Does this sound familiar? Everyone tells you you need to be on Instagram, and Pinterest and don’t forget deviantART and even TikTok! But nobody tells you how to stand among the crowd, or how to sell your art without giving a big chunk of your profits to the platform. What if I told you having your own artist website would solve most of that?
Got your attention? Good! 🙂 Let’s talk about 5 powerful reasons why you should have an artist website, especially if you want to turn your art into a thriving business and brand.
This post contains affiliate links (marked with **). If you use the links to make a purchase, I may earn a commission from the sale at no extra cost to you. This helps keep this website up and running. Thank you for your support!
1. Having your own artist website gives you full control and ownership
Large websites for artists like deviantART, Artstation, Behance and even social media like Facebook or Instagram are a great place to grow your audience. However… You don’t own your audience and you have to abide by their guidelines and terms of service.
This limits what you can post and who sees your art and if you breach the rules you may get your account suspended and lose all of your hard work!
But what if you could post whatever you wanted and have full control over who sees it and when?
Imagine not fighting algorithms to get your fans to see your art. Not having to limit or alter what you post to fit the guidelines of the platform. Easily lock the content so only paying customers can see it.
Furthermore, if you have your own WordPress.org*** website moving your content to a different hosting platform is easy. You won’t be forced to stay or lose any of your content if you decide to move to a different hosting.
*** I'm not talking about WordPress.com here, but installing WordPress CMS on your hosting package through providers like Namecheap or Kinsta (more on that later in this post!).
2. It strengthens your brand as an artist
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. “But Lucia, I’m just a small artist, I’m not a brand?”.
And that may be true now but if you want to turn art into a revenue generating business, you’ll eventually become a brand too!
Having a website can help you build a successful, renowned brand people trust and love!
Why? Because it gives people a closer look at your work, vibe, core values and what you stand for as an artist. It shows people what your brand is all about and why they should stick around.
Moreover, it’s more professional and will give clients and potential employers a positive impression. It will make them more likely to pay attention to what you’re doing and hire you.
When I open artist applications at Artcorgi I have to browse hundreds of applications to find the best artists for our network.
I've had people send me to their Twitter feeds to see their art (but I can rarely find it among the rest of things they've shared) while others sent me to their exclusive artist portfolio website.
Who do you think is more likely to get accepted?
Having an artist website that boosts your branding and features your best works in the best possible way can create a lasting impression on anyone who sees it. *high five*
3. Boosts Your Visibility, Growth and Sales
Having your own website means you don’t have to compete with countless other artists and users on social media platforms. I’ll talk more about competition in a bit but the key is that this allows you to optimize your website for Search Engine Optimization (read this post to learn more about SEO for artists).
When you optimize the content on your website for SEO, you can make your content and your art rank higher in Google. This will boost your visibility, making it easier for more people to find you and buy your art.
You can also then convert these visitors into email subscribers so that you can email them whenever you release a new artwork, have a promotion going on or just want to share bits of your life with them.
Wondering why you'd want to convert them into email subscribers?
Email marketing is 40 times more effective at driving sales than social media. Say whaaat?
So if you want to get more commissions on your art, sell more prints, or make more money from your art, use email marketing instead of social!
Having an email list as an artist will unlock a lot of growth and revenue opportunities, but I’d need a whole other post to cover that (let me know if this interests you, though!).
4. You don’t need to compete with other artists on your own artist website
One of the biggest benefits of using social media and other artist platforms is that you can easily connect with others and build relationships.
However, it also means there’s more competition to get people to see your art. You’re competing with fellow artists, but also with the platform’s advertisements, promotions and the infamous algorithms.
Now, if you’re on social media, then you also have to compete with countless other posts that aren’t even related to art. Fun, isn’t it??
On the other hand, when you have your own artist website, the spotlight is on YOU!
You have your audience’s attention all to yourself and that is powerful.
Attention is currency and when you have the attention of the visitors on your website, you can turn them into email subscribers or customers with ease.
5. You can sell your content without splitting your profits with anyone
Possibly one of the most important reasons to have your own artist website! When you have your own website, you can set up your store without having to split profits with anyone.
Platforms like Etsy charge you for your listings, and then for every sale you make. DeviantArt charges you a 20% fee if you sell commissions or premium content through their systems.
Many platforms like Wix, Weebly or even Squarespace force you to pay a higher price to access e-commerce features. To top it off, they charge you per-sale fees on everything you sell.
I don’t know about you, but I want to keep the money I make. Especially when you’re already paying to host your art website.
So why not set up your own art website and store so that you can retain full control of your content AND your earnings?
Installing and setting up a WooCommerce store is pretty easy and you'll retain full control of your art and profits!
Bonus - Recommendations to build your artist website
Want to try your hand at setting up your art website and store? Here are some tips and recommendations to help you!
✦ Best registrar for your domain name
One of the most important things you need before you can build your art website is a domain name. If we compare a house to a website, the domain name would be the street address.
The best place to purchase a domain name for your website is Namecheap.com **
It’s where I buy all of my domains. They’re affordable, they have fantastic support and you don’t get lured in with a very cheap price and then hit with a renewal fee that’s 10x that. You always pay the same.
✦ Best hosting provider for your art website
The hosting is the place or server where your website will be stored. Using the same analogy as before, it would be the plot of land where your house is built (with your website being the actual house).
I have two hosting provider recommendations for you! Finding a hosting provider is key to ensuring the performance of your website and that you’ll get the right help if you need it.
You want your hosting provider to be fast, reliable, have epic customer support and even better security.
My recommendations for you are:
- Namecheap hosting **: it’s what I use for my art website, the one you’re in right now! Namecheap hosting is very affordable, reliable and their support team is always ready to help.
If you need to start on a budget, I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.
- Kinsta hosting **: the best of the best. Although it’s more expensive than Namecheap, it’s worth every penny.
I use Kinsta for my e-commerce website ArtCorgi and for my online course platform, Thriving Artist Vault.
The content loads blazingly fast, their support team always responds to my request in under a few minutes, and they’re always improving the service they offer.
✦ Best themes for your art website
Your website’s theme will determine how it looks and the functionality it has. In the house analogy, your theme would be the house decor. Choose wisely so you have an impressive design that wows clients and visitors alike!
- Creative Market: a wide variety of themes to choose from that will fit any budget!
- Thrive Suite - Thrive Theme builder allows you to create your own theme from scratch, without needing to code and giving you full control over the look and feel of your site! This is what I use on all of my websites! 🙂
- Other fantastic options for your themes: Bluchic **, Hello You Designs, Restored 316 designs.
Want to learn how to build your website and set up your own store step by step?
Sign up to be notified when I open the doors to my course “Set Up Your Store”. You’ll learn step by step how to set up your store from scratch, without coding and in record time!
Over to you - Are you going to set up your own artist website?
If you’ve read everything, you should feel confident in the multiple ways having a website for your art can help you. From increasing your visibility to strengthening your brand to helping you keep more of your hard earned cash.
Are you ready to set up your own art website? Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to sign up for the waitlist if you need help building your website!
You got this!