Juried OnLine Arts Festival
Any professional artist or craftsperson who wants to market their work on the World Wide Web is faced with the immediate challenge of being found in a cyberspace with billions of webpages. It is therefore imperative to position your studio's website address around the web at places that have already achieved some significant degree of prominence and visibility, as has the Juried OnLine Arts Festival.
WHY JOLAF IS SO EFFECTIVE:
Since our conception, we have made it a top priority for our visitors to easily find artists through a clear & consistent interface, and by carefully selecting new exhibitors to join the group.
We do that because many of the folks who use the internet are not "computer savvy", so it is essential to make it as easy as possible for people to find original art & handmade craft, for themselves or as gifts, via an online venue.
There is a significant difference between selling on the web versus selling in a realworld gallery or at a craft show. On the web, people must get to know you and your work by focusing on a screen. Therefore, the simpler we all make it ~ and the more credible we all appear ~ the greater the opportunity to make the contacts that can lead to sales.
Our primary purpose is to help exhibitors connect to customers, gallery/shop owners, and show directors to further the advancement of their fine art or craft work. Therefore our goals can be simply stated:
First, to attract art buying clientele;
Then, to allow them to get directly to an exhibitor's site in as few clicks as possible;
Finally, to have them come back often because we offer a dependable and convenient gallery browsing experience.
- Note that we are in no way involved in any of your sales activities, so no $$ percentages are loss.
People do NOT need to "sign in" to use JOLAF; they do not need to remember usernames and passwords. Once they arrive at our home page, they can find you via multiple pathways, and can be at your site in a couple quick clicks.
If you have not yet taken a tour of the Juried OnLine Arts Festival, we invite you to do so.
The total cost to include your independent website at this arts portal is only $30 per year, with no other fees whatsoever, and no percentage is ever taken from any sale (go to the Join JOLAF Page).
If your site is properly designed and you take the time to get your own URL indexed by the major search engines, then you have a chance of being found by people seeking someone who is doing what you are doing. The important word here is "chance", as most search engine queries bring back thousands of returns, so to get any significant traffic you need to be in the top 10 to 20 selections.
JOLAF gets prominent positioning in the search engines for several reasons:
We have been on the Web since early 1996, so we are well established (search engines consider us to be an "authority" site);
Our pages have been designed to be "search engine friendly" to get the best possible keyword positioning;
There are many hundreds of other sites around the web with links pointing to us, which raises our search engine ranking and visitor count.
ATTRACTING TRAFFIC TO YOUR SITE:
Successful marketing on the WWW requires you to connect into as many portals as possible ~ especially established arts portals such as the Juried OnLine Arts Festival. By associating your site with a portal, you become part of an inter-linked community, so as the old saying goes, "the whole is stronger than the sum of its parts". The more portals you join, the more opportunities people have to find you.
It is somewhat like being listed in a telephone book ~ you can stop after getting a single line listing by your business name in the white pages, or you can also be in the yellow pages under your profession. On the web, those in the "cyber yellow pages" (read: search engines and portals) get the most traffic, because when people use the WWW, they want to get what they are looking for as quickly as possible.
GETTING CONNECTED IS THE KEY:
Once visitors arrive at the Juried OnLine Arts Festival, they can easily find you by your Name / Work Description at the "Artists Gallery"; or by your Medium; or by the Keywords that you give us for our intra-site search engine. So, there are very visible multiple entryways which lead visitors into your site. Then once they are within your own domain, we are out of the loop ~ all transactions and communications are strictly between you and them.
You will also have the option of including a "preview work" feature at your listing for no additional charge ~ anyone clicking the "star" next to your name will see an example of your work, which is referenced from your own hosting directory. You can see examples of this in JOLAF's "Artists Galleries".
HOW MANY SALES CONTACTS CAN YOU EXPECT?:
Anyone who tells you that they can guarantee you anything via the WWW is exaggerating ~ no one can be assured of achieving any specific level of sales, especially when first starting out, because of all the many variables that go into successful web marketing. But this much is true: you will only get out of your website what you put into it. As is the case with a realworld bricks & mortar business, if you do nothing to promote your online efforts, then you cannot reasonably expect much in return.
Because we get excellent placement in the search engines, JOLAF exhibitors have an extra edge in getting traffic. When customers who are interested in original art/craft arrive at our domain, we give them the opportunity to easily go wherever they wish within this arts community.
WHICH EXHIBITORS GET THE MOST BUSINESS?:
Whether a potential customer clicks on your name and then buys from you has to do with a lot of factors, including:
Is your JOLAF listing description well written and enticing?;
will the visitor like your work (and is it well presented on your site?);
how easy do you make it for them to make a purchase (do you have a toll free number? do you have a secure shopping cart?);
can they afford your prices;
do you explain shipping and fulfillment time;
does your homepage download quickly (if it does not, they leave before viewing any of your art).
If you are currently making sales via your website, then chances are you are doing all these things correctly. However if you are not making sales, then take an honest & objective look at how you promote your site, and, look at your presentation ~ it may be time for major changes.
HOW TO JOIN:
Any artist who is serious about marketing original work on the WWW should first take a stroll through the Juried OnLine Arts Festival. If you like what you see, consider becoming an exhibiting member of one of the most visible and cost effective arts portals on the entire World Wide Web.
Participating is easy ~ you can either click this link to list your existing site for the annual membership, or have us custom design a website specifically for your studio.
If you have any additional questions you can check out our FAQ, or contact us directly via our online email form. Good luck with all your ecommerce marketing,
~ Steve Reynolds and Ann Contois
Return to: Listing Your Existing Site
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