Own Blog/website or use other sites?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Discussion' started by NealAAL, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. NealAAL

    NealAAL
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    Dear All,

    I am planning to create a blog that could showcase my artwork (drawings and illustrations) as a new business. Eventually, I intend to morph and upgrade it to a website.

    It is worrisome that the images may just be used and downloaded without my knowledge, hence without payment. How do I protect copyright and my interests in this matter?

    Would it be wiser to upload them to sites like Associated Content and similar sites that pay less? At Associated Content they will pay $1.50, per 1000 page views the image receives. Is this a reasonable price? How long does 1000 page views take to reach? Of course there is a different price when the image is eventually sold. Still, it will be a lot less than putting a price on an image and displaying it on my own website, but at least no one will be able to download it without paying for it. To say the least, you get the protection.

    Many Thanks.
     
  2. dahlia84

    dahlia84
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    Simple - Watermark your photos.

    When it comes to pictures, I don't think AC accepts pictures. Or Does it? AFAIK it accepts articles and videos. You can also try uploading your photographs to istockphoto or gettyimages or such stock websites.

    Talking about your artwork (drawings) why not make a portfolio and participate in logo contests? Search Google for "Design Forum Contest". The website at the very first link provides a great opportunity for artists to make money online.
     
  3. seanstevens

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    Hi NealAAL, I'm no expert, but my advice would be to move straight past the blog and set yourself up a website to showcase your work. Offer to do some work for free on forums (such as BAF) in exchange for feedback and good reviews that you could then add to the website. Get yourself a good domain name, one that can be remembered. If you take the time now to get it right then it will pay off in the long run.
     
  4. Fergal

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  5. Tecknowoman

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    All great suggestions. Getting back to your original question I am curious as to what you are trying to achieve? A blog to showcase your artwork? Are you looking to showcase or sell?

    If you think of the internet as just another medium - so in your art you have a type of canvas whether it be photo paper, real canvas, watercolour paper or the like and you have other media tools such as paints, or brushes, pencils, pastels etc. The internet is just that a media channel to market through.

    So are you trying to market yourself, market your art, or just sell your artwork? If you are trying to market all together I would consider a blog but I would choose to host it on my own domain so that I can retain control and am not dependent on the services of another, especially one that might go out of business. If you register your own domain you can choose to host a sales page and other landing pages for different searches relevant to your market. Page by page you create links adn an overall website just one page at a time.

    On the domain registration to assist in getting good rankings quickly I would either do or invest in some market and keyword research. What is the market your are trying to enter? Is it a busy, profitable, competitive market? What keyword searches are people currently using? Then you want to have the main keyword/s you want to rank for in your domain name.

    Then your beginning, ranking and traffic to your site will be a faster and easier process.

    The suggestion to watermark your pictures is absolutely correct and if you wanted to do things to further grab attention take a look at animoto and put still shots of your work into an animoto video set to music and watermarked. Your art can't be stolen but it will generate interest and create a showcase easily able to be incorporated into your blog post.

    There is more and I could go on but lest this is too much I will stop and if you want to chat more feel free to PM me, or if I have written anything confusing! Good luck
     
  6. NealAAL

    NealAAL
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    Hi dahlia84, thank you. Yes I definitely would add a watermark. Whilst working in China, a few times my bosses would present me a printout that they took from the internet. Some of them were very small and with watermarks too. He'd assign it to any available artist in the team, to copy the idea and produce a new item.

    A few would call it being eclectic, and a few would say it's outright copying.

    AC accepts text, audio, video or images.

    Thanks seanstevens! I wouldn't mind working for free in exchange for all the feedback and help I have already received.

    Yes, I at first wanted to go directly to creating a website. But I don't have much right now so I was thinking of using what's available at the moment. In my research, a lot of artists seem to go for the free blog more. Maybe it is because a free website doesn't come out much in in a search.

    Yes I have, however there isn't much in the way of street painting here. A gallery would be the best way to go and it will take a longer time.

    I am working on a free project, simple vector portraits of my classmates in high school. We are having our 25th Alumni Homecoming on December 2010. A then and now theme. I'm hoping I'd get requests for more realistic portraits each time I finish one. We are 84 in all and I hope it would be viral.

    Thank You.
     
  7. NealAAL

    NealAAL
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    I would like to showcase and sell. When I started doing research, most suggestions were to post drawings, illustrations, paintings and other art on sites like Etsy, Associated Content, Constant-content, 99designs, etc. This way I can leave my drawings at these sites, have passive income while I'm creating new ones.

    I consider the internet as a media to market my art, not necessarily myself. As long as the artwork is selling, fine by me. But who wouldn't want to be famous. :D

    I am considering the free blog then graduating to my own website and domain after enough money has been saved. I understand there are stable blog hosts like Blogger. I think your suggestion here of creating a website page by page is a very good one. Thank you.

    Please let me know how to go about getting more info on keyword searches.

    Thanks for animoto, I've bookmark the page and will definitely use the service.

    Please advice on your location and what time would it be appropriate to chat? I am on GMT+8, just in case I'd be so bold and desperate for more info.

    Many, many thanks!

    I'm posting this image to illustrate what kind of work I can do. The image has been sold and is used with permission. A former client wanted me to design and illustrate a Nativity with a Mexican feel. It was sculpted by their team and fabricated for sale in the US.

    Would their be more interest generated in my own blog/website or at sites like Associated Content? By the way, I intend to sell digital images only as a start. Avoids the trouble of shipping original artwork. I don't know if it's a bad/good idea, but most original art will be done digitally anyway. Like the one here:
     
  8. Tecknowoman

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    Hey there, OK to answers some of your questions after my response!

    WRT placing images on existing sites for art consider what your goal (showcase and sell) is and what you want to achieve. Will these do it for you? The reason I ask is that just because others do it doesn't mean you have to? What kind of sales do you want to make, what do you want to be paid, what clients do you want to buy your work? How do you want to be known and will those sites do it? Does your work fit well into those sites and the types of stuff that sell well there? Are you looking to sell copies of images quickly and cheaply for income or to both sell images & use those images to drive interest & inquiry into commissioned designs? What ownership, re-use, & reproduction restrictions, if any, do those sites place on your own use of your work? (as you can tell this is definitely not an area I am an expert in!)

    It's not necessarily about fame but creating an expert status attached to your own name in your niche is a valuable thing to do. For example if you type street painting into google one of the top ranking searches includes a person's name and he also comes up as one of the google offered related searches for Street Painting. He appears as more than one listing etc. Therefore if I was looking for an expert on this I'd be likely to contact him! Don't underestimate the value of journalists looking for "experts" in fields on social media! if you create a name and a hype/recognition around it you are known and people will use you!

    I would always be tempted to own my site and build a blog there first. Original content is ranked more highly and therefore you should always post any article to your own site first before re-distributing the content elsewhere. Then you can also do stuff like Squidoo lenses to showcase your niche, your many design niches, even on something shamelessly self-promoting such as HOW to Find/Pick a Great XXX Artist - listing things you should consider etc etc and obviously linking to you and your products!

    It costs what 9.99USD to register a .com domain to which you can add a wordpress blog for not much cost. I would suggest Wordpress because it ranks well with Google. I can probably help with doing any of that stuff, including creating the bones of your site for you however at this point we'd need to work an agreement where I get something back for both my time and knowledge (as it would take me away from my own stuff). These are things you can outsource fairly cheaply or get assistance with fairly easily and aren't too expensive.

    The other reason I would consider my own site is that you can both build a list (there are tools I can direct you to for this also) and ensure you are using a download link protection tool to prevent as much unauthorised use of your work as possible. Also over time you can consider using a simple tool to allow your buyers to sign up as affiliates and sell your work for you which includes digital download protection tools. You have a lot more scope with your own site & if you're going to invest the time & effort into building why not make it your own from day 1! and yes as I said bit-by-bit. Most of us wanna make websites too complicated - the ones generating the best sales tend to be a simple well written sales page in black text on a white background. It also gives you the opportunity incorporating auto email messages to contact your list with a follow-up (think what Amazon books do here) subtle upsell. If you like this image you may also be interested in these images or people who purchased this image also bought these - looks like you're just being helpful!

    OK I use a paid tool for keyword research which make the process a lot faster and simpler for me. However you can do it for free using Google and Google insights. In your google search if you look directly under the search bar there is a show other options tool which will give you access to related search terms and the wonderwheel. In Insights you can type a search term and see what categories it appears in (great for categories for your blog post), what search volume, what regions of the world it was searched in and again the most popular and rising keyword searches. To get an idea how competitive you'll be go back and look at the number of pages in Google for that term and also the number of sponsored links (ignored e-bay and ask.com which have sponsored links for everything). If people are paying for links they are making money especially if they've been paying for a long time.

    There is also a plugin for firefox which will let you see what keywords your competitors are using adn alexa which will give you info on individual sites also.

    I love animoto and you can use tools to post that video content onto a number of sites to assist you in ranking and driving traffic.

    Well that is a lot of words & certainly a sharing of my brain! If you want to know more about any aspect of this I am planning to write some blog posts shortly. ALternatively PM me, we can Skype I am in UTC/GMT+10 (Sydney Australia if that helps). If you need help I can probably assist doing some.

    Hey & my pleasure!
     
  9. Fergal

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    Neal have a look at Google Adwords keyword tool to help you with keyword research. You've got some great advice and thanks for giving your feedback on it.
     
  10. NealAAL

    NealAAL
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    Website

    Thank you all for your suggestions and advice.

    Now I know which direction to take. I hope I can also be of help to someone in the near future.
     
  11. Fergal

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    Thanks for the update Neal, please post back with a link to your site or blog once you have published it. We look forward to seeing it.
     

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