Are you thinking about starting an art blog? You know that a blog will help build your online presence but what would be your best your goals and art business? In this article, you will discover the difference between an art blog hosted vs self-hosted site.
Art Blog Hosted vs Self-hosted
What is CMS?
CMS (aka blog) is a content management system is a computer application that allows publishing, editing and modifying content, organizing, deleting as well as maintenance from a central interface.
Such systems of content management provide procedures to manage workflow in a collaborative environment.
You will often hear people addressing CMS as a blog.
Does CMS cost money?
There are two CMS options to select from. There is a hosted option that is free and a self-hosted option that you do have to pay for.
I will discuss them in more detail to help you decide what will be best for you.
What is best for you?
After you have read the options, take a look at your goals and decide what will be your best option to support your goals.
Your options are limited if you are going to be using a hosted service. But there are some artists who have done very well building an online art business with a hosted service.
Take a look at Abby Ryan’s blog and see what she has accomplished with Blogger a hosted service.
A self-hosted blog will give you more options and you will own it. You will have all of the tools available to create a brand exactly the way you envision it to be.
Look at Lisa Congdon’s blog to see how she branded her self-hosted site.
There is no one answer that will be best for everyone. You will have to decide what tool will be best for your goals.
A hosted option is a blog platform that you use almost like a social network site. In other words, you create your account and “sign in” to another website and from there; you’ll then be able to add new posts for other users to see.
The platform is already hosted somewhere online. This will be free to get started, and you will not have to pay for a hosted account.
Pros and Cons for Hosted Sites:
- It is free. If you are just starting out, or you are on a tight budget, this would be a great place to start.
- Easy to get started. Most hosted sites are user-friendly. You will just need to sign up and start writing. They might offer some templates that you can choose from, but they will be limited.
You do not need to have a lot of experience to launch a post and publish content. Uploading photos and videos are also an easy task.
- The URL has the name of the free blog site included in it. This makes it look less professional and is harder to remember for the visitor.
http://yourname.blogspot.com vs. http:yourname.com
- Free sites offer templates, but they are limited. You might find it hard to find exactly what you are looking for. If you already have a brand, you probably will not be able to match it making it look less professional.
- Another negative with the hosted site that is arguably one of the most important relates to SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Your SEO efforts might not work as well with a hosted site compared to a self-hosted site. This means that your content might not be found. Most people who search for something on the internet never go past the first page. It is critical for your rankings to be high if you want traffic to your blog.
There are other options to share your content besides ranking on Google first page. It will take a lot more effort to see some results but it can be done. Look at how well Abby Ryan is doing with a hosted site.
- BlogSpot (www.blogspot.com)
- LiveJournal (www.livejournal.com)
- WordPress Hosted (www.wordpress.com)
- Tumblr (www.tumblr.com)
- WordPress Self-Hosted (www.wordpress.org)
A Self-hosted blog platform means that you will have to pay for the hosting space and domain name that you will need for your blog.
Here are some pros and cons for the self-hosted options:
- Most people who use a self-hosted platform use WordPress for their art blog or website. Because WordPress is so well-known and used there are endless options for building your art blog. You will be able you create a brand for your art blog without being limited to a few options.
- There are plugins and widgets that will help you with SEO. You can even monetize your art blog with these plugins. There are even plugins that will help people share your content.
Bottom line you are in total control of the look and performance of your site.
- WordPress is free but you will have to pay for a hosting provider and a domain name.
Web Hosting Services
Bluehost (Used by many professional bloggers.)
HostGator (Used by many professional bloggers. This is what I use for this site.)
After you have decided what platform you will be using, you will want to start working on the brand of your blog.
Here is a checkoff list for what your blog should have to build brand awareness and sell more art online.
Logo – create a logo for your blog. It is a good idea to use the same logo for all of the platforms you are using to market your art. For example, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, artist website and so on.
Color Scheme – The colors of your blog should complement your art not take away from your art.
Contact form – Have a way for potential buyers to contact you.
Categories – You do not have to have categories but it will make it a better experience for your readers. Make it easy for your audience to find what they are looking for. The longer you can keep them on your site the better.
For more details visit Art Blog Checkoff List.
Blogging Made Easy
I have written an eBook to help make your blogging less painful. I have mapped out a daily plan for you to follow to help you build your art blog so more people can see your art. There is a ton of information that is easy to understand and follow. After you have finished the 28 days all you have to do is start back at day 1. The planning is all done for you, all you have to do is tell your story.
Take some time to write out your goals so you can make a better decision choosing a hosted or self-hosted site. Review the art blog hosted vs self-hosted site pros and cons.
Creating your art blog is just the first step. After your blog has been launched you will want to develop a blogging plan that will help you reach your goals. Plan and be productive with your time so you can spend more time doing what you love, creating art.
Have your elevator pitch ready so you can start promoting your blog.
You might also be interested in:
- 5 Colossal Mistakes Artists Make on Their Art Blog
- What You Need to Know to Start an Online Art Website
- How to Sell Your Art Online Tips
- 3 Best Digital Cameras For Photographing Artwork
- Short-term vs. Long-term Planning Online Art Marketing
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links on this post are affiliate links and will be clearly marked as so. I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you if you choose to purchase through those links. I will only recommend products I have used, found helpful to my business and are companies I trust.
Graphite Drawing by Dave Nevue