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Your Website Should be The Hub

It’s great if you have a heavy web presence and you’re active on all kinds of social media networks, making friends and sharing valuable art information…

But if that’s all you’re doing, you’re leaving a lot of internet mojo on the table.

©2012 Website Hub by Lezley Davidson

The golden nugget truth is that… your website should always be the primary publishing source for new art, news, events, promotions, sales and all things related to your art business.

And I don’t mean ‘oh, I’ve got a Facebook page, or a Tumblr… or I’m on deviantART.

THAT. IS. BALLSACK.

You don’t have control over those sites. Your content is uploaded to servers that you don’t control or have access to. Free services can go out of business, close for no reason, change format, change direction, limit your services, block or delete your account… These do not make for good platforms on which to base a business.

You need a website over which you have full control. Made from scratch or wordpress.org self-hosted types are the best choices. The key is ‘self-hosted’. You control your content upload, you can access and back up your content.

If your service provider goes out of business, you can just get a new host and upload your website to the new server provider. Certainly a pain in the ass, but well worth it when compared to the alternative.

The Horror

Imagine for a moment that you’ve been publishing images to your Facebook page or your Tumblr for the last 2 years. You’ll throw up a blog post every couple weeks or so and talk about whatever is currently turning your crank in the art world. Maybe a new artist, a technique or process or maybe it’s events that you’re attending. You didn’t know you were doing it – but you’ve become a pretty fair content marketer. Good for you.

You’ve been engaging, people like you, they like your work, they share your content, comment, come see you in the real world, buy your stuff and you’ve done a healthy amount of commissions that you mail out all over the world (yay Internet!).

You’ve got several hundred people subscribed to your page and interested in what you’re doing…

Then your Facebook page suddenly gets hijacked and used by spammers – poof!

No more page, no more content, no more web presence. This has personally happened to 2 people I know. Facebook can also decide to block you, limit your subscribers or just delete your page due to infringement issues that you had no idea about. Seriously.

©2012 Empty Handed by Lezley Davidson

This is the risk that you take on any site that you do not host yourself.

All of the work and the content is just gone. And you have to start again from scratch.

You can still get hacked on your own hosted site, but at least that way you’ve still got all your content and your wordpress indexing, theme and formatting.

Free Sites Limit Access to Your Audience

A free site like Tumblr or Facebook severely limits your access to your awesome audience. You’re dependent upon your readers maybe seeing your post in the news feed. Or they need to be motivated enough to choose to visit your page again and again.

A free site doesn’t allow you to gather any information about your viewers at all. You don’t have access to them outside of the free site, you don’t have any idea what they’re interested in when they are on your page and you have no way of contacting them on your own.

All of these capabilities are integral for your art business to grow.

Next up is Google Analytics – the secret lurker on your website.

(and we love it)

 
 

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