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Artists Online Presence - How One Artist Does It

by Moshe Mikanovsky on 3/4/2010 12:13:22 PM

This post is by guest author, Moshe Mikanovsky.  This article has been edited and published with the author's permission. You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.

It's been a few months now since I started actively marketing my art online. I have my portfolio website, this blog, a store at Zazzle, my licensed art at and UJA Federation, and I am using Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for networking with the world. I am having a blast! But, when I saw how many sites are out there for artists to promote their art, I got a bit discouraged. Who has the time to create and maintain all these sites?


Peter Worsley

Peter Worsley

Until I got the following response on LinkedIn to the discussion about my article, List of 66+ websites for artists to build online presence. Peter Worsley, an artist from Santa Barbara, California, wrote to me:

These are all the websites at which I have presence:

AbsoluteArts, Artflock, artId, ARTslanT, ArtWanted, Boundless Gallery, Fine Art America, Fine Art Registry, Juried Art Services, Noenga, nuzart, ImageKind, RedBubble, Saatchi Online (, Simply Licensed, WOW- Window On Web, Zatista, Zazzle

None of them are producers. But I like Zatista for its potential for original art sales. ImageKind is the best for prints and cards because they allow the uploading of the highest resolution images. Though I have sold more cards through Zazzle.

Mostly I only use their free services, though I pay for ImageKind, and maybe some others I cannot remember which without looking them up.

Including his own portfolio site, I counted 19 sites on which Peter is maintaining an online presence! I was very impressed and intrigued. The main questions I had were "how much time does he spend on maintaining all of these sites?" and "how does he do it??"

So, of course I had to ask Peter, and here is what I found:

All my paintings have been photographed or scanned, and I have prepared a folder of files for each painting. Every time I edit the original image, or use it as a card layout, the original of the altered file goes into that folder.

I prepared a table list of all the websites that I use, and a copy of that table goes into each painting folder. If that image appears on any specific website, a check appears on the table for that image. This table was created after many of the websites had been launched. I found that keeping track was getting out of hand.

After a new painting is completed, I create a new folder and decide where I want the image to appear. I create a new table for the new painting, scan the painting, resize the painting into a variety of sizes to meet various website standards, and mark the table as images are uploaded to the selected websites.

Typically, new paintings go to my website (, and to Boundless Gallery, Fine Art America, Fine Art Registry, ImageKind, RedBubble, Zatista and Zazzle.

And from here, followed this interview:

I see in the second list that you update fewer sites than in the first list. Is there a reason for that?

The first list was, hopefully, inclusive of all the sites where I have a presence. (There may be others where I have posted an image, but for the moment I have no record. If I uncover others, they will be added to my basic list.) Some of these websites may have a limit on how many images are free. Others I may have decided the website is going nowhere or the website seem to offer me little in return for my effort. Still others I am disillusioned: for example This was probably the first online gallery where I listed images, beginning years ago. I even paid the $100/year for their premium membership. There was no useful feedback, no easily accessible reports on visitors, it was harder for visitors to search, etc. Of course some of these things have improved over the years. But I dropped my premium membership. One of these days I will update my posted images.

How much time do you spend on average on these activities when creating a new painting?

An hour or two.

Which application do you use to maintain the table list of the sites? Do you want to share the fields/columns of the table with the readers of the article?

Microsoft Word. The list is very simple ? the name of the site and a checkbox for posting the painting in it.

Do you use other sites to network? We met on LinkedIn, but which other sites you use?

Years ago, while working for myself, in other fields, I learned that one must dedicate about a third of ones time to marketing. Without that, existing work will dry up. I have continued this philosophy into my art career.

I have recently felt that participating in forums is of growing importance as a part of my marketing campaign. By participation, one becomes known by one's social group, that leads to referrals and spreads knowledge about my website and blog.

As a result, I am starting to identify and work various Art related forums. I have not made a list, but will do soon. So far, the ones that look interesting are: LinkedIn ? Art Professionals Worldwide; Linkedin ? Work At Home Artist Group; Linkedin ? Visual Artists and their Advocates; Linkedin ? True Artist: living the art; Linkedin ? Fine Arts Forum; (this has a very clumsy interface); Online Professional Visual Artists Forum. There are others, and some of these may go nowhere and be dropped. 

What is your biggest tip for artists who want to maintain online presence?

Keep working the forums. Keep up your website, and make sure it is simple in design and very easy to access your art. Assign a regular amount of time to work your marketing. Keep your pricing consistent across all your outlets ? online and off line. There are always new innovations appearing. Be ready to grasp them and use them for yourself. Be ready to drop anything that does not seem to work for you. But keep an open mind.

I saw on LinkedIn that your background also has marketing positions, logistics and ownership of a company. I am sure you take from all these past experiences into your current life as an artist. Can you share a bit about that?

I am a marketer turned artist. Marketing is in my blood. I love working the brick and mortar galleries when I have a show. Also, I am lucky that I am an artist who does not have to sell to live. But I am always trying.

Do you sell and show also offline such as galleries, art fairs, group shows etc? If you do, how do you see it complimenting the online sales/presence?

I always show at our local collaborative gallery and often join in local Group Shows. Though, I think twice about any art show that costs serious money. Talking to real people at local shows helps me get meaningful feedback.

I have done art fairs, but at age 80, I find the physical work necessary to set up and take down too difficult for me these days. The same goes for painting plein air, which I love. Today I only paint from photographs.

How much traffic do you get to your portfolio website from all of this online presence?

I use and Google Analytics to watch my web and blog traffic. All the marketing in the world is useless without eyeballs looking at one's work. On my website I now have over 100 page hits a day, with about 40 unique visitors. This has gradually grown over the last year or two. Alas, my blog is much smaller. As for my website, I have gone through two major redesigns. Feedback I receive is that simplicity is key. It must not take away from the art itself and must be extremely easy for people to find the art they like.

One of the tools I developed is my website online articles for Art Collectors and other artists. The majority of my landing page hits are on these pages. I have half a dozen more under development, but they take a lot of work to produce. With Google reducing its dependence on key words and upping the importance of content, these articles get good coverage from Google searches.

I look upon my website as a continuous work in progress. I have a long list of new website developments I will introduce over the next year or so. On the other hand, I sell very little directly from my own website. Another thought to ponder.

I just admire Peter for his organized matter and keeping it up, with many different efforts, looking at it in a holistic way ? where at the end, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. I would like to thank Peter for sharing his experience. Please visit Peter's website at  You can also visit his ImageKind store, Fine Art Registery, or just search for him on the other 16 sites he is utilizing.

So now it's back to making art, or marketing it online, or putting your own system together to manage your online presence, so next time you have a new painting you won't forget where you should put it.



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Backstory: About Clint. Email EditorTwitter. Republish. ]

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Maria Soto Robbins
Mr. Worsley is a wealth of information! Thank you for sharing his insight and his marketing strategies. And I feel overwhelmed at having 2 website venues to deal with, one blog, and the two main social networks! At 80 he's quite an inspiration!

Sheryl Knight
I liked the interview with Peter Worsley. Our websites are really important, but there are thousands out there. How do we make ours unique. Plus it really does take a lot of time to keep them up plus the know how. They are a tool we can't live without as artists. I met Peter a few years ago in Los Olivos, CA where I show at a gallery there. He is definitely an organized man!

Sheryl Knight
I always like Lori's comments. The ones are pricing our work are good. I learned from Bob Burridge about ten years ago to price by the square inch and it does make life a bit easier!

Carol McIntyre
Does anyone else feel exhausted after reading everything that Mr. Worsley does? Wow and at age 80! I better get movin'. :)

Thank you for all of the web site info. I had no idea there were that many websites for artists out there.

Carl Purcell
Wow! That is a lot of information to absorb. Sometimes the view from my non-computer savvy position looks staggering. I know I need to step up to the plate in marketing, but just to learn the programs needed seems staggering. Do others suffer from fear in this department. I have done the work in art production and my product is well received, and I know I need to reach a wider audience, but the nuts and bolts of going about it seem overwhelming.
I wish I had someone like Peter in my corner to take over some of the filing etc. and the networking. He sounds like he came to the art with the marketing background well established. I found that art school did not even offer one class in marketing or any part of the business end of art. Thanks for the information.

Kate Dardine
All I can say is...Holy Cow! I thought I had a pretty big online presence between my website and blog(through FASO), two daily painters blogs, facebook, twitter, WAOW website, CafePress, (similar to Imagekind but with an emphasis on conservation) - but Peter makes me look like a slacker! I hope I am half as savvy when I am 80! But...all that is great if it leads to sales. If not...if you have limited time, as I do, chasing after every online opportunity can keep you from doing the most important thing - creating! In my experience, I get the most "bang for the buck" from my website/blog/newsletter and my Facebook fan page.

kohlene hendrickson
Great article, thanks for sharing. I have been sifting thru sites myself all day, the ones for online publishing, etc. Its hard to know which ones can really make a mark for you. The entry line is often free, but do people see you or do you have to invest the bucks? Peter is certainly ambitious and organized-BRAVO! Art marketing has to be a chunk of time-which I don't mind but want to see real feedback. Since I have joined FASO and can look at my stats of visitors its astounding to see who and from where people are looking. China, Ireland, South Africa, Canada, Iran. Really am in wonder how it all connects. I keep experimenting and appreciate hearing how others are doing it and the results! Thanks again-

Carol Schmauder
I am amazed at the amount of energy Peter has to accomplish all the things he does. I have my work on 3 websites and that takes a fair amount of upkeep, although I think it is a great idea to quit the ones that don't produce and use only the ones that do. Peter is a champ!

Daggi Wallace
I'm so impressed by all of the marketing Peter does! And still finds time for painting! He is an inspiration.
It all does seem overwhelming. I'm grateful for the opportunities out there, but keeping up with all of the marketing along with painting, holding down a day job, raising a's exhausting sometimes. Just reading the blogs, newsletters etc. takes up a lot of time. But...even with my limited presence on the web I have been contacted out of the blue by people who have seen my work on sites such as the Saatchi online gallery that was mentioned, a surf art site (, which has led to 2 magazines contacting me, plus a book author needing surf art. So, it does seem to be worth the time, I just wish there were more hours in the day!!

Helen Horn Musser
This is a wonderful post and very newsy of other websites to think about; thank you for sharing

what a nice interview - it is always helpful to see how someone else organizes and keeps on top of the marketing.
Thank you

Connie McLennan
I have a serious concern with the required user agreements that has stopped me from uploading my images to any of the online art marketing sites I have viewed thus far. As an illustrator, I am perhaps more aware of the importance of protecting one's copyright than some non-commercial artists may be, but I believe all artists should be aware of what they are potentially giving away. Here is the problem:

"By submitting Content to Zazzle, you grant Zazzle a nonexclusive, worldwide, TRANSFERRABLE license to use, copy, reproduce, modify, publicly display, and distribute your Content."

"You grant Zatista a non-exclusive, worldwide, PERPETUAL, IRREVOCABLE (through multiple tiers) right to exercise the copyright, trademark, publicity, and database rights (but no other rights) you have in the content, in any media known now OR IN THE FUTURE."


By agreeing to these terms, artists grant these companies--and anyone to whom they TRANSFER them--ALL RIGHTS FOREVER. They say that the purpose of granting this license is "so that we do not violate any rights you may have in the content". While their INTENT may not be to use the copyright in any way unrelated to their purpose, the language used is unnecessarily broad. Acceptance of these terms gives artists NO LEGAL PROTECTION whatsoever against these companies (or any third party to whom they may grant rights, such as unknown future owners) making additional usage of the images, for any purpose whatsoever. Regardless of their intent, the only enforceable terms are those to which artists agree in writing.

The only way artists can force these companies use language granting ONLY THE SPECIFIC RIGHTS NEEDED to show the art online and/or make the products sold is to refuse to agree to these overly broad terms. All artwork is protected by copyright from the moment it is created. By posting images anywhere online, we already risk infringement of those copyrights; we should not knowingly GIVE them away.

Charlotte Herczfeld
Moshe, thank you, and thanks to Peter, for this very interesting article. Fully a third of working time spent on marketing? And then you're supposed to get in your 10 000 hours of painting...

The gist seems to be, try the sites and communities, if they don't give results, drop them, or go low-profile.

He gets little sales from his website, he says. Now, I've found that is not so easy to know, as some customers obviously have picked their choice online, before checking it out at an exhibition, and if they like the real painting, they go for it. I'd do the same, after all. IMHO, the site is my online display window, online portfolio, and needed.

Which of all these places *do* generate income, I wonder.

Connie McLennan
P.S. I find it astonishing that more artists are do not object to the user terms I quoted above, which I don't think any attorney working on behalf or artists would ever condone. Are all those who accept them simply not aware, or is everyone more trusting than I am?

Marsha Hamby Savage
This was certainly very informative. It makes me think I need to start a list of where my art is displayed online -- what services I am using. I plan to do that asap. He makes so much sense and is thorough -- without being consumed by it.

As much as I try to do marketing as much as possible, I had not really though of keeping a list and checking it off. Again, so much sense here.

Thank you for the interview!

Helen Horn Musser
Connie, Your question is relevent to all of us; I have always just seen a website as another outlet and exsposure for us; I did make a mistake with one website. They had my images for printing prints on the website and I wasn't aware of their plans to put my work on the wesite and inviting people to download for prints. I had some of the same paintings for sale as prints on Fine Art America; Of course this was not good. Needless to say I did not upload any more images into that website. I appreciate your drawing attention to the risk of agreeing to what a website wants without thourouly reearching their contracts

Charlotte Herczfeld
To Connie McLennan: These rights one signs over to the diverse 'them' usually has to do with pure computer stuff. They need rights to resize, show, move from server to another server (sometimes over borders), store, display, etc, etc. One community where I'm active, they had to reword the thing explaining that, as there was a furor amongst artists. But it is indeed smart to chew through all the user agreements and legalese, and check what they do with one's pictures.

Moshe Mikanovsky
Thank you everyone for the wonderful comments! The www out there is so vast and can be daunting, so I find it very useful to hear how other people are using it, learn from their experience, and share it with other. That was the drive behind this post.
And as for your question Connie, it is definitely a concern, and everyone should take the time to review and understand what these agreements mean. Specifically for Zazzle, here is more wording from their current agreement:
"Licenses. By uploading Designs to the Site or creating Designs with Zazzle's design tools, you grant the following licenses to Zazzle: the nonexclusive, worldwide, transferable, sublicensable right to use, reproduce, publicly display, sell, and distribute the Design in or on Products and in advertising, marketing, samples, and promotional materials for the purpose of promoting the Site and Products; and the right to make modifications to your Design as necessary to prepare your Design for use in a particular Product category if you agree that your Design may be used in such category. If you select the "customizable" option, you also agree that Zazzle and its customers may make changes to the Design for the purposes of creating and ordering Products.
You may remove your Design from the Site at any time, and you retain all copyright and other intellectual property rights in your Design. Upon the removal of a Design, the licenses above will terminate, except that Zazzle will fulfill any orders placed prior to termination and Zazzle may continue to use your Design in marketing and promotional materials if such materials were printed prior to removal of the Design."

Note that the license you grant them is nonexclusive, so you can use your product in other places for the same exact type of product. Also note that they specifically state that you retain the rights for the design, and they can use it only while its uploaded to their site, so once you remove it, they can't use it anymore. So you do have control over it.
BTW - if anyone is familiar with bad license agreements, or bad practices, please let us know who they are, so we can be aware of them, rather than just say "a website"...

Thanks again

Tom Weinkle
Thanks for putting this information together. It is good perspective.

I completely agree about the dedicating serious time in one's activities to marketing.

Perhaps the specific tactics change as you become more well-known, but the activity itself can never go away.

Carol Bailey
Thanks for the great article! I never realized that there were so many ways for an artist to amplify there online presence. I'd better get busy!

Gina Buzby
What an incredibly informative and helpful article. Thank you! I will try to implement some of these techniques online asap.

Carol Schmauder
Connie, thank you for pointing out the copyright issues. I haven't looked at the sites you mentioned but will not bother to look at them now.

Connie McLennan
Moshe, thank you for your response. I am glad to see that Zazzle's license at least terminates upon removal of the images. However, I would still object on principle to granting them "the...worldwide, transferable, sublicensable right to use...[any of my] Design[s] advertising, marketing, samples, and promotional materials *for the purpose of promoting the Site and Products*". They already take a percentage of any sales. Even if chances of one's artwork being used for promotional purposes were small, that type of commercial usage should be compensated.

I still believe the license agreements on several other sites, some of which are *irrevocable*, are far too broadly written are therefore in no way legally limited to the "pure computer stuff" to which Charlotte referred. Again, regardless of the actual usage to date or how they may explain their needs and intent, the only legally enforceable agreement is what's in writing. If these broadly written rights happen to be transferred to a new company owner or other third party, artists have no way of knowing, much less controlling, usage of the art.

Dina Martin
A very eye-opening interview. Thanks to both parties for sharing and bringing about such great information, especially useful for a newbie like myself. Organization is key in everything we do-- we just need to put some time to it. Bravo Mr Worsley!

Diane Tasselmyer
Connie and Moshe, You have just saved me some precious time in knowing what to look for and chew on before I use Zazzle (and other sites).

I appreciate these forums and the information so freely shared. This is better than going to school!

Anne Watson
via overwhelming....

Sharon Weaver
I was just at a seminar where one of the panel members was a gallery owner and she actually said that she prefers her artists not to have a website. In the current world, how would that ever be good? If the gallery mistrusts the artists that much, maybe they need to get other artists. Then I read about Peter who is incredibly savvy with all the social and web networking possibilities. Now, if only the sales would follow.

Esther J. Williams
I for one would steer clear of a site like Zazzle. I don`t think I want to work very hard to create unique images and have some company exercise the right to change my designs to suit their needs. I do not want to have greeting cards made of my art frankly. Who knows if some vendor from China will hot copy the images and start printing out posters of your original idea? Maybe it is good bread and butter money to some, but to me, I would rather have total control of the decision to create custom greeting cards to give out to my personal customers. Not to a website that I am not in close contact with. I like to be able to visit my printing facilities and have hands on through the whole process.
As for all the web presence, it is too daunting and does take too much time from our craft or painting. I am guilty of spending way too much time trying to get lots of pages on Google. But almost all of my sales are from real contacts in the flesh and blood, gallery, shows and painting outdoors in public. I wonder is this all worth it? I need to cut down on the internet, not add more time.
Peter really has a great organization program I must commend! This is a great idea for people who are limited in their physical capabilities, I will not knock it down completely. I have an 86 year old friend with a Mac that goes online and she is homebound, it is a lifeline to the world for her to see what`s going on.

Moshe Mikanovsky
Sharon - I can't believe a gallery owner would say something like that! What was the context that she said it? Its unbelievable. Did she give reasons why? I would love to know from her perspective why she doesn't want her artists to do their own marketing and have their names out there....

Esther - It is a personal choice, of course. I have started my marketing efforts on the platform that was the most comfortable and accessible for me, which is the Internet. So I guess every person is a bit different, based on our backgrounds, level of risks we are willing to take, attachment to our art and crafts (yes, sometime they are crafts), etc. One of the things with Zazzle specifically is that the sellers control all their products, and how they want their art to be sold on their products. No one at Zazzle will create products for you. If a seller leave the artwork unlock, the end clients can actually remove it, and the seller will still get paid. I personally lock all my artwork on my products, so if someone buy my product, its because of the art...
There is actually another concern that I usually have on Zazzle, and also in other sites, regarding the quality of the designs. Zazzle, as a business, do not interfere with the quality of designs, unless they notice issues such as stolen or abusive images. So many designs out there are really bad. But, people are still buying them. Our job is to keep excellence in what we do, highest quality, and then we will surface above the rest.

Thanks again everyone for the great comments and discussion. If you would like to share your story with me, please contact me through my site


Joanne Bernardini
I too have found that having a web presence is essential. While I do not have an enormous amount of sales, it is a very easy process to steer someone to my work and give them a sense of the quality of my photograph portfolios. I have many requests from painters to buy my photos from which they can then paint.
It is a lot of effort to set up but not so much to maintain.
I plan to investigate the Linkedin connections.

kohlene hendrickson
Referring back to galleries not wanting their artists to have websites: I once encountered here in Switzerland a gallerist who thought that artists should only have a brief overview of their work so that people had a feeling for it but not all works laid out in detail and certainly not with prices.I was also surprised at the time. But it was a question of being in competition with the gallery. I post all of my works but without prices and one can inquire directly to me.
Another question as I am occupied with some online activity- does anyone know anything about Its out of London. I was accepted for their online biennale but deciding whether I wan to pay to go on their listing. Its another one where there are long lists of names without images unless you click on a name. Do people really go thru the trouble to click thru all of the names? The jury behind it is impressive...hmmmmm?

Amanda D'Arcy

Thank you for a great article - and that list of 66 sites which has given me lots of ideas.

A month or so ago I was feeling overwhelmed by all the on-line options but decided that the only way to achieve anything is to get stuck in and make a start. I picked a few sites, started a blog, changed my websites to be more SEO friendly (and did very little creative work for a month or so!) and I am surprised to see that my work is now being found by complete strangers who are becoming fans. It has happened much more quickly than I expected.
Still so much work to do though !

Helen Horn Musser
Yes, Kohlene, I have received many emails from Artoteque but, I don't think I sent images. Probably my loss but, am worried about information of credit card. I entered a competition in Italy a year or so ago and then had a charge show up from Rome. Thankfully people at the card did not pay it and were very suspicious. That was reassuring. Was not accepted into competition

Debra Russell
I'm with you Connie...I would never release rights to one of those online sites that requests it. I know a nationally known artist that saw a print of one of her works for sale in a well known clothing catalog! She had never given her permission to have the image reproduced, but the website had lifted it off of her website. The amount of money she would have had to pay an attorney to get the print pulled far outweighed the $5000 the company offered her to settle! By releasing rights on those websites, your work could be reproduced and you could never see a cent from their sales.Scarey stuff. Besides that, who has time to maintain all those sites. I have a hard time just maintining a website and blog. I'd rather be at my easel !!!!

Joanne Benson
This was an eye opener....I am in agreement that I don't have time for all of those online venues although I would like to increase my web presence and SEO....I barely have time for my blog which doens't get updated very often...even photographing my work becomes a hassle....and as far as user agreements I feel totally naive....Thanks for all the great input and info...

Derek McCrea
This is a very organized system. I just try to remember it all, but if we do not keep track using a similar system one day you will find yourself overwhelmed. What I have been worried about lately is god forbid something should happen to me, I have art all over the web for sale, I have not shown any of my family how to take it over when I am gone, and it will be a definite challenge.

Derek McCrea
Reference Debra's comment above....I have a large web presence, the key when adding images is to upload small 400 pixel width images, large enough for a customer to see, but virtually impossible to make any money by copying such a small image to a sellable item, the resolution would be horrible.

Carole Rodrigue
I'm exhausted for this guy! It is amazing that he has such a presence online and all the work that goes into it. I'm just wondering if it's worth all of that extra time spent at a computer instead of in the studio. Great article, but I'm very curious to know if his online presence has attracted more sales, which is the bottome line. I'm just not sure that all of that is necessary,but maybe I'm completely wrong too!

Carol Schmauder
I am curious about the same thing, Carole. It does seem like a lot of work. Moshe, do you know if it provides him with sales enough to make it worth the time?

Moshe Mikanovsky
Wow, so many good topics for discussion brought here in the comments... Let me try to put my 2 cents on few of them:

- Regarding giving rights to your images for other sites, and having your art stolen off your website - these are two separate issues, which need consideration, and not every person feel free enough to do it. If you are interested in Art Licensing, and it is NOT for everyone, there is a lot of good resources out there, including on my site, and few blogs I am following (see blogrol on my blog). Licensing your art to Zazzle or to card manufacturer, or to any other company out there that uses your art on their products has its risks, but also the benefits.
The same thing with putting your art on your website, it has the risks and the benefits. In both, you have to weigh the risk against the benefits, and also make yourself educated enough (or pay people who know ;-) on how to mitigate the risk. Because, like Derek mentioned here, there are ways to reduce the risk with images on line. Zazzle for example do a great job with putting watermarks on all the images they show to clients online... Also, you can start with couple of images, see what happen. No need to give your entire collection....

- Carole and Carol - good question. I also wonder about it, and Peter does mention that non of the sites is a producer... I hope he will have the chance to comment here too. But with his background in marketing, it's in his blood to go for it and do what he knows that work in other type of businesses. So I am sure his efforts will be fruitful. One of the things everyone warn us is that it's a long term effort, not a quick thing. And this is VERY true.

- Regarding giving your credit card online - very good concern, and you should probably check with people before about the reputation of a given site, see if they are using other method of payments (like paypal), and security features (like HTTPS). At the end of the day, its hard not to use CC online if one want to do anything... again, your level of comfort.
Thanks again for all the comments and discussion. I probably have more to say... but will leave it for another time


Debra Russell
Thanks Derek. Great idea to limit the image size. I am in awe of the amount of web exposure you've been able to utilize. I'm checking out those sites you mentioned to see what would fit in with my business.

Helen Horn Musser
Derek, Good for you; google will have a great time connecting all the dots for you

Carole Rodrigue
Thank you Moshe. It would be nice to know from him how it's all working out. I've spent a lot of time in the past on such sites and would not see that many hits. There are soooo many artists! I'd rather some online presence so that people can find me if they look me up, but build a client base starting locally. After a few years of struggling, I'm beginning to notice that my efforts are better spent in entering competitions and marketing more in my own area and start doing shows. I'm seeing stuff sell around here for prices that are pretty good, and the art, well, I guess beauty's in the eye of the beholder. But working it locally is beginning to show better results for me than any of the online stuff I've ever done. Thanks! :-)

Tom Weinkle
Moshe, thanks for a great article.

Carol, you raise an interesting point. I think it ties in nicely with the article about keywords.

For me, the sites that Moshe's interviewee is posting to can be considered to be -directory sitesâ.

The sites he mentions are, for many reasons the gorillas of search engine ranking. By sheer numbers of links, by sheer amounts of information, and perhaps by their optimization strategies...get top ranking when you search in google or yahoo for things like -artistâ or -painterâ, oil painter, etc. These sites do a good job of categorizing art. If an artist only posts their work on these site, that is what might turn up in google. If you have your own site, perhaps you will show up in both. I am not suggesting one doesn't post on these sites, but keep in mind, really what you are doing is driving traffic to that site and not your own. The same applies to gallery sites who insist you don't have a website. While we can understand their motivation, it doesn't help the artist as much as the gallery.

Again, it may make sense to work closely with your gallery on web presence, because they sell a lot of your art. Look up Wolf Kahn for instance, and you will most likely get the gallery that represents him. In his case, it may serve him very well. They deserve credit for many of his sales, and being a staunch supporter of his work. Some of the directory sites like etsy for example can help sell work, because they get a lot of traffic, and are highly ranked. Once a buyer is there, though, there are 10,000 other talented artists along with you. So, in my mind, it's a double-edged sword. You have to go in with your eyes open. For me, when someone types my name into google, I want them to find me, and not a giant site of artists. But, that's me. Perhaps if I was being resold, or more well-known it would serve my needs, but right now, it doesn't.

The article about keywords reinforces the idea the importance of your name, then think carefully about how you name your work, and use keywords in your copy.

Network Solutions in their SEO conferences talk about the 3 phases of purchasing online. The idea according to them is to identify the keywords in the -buyâ phase, not the -researchâ phase. This meshes with what the article on keywords suggests. People research...say for a camera....then, they look for a brand of camera...then, they may look for a SLR, or pocket sized, etc.

They would advise you to think about keywords that skip the first phase, and get to the buy phase. To me, this logic can apply to the directory sites too. I don't want to get lost with hundreds or thousands of pastel artists. I want to be found when people look for something I specialize in, or excel at.

More food for thought.

Helen Horn Musser
Tom, thank you for the added insites. I,too, have overdone websites other than my own and I can't keep up with all them. I have just about stopped trying. Thankfully my personal website pops up on google first thing (it did last time I looked. Because of Faso and Google I have always had a great presnce on the web. Knock on wood it continues. That is always out there and you have to keep moving with new ideas and sites.

Carol Schmauder
Tom, you make a good point about not having people go to a site that lists many artists who do the same thing you do when they type in your name.

Tom Weinkle
FASO is great. What Clint and his partners did was give individual artists a much better chance of succeeding with a web component. (no, I am not a paid spokesperson.)

Helen Horn Musser
Tom, are you sure? LOL! I know you are not a paid spokesman; I get excited talking aboout Faso too. They are terrific. He was so into working with artist before he started Faso, he knows about us and it shows. I've never met a good artist I did not like; maybe a few teachers but, that is not important. Clint understands our personalities. He is a soothing influence on us all. Thanks for appreciating him as much as I do.

Moshe Mikanovsky
Tom, great points. Regarding SEO, there are different ways to do it, some of them are just manual work, some are more strategic. Let me explain what I mean - creating accounts in all the free sites with links to your site, creating "fake" websites with the same content and links to your main "real" site (yes, I have seen this done by an artist with more than 100 domains that she bought and have one page in them, all linking to her main site), syndicating a blog post with 100 different versions to blogs that do not give you credit but still link to your site, or to blogs who do not care about original content (and yes, I have seen this done as well, many times) - all of these to me are things that are available to do and are quite manual work. They help SEO but they don't generate new content, only links.

On the other hand, the more strategic way (and right way in my mind, although there might not be right or wrong...) is to generate new content by your own, whether it is new paintings and their stories, or posts about other artists, or about art shows, or about success and failure stories trying to promote your art, or whatever it is... This is much more work, and I even think its morally correct, but not everyone can do it.

And as for FASO guys, I completely agree, with the very short experience that I have. My site is not hosted or created on FASO, since I created it myself, but I recently helped a friend of mine creating her own site on FASO, and the experience so far was excellent! You can check out here site here: (look on the home page for who is the site administrator ;-) hmmm, another cheap way for me to generate links to my site, lol).

Thanks again for all the great feedback

Clint Watson
I agree Moshe about the "right" way to do "SEO" (and I have some articles coming on this subject). As he says, it is to generate new content about your own works, stories, etc. Please don't go out and buy 100 domains as in Moshe's example - that is a lot of money, work and likely won't work help you a tremendous amount as none of those 100 domains will have any authority anyway.

Clint Watson
To clarify - I realize Moshe was not saying to do the 100 domain thing either - it was just an example he gave of the extremes some people go to when attempting to do "SEO."

Good advice Moshe, thanks.

Moshe Mikanovsky
I am sometime tempted to "expose" these type of schemes (although legal, but not so Kosher...), but I hate bashing other artists for their efforts.... It is important though to note this type of exposure.

Tom Weinkle
Moshe, excellent points. But, I may still need multiple domains. One each for me, myself, and I.

Clint thanks for making these dialogues possible.

Clint Watson
They might be "legal" but would likely be considered a violation of Google's terms if their webspam team caught whiff of what that artist was doing. Although most niches that an artist competes in would likely fly under their radar, but still, best to just play it straight. Nothing will attract attention better than amazing artwork....

Tom Weinkle
Fortunately, the team at google constantly refine their algorithms, to try and get us all better search results. After all there is no -zoningâ code on the internet.

Helen Horn Musser
This sort of game playing is way out there. Never realized someone would do that; google is smart about their assessments and would probably catch on to this.

Moshe Mikanovsky
You know, I wasn't even thinking about Google in specific terms, or their search engine. All I was thinking is about how it feels to me when I see this type of info out there.... And every time I see it, I feel sad for that artist. Because it is a bad practice (in my mind) and whether Google will catch them or not, its also about "do I want to buy from someone who does that?" Fortunately for them, most people won't even know that....

Helen Horn Musser
I like Clint's comment; "Nothing well attract attention better than amazing artwork." All the other tthoughts just muddle my mind

Clint Watson
Moshe - I agree with you - but presumably the only reason someone would screw with setting up 100 domains is for Googlebot. Which is why I brought that up. I think that artist and *all* artists would be better served with amazing art and a small email list. Think how much that person's craft could be improved over the time setting up and maintaining 100 domains. Or the money spent on those domains/sites - it would be enough to take a great workshop. People really are getting myopically focused on google-beast.....

Moshe Mikanovsky
Either that, or they got some "advice" from marketing "gurus".

As for mailing lists, I am actually planning soon a blog post regarding my experience building Valerie's site. one of the amazing things was that she has a list of 21,000 people that she collected in the last 30 years (well, I guess since people started having emails...) and she sent the site to about 2000 in the first day when she launched it, just to get some initial feedback. Within one week of launching it she already sold two paintings and one person is very interested in joining one of her art tours in Italy. Amazing, isn't it? Hmm, did I write here my entire post already? :-)

Sheryl Knight
Hi Clint, I really like what you said to Moshe about spending the time improving one's art and maybe spending the money on a great workshop versus maintinging 100 domains. I would love to spend 100 percent of my time just painting and not marketing. It seems to be getting out of balance. After all that is what our gifting and passion is is it not? Thanks for your comments, it helped me a lot not feel so bad that I wasn't doing more internet stuff!

Debra Russell
After reading through all these posts with an open mind....I still think I'd rather be at the easel and let Clint do the work for me! I think enhancing a good thing you've already got going is the most economical when it comes to time management. So I think I'll start painting right now and let Clint do his thing. Hurray for FASO !!!

Amanda D'Arcy
Hi Folks
Yup - all that internet marketing is taking up a whole lot of time and it is very difficult to keep up momentum - with the promise of rewards sometime in the future. As with everything in life it is all about balance. The one thing that I have found the most useful in the short term is looking at other sites and blogs and commenting on them. It is a nice way to connect to other people - artist's and non-artist. Just going to update my website now.......

Sheryl Knight
I don't have a FASO account but am seriously thinking about it. I have sure heard a lot of good things about it. My website was created about six years ago before I ever heard of FASO and I have a webmaster who maintains it for me. I think I need to get something I can manage myself and FASO seems the way. I sure appreciate reading all the different comments about marketing. Thanks to each of you.

Helen Horn Musser
It would be a very good descision

Derek McCrea
I googled FASO, and came up with results that are not accurate to our discussion. What does the acronym actually mean in the context of our discussion.

Clint Watson
FASO = FineArtStudioOnline - the problem on google is the african nation of "Burkina Faso" has the "brand" FASO. We will be making some announcements in the next few months but because of the "FASO" issue we are going to be re-branding under a more memorable (and google controllable) name.

Helen Horn Musser
Dereck, You have to google fineartstudioonline for Clint's listings on the web. FASO brings up many websites not associated with Clint's. Faso is simply a few of first letters of the whole name put together as an abreviation

Helen Horn Musser
Clint, I ask about branding because I was recently inducted into Cambridge Who's Who and they ask questions about branding. This is a new idea for me and I had not thought about it. I'm curious about the new you and how you came up with it.I hope when the time comes you will share with us

Clint Watson
Helen - I will share how we decided upon a new brand when the time comes. Right now the design team is working on the design of the changes. I'll give you hint though - our new brand is such that we already own the entire front page of google for the brand name :-)

Helen Horn Musser
That's wonderful Clint! We will look forward to the change and information on how you did it. Can't wait.

Sheryl Knight
Hi Helen,
I am not sure about "branding" either and would like to find out. I'll look forward to seeing the answer. Congratulations on being in the Cambridge "Who's Who". That's great.

Helen Horn Musser
Thank you Sheryl, this just came out of the blue; an email, telephone call and away we went. They must be looking on the web for artists. Maybe you will get a call. Hope we all get a call

Sheryl Knight
Thanks Helen, how encouraging of you. Just shows too how important a good website is in this day and age. As much as there are days I would like to go back to the simple days without computers, we are able to see and do so much more because of the internet.

Sheryl Knight
Hi again Helen,
I just went to look at your website and see your work but couldn't bring it up. Is it under your name or something different.

Helen Horn Musser
It has given us a gallery to show to the world; I call it my window to the world. Love the internet and the exposure it gives us. Has opened many doors for us.

Helen Horn Musser
Thanks for going; should take you there or you can google me with my name

Helen Horn Musser
Sheryl, If you try the link to who's who it will take you there but, you will not be able to access my biography at the present time. I finished the paper work yesterday and they said it would be 72 hours before I could access my biography. I hope you found my website. I think who's who will be available for the weekend.

Sheryl Knight
Thank you Helen, but actually I was looking for your own website. I googled your name but it did not come up. I was wondering if you could give me the name of your website since it may not be under your name. Thanks, Sheryl

Helen Horn Musser
Sheryl, I just googled Helen Horn Musser and Helen Musser and I am on the front page. Are you using google or another search engine

Sheryl Knight
Thanks Helen, I found you. I was using all three names trying to google you and it didn't work! Lovely website and work, also interesting reading your bio. Mine is I also paint plein air most of the time, with larger pieces in studio.

Sheryl Knight
Hi Helen, when I used Helen Husser I found you but could not when I used Helen Horn Husser. I thought I was using google but maybe not. Anyway I did find your website and enjoyed it. Thanks again. Sheryl

Helen Horn Musser
Sheryl, It's Musser not Husser

Sheryl Knight
Thanks Helen, that was just a typo. I found you!! Best wishes on your who's who. I will check it out in a couple of days.

Lee McVey
Wow, I am impressed with Peter's organization and energy to do all this. I want to be that organized and active like him when I am 80. Actually, I'd like to be more like that now. His information shows 80 isn't what it used to be. Maybe 80 is the new 50 or 60.
I also enjoyed the discussion resulting from Connie McLennan's comments.

Just when I feel that I can not do it all I see what a wonderful job a fellow artist is doing and at 80.All I can say is WOW.


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