience, but the most important thing is to be consistent with your marketing activities. Use the tactics in this article to help you generate more traffic on your website and find new fans and, ideally, buyers of your art.

Anna Medina is a specialist in different types of writing. She graduated from the Interpreters Department, but creative writing became her favorite type of work. Now she improves her skills while working for the writing services review websites like Best Writers Online with content of any type, but, mainly, assisting students all over the world.

10 FREE ART DIRECTORIES TO DRIVE TRAFFIC TO YOUR ART WEBSITEIf you are unhappy with the number of visitors to your art website, here are some free online directories you should immediately have your art website listed on. Today, being listed with online directories is a necessity for any artist, who would like to drive more traffic to their art website and to grow their art business.

Online directory listings not only spread the word about you and your art through increased publicity, but they also help search engines find your listing. In addition, the listing creates a link back to your art website, which helps with your page rank too. These benefits result in more website traffic and potentially more exposure and art sales.

Below are 10 free business directories on which your business listing and art website should be listed;

1. Bing Local

2. Citysearch.com

3. DMOZ.org

4. Google Places

5. Insiderpages.com

6. Local.com

7. Merchantcircle.com

8. Superpages.com

9. Yahoo Local

10. Yelp.com

Additional benefits of having your art website and business listed on as many directories as possible are;

1.   Free publicity for you and your art.

2.  Being listed in directories helps to gain and surpass the competition in your art niche.

3.  Directory information is easy to edit as events and your art business changes.

4.  Listings bring free targeted traffic to your website.

There are literally hundreds of free business directories in which to get your art listed.  Type “Free Business Directory” in the search feature of Google and start registering your art business.  To make the listing effective, complete the entire listing.  The contact data is the most important. Always have a profile picture or profile logo to help your listing stand out. Good luck! 

 

IS YOUR ART OPTIMIZED FOR IMAGE SEARCH?We have all done it. In our rush to post our art to our art websites, we upload the image of our art without optimizing that image, in order to help search engines to find and index that art. Why is this important to an artist? If you want to attract more visitors to your art website, it is essential that your art images be optimized for any of the most important search engines such as Google, Bing, and AOL.

How can an artist optimize their images for search engines? First, an artist should always label their image file names with a keyword rich title. Let us assume that we love to paint different trees. Our website contains images of trees and we want the world to discover our website and our paintings of trees. How can we upload and label our image files properly in order to be found by the search engines? An image file name should be as descriptive of the image as possible. A file name of DSC_00254 will be ignored when indexed but the file name Watercolor-Florida-Palm-Tree will be indexed, as it contains descriptive searchable keywords.

In addition to the file name being searchable, all images should also have searchable titles. A searchable title would contain a short description and incorporate using keywords in the title. An example would be Oak-Tree-Leaves, rather than Tree-DSC_00254.

Any uploaded images should also contain a description of the image or what is known as “Alt Attribute” or “Alt Text”. Since a search engine cannot “see” an image they need a reference device which describes to them exactly what the image is. This is known as an Alt Text or Alt Attribute and it provides to the search engines with important information when they crawl your website and index that image. Therefore, an Alt Attribute should be crafted with care, be brief and contain a keyword rich title and description of the image. For example, an alt attribute of Tree is better than DSC_00254. An alt attribute of Maple-Tree is better than Tree. An alt attribute of Old-Maple-Tree is better than Maple-Tree.

Other things that you should be aware of and which will enhance your chances of having your image indexed, is that any of the text on the page that the image appears should be related to that image. It is extremely helpful if the text also has some of the same keywords that the image title and image description contains. Any links on that page should also be related in some form to the image as well.

Finally, if possible, if the actual image contains a link to another page related to that image then the rank for that image will be much higher than a non-linked image.

Try the above suggestions and when taken together and incorporated when posting images to your art website, the chances of your art being discovered increases dramatically. Also, if images that are already posted on your website are not described, named and titled properly, go back and take some time to bring your images up to date. By accomplishing this, you are doing one more thing that most artists are not doing when it comes to marketing their art and increasing the number of visitors to their website.

 

If you are not familiar with or have not used Google Alerts to find art opportunities, this article can be a very important new tool for you to use on a regular basis. Google Alerts will help you monitor very specific sections and segments in your area of expertise or it can be a great research tool for areas and subjects that you would like to be involved with in the future.

Google Alerts will monitor all, or separately the following areas of the Internet; news, blogs, video and discussion groups and/or there is an “everything” tab which includes all of them. The alert is based on your query, term or subject and the results can be provided to you as it happens, once a day or once a week. The alerts can be received in an email or in an RSS Feed. To benefit from this, you need to have a Google account (it is a free account).

Here are 6 ways to use Google Alerts to help find new art opportunities and to push your art career to the next level:

1.   Content Monitoring

Google Alerts provides an artist with a way in which they can monitor their article content once it has been published on the Internet. This monitoring can be employed in order to see if anyone is using their article content elsewhere. Possibly it is being used somewhere else on the Internet and the artist is not being given the proper credit for the article or the links back to the artist have been disabled in this content. The way in which this is done is to put into the alert section a sentence of the article and Google will match that sentence or parts of that sentence and provide the link to you. Google Alerts provides an excellent way in which to oversee and monitor the artist’s written works.

2.   Monitor Who Is Linking to Your Website & Blog

By placing your domain name in Google Alerts query (example: www.yoursitename.com) anytime someone were to link their site to your website you would receive an alert. Why have they done this? Find out and do some research, as they may have clients/customers that you would also like to have too. It is time to find out what everyone is doing out there, don’t you think?

In addition, there may be linking opportunities for you to link your website in order to help your page rank.

3.   Keyword for Research in your Art Niche

With Google Alerts the artist can monitor several keywords that are used for and about their art or for their art business. The keyword alerts will provide to the artist with interesting links to what other artists and related professionals are doing. In addition, the alerts will also provide the artist with ideas and hints for other keywords, subjects and related topics that could enhance the marketing and selling of their art too as well.

4.   Monitor Art News and Opportunities in your Art Niche

As an artist who specializes in a specific art form and who are looking for opportunities, Google Alerts is a great tool to use. Assume you are a photographer and you are looking for art galleries and photography competitions where your photography may fit. For example, the artist could set up Google Alerts for “photography art galleries”, “photography competitions”, “photography exhibitions”, or “photography gallery opportunities”. These search terms and phrases can all be further refined to geographic areas if required.

An artist, depending on what they are after, will need to try different terms and experiment with different phrases and queries in order to make this process effective. This process is no different than an artist refining keywords for a website or for a PPC campaign. See what works or does not work and further refine as you go along.

5.   Target Keywords to Find Customers

I have a friend who has always been interested in art for hospitals, art therapy, healing art and evidence-based art. She set up several Google Alerts for art in hospitals and for art therapy programs. Every day she receives alerts that provide her with ideas, information, news, and opportunities in her specialty of hospital art.

6.   Reputation Management

By placing your name or company name, and even with misspellings, the artist is able to monitor what is known as “reputation management”. This would provide the artist with alerts whenever that name showed up or was used on the Internet (good and bad). If something was being said about the artist in any group or forum, then the artist could take the appropriate steps to combat this because of this alert. Google Alerts are almost “real time”, depending on how this feature is set in terms of notifications.

What is your area of interest in art? Where are your opportunities to sell your art? Where are your prospects and potential customers? Try Google Alerts to beat your competition, discover new opportunities and to find trends in your art niche.

Stay ahead of the curve in your art niche by using Google Alerts. http://www.google.com/alerts

 

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