You already know that it’s essential to have a great-looking artist portfolio website if you want to present yourself like a pro, right? Today’s website hosting services make it so easy to build and maintain art websites, and I’ve noticed that most of you have them. You’re off to a great start!
Now what can you do to enhance your art website? You want to make your site as well-rounded and robust as it can be for two important reasons. One, it will let your website visitors know more about you by inviting them into your life as an artist. They’ll be better able to connect with you and your work if you reveal more of who you are through your website’s content. And second, adding new content to your website will help improve your rankings on search engines, which drives more traffic to your site.
I’m sure you’ve already included the basics on your website, including a curated selection of your work (obviously!), your bio or “story,” your resume or CV, a list of links to the galleries that represent you, and a nice little photo of yourself. If you’re not comfortable publishing all of your contact info, you should still provide an email address or a form that site visitors can use to send you a message. But what else could you add? Here are 6 ideas for fresh content:
1. Testimonials. Testimonials are a great way to reassure prospective buyers that they’re going to love your art, so go ahead and ask people who’ve already purchased your work to write up a brief note. Don’t be shy. Most of your customers will be more than willing to help with this project. You don’t need tons of testimonials, so use the best quotes you get and place them on their own special page in your website.
2. “In-situ” photos. Photos of your work in people’s home and offices are the visual equivalent of a testimonial so they offer that same reassurance. It would be great if you could get some quality images of your work from your collectors, but if not you can create a similar effect by using one of the many apps that will allow you to place a jpeg of one of your pieces into another jpeg of an environment. (Click here to read more about that process.)
3. Links to press coverage. Have you had the honor of receiving some press coverage? Even if it’s just a mention of a show you were involved in or a workshop you taught, and not a full-blown review of your work, press coverage is the mark of professional credibility. You can scan in a printed copy of the media coverage and post it as a jpeg and/or provide a link to any online media coverage. A separate page in your website devoted to media coverage is impressive to website visitors.
4. Videos about you and your art. Adding videos can be tricky because you don’t want them to be overly long and cumbersome, but short video clips make a great addition to your website. Again, it’s all about painting a picture (pun intended) of who you are as an artist so that website visitors who’ve never met you in person get a better sense of the personality behind the art. You could ask someone to shoot a quick video of you talking about your work, or you could shoot your own video of your work and studio environment that you narrate. Video clips of show openings work well, too.
5. More personal photos. I’ve seen a lot of artists’ websites that have just one photo of the artist, but you’re welcome to add more. Photos of yourself at work and of your studio or work environment are ideal, but you could also include photos that hint at your life beyond the studio. For example, if you’re a landscape painter, you could share photos of the scenes and subjects that inspire you.
6. Links of personal interest. Here’s an interesting thing: When an art lover connects with an artist’s work, he or she often wants to connect with the artist as a person. Art lovers who like your work will be curious about your interests and hobbies, so let them know what they are. So perhaps at the end of your bio/story, consider adding links to your favorite blogs (even if they’re not about art), professional organizations, the charitable organizations you support, and anything else you think will give insight to your artist brand.
I’m sure there are plenty more great ideas for additional website content. What have you included in yours? Let’s connect!
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