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My Art News Letter #25
In this newsletter:
  • A new look for our 9th anniversary at MyArtClub.Com
  • Marketing our expanding art database
  • Market research presentations know your customer!
  • Techie tip: Use a word program to write your text
  • Best of the Holidays and a Happy New Year
MyArtClub.Com's new look on our 9th anniversary

MyArtClub.Com is very pleased to launch our new portal. It has been a wonderful journey to come to this newest stage, which coincides with our 9th anniversary of operations. We feel this is a great way to celebrate!

We began nine years ago with a basic functional website for the MyArtClub.Com portal pages. We first went through a major overhaul in 2004. In 2007 we provided a major platform update which maintained the design. Driven by increasing changes on the Internet and our continued growth and expanded services, it was indeed an appropriate time for a whole new approach.

The new design has been many months in the planning and creation. Visitor and artist feedback pointed out the need to expand on the art, and reduce the clutter. Website graphic designer, Christie Anderson, helped develop the look and feel. We hope the resulting changes will give our visitors a much more effective and enjoyable experience.

Looking back we can see we have come a long way and this gives us confidence and enthusiasm about the future. By enhancing our portal pages, we improve the professionalism of our web presence and prepare the way for portal marketing efforts to the benefit of all our members. For more on our web portal marketing plans, see the following article.

Many new features have been introduced on our new portal, here are a few highlights:

  • More art on the MyArtClub.Com home page, providing enhanced exposures shared among a variety of groups;
  • Refined search tools to provide more choices;
  • Improved location and visibility for Calendar and Blog entries;
  • Streamlined menus and navigation;
  • New Google search tool, now any text can be found throughout the portal site;
  • Updated information about MyArtClub.Com programs and joining the website;
  • Wider screens to show more art at one time; and
  • Cleaner lines, updated fonts and colours.
As with any new endeavour that is this comprehensive, some difficulties may arise. Please advise us by email at webmaster@myartclub.com. We appreciate your input and your support!

Marketing our expanding art database

The services that MyArtClub.Com has provided for the last 9 years have been two fold. One aspect is to provide excellent website templates and support for the artists. This part of our services has been and continues to be our main focus.

The second aspect is the very large catalogue of art that the artists contributing into MyArtClub.Com have developed. We believe it is one of the largest of local artists in Canada standing at over 11,000 online images and increasing in value every day. Since the size of the database is considerable, MyArtClub.Com is exploring new ways to leverage this for the benefit of the artists on our portal.

The term "web portal" or "portal" may be new to some artists. Wikipedia defines a "web portal" as a service that presents information from diverse sources in a unified way. MyArtClub.Com's portal does exactly that: unifies the search for art, across many variables, within our large database of art and artists.

What would be the best way to leverage this in your favour? We are open to your ideas please!

Gift Certificates is this an option?

In the spirit of trying this out, we created a unique marketing campaign this summer. We held a sponsored raffle for the benefit of the Coquitlam Farmers Market, where the artists were paid by sponsor money, and the raffle winners got to pick local art with gift certificates. The money raised from selling the raffle tickets supported the Coquitlam Farmers Market.

In this case study, everyone who participated won. The artists came to the market to show and sell art, meet customers, and may have their art picked by the winners. The sponsors received good PR for their advertising dollar, and the Coquitlam Farmers Market made some money.

The key learning from this study was that customers grasped the gift certificate concept and were willing to enter the raffle in order to win one.

The full report can be read on OPUS newsletter, at http://www.opusframing.com/community-news/unique-art-marketing (if you visit this link, please click on the images, there are 4 showing our layout and some of the winners).

Perhaps gift certificates are of interest more broadly. We did some market research to find out, and what we do know is that almost half of art is bought as a gift. MyArtClub.Com could offer gift certificates for sale, as could artists and art groups.

If sponsors are involved, artists can be paid 100% of the face value and maybe there are many charities or non profits, as well as sponsors that would want to have such a program. The key to the sponsorship is seeing value in supporting the arts as well as their cause.

If sponsors are not involved the artist would be paid a reduced value of the certificate. At 80% value, would you accept a gift certificate sale? We have informally asked several artists and this seems to be acceptable level to base our potential business on. What do you think?

If you are interested or have opinions on this or other ideas to leverage the database in your favour, we'd love to hear from you - please write to us at Webmaster@MyArtClub.Com.

Market research presentations know your customer!

In October 2008 we published the findings of our Canadian Fine Art Market Report 2008, MyArtClub.Com marketing report assessing the 5 W's about the art market, meaning the questions "Who", "What", "Where", "When" and "Why". If you have not yet requested a copy, please do so at www.MyArtClub.Com/Report. The report is free of charge. The report helps you to better understand your potential clients and market opportunities.

While the 34 page report is extensive, a 3 page summary covers the main findings. In addition to the report however, MyArtClub.Com has studied the data further, and analyzed how types of individual may vary. That is to say, we took the research overall responses, and found out the hot buttons for artists vs non artists, travelers vs homebodies, and so on.

MyArtClub.Com has prepared a very interesting and informative free presentation to explain the findings designed to help you maximize your marketing efforts. If you know of a group of artists who might be interested in a free presentation, please write to webmaster@myartclub.com

Presentations have had a positive response, so we can recommend you take advantage of this opportunity.

Techie tip: Use a word program to write your text

Our recommendation for all of your text based entries is to use word processing software. While you may be tempted to just write all your text on line, and you certainly free to do so, using a word program has several advantages:

  • Spell check. Nothing looks worse that a typo, and word programs can save you that embarrassment.
  • Saved content. It can take a lot of time to create and edit your web-pages, or blogs. Over time you can create a lot of different content. By saving all the content on your personal computer, you'll have a copy of all your history of changes. It may come in handy, and at least it provides a full record.
  • A bigger page to see what you are editing. In many cases, only a small portion of the text is visible in the entry box. By using a word program, you can see the entire entry.
  • Keep a back up. When making complex changes using HTML codes, especially when tables and various fonts are involved, it is good to have your original copy in case your new version is not quite ready for primetime. That way, you can try the new copy out online, and if it does not appear to work, paste back the old copy while you adjust the new copy.
Here is a quick way to copy the text from the current box. You should be logged into your site and looking at where you make changes to a text box.
  • Place your cursor anywhere inside the text box of interest, and using windows, the short cut is to hold down the ctrl key, and press the 'a' key at the same time. The whole text box is now highlighted even the parts you cannot see.
  • Now hold the ctrl key again and press 'c' at the same time to copy. Move to your word program and place the cursor on the word program where you want the text, then hold down the ctrl key and press 'v' at the same time to paste the copied data into the word program. Now save the word file call it 'original copy'. Save the word file again this time call it 'edited copy'.
  • Edit this second copy, with all your changes, and save the file again. Use the ctrl key and 'a' key at the same time to highlight all the edited text to put back in the internet text box. Hold the ctrl key again and press 'c' at the same time to copy this text.
  • Move to your internet program and place the cursor on the text box where you want the text, then hold down the ctrl key and press 'a' to highlight all the text and press the delete key, then hold down the ctrl key and press 'v' at the same time to paste your edited copy back into the text box.
Voila, your text is re-written, and you have a saved copy of both the original and the new text.

Best of the Holidays and a Happy New Year

Peter and Cam wish you and yours all the best of the holiday season and a very happy and prosperous new year. We appreciate all your comments, ideas and feedback and look forward to hearing from you in the new year.

All the best
Peter Newell and Cam Anderson,
MyArtClub.Com


Well that is it for the December 2009 update. If you have ideas or questions please let us know at Webmaster@MyArtClub.Com. Thanks for reading hope you enjoyed it, look forward to seeing your latest art and comments on the Internet!

Do you have any questions, comments or suggestions? Please write to us at: Webmaster@MyArtClub.Com

P.S. Previous issues of this newsletter are available on the MyArtClub.Com under the Member's Help Section.

P.P.S. please pass this newsletter along to others artists and art supporters. Any artist who doesn't have a site with MyArtClub.Com is welcome to post up to 3 of their images in the MyArtClub.Com Free Listing Gallery at no charge, and will receive newsletters too!

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