This post is by guest author, Laura den Hertog. This article has been edited and published with the author's permission. We've promoted this post to feature status because it provides great value to the FineArtViews community. If you want your blog posts listed in the FineArtViews newsletter with the possibility of being republished to our 70,000 subscribers, consider blogging with FASO Artist Websites. This author's views are entirely her own and may not always reflect the views of BoldBrush, Inc.
By 2009 I had already been creating my own art websites using free or cheap website hosting services for 5 years. I had been putting in long hours trying to get my website to look professional and maintain a few extras like a newsletter and a blog. Each of these were hosted on separate services. Those early platforms were soul suckingly frustrating and I watched my art making time shrink. What a nightmare.
I really needed a solution so that I could not only save time but have control over the look of my site, blog and newsletters. These days that's called branding, but at the time I was after a unified look and feel to everything I showed online. I really needed a classy, professional look that was in keeping with the types of art galleries that represented me or whom I wished to approach.
I mean you can't be showing high-end art on a rinky-dink website. How embarrassing.
And please god give me a solution where all the links work seamlessly together so I can stop apologizing to people!
I came across Fine Art Studio Online (FASO.com) in March of 2009, right in the middle of what is now called the Great Recession. I was still flying high, my work was in great galleries across the USA and Canada and sales were strong.
OMG... The thrill of finding an all in one solution for my online presence. Websites designed specifically for artists? I was a kid in a candy store, drooling over all the bells and whistles and the pretty pretty websites. I was happy to pay the $28 a month for a "gold" level website. Sure it was an added expense and I am about as frugal as it gets, but I knew it was worth every penny.
Saving My Bacon
Of course I had no idea how much the terrain of the art market was going to change in the coming years. Bit by bit the stellar art galleries that were selling my work began to close, or change stylistic direction in an effort to save themselves from a crippling recession. My large island of supportive art galleries got smaller and smaller.
Through those years of switching from exclusively showing in art galleries to becoming an independent artist selling my own work, FASO was by my side. They were frightening times, but I learned about selling my own work through articles on Fine Art Views, FASO's art marketing blog. My website already had integrated ecommerce, so all I had to do was add prices and link my PayPal account to my FASO account. A no-brainer that transformed my website from online portfolio to my own art shop.
When a Website Provider Goes Above and Beyond.
FASO made the transition so much easier by providing all sorts of supportive services. Every time I add a new artwork to my site it is automatically shown to a huge collector base through their "Daily Art Stream" newsletter, and an email is sent to everyone on my subscriber list to announce a new artwork. Participating in their Bold Brush Monthly Painting Competition showcases my art as well.
I even received a wonderful review of my work from art critic Brian Sherwin through FASO when they did a feature on my art.
And here's the real deal. I did everything, I mean every thing I could to promote my art independently. I would read about some new-fangled idea and want to change my website to conform to the latest trend. If it wasn't already built into the FASO system I would get in touch with tech support and ask if I could have A, B or C. And ya know what? They always made it happen for me. Every single time. Always with a smile and a sense of humor.
Please Excuse Me While I Gush.
It's really hard for me to reign in my enthusiasm when I talk about FASO services. Suffice it to say that no other website hosting platform comes even close to offering what they do. I'd give you a list of the many ways they support, promote and celebrate artists, but it would be way too long and you can find out for yourself on their website.
I know for a fact that I have made many sales and gained subscribers and fans because of my beautifully integrated site, blog and newsletter. Oh! And did I mention social media integration? Yup. That too. I credit FASO with helping me to remain a thriving artist to this day.
I will tell you this, lately I have been toying with the idea of starting a subscription service or membership program. So many ideas, but how to implement them? The other day, an email from FASO arrived outlining a new addition to their Art Marketing Platform toolkit for artists. A Patronage bar for collecting subscribers for a patronage or membership service. Integrated in my website. Take that Patreon.
I guess I'll be bugging the good people of FASO tech support again while I sort to my new membership business. I hope they are not rolling their eyes and thinking, "oh boy, here she goes again".
Get On The Bandwagon
If you are not already enjoying the benefits of a FASO website, be sure to click on any of the links to their website in this article and enjoy a free month (beyond the 30 day trial period) on them. That's just how generous they are.
When asked, I always recommend Faso websites and services and I included the recommendation in my new book "The Fairy Art Mother's Guide to Captivating Fans and Selling Art". The book offers everything that I know works for artists who want to thrive while making a living selling their art. A great website is just one piece of a larger puzzle. If you would like to avoid wasting time on unproductive marketing and sell your work without using sleazy sales pitches, this book may be for you.
Learn how to sell from the heart of your art, you can find the book here:
How to Home-Grow Your Sales...What I've Learned
Why Artists Need an Artist Website
FASO'S Always Trying to Promote Our Art
Why I Came Back To FASO
My website; My partner.