You can have the best art in the world, but if no one is visiting your website and signing up for your email list, you won’t sell any art.
“What is the secret to driving traffic to your art website?”
This is actually a pretty complicated question, so I want to dig deep into it.
A lot of people will tell you:
- “You need to do SEO.”
- “You need to do advertising.”
- “You need to get on social media.”
It’s important to remember there are different stages in your art business.
In each one of those stages, you can focus on different strategies and tactics.
But you don’t need to overcomplicate things in the beginning.
At different stages of your business, you can try different things, moving from beginner to more advanced later on. But you can’t do it all upfront.
For example, PPC, or “pay per click,” refers to paid advertising.
You’ve probably seen these types of ads on Google, Facebook, and Twitter. PPC is great for more advanced businesses because when you get it working, it’s very scalable and provides a predictable ROI.
For every dollar you put in, you might make two dollars, three dollars or even four dollars. It can be a really powerful tool to help your art business grow.
But the downside is that you need to know your numbers. You need to know what your LTV, or lifetime value, is for every art collector. You need to know your conversion numbers.
For example, I know for every 100 affordable prints I sell (< $500 USD), 6 of those collectors are going to later buy a much more expensive offerings again and again. They’ll become a collector for life.
To really do PPC right, it also takes a lot of analytics. Most people hire other people to handle this for them.
That’s why I recommend that you DON’T start with PPC ads. You should really wait to do this because you can get free traffic in the early stages of growth.
Here’s another advanced online business topic: SEO or “Search engine optimization.”
SEO is when you type something into Google, results come up, you click, and you’re like, “Yes! This is exactly what I wanted.”
That’s an example of good SEO in action. This tool can be incredibly powerful for your online business.
Anytime that you generate leads or get traffic to your art website from SEO, you’re getting really high-quality people coming to your site with what’s called “search intent.” All that means, in a nutshell, is that the person was searching for what you have to offer.
The problem with SEO is that it takes a lot of work and time to start seeing results. It’s also not directly in your control where you rank.
Google might change their policies or how they rank certain key terms. It also takes time for your site and posts to rank really well.
The best recommendation I have for you on SEO is to write authentically about you and your work on your art website and blog.
And in fact, you can get a ton of traffic from Google, even if you don’t look at keywords, title tags, or any other advanced stuff that other people will tell you to do.
The reason it works is because people will click on the posts they care about, and if they find what they read interesting, they’ll come back.
The best way to get traffic to your art website is to get featured, create guest posts, and/or get interviewed.
Getting in front of the already established audiences of others is the most effective way you can start getting FREE traffic to your site right now.
Getting featured in front of the right audience tomorrow could mean hundreds or thousands of people on your email list this week.
It doesn’t cost you money like PPC. It doesn’t require you to know your conversion numbers, like paid advertising does.
It’s actually really straightforward.
Getting in front of the already established audience of others just involves you going to sites that have more traffic than you do and saying:
- “Hey, I have something that I think your readers would find interesting.”
- “Can I do a guest post for you?”
- “Would you like to set-up a quick interview?” or “I see you feature _____, will you feature my work?”
To this day, I still get traffic from small features and quick write-ups I had on sites from over 7 years ago.
So how does it work?
First of all, you don’t need to go directly to top notch blog and publications in the beginning. That’s really important. Don’t go find the biggest publication or blogger on the planet and pitch them. It doesn’t make any sense, and you don’t have the credibility just yet.
You start off small, finding people who are one level above you, and you say, “Hey, I noticed that you have an audience that’s interested in this topic. I think that your readers will probably find my work interesting.”
Then based on the type of content they publish (interviews, guest posts, features, etc…) Ask to be a part of it.
Most blog owners and publications would love to feature you and your work.
You’re making their job of creating compelling content for their audiences easier by offering up you and your work.
As you get good at this, you’ll be able to leverage this domino effect of reaching out to higher and higher audiences.
For example you could say, “Hi Blogger #2, Nice to meet you. I did an interview with Blogger #1. Their audience loved it! Do you think we could do an interview?”
Then, you could do this again and again, and again.
You’ll keep moving up the chain, and, soon enough, you’ll be on massive sites.
KEY INSIGHT: You can harness the already established audiences of others to grow your email list.