I mentioned in my post on January 1st, that as I began to work through my list of goals that I would flesh them out in more detail here and share the process of accomplishing them. One person commented on how ambitious my list is, so I am the more determined to see it through!
Continuing with my work on the website and marketing part of my goal list, I have taken to reviewing my website – a part of my stable of internet tools that has received considerably less attention since beginning to blog. Trust me when I say the website deserves equal attention. It is like the ‘back-story’ to the blog.
I have been reading Clint Watson’s Blog, Linda Blondheim and Katherine Tyrell’s Making a Mark Blog with rapt attention lately. I have been studying the websites of artists that appear to be having success with their websites and blogs and from there, I have created a plan to restructure, first my website, and then add a blog that is only for smaller artwork that is for sale – posted as it is made. I am expecting that this specialty blog will keep my brush moving a little faster (another one of my goals!). Being sane (mostly – so far) I am not going to even consider a painting a day – but a painting a week should be a good start. To reach too high is to guarantee self-sabotage and I certainly want to avoid that!
In restructuring my website I have determined that my site navigation menu needs to be improved. I am very wary of having too many choices, however, I think there are some things that I just need to have. I think that a News or What’s New page is a great idea. This allows people to see what you are up to. It gives people a place to start, but you want to drive traffic inside because, it is too easy for the rest of your site to get stale if you don’t have a reason to drive traffic to it. The other sections are Exhibitions ( I have decided to put both past and upcoming on this page along with any publications), Galleries, Links, and Contact. Galleries and Exhibitions are still very important for me as I do not yet have a studio that patrons can visit.
Other navigation buttons will include the Paintings, of course! I want to make pieces available for sale right on the site this time and I have made the decision to list prices with the paintings. And, one cannot forget the Artist Bio. This section is a post in itself, so I will go into detail further in the next “A Better Website II” post in a couple of days.
I, personally, don’t run workshops, but if you do – this is worthy of its own spot on the navigation menu, so I thought I would mention it.
I am just getting started on making the changes to the Artscapes website. Now that the navigation is established and I have organized my content, it is time to build the structure. It will look very similar to what is already there visually, with the added content being the biggest change. I plan to have it complete by the end of February at the latest. Because I am building it myself and my CSS skills are untested, I’ll need that extra time to get it right and still have time to paint! CSS is a wonderful thing for design, but a challenge for designers that got used to HTML tags alone! I am hoping to dig myself out from under the chaos currently in draft…. Dreamweaver is making it a little easier – now that I understand why it uses so many classes…. Yikes!
This blog will continue in the same or similar format – sharing my travels, my philosophies, my passions, new paintings, and anything useful I come across. The main goal for this blog has always been to get it further out there and offer something interesting to art fans and hopefully find people who enjoy my work. Enter social networking… and the marketing plan for the completed website and blogs. Those I’ll address again in a post after the site is complete!
In review – the list of how the site will navigate:
- What’s New or News
- Paintings (with sub-menu)
- A link to the Blogs (this one and the proposed one)
- Optional – workshops, commissions, special projects
I hope this post was useful. I appreciate any feedback from my readers!