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Aletta de Wal
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Fabienne Bismuth
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« Art Marketing: Who Is The Audience For Your Art? | Main | Artist Web Sites: Template Websites for Custom Art »

Artist Web Sites: DIY or Hired Help?

You like to save money, and there are lots of ways to do that as an artist. Maybe you learn how to stretch your own canvas, do your own framing, and design your own web site.  
Which one of these tasks is not like the other? Yup - designing your own web site. Let me flip that example around for you. Would you ask a programmer without art experience to create a painting? Probably not.  
I'm not saying you shouldn't learn about managing your web presence, you should. I just want you to be clear about the pros and cons.  
So how do you know what's best for you? Consider these three options:

1. DIY. You find an online website system and do it all yourself.   

    - Lowest initial $$$ cost
    - Good if you have very little money in your marketing budget
    - You learn about online marketing/design and gain useful future skills  
    - Requires research to find the the right system for you
    - No benefits/advice from working with an experienced designer  
    - Significant time away from your studio and from marketing your art  
    - Big learning curve for a good online system, or, easy-to-use but limited online
      systems you'll soon outgrow  

2. Hire a professional web designer to do it all for you.

Someone with years of experience in art business and marketing, who has worked with many artists, with good communication skills and a solid track record of success.   
    - Lowest time investment for you
    - Most professional results
    - Support/advice from an experience pro
    - Integration of your website with your business/marketing plan
    - Search engine optimization so people can find you easily   
    - Highest potential cost
3. Collaborate. A pro sets it up - you help drop in the content.

    - Cost savings, often significant
    - Support/advice from an experienced pro
    - Professional results
    - Integration of your website with your business/marketing plan
    - Search engine optimization
    - You learn valuable online marketing skills
    - Few designers skilled in working this way
    - Opportunity cost can escalate by doing too much yourself

You want the best materials you can afford to make your art. If you have to give up a latte or two, you do. Apply the same thinking to managing your time and money on your website. Your next collector will be impressed with your art and reassured of your professionalism.

Hope that's helpful. Let me know if you have questions or want a 15-minute conversation (free!) to talk about getting a website or updating the one you have.   
We have website packages that include tutoring time and help videos if you want to learn to update it yourself. They start at $600. See some samples here. Want a detailed review of your current website (with written recommendations and a phone call to review them), or advice planning for a new one? Website audits/consultations are $125. Email me to inquire.

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