Lindy Lou’s Modern Art is the website of Brisbane artist Lynda Watson. Lynda has been artistically inclined for as long as she can remember.
Lately, Lynda has been experimenting with fluid acrylic pour art as well as other related techniques like puddle pour and flip and drag. She has been selling her art pieces at various local markets and gaining quite a few commissions. Lynda decided that she wanted to take her hobby to the next level.
Domain Name and Hosting
Lynda was not sure exactly how or where to start when it came to having a website of her own. What she did know though, was that she wanted her own domain name and hosting (although she was not familiar with the technical terms for this, she knew of the concepts).
Lynda was right to think this way, as it is a false economy to go with free website hosting with a subdomain included. As Lynda wanted to sell her items online, she would not have been able to do so on a free website hosting account anyway.
Lynda was pleasantly surprised to learn that purchasing her own domain name, www.lindylouart.com cost her only $9 AUD for a year from NameCheap*. While prices for domain names can vary, you can expect to pay about $17 USD per year for a domain name. It really is a small price to pay for the freedom of choice to do what you want with your website and to be blunt, nobody will take you seriously without your own domain name in any case.
As I was with Lynda at the time that she registered her domain name, she was able to avoid some of the traps when it comes to buying a domain name. As we had already decided on her website hosting provider and knew that they provided free email accounts and SSL (secure socket layers) there was no need for her to purchase these upgrades.
Some domain registrars (or resellers) will try to upsell you a privacy guard (hiding your name and contact details when someone looks up your domain name) but the website registrar we went with provides this for free, as do most other reputable registrars.
As Lynda is just starting out on her website journey, we opted to sign her up for SiteGround’s “StartUp”* plan at just $65.84 AUD per year (includes G.S.T.). This plan is suitable for up to 10 000 visits per month, and as Lynda’s website grows, she can upgrade to another plan simply and easily. SiteGround is the website host that I use for my own websites, and I could not be happier with their customer service and website hosting.
Showcasing Lynda’s Artwork
As Lynda is an artist, it made a lot of sense to feature her artwork as prominently as possible. The theme we chose for her website allowed for this in various areas on the front page of her website.
The large “hero image” photo at the very top is a display of Lynda’s art pieces and can be changed as Lynda’s range of products changes.
There are also three other areas that allowed for background images on the front page and we used these areas to showcase three different pieces of Lynda’s art. On desktop devices, these backgrounds are parallax, meaning that the background stays in place as you scroll over it.
While Lynda has only just started her foray into selling her artwork, she already has some enthusiastic customers. We decided to spotlight one such testimonial on the front page and will be adding more to a separate testimonials page. Social media proof is a great way to advertise your business and happy customers make great ambassadors for your brand.
As Lynda also sells her artwork at various craft markets in the Brisbane and Logan area, it seemed appropriate to include an events calendar on her website where she could inform visitors of her upcoming market days.
The events calendar selected can be displayed in various ways. There is a separate dedicated page with a calendar format for events to be displayed and this can be broken down into month, day or list view.
You can also make featured events, which is what we decided to do with all of Lynda’s events. Featured events show up as a regular blog post. You can elect to have them show up in your blog archives, latest posts, and feature them in your sidebar.
The actual featured event post allows room for a large featured photo, a description and sharing buttons. Website visitors can add the event to their Google Calendar or select iCal export (standard for calendar data exchange).
Times, dates, organiser details, event categories and even the ability to charge a price for an event are included. A map can be included down the bottom of the post to make it easier for your guests to attend.
As Lynda feels that she would rather focus on her art, for now, I will be monitoring her website for essential updates and maintenance. I ensure that her website theme and plugins used on it are kept up to date. This helps to ensure the smooth running of the website and keeps it secure (hackers often find their way in via outdated plugins). I also ensure that regular backups are taken of the website and that they are saved to a separate account.
As Lynda already has a Facebook page, it will be a simple matter for her to add me as an admin so that I can optimise her Facebook page for the best results, as well as add her online products to her Facebook Page store.
Lynda already had an Instagram account, but we felt that her target market would naturally be drawn to Pinterest so I set up a Pinterest account for her as well. I will give Lynda some training on how to optimise her social media posting and the use of schedulers.
Google My Business and Search Console
I have also set up the Google My Business Page for Lindy Lou’s Modern Art (it is awaiting verification from Google at present). Google My Business does particularly well for local businesses; as when someone searches for a product or service, Google will often list businesses close by that offer such goods or services.
I have already some of Lynda’s products to her My Business page, and when it is verified, these will be viewable by those searching online. This is particularly useful, as visitors can click on a buy button in Google search, without having to first go to the website. This works particularly well with people searching via mobile devices.
I have also set up a Google Search Console for Lynda’s website. This will allow access to analytics and statistics about her website and its visitors.
Among other things, she will also be able to view the search terms her website is ranking for, which websites are linking to her as well as the text used in that link.
She will also be able to view coverage Issues (missing pages, crawl issues, mobile responsiveness issues) and inspect any of his website URLs. All this information will be invaluable when it comes to deciding on what content to promote and create.
As her business continues to grow, Lynda can expand her website and social media presence. One suggestion that she is not quite ready for now, but will do wonders for her as her following grows is a newsletter. A newsletter is an easy way to let her followers know when she has new products for sale and which local craft markets she will be attending.
While social media platforms can fall in and out of favour, or even close down, when you have your own email list of subscribers, you have a direct way to reach out to your present and potential customers.