First of all, let me say that it is better to get a few quality visitors to your site than thousands of visitors which don’t translate to sales or interaction with you. So, whilst it is important that your website gets seen more and more, – after all, you do need an audience – try to think about WHO you want looking at you site.
Don’t underestimate the importance of physical shows in your local community. Host an open studio, group show, or solo show in your community regularly – at least 6 times per year. Have show visitors sign up for your mailing list and email them regularly about new work, upcoming shows, etc. Be sure to regularly update your website with the same information – upcoming shows, latest work, etc and include links in your emails so that people can click through to the pages which tell them about the new work or events. This way, you are training your art community to visit your website regularly to see what’s new.
Again, – as we have said before – if you are just starting out, don’t be afraid to use every contact you have to build a hype around you and your work. Facebook and Twitter are invaluable tools, just as much as email and newsletters. A nice suggestion I was told years ago is to add all artist/work/business links to the signature in your email; I like to use ‘Shop Now: http://www.blahblah.com’ and ‘Follow me on @twittername’ at the end of all my emails!
Your own artist website should always be the place where you bring people to see your work. This is because it is here that you have the most control over the presentation and information flow. That said, online galleries can be a great way to get your flag out in places that people can find you. The most important point is to ALWAYS include links back to your own artist website so that visitors have the option to visit your artist website. This strategy has the added benefit that it can help you with search engine rankings by building incoming links to your artist website. Even if you do not sell with said websites, it is great exposure!
The most key factors are: Personal Networking and Consistency. It is much better to do a little consistently every week that to do a handful of mad-dash all-inclusive efforts each year. Rome wasn’t built in a day – it was build brick by brick. So it is with your art career!