I was really proud of myself for listening to online advice and cleaning up my pet portrait and childrens portrait website: http://robinzebley.com. I was told my site was too chatty and that I really ought to just have the art and let it speak for itself.
WRONG! What I did was erase my search ranking for "pet portraits". And it didn't look like me, sound like me or be like me. (I think I hear a Bob Dylan song here...)
So I spent 3 hours of precious art time yesterday retooling it and turning it back closer to what I had before. Questions and answers. It worked for me for 7 years and despite some bad advice to "adapt or die" and not rely on what worked in the past because the art world has supposedly changed, I think my "old reliable" spruced up a bit will do the job I want it to.
I found that I was getting hit, but just bounced right off. The text mixed with some "teaser" portraits already has worked to keep visitors on my site longer and the longer they stay there, the more likely to buy or refer me.
Last night, I became convinced that I ought to do a Facebook Fan Page, and some really generous fellow artists have been really helpful answering quesitons and showing me examples. But that is going to have to wait a bit. This morning, I start a big new commission of 2 dogs and I got the deposit for another one yesterday. I know from past years that this time of year can be crazy and I want to be in the position to be able to take and finish anything that comes my way.
Incidentally, my 2 small sizes are going very slow. Not one order for an affordable 5 x 7, and only one for the 8 x 10, which was my most popular size for the first 5 years I did this. Now, my most popular size is my 16 x 20! So I think what it says about the economy is that lots of folks have been hit really hard and can't buy anything at any price that's not a necessity. And those not hit? They can afford to buy exactly what they want and feel that if they're going to do this, they're going to do it up right.
What do you think?