I regularly get approaches from people representing SEO companies who promise that they can help improve the performance of my website.
I normally send them straight to the spam folder. However they're sneaky and use forms on your website.
This is one such - which came in via a form response on Art Business Info for Artists this morning
This is the reply I've just sent to Alan.
If you get approaches like this:
You most certainly don't need to be spending a lot of money. Most artists simply don't need help from professional companies if they are prepared to learn the basics for themselves. It's not difficult.
Personally I'd recommend avoiding SEO companies who in my book are the equivalent of snake oil salesmen!
Try and see how far you can get on your own through studying the basics of what helps with marketing your art online. Unless you've got a BIG pot of money to sink into creating a brand and marketing it and expert who gets results for ARTISTS!
One simple way to improve your website performance
I've always found the Google Webmaster Guidelines is a good place to start because you need to ensure your website is compliant with Google if you are to get a good ranking and turn up in search enquiries.
Work your way through these before you ever contemplate looking around for more help.
What's your best tip for fellow artists?
Please share your best tip for improving the performance of your website.
Mine relates to being very careful how you title pages and construct URLs for individual pages on your website.
In the UK Income tax is charged on “the profits of a trade, profession or vocation”.
You are assessed as trading and therefore must do a tax return if you exhibit one of the nine badges of trade. But do you know what these are? See the box below for an explanation.
First you need to note that a lot of tax law focuses on "the asset”. However there isn’t a lot of tax case law relating to artists - so what follows is my interpretation.
Please note that I’m NOT a tax accountant and if you need professional advice you should pay a professional!
For what it's worth, in the case of an artist I read “ the asset” as meaning either your stock of equipment and materials used to generate sales (which has a balance sheet value); or your stock of artwork (which has a balance sheet value) which is exhibited and sold over time via exhibitions, online, art fairs or wherever to generate an income.
The nine badges of 'trade'
One of the reasons why HMRC wants to know whether or not you are trading is because it needs to know what sort of tax to apply to your income.
For example, money you receive can be a taxable receipt that can arise in a number of ways. These are:
Below are the Nine Badges of Trade which HMRC have declared to be indications of trade - and my interpretation of how these apply to artists.
Please also remember that at the end of the day what matters is if you generated trading income or intended to trade - NOT how much profit you've made.
Lots of artists sell art from home. It's a business model that can work well for many artists. BUT you do need to be aware of the legal and other implications of selling from home.
Artsy published an article on 4th January about How to Start a Gallery in Your Apartment. This article by Casey Lesser
Unfortunately the article tends to focus only on the social and artistic considerations and wholly omits to mention critical factors which should ALWAYS be taken into consideration before you open a gallery in your spare bedroom - or your living room and a bedroom as Leo Castelli did.
Hence this blog post. I would urge all those thinking of widening their options for selling art in 2017 to read on before they potentially create a lot of problems for themselves.
It's not that you can't do it - but rather than it's rather more complicated than this "how to" article suggests it might be.
So here are the factors it omits to mention - but if YOU ignore them you could find yourself landed with some very expensive repercussions!
My page on Selling Art from Home provides you with a whole page of things you need to think about and resolve before you sell art from home
There is no mention in the Artsy article of:
Do please read this page before being seduced into thinking it's really quite simple and straightforward from a legal and financial perspective to open a gallery at home.
You’ll also get the chance to ask specific questions in the webinar and you don’t need a webcam or microphone to use this service.
My guess is the webinars are probably also suitable for more experienced people who want to check out they're doing the right thing! Or maybe just a refresher to remind you of anything you might have forgotten!
Record keeping for the self-employed - 27 September 2016 15:00 to 16:00
How to set up a record keeping system and what to record.
Find out about
Business expenses for the self-employed - 29 September 2016 11:00 to 12:00
This webinar covers
Capital Allowances for the self-employed - 30 September 2016 9:00 to 10:00
You can also follow the HMRC Twitter feed for HMRC Business Help @HMRCbusiness
For those using Paypal as a method for customers to pay for your art...
Have you read the Policy UpDate published this month by PayPal? If not you might like to take time out to do so. There are two important paragraphs
The first relates to their use of the intellectual property of your business i.e. their use of your brands and logos. It applies to relates to all businesses (e.g. your art business) which use PayPal. I'm guessing that they want this right to use brandnames and logos for marketing purposes.
The new paragraph at section 1.3 reads as follows: “You grant the PayPal Group the worldwide right to use and depict your business name, trademarks and logos on our website and in our mobile and web applications for the purpose of displaying information about your business and its products and services.”
The second is a requirement that you neither disparage PayPal nor use surcharges in excess of those relating to other forms of payment.
Note in particular the last sentences of the second and last paragraphs - which I've highlighted in bold! I can only think there has been a legal case which now means they need to highlight that they're not going to be liable for anything which is a criminal offence!
The issue for you is do you know how to avoid committing a criminal offence?
2. Non discouragement
There are also several amendments to the several amendments to the PayPal Buyer Protection policy
You can download PDF version of the Policy Update.
About Business News for Artists
To become a successful artist you need to get on top of the business side of being an artist.
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Katherine Tyrrell writes about art, artists and the art business and has followers all over the world. She also delivers workshops for art organisations and reviews websites and career strategies for artists.
Art Business Blogs
This website iprovides a compendium of resources about the art business for artists.
It helps artists learn how to do better at being business-like, marketing and selling art and looking after their financial security.
If you've got any suggestions for what you'd like to see on this website please send me your suggestion
1) Content and the law change all the time.
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