Sunday, September 27, 2009

It Pays to Advertise

I made reference to Google Adwords and Google Analytics when I announced the launch of my new web site a few weeks ago. As luck would have it, I received a promotional offer in the mail last week and took advantage of it to create a new Adwords account with the $75 credit it provided.

During the weeks following its launch, my web site had typically been receiving a meagre 3 or 4 visits per day, largely by way of the link displayed at the top of this blog. With my advertisement running over the past few days, however, Google Analytics shows that this figure has risen to almost 200. While this exceeds my expectations by a huge margin and is undeniable proof that it pays to advertise, it's a useful reality check to delve into the information made available by Google Analytics. My ad is not specifically targeted at a particular geographic region and not all the keywords I originally nominated are strictly art-related - for instance, keywords such as "wildlife" and "animals" were in my list. While it's true that clicking on my ad is a conscious action, it can't be assumed that the same people whose primary aim it is to find web sites dealing with animals and wildlife are also potential art collectors. With that in mind, I've reviewed my keyword list and have removed any I feel are too general. I expect visitor numbers to drop accordingly, but as compensation I know my advertising budget will stretch further and my money will be more effectively spent.

I don't quite know what to make of the fact that a large majority of visitors are from India. My initial reaction was to consider removing that country from the list of targeted locations, but doing so might just highlight my ignorance of the vast changes occurring in that country. I know there's an exploding population within India which can best be described as the new middle class. I have little idea what their spending inclinations are and I'm the first to acknowledge that I'm as much in the dark where that's concerned as I am on many other topics! Given that I'm experimenting at this stage, I'm happy to sit tight for a while longer and observe what happens where sales are concerned.

And yes, of course, I'm acutely aware that converting web site visitors into customers is another "art" entirely!


Monday, September 7, 2009


The process of turning my paintings and drawings into prints is proving to be a longer one than I'd anticipated, but it's an interesting learning experience nevertheless.

This is the first of my recent art works which I've chosen to have professionally photographed and scanned with the intention of marketing limited-edition prints. With such a narrow range of colours in this drawing, it's approaching the final saleable image fresh from the camera. Even so, there is still a process of to-ing and fro-ing to go through over the next week or so as my chosen digital imaging company colour-corrects and compares a series of proofs with the original drawing. Despite all the technological aids at their disposal, this is still largely reliant on a visual comparison. The more highly-coloured works undergoing the same process are much further off the mark at the first proofing stage and will require more significant adjustment.

After this morning's visit, I now have a greater understanding of the process and I anticipate several more trips to their premises before I'm happy with the results. In much the same way that there's some purely subjective point at which a painting is declared "finished", it will be a matter of judging when the digital images are close enough to the originals that further tweaking can't be justified.

Interestingly, the proprietor remarked that some artists choose to make major adjustments at this stage; the contrast or colour saturation in the digital image might be modified to differ markedly from the original, or the artist may even favour a totally different colour bias. Regardless of what's possible in theory, I'd like my prints to be as close a representation of the original as I can manage - I feel that to do otherwise would be verging on dishonesty. Or am I missing something? What do you think?