Hi everyone! Continuing onward with my creative business endeavors, today I uploaded my new website at http://www.lindatieu.com – yay! Actually, it’s not totally ready yet, but given that no one really knows about the site, I think there’s no harm in putting it up. I guess you guys know about the site though…LOL. One of the advantages of starting a new website is that no one is going to really see it to begin with. So you can do some real time checking and testing, before sending out those marketing emails. It is important to check your website on multiple computers – all the platforms and browsers to ensure it looks right.

Since I took the time to organize my artwork and design my website in preparation, finishing the site was just a matter of coding and editing. Obviously, this part might be easy for some… or a lot harder for others. Remember that there are many other solutions out there for artists to get a website. You can hire a professional, set up a quick portfolio/blog combined or sign up for one of those hosted portfolio packages.  Either way, it’s a lot easier when you’ve prepared all the images and planned things out.

However, I have to admit that once you pull it all together and see everything in action – sometimes things just need to change. Maybe you realize a particular section isn’t working or you don’t like the presentation of certain work. That is why you need to take the time to test your website out before fully releasing it to the whole world. And by the whole world, I really mean your audience – whether it is emailing the prospective clients or advertising with the URL. As soon as you tell people to seriously check out your website, they are going to give you that first impression chance and possibly never return. So don’t open the doors until you do feel ready. If you are already mentioning your domain name on business cards or elsewhere online, it might be best to hide your development and tinkering with a coming soon page. However, in that situation I think it’s a good idea to offer an “Email me” option, so you can let people know once the site is up. Otherwise, they might never come back…

I had started to waver a bit when organizing my art licensing collections and original artwork on my site. Since I’m just starting out, it’s hard to get a cohesive portfolio put together. My work has a certain style, but I also like to work in many different mediums and styles. I know it will be changing with the times (perhaps always)…and sometimes this can just look really messy to others. As if you haven’t found your artist self yet. Do you ever completely find yourself? Anyway, I couldn’t let those thoughts stop me from showing off what I do have now. I’m certainly not trying to pull the wool over anyones’ eyes about my experience. I’ve been around, but I’m also just starting out…so this is where I am now. As I create more work, I will be updating the site and chopping off old work to clean things up a bit of course. I think it’s important to overcome those fears and doubts – reminding ourselves that everyone started out as a beginner, a nobody, just a student…

So I’m going to take the weekend to finalize my website, testing it and writing a few notes about ongoing maintenance required. I’ll be delving into some social media topics for our creative business 101 journey next week, but let me leave you some resource links that I have found helpful. You might want to check them out even if you are just rebranding or polishing up an existing site!

– 19 Important Factors Before Launching Your Website

How to Launch a New Website or Blog

8 Tips for Keeping Your Art Portfolio Fresh

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