I wrote recently in my Squidoo Lens, PromoteYourArt, that having a Squidoo Lens about yourself and your art is useful as a stop gap while you work on that artist site of yours.

As I look around on line, I’ve been noticing the trend of lots of artists and jewelers having blogs as a way to share their work on line. And lots of these blogging jewelers also sell their work on Etsy.

That seems like a good solution to me:

Get out of having a website by having a blog and selling your work on an outside site such as Esty, Ruby Lane or others.

Creating a website of your own is overwhelming to many because you’ve got to choose your best work, decide how to present yourself — you’re basically creating your entire artistic and online image, if you haven’t done that already.

Adding to this challenge is that many folks try to do the website programming themselves. So then you’ve got a frustrating computer issue on top of the work of creating the website itself: gathering and digitizing images, writing text, making sure you have a headshot, and so on.

So while it’s true that I believe you must be online, perhaps you can get by without a website, depending on your artistic and professional goals.

Blogs should be self-hosted to be taken seriously, this means you buy your own domain name and pay for your own hosting service.

You may not realize you can create whole galleries of images using a blog, in addition to posting pictures within a blog post.

Blogs can also have multiple “pages,” so you can set up pages for: about, contact us, bio, etc. (On this blog, “About” is a separate page.)

Even though blogs are easier than websites, you still may need professional help in order to set one up. And sure you could set it up yourself, but part of being a self-employed business person is realizing that you don’t have to, and shouldn’t, do everything yourself.

That’s the blog part of your online presence, to that you can add an online sales outlet, if you wish. Actually, you could sell directly on the blog, but you might want to take advantage of being in a community sales site.

Etsy was called “handcrafted” by the Wall Street Journal, and more and more jewelers who I meet who sell in an online community are using Etsy.

A friend who sells at a lot of shows pointed out that Etsy lacks a detailed search function, a definite disadvantage.

And the final component of your online presence is your Squidoo Lens about yourself, that one is actually the easiest and perhaps the one to do first. Then after you have your blog and your Esty shop, you can edit your Squidoo Lens and add in links to those.

What do you think? Is this idea a viable alternative to having a website for some jewelry artists? Post a comment and let me know what you think!

(c) 2007 Elaine D. Luther All Rights Reserved

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