Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Increasing Your Visibility on the Internet

When I sat down to start my writing today I had planned on writing about a new style of painting that I have been working with. I was going to put some images up, tell you how I did it, link it to my stores and other websites share the blog with social media, and be done.

The first thing that I did was open my iPhoto application and gather up the pictures. I had been using the new "Photos" application for a while but found it way too buggy. So, I decided to switch back to iPhoto the other day when Photos wouldn't let me upload some edited images. I looked at the images in iPhoto and liked them so much more than how they appeared in Photos. I started editing them for todays blog. I decided that since I liked them so much more I'd do a bit more tweaking and use them in my online stores....


Unfortunately, as of late, these types of activities are rushed. I AM "Making a Living As An Artist", finally, and with my recent shows and starting my new Art Business, the business end of things, and everything else for that matter, has been a bit rushed. Today I had an unplanned day off from selling. Last night when I went to bed I had checked the weather. Thunderstorms all day. I decided to get up early and check again hoping that it may change. I hadn't. I got out of bed anyway. Since I wasn't out selling, I figured that this was as good a time as any to catch up. I edited the photos, started to upload them, and when I got to my online store, realized just how much I had brushed over in my haste.

(The links from the following post have broken down, I no longer use Yessy to sell, I have my own online store now, CapeNative , the information however is still valid and applies to most of the current popular sites. Please read and feel free to leave any questions in the comment section below.)

Staying On the Radar

(Keeping your work on the host sites front page)

The examples that I'm going to give you are based on the site that I'm using, Yessy. 

As you may be able to see above on Yessy's Home Page, "Max Powers Gallery-Greg Lindberg", is right there! If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that I've been using Yessy to sell my work for years. So how am I a "NEW" gallery? I cheat! Well, the NFL may call it "cheating", but I call it, "using the rules that are in place to my advantage." You need to be your own Bill Belichick. (Yes, I'm a Pats fan.) Know the rules. Before you list your work a site, read. Use them! Go there, see what they have to offer. Can you use it to your advantage? Read the fine print. On Yessy, I had the opportunity to list as either an artist, or a gallery. The latter allowed more flexability. I went with that. It fit my split personality as an artist. I am Max Powers, But I'm also Greg Lindberg. Even just as Greg Lindberg I paint in several different styles.  So, I have can a Greg Lindberg  "seascapes" gallery, and a Greg Lindberg "still life" gallery. I can have a "Max Powers" gallery. What about a gallery just titled "New Work"? when that works it's way down the page into obscurity, start a new gallery titled "My Latest Work", and viola you're back at the top of page one! Now this does take a little time because you'l have to re-load each work. (Don't worry, I'm going to teach you short cuts.) On Yessy that is the way it works on page one, but page two is also important.

So, now we've got our Name, at least, on page one. Page two is the actual image. You need to keep your artwork on the first or second page! I will show you how to do this in five minutes a day. These tricks will also keep you on the front page of your section! That word should be "sectionS", don't worry I'm going to show you that too.

That's is a really small image. But if you look closely, that yellow sailboat in the upper left hand corner is mine! That position will rarely last long, but you can stay on the first page or two for years by following this simple trick. Only put one painting on the site at a time!!! After that, stand back and watch your traffic. It works the same with Fine Art America, Artsy, and any site where the first filter is "recent works". So don't spend hours sitting there adding all of your artwork to one site all at once. It all depends on how you work. If you create a work, finish it, photograph it, and upload it this will fit with your patern nicely. I DON'T! I work on a series of artwork, there's stuff everywhere, it's usually chaos... I'm going to a show or sale with these works in the morning, I knock stuff over, There is no room to photograph them. Yadda, Yadda, Yadda... Even I can do this! Set up a way of doing it that works for you. Whether you photograph your work one at a time, or fourty-seven at a time, when you load them into your computer (which with the iCloud really isn't even a necessary step any more...) or sit and edit the images, here is what I want you to do:
  • Start a word or pages file for each Artwork. This should include all of the things that the website that you use requires from you. Images, title of the work, size info, a description... Don't just say picture of a boat. If the site that you are using allows you/ limits to use a certain number of characters know that and tailor it. If your using multiple sites know which requires what, and in the file keep a rendition of it for each. It does not have to look pretty. All that you are going to use this for is cutting and pasting. If you have your own online store, make sure in you artwork info that you include that this work is also available at your site and give the address. Mine all say right under the description of the artwork,"*** Also available at ***" You may need to keep a separate image file as well. If so, start a file on your desktop for each individual artwork. This will make the process flow so much more smoothly than hunting for all the info scattered throughout your computer.
  • Make checking your stats a habit. This way you don't find yourself on the last page! If you miss a day, no big deal, just pick it up again tomorrow. If you can't do it every day. Find out the peak hours on that site. Make sure you do it as close, but prior to, those hours or that day as possible.  You may not need to do it every day. Watch those stats. If you have a slow steady drop in visits or views have number in mind that you don't want to drop below. When it gets close to that number, think about adding another work. Go to your file and cut and paste the info into the appropriate spots and watch your numbers rise. 

Reginald Henry didn't take my advice...

The next step is to get your work in as many categories as the site your using will allow. With Yessy, they allow me three categories to list each artwork in. Stretch. If I have a painting that is a seascape, what are the sub categories allowed? What else does it have in it? Are there categories for color? subject?  Fit it into as many as you can. You never know what filters your next buyer may be using. By using more categories you're exposing yourself to more potential buyers. This also magnifies the appearances of your work in these categories. Below you can see that two of my works show up on the first page of "Landscapes & Nature".

When we narrow it further down to the next filter, "Beach and Ocean", I have Six art works on one page, even though they were uploaded over a series of days. Reginald Henry has six as well but all of them were loaded within a few hours. Over the course of days and weeks his name will move further and further back, whereas my name will still be on page one. There will be different images, but my Name will still be there. As people click back page by page they will eventually find Mr. Henry, but guess what, my name will be there as well. While this doesn't guarantee a sale, it does certainly up my visibility. If we go by percentages, the more people that see you work, the better the odds of selling one.

That's about it for today, my brain hurts. But I still have a whole lot more to say!

Thanks for reading!

Click above to check out my SQUARE store
(I no longer use Yessy, that doesn't mean you shouldn't.)