Are you thinking about selling your art online but do not know how to get your art noticed online?
The best way to drive traffic to your artist’s website is by publishing blog posts.
Every bog post you publish will be another opportunity to have a potential art collector discover you online.
The question is, what is the best blogging platform for your art business. In this post, we explain everything you will need to know about blogging platforms to make the best decision for your business.
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By the end of this post, you will know…
- Know what CMS is
- The difference between Hosted and Self-Hosted sites
- Hosted options
- Self-hosted sites
- Web hosting services
- Blog basics
What Is CMS?
CMS (aka blog) is a content management system is a computer application that allows publishing, editing, and modifying the 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 the CMS option best for you?
After you have read the benefits of each, look at your goals, and decide your best option to support your objectives.
Your options are limited if you are going to be using a hosted service. But some artists 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 all of the tools needed 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.
No one answer will be best for everyone. You will have to decide what tool will be best for your goals.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of a hosted platform and a self-hosted platform.
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.
Hosted platforms are free to get started.
Pros and Cons for Hosted Sites:
- It is free. If you are starting out or on a tight budget, this would be a great place to start.
- Easy to get started. Most hosted sites are user-friendly. You will 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 it 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 match it, making it look less professional.
- Another negative with the hosted site is arguably one of the most important aspects of 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. Your rankings must be high if you want traffic to your blog.
There are other options to share your content besides ranking on Google’s 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.
Below are some pros and cons for self-hosted platforms:
- 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 create a brand for your art blog without being limited to a few options.
- Some plugins and widgets 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.)
Art Blog Hosted vs Self Hosted Final Thoughts
Take some time to write out your goals to 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 to help you reach your goals. Plan and be productive with your time to spend more time doing what you love, creating art.
Have your elevator pitch ready so you can start promoting your blog.
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