How do I promote my work on the web?


Hi there,

I’ve no real idea what I’m doing but came across this site looking for a way to promote my site as a graphic illustrator, designer and re-toucher. I switched from fine art six years ago and although I have a simple site up and running I have no real idea of where I go from here. Any help and comments, (positive and negative) would be welcome.

With thanks,

Hi Vicky,

Thanks for the note, and for the link to your site! Your restoration of old photographs and your original illustrations were our favourite parts.

It can be hard to promote yourself on the web, but we’ve been learning a few ideas as we go along, especially as we try and promote Elbowruminations. Here are the five things we’ve decided are most important.

      1. Decide on your website’s purpose: personal or commercial.
      2. Make sure your site is professional designed.
      3. Write great content so users and search engines can find you.
      4. Hook up with other websites and blogs.
      5. Tell people about yourself.

That’s a quick overview. Now we’ll go a little more in depth.

5 tips for promoting your work on the web

1. Decide on your website’s purpose.
Before you promote your site, make sure it’s ready for the public. Start by determining what its purpose is. Are you creating a website so you have a personal portfolio that you can tell your friends and colleagues about? Or are you hoping it will be the home base for your business? It’s important to know that from the start, because it will influence how you design it and what kind of content you include. If your website is for business, here are three things to remember:

  • Include a page that lists your prices and services in an easy-to-read, detailed manner.
  • Include multiple ways to contact you: email address and phone number.
  • Make sure your site is professionally designed.

2. Make sure your site is professionally designed.

It’s important to have a website that respectfully shows off your work. If your site looks bad, many people will assume that your work is low-quality, too. If your main skills are in illustration, fine art or another field besides web development, there are a couple ways to create a well-designed site:

      1. The first one is free: use a template to build your site. We like WordPress – it’s free web software that lets you use pre-designed templates, and makes it very, very easy to add, delete and edit pages. It would be great for your site. You can visit to sign up for a free account whenever you want.
      2. The second option costs money, but would guarantee excellent results: you could hire a professional web developer to create a professional, easy-to-use website for you.

3. Make sure your site is optimized for search engines.

Search engine optimization (or “SEO”) can be intimidating, but don’t get thrown off by all the jargon and technical jabber spoken by most of the web. If you remember one thing, it should be to make sure your site includes lots of “keyword-rich” content. Your site should include text, not just images. Where possible, describe your work using the same terms you’d expect someone to type into Google to find your kind of work. For instance, if you do photo-retouching, include a paragraph that describes your services.

If you are interested in learning more, Darren Crowes, owner of a website called ProBlogger, has published some very helpful tips to assist website owners in getting their websites better recognized by search engines. Visit his article called Search Engine Optimization for Blogs, and scroll down to the heading called “On Site SEO Techniques.”

4. Hook up with other websites and blogs.

One of the best ways to promote your site is to have other people do it for you. If you can spread links to your site all over the web, people will have a better chance of finding you. Here are a few quick tips:

    1. Find other websites that promote people who do your kind of work. For instance, if you’re an illustrator, see if you can connect with IllustrationWeb.
    2. Include a section on your site for links to other sites. If you have friends or colleagues with websites, link to their sites in this section. The web loves reciprocity: if you link to one person, they will often link back to you.
    3. Sign up for an account on Flickr, and post some of your work to your account.

5. Tell people about yourself

Don’t be afraid to promote your own work. It’s important that you are willing to talk about yourself and the work you do. Here are some ways to do that:

  • Find other illustrators, designers or bloggers that you think would be interested in your work, and send them a quick email introducing yourself, and include a link to your site.
  • Send out an announcement email or a newsletter to your friends, or tell them in person about your site.
  • Include your domain name on your business cards.
  • Leave a note with Elbowruminations and get featured in the Q&A section!
  • victoria froud

    Hi Kevan, thanks a lot for response, very grateful. I am working through your site with a fine toothcombe and will take on board all that is suggested. I have considered using a blog and have trawled the net looking for artists who use them to promote. Thought it would be easy but can find none. I shall keeep trying and use sites you have suggested. I’m sure I will be back with more questions so thanks again. Vicky.

  • Ruth Mitchell

    We can help artists at that have or don’t have their own website. Websites are expensive and retail websites are really expensive. We have a great program for promoting artists and their work. Please pass our name along to any artists that want to be online, but don’t want to spend money doing it. I write a blog about our artists and other interesting topics. All the work is done for the artists, they can focus on their work.

  • Jill Tattersall

    This is a very helpful set of suggestions. I have struggled my way towards some of them already, and now have a nice revamped website which I can update and blog on using WordPress. Creating links is the next bit, but it is so time-consuming finding out who is likely to add a link unless you already have lots!

  • Ozonew4mWebmaster

    Hi.. cool blog.. I was wondering if you would consider allowing me to add your blog feed to my news section on my webmaster website . I realize that not all of your posts are strictly webmaster related but I’ve written a script to only show posts containing certain keywords so there’s no need to worry. Anyway, like i said.. cool blog.. some interesting stuff.. thanks

  • Naomi

    These ideas are great. I have also created a profile on a site called Its a professional networking site thats 100% free and you can create a blog, upload photos and videos, promote events and join discussion boards all from a single profile. I just include a link on my business cards and emails, it’s just easier to have it all in a single place and the other members are a ready made audience

  • KevG

    Do what i did and create aprofile on Itstotally free, and you can upload images, videos etc. to showcase your work. Check out profile KevieG on zoomspec