Artists – Build A Virtual Gallery

A tv storyboard is a plan, a way of figuring out the story of the film before you put in the enormous amount of work of the animation itself. How will people know about your art if they don’t know you exist? You must have a presence on the Internet. Your first step to create a presence on the Internet is to build a web site. A web site is kind of like a person. Most of its attributes or features are hidden, and all you see is its face (the index page). You have to get to know it a bit before its personality comes through. To do this, you have the choice of using any of the wizards that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) may have available, or you may use one of the commercial web site builders (authoring tools) such as GoLive, Dreamweaver, etc. Some of these are very pricey, but they are extremely robust in what they offer, and may be a good choice for dynamic web sites requiring active items like Flash or many pages of interactive material. Some of these authoring tools are free and provided as part of the service to offer you space on an ISP’s server. Your choice. You may have one or several accounts. Most e-mail accounts allow up to 10 megs of space per account (free), which is usually enough to post your personal web site and add pictures. 10 Megs can rapidly be used up though in the art business, demanding that you move your service to a professional web space provider (not free).

The next step is to get a domain name. There are many providers of this service, and I’ve had good luck with Yahoo, but you can sign up for a domain name as part of a package deal through an ISP. Shop around. Find a name you like or use your name. No matter what you call yourself, the index page is the key to your site, and the first page people will see, so the primary focus of your web site will be centered on this key page. The index page is the front door and display window to your “store”. Everything you will create initially will be built around this page like the spokes of a wheel.

Virtually all sites show artwork in a small “thumbnail-size” fashion, which expands to a larger picture when you click on it. If your art does not do this, chances are it takes too long for customers to download your site. Your Index page must download quickly or people will lose interest. Keep your pictures viewable using as few bytes as you can. Scanned pictures and those taken with a digital camera are notorious for eating up memory (bytes). Adjust your digital camera for the lowest quality setting or modify your images accordingly using some of the software that usually comes with digital cameras, or is available as Freeware on the Internet. Go to downloads.com for instance and search for simple photo editors that you can download if you do not have appropriate software to do this.

Launch your site using your website provider’s FTP uploader or the built-in one that comes with most authoring software. If you don’t have one, go to filezilla.com for example and download theirs. It may take a couple of days for your website to become active on the Internet, but once it does, you will have succeeded with actual web site building/launching and you’re ready to move on to web site promoting.

Promoting a web site is hard work. They don’t promote themselves. At my blog, diyartpromotion.com, you’ll find all sorts of information on art promotion and it will make your promotional efforts a bit easier. One of the hardest things to accomplish on the internet is to get noticed. You must directly or indirectly focus people who are interested in your product or service to come see what you offer. There are several ways to do this.

Finding your web site through keywords/phrases. You will build these into your browser so that search engines can find you. If you can’t figure out what these key words are, goodkeywords.com to help you.

Viral marketing. Tell everyone you know about your web site and what you offer. Print business cards and/or postcards and flyers and give them out like candy. Put your URL as part of your signature line on every e-mail you send. Friends tell friends. Do you belong to an association or group of any kind? Tell them and spread the word. Better yet create a newsletter.

You can create a FREE newsletter or ezine which you will offer to any site visitors to become subscribers who “opt in” to have it and you can use this as a platform to promote your service. Offer something free to everyone who subscribes for instance to get more takers. Who cares if you can’t write, there are free sites galore offering newsworthy stuff you can use. Just look up free ezines on your browser, or go to and check out the resource links there. Write as often as you wish to those who want to read your newsletter and create a growing family of readers/friends who want to hear what you have to say and will buy related items you offer through your great advice.

Links and affiliate programs are another option. I only suggest you use reputable links to those who will promote you as well in an honest fashion and have similar interests, as you can easily get into an endless chain of links of no particular value, and then you may as well be Spam.

Customers must pay for your products. For those just getting started, I recommend PayPal as a simple solution everyone can use, because otherwise it will cost you a minimum of $35 a month to carry bankcard credit capability. If you’re just starting out, you don’t want to be burdened with this cost.

Finally, deliver 110% when somebody actually orders something. Give them more than they asked for, and they’ll always come back for more. There’s every reason to believe there are customers for the types of things you offer whether it is a product or service. Tired of working for others? Find a need and help to fulfill it. Your success will be assured. You have only to look at e-Bay as a shining example of this.

The world may be your oyster, but your future is on the web. Create a new site that is fun and interesting to go to, talk it up and people will beat a path to your door.

Gregory may be reached at: gregorypeters123@msn.com

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