By Nina Alvarez
Your website is ready to go and you're just itching for buyers, but where are they? First, find your niche online, then, effectively focus your time and efforts on those who are most likely to buy your art.
* Associations . If you haven't already, join at least one art association in your medium. Associations usually have online forums and will send you emails chalked full of links and info about collectors, artists, galleries, resources, and organizations in your art community, most of which will be accessible electronically and will save you tons of time. The Artspan portals list hundreds of art associations. Check out Painting, Photography, Ceramics, or any of the 30+ art portals.
* Forums . Next, join forums specific to your art at Artspan and WetCanvas and anywhere else with a strong community. Do an online search to find these. Then, join forum conversations populated with thoughtful and interesting threads. Stay away from the vitriolic, rambling, or off-topic. Read posts, visit website links, and check out blogs, leaving comments wherever you can. In turn, talk up your art and post your website link in the forum and website comment sections.
* Social Networking . Join general social networking sites (Facebook, Myspace, Bebo) and vertical (niche-specific) social networks (Ning). List your website URL on your profile and post your website to 'share a link'. Some Facebook groups, like Black and White Photography have over 40,000 members, all potential readers of your website. All you have to do is leave some comments and post your URL. (Extra tip: if you have a niche so specific that you can't find it online, try starting your own social networking site at ning.com.)
* Social Bookmarking . Social bookmarking sites like del.icio.us and digg allow you to bookmark pages you find relevant and see what other sites are getting buzz. Find the people bookmarking the same pages as you and strike up a conversation by sending a 'thank you' for an interesting lead.
Nina Alvarez, Chief Editor of http://www.Artspan.com - an online artists community, and writer of the Artspan blog on art marketing. She also created the Philthy Art blog offering encouragement to writers and artists, and the popular poetry blog NinaAlvarez.net. Nina has an master's degree in English and is