April Issue 2001
Internet and Website Marketing
by Jean Bourque
Being "on the web" and having an
"email address" have become as expected as having a
phone number. With a few days practice even a confirmed computer
hater can learn the ins and outs of the Internet and be contacting
people and galleries all over the world. This paper (and other
art publications) will have gallery advertisements with website
addresses. Just type the website address in your browser and you
can see what art and artists they are showing.
The importance of having a website as an artist and especially as a gallery; cannot be overly emphasized. Many people say; art doesn't sell over the web; I can assure you it does. Your website is a marketing tool; one which opens doors you may not have been able to get into. It is your introductory marketing piece to show prospects without the risk of losing your hard copy portfolios. Anyone that has ever assembled and mailed a portfolio knows; it cost quite a bit to put together and you are not guaranteed you will ever see it again. Having a website can lead to shows and sales IF you market your website and let everyone know about its existence.
What kind of website should you get? You can get a website which is in your own domain name, like (www.jeanbourque.com). To get your own domain name go to (www.register.com). They will check name availability and will register your name for a fee. That name would then become your website URL. It tells the web where to find your site; like an address tells the post office where to deliver mail. Most art on the Internet is shown as a slide show, a bulletin board or a store with a shopping cart for purchase. Having your own domain name gives you more control over your site; but you either do it all yourself or hire a web designer. When you have created your website; you must upload it to a server to put it on the Internet. Most servers are set up with monthly billing and the charge will be based on how much space your site takes up on their server and how many "extras" you select to use. The individual art website must be heavily marketed.
Look at Art websites and find a site to show your art with. The advantage is the existing art websites usually get a lot more "hits" than an individual website would get. One such gallery; is GalleryNow. You send them your portfolio either by email or regular mail they decide if they want to add your art to their site and they select pieces they want to show. They host it on their server and take care of the marketing and their website ranks high with the search engines.
Galleries that you are currently showing in; will often times have a website where they will show work by their artists. If you do not know if your gallery has a website; just ask and find out how you can get your art added to it. I have one like this at (www.wardnasse.org/3b05p.htm). As you can see; my name is not mentioned; so it is a harder URL to remember; but it is great exposure if you remember to let everybody know. Often times you will have to make sure your page is in the search engines and do some marketing.
Most ISP's (Internet Service Providers) will give you a "free" webpage if you use their service; such as AOL. If you have a certain look in mind; or want to add lots of art to your site this is not a choice for you. Having a "free" one on AOL is like having an ad on a bulletin board in a ghost town; the odds of anyone seeing it is pretty unlikely. If no one can see it; no one can inquire and no one can buy. The free websites are the type of sites people try and tell everybody; "I had my art on the Internet and didn't sell anything!"
Having a website does not guarantee anyone will see or buy your art. Just being listed in the search engines is no guarantee either; but it is a start on marketing your website. You must market the website. If you are not the marketing type; hire someone that specializes in Internet marketing; or take a class. Now; you may be surprised; like I was; to find you are already on the Internet. Just for the fun of it; type your name in quotes and hit search. Last summer; I found my name in Carolina Arts Online, a NY Gallery Guide and in an Artist Directory in Frankfort, Germany. You never know what you might find on the web!
Jean Bourque is a Columbia, SC, based artist. Her next class Marketing for Artists will start on Apr. 10 and run on Tues. evenings for 6 weeks from 7-9pm at A Carolina Gallery on Bush River Road in Columbia, SC. She is available for Internet Marketing Consulting; contact her at (ARTSAILS1@aol.com) and say you saw her in Carolina Arts. Besides showing her abstract paintings at Ward Nasse in NYC and A Carolina Gallery; Bourque also shows art at Idylwild Gallery in W. Columbia and Nonnah's on Gervais in Columbia, SC.
Mailing Address: Carolina Arts, P.O. Drawer
427, Bonneau, SC 29431
Telephone, Answering Machine and FAX: 843/825-3408
Subscriptions are available for $18 a year.
is published monthly by Shoestring
Publishing Company, a subsidiary of PSMG, Inc.
Copyright© 2001 by PSMG, Inc., which published Charleston Arts from July 1987 - Dec. 1994 and South Carolina Arts from Jan. 1995 - Dec. 1996. It also publishes Carolina Arts Online, Copyright© 2001 by PSMG, Inc. All rights reserved by PSMG, Inc. or by the authors of articles. Reproduction or use without written permission is strictly prohibited. Carolina Arts is available throughout North & South Carolina.