A moment’s silence, please. My dearly beloved laptop which has faithfully served me for over ten years has passed away. Suffering from a terminal condition involving its power socket, on Tuesday it shuffled off to silicone heaven where mother boards walk hand in hand with father boards into the sunset. Or as the chap in the computer shop said ‘It ain’t worth repairing, mate!’ (or words to that effect, anyway). But my new one should be arriving tomorrow! Yeah! (How fickle I am, I know!)
I wasn’t sure what to call this post as it covers a number of discoveries I’ve made over the last few days which other artists may find useful. Firstly I followed a link to Lori McNee’s excellent site www.finearttips.com. Lori states on her home page that the blog provides “fine art tips, marketing and social media advice for the aspiring and professional artist”. I particularly liked one post called ‘3 Big Mistakes Artists Make With Their WordPress Websites‘. The mistakes are:
1) Choosing a WordPress theme that competes with your art. (KISS it! Keep it simple!)
2) A lack of substance in the content. (You must have text on your home page and image portfolios. People want to know who you are, how you do what you do and why.)
3) NOT resizing and optimization images for your website. (If your image takes 30 seconds to load most people will have left your site by the time it finally shows up.)
Read the post for a fuller explanation of the mistakes. Sadly (for Lori), she has a post about her experiences of having her WordPress blog hacked. Also worth reading. In fact, in my opinion, to quote a well know wood preservative, Lori’s blog ‘does what it says on the tin’.
Secondly I discovered a couple of links on twitter via @eventbrite. The first was to a post at ragan.com about the importance of retweets. “Retweets lead to increased exposure for your company or nonprofit’s online presence. In fact, Twitter has said that influence on Twitter on the social networking site is not in a user’s follower count, but in how often it gets retweeted.” The post goes on to explain how to get more retweets. The second link found through Eventbrite was a similar one about ‘16 Content Marketing Golden Rules to Increase Social Engagement‘ from Marketingnutz.
I’ve discussed these links regarding social media and marketing because “many arts practitioners and other professionals within the arts and design spectrum come to an uneasy acceptance that to earn a living you must trade.” This is a quote from ‘The Essential Guide to Business for Artists and Designers‘ by Alison Branagan, which I discovered through an email from Artist Competitions. The book ‘is a comprehensive guide to making a living from your creativity. It covers the practical elements you would expect to see in any business guide including business planning, building networks and promotion, however it also tackles a number of challenges specific to artists and designers including royalty payments, insurance, commissions and so on.’