Digital Painting Success in 2010

Digital Painting Success in 2010, 3 Must Have Elements

I just got back from Denver. While digital painting was not possible, a nice drive and 4 hours each way was  spent on business reflection and planning for next year.

With my digital recorder at my side I compiled a ton of notes. Here are some of the things I reflected on from this year and some thoughts regarding next year. Surprisingly, there is not much here specific to learning more digital painting or digital art technique. (Could I be shooting myself in the foot by saying that?)

1-The successful businesses from 2009 had a few things in common; trust (garnered from transparency), a mindset of abundance as opposed to scarcity, a long term plan, and personal branding. A few companies and brands throughout the year abused our trust. Will they recover? Perhaps, but certainly the doors have opened in a few cases for new players to grab some market share.

2-Businesses that seemed to grow in 2009 were focused on problem solving, companies that provided real solutions to very real issues in their area of expertise.  By establishing an answer-centric business model, growth companies remained connected with their client and prospect base in meaningful ways instead of focusing on sucking money out of ones pocket. Those companies still profited handsomely they just had the proper intention; clients can see and feel that.

3-Cheating doesn’t work. Celebrities, corporate mucky mucks, athletes and small business owners alike provided the press with great headline material because of unethical or immoral ploys that were revealed. We as clients and consumers just want someone we can trust and that is accountable to what they say. Simple right? I always thought so.

4-People love simple.  A focus that is a foot wide and a mile deep makes sense. (The most difficult for us ADD type A folks) Companies that provided a simple step by step solution to a narrow but significant problem won. My business reflects that as well. In 2009 the most sought after products and services were my most basic.

5-The best gold and diamonds are deep and take work to get to. By focusing on your current client base, developing a great back-end strategy, then over delivering you can strengthen your relationships. Relationships make the difference between a client and a rabid fan.

So, with that reflection let’s take a peak at 3 things you business must have for growth next year. 2010 is gonna ROCK!

1-Focus on relationships. You have heard me say it a million times that people buy from people they Know-Like-and Trust. I can’t take credit for coming up with that, it is in every marketing book I have read.  So our task is to stand out from the crowd by connecting with the challenges our client have and delivering a solution that is easy to understand and implement.

2-Multiple streams of income. We need to be especially diligent in putting together multiple streams of income moving forward. Just as it prudent to diversify on the investment side, I think it is even more important to develop those other income streams. Be creative and figure out ways to tap into your current knowledge base and develop income outside of where your current paycheck comes from. (We have a few good ideas we will share in 2010)

3-Develop your referral or affiliate program. Many times business owners don’t take the time to strategically implement this programming. Done properly you can utilize an affiliate program to take some of the marketing pressure off of you. Having some others to work with makes a more fun and prosperous environment and will allow you to focus on how to serve and support your primary customers even more.

Implementation of these key elements in 2010 will have a positive effect on your mental well being as well as you balance sheet! til next time. Live, love and laugh. Tim

Digital Painting SEO Tips for Artists Five- Using Your Keywords

SEO for Digital Artist, working with keywords part 3

Ok, now you have found some keywords as a part of learning digital painting SEO, what’s the big deal?  What do I need these keywords for anyway?

We will look at a few different areas where our keywords will come in handy.

1-The most important place to be using keywords is in your copy. By that I mean in the content pages you continuously add to your blog or website (if you are using a content management system). I keep coming back to adding content. Search engine spiders love  new content. If you are not adding content frequently you really don’t stand a chance of ranking very high. This is yet another area our cool looking flash sites do us a huge disservice.

Some great places for your keywords are at the top of the page, in the headline and sub headline and try to include the keyword for that page (article, post) in two additional paragraphs, the first and the last would be top choices.

Also realize that search engine spiders are not able to string phrases (yet, that I know of). So you need to use the exact keyword or keyword phrase you want to get ranked for. In the instance of this article you will see Digital Painting is my primary keyword. Also the spiders will read Digital Painting SEO, and Digital Painting SEO Tips as well. What the spiders wont put together is any of the words that are not in order. For example if I was using a keyword of “Digital Painting”  the spiders would not put that together from the title I have used here.

2- You can put your keywords in your ALT tags. Say we add a photo of a young child on our blog. We could include an ALT tag that says, “Anne poses for her baby portrait at 6 mos”, or some other phrase that includes our keywords. ALT tags consist of words. When the search engine spiders read the keywords or keyword phrases within the tag, it increases your keyword usage. Higher keyword usage means a better chances of getting higher positioning. Optimum keyword usage is 3-4%, so if your blog post has two hundred words you should utilize your primary keyword six or eight times.

3-Your domain name is probably already chosen, if not consider using your keywords in your domain name. An example of this is this blog. One of our keywords obviously is digital paint. We use it in the domain of digitalpaintmagazine.com.

4-Another area for consideration is to use your keywords in your page names. Again with a blog this is very simple to do. If you have a flash site it is much more difficult to do unless you know coding. There are a few SEO plugins that actually help make this a simple process for blogs.

Hope this helps.

Digital Painting SEO Tips for Artists Four-Finding Keywords For your Art Business

Digital Painting SEO Keywords part two

Finding Keywords for your art business is really not hard now days. It is actually kind of fun. There are many free keyword research tools, here are a few you can use: Google’s Wonder WheelKeyword ToolGoogle InsightsWordtracker’s Lab tools; and my favorite Market Samurai.

If you are going the free route, check them out and compare the results. I use the paid version of Market Samurai and it the best software investment I have made, including the digital painting software and digital imaging software like Corel Painter, Photoshop (Adobe Master Collection), Paint Shop Pro…you get the idea.

Market Samurai cost 149.00 and I use it daily for all kinds of task’s related to running my online art and information businesses. You can get a free trial at the link listed above and once your trial expires you still can you the three tools specific to keyword research, those are; rank tracker, keyword research and SEO Competition.

The best bet to learn how to find your unique keywords for your digital paintings, portrait commissions, pet portraits or whatever, is to get your free trial from Market Samurai. After you download it go through their video’s on keyword research. I can tell you I have personally spent 1,000’s of dollars for courses to learn this. Many of those courses did not have as good of training as the video series.

One thing I will talk about here that is not in the videos is what is called Geo-targeting. Most artist and digital photographers especially want to dominate their local market first and then spread from there.

To do this is really not all that difficult with your blog. With your flash website…maybe impossible. Lets say one of your studio’s primary target markets is heirloom children’s portraiture. You find a few keywords that support that and one of them is “Childrens Photography”

You can see below that there are 325 searches daily for this keyword and there are 205,000 competing pages.

Children's Photography Keyword sample

Now if you live in Arizona and used “Children’s Photography Phoenix” it will narrow the searches to …not many. The good news is also narrows the competition, usually to 0. So you will begin to capture the traffic from the “local” group of potential buyers looking for Children’s Photography.

Next up-what do we do with these crazy keywords anyway?

Here is a video on using wordtracker. NOTE!!! This has music, if you are at work turn down the volume first, he he he.

Digital Painting SEO Tips for Artists Three-Keywords

Digital Painting SEO tips-Keywords part one

We are going to take a quick peek at keywords.  First, what are keywords?

Keywords are the words or phrases that a potential client types in the search engine to find you.  These keywords are what the search engine algorithm finds to deliver the desired content to the person seeking information.

So if you are a digital artist specializing in children’s portraiture some of your keywords might be, children’s portraiture, commission a portrait, children’s paintings etc.  The idea here is to figure out what your client base would put in the search engine search box to find you.

Using keywords is critical.  Search engine spiders rely on these words to find your site.  This is one of the big challenges to using a cool looking flash site.  They sure are pretty but, a very simple site with lots of  copy that will answer your potential clients’ questions will smoke a pretty website in terms of traffic.  As visual artist that is a challenge.  We need a site that is representational of our work but still has lots of content.  That is one reason you really have to have a blog. Dump the flash website and replace it with a site that you can add plenty of keyword rich copy…hard to swallow I know.

Using the proper keywords is just as important.  For example if you are an artist  I probably would not use artist as one of my keywords.  Why? It is way to competitive and you really don’t stand a chance of anyone ever find you when they type in “artist” in the search engine box.  It is way to competitive.  A better way for you to do this would be to narrow it down.  Use “Children’ s Portrait Artist, Denver” instead.  You will have a much better shot at someone finding you with that keyword.

So ideally you want to use high traffic and low competition keywords.  And the only competition we should ever be concerned with are the websites in the Top 10 of the search engines.  Outside of that is pretty much useless.

So how do we find keywords and where/how do we use them?  That will be the next post. Then we can get back to backlinks again.  Bored?  Check out some of the tutorials or brushes on the resource pages.

Digital Painting SEO Tips for Artists Two-Backlinks Two

Why do we want to learn SEO and optimize our blogs, images, videos or websites anyway? What does all of this have to do with my art?

Great question. If you just want to create awesome digital art or learn to use some of the best painting software, you don’t have to trouble yourself with any of this boring stuff. If you want people to see your latest digital masterpiece, fantasy art, children’s portraiture or to commission  more work using the internet, it becomes critical.  The good news is that many simple little steps can make a huge difference for you. Also in terms of the marketplace, you will have an advantage over those who you compete with.

So hang in there with these articles, they will be short and simple. They have to be as I am certainly NOT an SEO expert.

In the last post we addressed the question of backlinks, that is, what are they?  In the next few posts we can determine if they are important and why.

The question is; are backlinks necessary for a high search engine ranking?

An easy answer is, maybe. We haven’t really talked much about keywords yet but the backlink question is directly related to how competitive the keyword is that you are talking about ranking for. If you are trying to rank for a super competitive keyword, you will have to have a ton of backlinks for that keyword.  If, on the other hand you are trying to rank for a less competitive keyword, the backlinks in that case may not be as important. Learning to optimize your web-page properly could be enough to get you there. We will be talking about some ways to optimize your web pages and blogs down the road.

Also, don’t fret. We will definitely have much more in terms of digital painting tips and techniques, digital painting software uses and reviews as well as some digital painting video tutorials. Hang tight this stuff will be worth it.