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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member
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    Red face Unable to succeed

    Hi all,

    I'm an artist who is trying to sell my work online. For the past two years I have been doing my best to generate some income from my site (see my signature). I followed a lot of the advice given on these and other forums but overall had little success. Here are some of the main things I did so far:

    • selling my work through cafepress.


    • wrote 3 articles and submitted to nearly 40 article portals. Each article contains a backlink to my site. Gained about 50-60 visitors daily from that. Trouble is, the average page view here is 2-3 per visitor.


    • submitted my site to over 30 free directories. Did not notice any increase in visitors from that.


    • did a lot of SEO. Too inexperienced to see how much that helped.


    • 2-3h forum networking 5 days a week. My signature generated about 200-300 more visitors daily with an average page view of 20 per visitor.


    • added AdSense on my site. Minimal gain.


    • setup a link exchange program for sites with good PR. Minimal gain.


    I currently have about 500 visitors daily, my PR is 4 (used to be 5 until recently) and my Alexa rank is around 300 000. My total income from the site does not even cover the hosting costs. I suppose there is something I'm not doing right. I'd appreciate greatly if some of the experienced/successful webmasters could take a look at my site and suggest what I can do to improve it. Critique is especially welcome. Thank you.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    For a start, I'd stop linking/marketing with the words 'Original Art Posters & Prints'. It's quite clear within 1 second of viewing your site that you create Gaming/Sci-Fi stuff, so why not tell people this before they click your link. This way, you will not get 'empty' traffic. This would certainly help to explain why your average page view is only 2-3 - probalby 90% of the people visiting your site are not interested in that kind of art.

    Currently (from what I can tell from your post) your marketing is too broad when it doesn't have to be. You specialise in a niche, so let people know this. While you will no doubt get less clicks, the ones you do get will be more qualified and you'll soon find your page/visitor rate go up.

    And I've got to say this - but writing articles about healthy eating and diets is not going to attract qualified visitors to your site! I noticed that this is one of the articles you have syndicated - surely anyone clicking your link from that article will be expecting a site about food and health, not Sci-fi art! Start marketing to the type of people who buy the stuff you create, not anyone with a pulse

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bluedreamer's Avatar
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    I have to agree with shadow - you need to focus more on the niche market that reflects your art/products.

  4. #4
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
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    What they said.

    I just wanted to add that that is some awesome work you have there!

  5. #5
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Winona, MN USA
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    First of all, since you are an artist, I am sure that you must be familiar with the works of Boris Vallejo, Louis Royo, etc. etc.

    They promote their work as Fantasy Art and I believe there is quite a market for that type (also your type) of work. So, I wouldn't leave the word "fantasy" out of your promotional material.

    Second, stop giving away your work. People won't pay for what they perceive they can have for free. I don't imagine Shim Shimmel (spelling?) gave away the rights to all those mousepads, posters, notebook covers, etc. You shouldn't either. Giving a free wallpaper to someone doesn't promote your work, it only puts something pretty on their desktop. How many people do you imagine see a home user's computer and inquire on how to get the freebee for theirs?

    Third, I didn't check out your articles like shadowbox did, but he is (as usual) 100% right. If you want to write articles to draw targetted traffic, try doing a blog or writing articles about the inspiration behind your different works.

    Now for the dos --

    1. Do promote your portfolio of sold work and beef up its value to your clients. Do write articles about what was commissioned, who commissioned it and the process etc. For instance, your D & D art. What led you to the style, colors, and forms you used in creating the works? Nobody really cares if you have played or purchased the game (but telling others you have not doesn't really increase interest ).

    2. Consider selling numbered and signed prints of your work. Last year at a tradeshow I purchased a numbered and signed print from the nature artist Tel Hicks as a gift for my husband. Both he and I were thrilled that Mr. Hicks signed his work and honored that he shared some of his insights with us.

    3. Promote your work offline as well as online and let your online customers know where you will be showing your work or like you do with D & D, other parties who have your work for sale.

    4. Tell your customers about your printing processes. People who have an eye for your work, do want to know how it is printed, what type of paper you use, framed or unframed?, what type of glass you use if framed. For instance, the art print I purchased we framed using museum glass. How are your items shipped? Are posters rolled up in a tube or rolled up with a rubber band? How is the work protected?

    5. Take the "prices start at $3.99" of your site. You need to promote respect for your work. Advertising a cheap price doesn't do that. If your visitors feel that you don't respect your own work, they won't buy it for the simple reason that they will feel it is cheap rather than merely inexpensive.

    6. In explaining rights of use licenses, you need to be more specific. Check out how the rights are sold at some of the stock sites like iStock and Fotolia and sell rights to your work in similar fashion.

    Finally, you do beautiful work, now you need to do the work to get some beautiful conversion. Every word on your site should point towards selling your work, not giving it away.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown


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