How To Keep Up With All The 80 Portfolio Websites And Services You Need To Have...

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It can be a full time job to keep up with all the art and portfolio pages out there. I rarely struggle with them because I have a concept and a publishing plan that keeps me from going insane. I just recently realised that this is a problem to many, so I decided to devote a complete post about just that matter.

Here is how it goes:

First off, no one can say which community, artist-website, or portfolio service is the right for you. The good thing is, most of them are free. Very often you have benefits when you chose a premium membership but it depends on how much you use a service.

It can help to have a tidy start screen when you open your browser, Chrome is the best, fastest and most versatile so far, but a similar plugin is available for FF and Opera as well:

This is my startpage (for chrome) that keeps
the most important pages in a nice tidy list

As a rule of thumb, it goes without saying that you can´t keep up with 85(!) portfolio sites like these listed below ALL THE TIME. Therefore you have to chose a few to be your home base.
This home base is the place where you connect with people and where you link to. In the most cases this is and should be your homepage. But most homepages are static and have not that much traffic such as deviantArt or facebook. So for me, my homepage is what is on my business-card, but communities that are my home bases are deviantart, this blog and facebook.

When it comes to managing a bunch of, let´s say 30 websites which you want to keep up regularly, you should keep these rules in mind:

  • Don´t upload your whole portfolio in one day
  • Instead plan on uploading one piece every week
  • Use description and tagging a lot to accompany every single image
  • focus on connections rather than on views
  • look what´s popular on a site and see if you have something that could fit into that category
  • check on trends and see if you can contribute to some
  • don´t post old work just to fill something in

Uploading once a week to a single site gives you more time to follow-up with new contacts and see what goes, and where you can head towards. It requires patience and tenacity to set up your booth on each place in the same professional way as you´d do on a convention.

Every single website has a different set of visitors and so the feedback will vary. It takes time to have a full body of work updated on every site you encounter, so it´s more relaxing to know you have no necessity to do so in the shortest amount of time.

Personally I prefer to treat this task as a kind of RPG-Adventure. 

Yepp, this is correct and here´s why:

There are always some places you get accepted right away (such as deviantArt or facebook) and some places that seem to not really knock it off for you (such as reddit or drawcrowd). And for some places you need key positions or friends such as dribbble or zerply). Additionally, depending on how well you scored on other platforms you can become an a-list user for another website (zerply for me).

Seems silly, but it´s true, all things happened to me in one or the other way. And right now I´m in a very difficult level because I still have not the right keys for Reddit, this means I need to go back some levels, try new stuff and eventually I can get on there as well... - it calls itself the frontpage of the internet, but in my opinion it´s an ugly one that needs a good design and UI overhaul urgently;)

Below is a list of services known to me, this list doesn´t aim to be complete, it´s just the list of sites where I have a profile or am active in one or the other way. There maybe other sites like these, but either I don´t know them yet, or I did not found them to be useful.
I´m open for suggestions if you think there is an important and great site that´s been missing here;

Communities
http://shadowness.com/
http://deviantart.com/
http://artician.com/
http://artstation.com/

Image sharing
http://www.freshcharacters.com/
http://pinterest.com/
http://www.visualart.me/
http://increateble.com/

Invite only / Elite art networking platforms
http://dribbble.com/
http://zerply.com/
http://www.layerpaint.com/

CG-Art Communities and Portfolio services
http://fantasio.cgsociety.org/gallery/
http://artstation.com/about/
http://cggallery.itsartmag.com/
http://drawcrowd.com/users/edit
http://www.cgarena.com/

Professional Portfolio Services
http://behance.net/
http://krop.com/
http://altpick.com/
http://www.coroflot.com/
http://portfoliopool.com/
http://creativepool.com/
http://dropr.com/
http://cargocollective.com/
http://thecreativefinder.com/
http://www.creativeshake.com/
http://www.ononano.com/

Social Media Networks
https://xing.com/
http://linkedin.com/
https://enthuse.me/
http://about.me/
http://creatorsafe.com/
http://facebook.com/
http://twitter.com/

Magazine- Opportunity of getting published
http://www.advancedphotoshop.co.uk
http://www.digitalartistdaily.com/
http://www.visualartistrymagazine.com/
http://beta.imaginefx.com/gallery/
http://www.sketchoholic.com/
http://www.amusedom.com/
http://www.docma.info/

Fine Art Focused
http://www.bluecanvas.com/
http://www.artwanted.com/
http://www.artlimited.net/
http://www.artmajeur.com/
http://dart.fine-art.com/
http://www.saatchiart.com/
http://fineartamerica.com/

Fantasy and Sci-Fi centered
http://www.epilogue.net/
http://www.infectedbyart.com/

Caricature and illustration listing/Gallery
http://www.toonpool.com/
http://www.illustrationmundo.com/
http://www.toonsup.com/

Crowdfunding:
http://www.patreon.com/
http://www.startnext.de/
https://www.kickstarter.com/
http://www.feedthearts.com/
https://www.indiegogo.com/

Photography centered
http://500px.com/
https://www.flickr.com/
http://www.fotocommunity.de/

Blog oriented
https://medium.com/
http://www.blogspot.com/
http://www.wordpress.com/
http://tumblr.com/

Print and art platforms
http://www.blurb.com/
https://www.artflakes.com/
http://www.society6.com/prints
http://www.fotomoto.com/
http://www.spreadshirt.de/
http://www.redbubble.com/
http://www.mygall.net/

Other
http://onlyunique.net/
http://www.gameartisans.org/
http://conceptartworld.com/
http://www.artrift.com/
http://pinupnet.com/
http://www.hootsuite.com
http://www.conceptart.org/forums/
http://menschkunst.de
http://www.itsartmag.com/
http://www.augensound.de/
http://www.gressio.com/
http://www.grafiker.de/
http://www.glossom.com/
http://www.illustratoren-online.de/
http://www.artistswanted.org/

You probably might search for some app or website that does the trick for you, but as wishful this thinking is, it´s useless in the world of social media because you can´t automatically follow up and auto-response is the worst thing you can do.

Some useful resources and sites can be harnessed though, this is IFTTT for example - https://ifttt.com If-That-Than-That. Once you have a new blog post up, it will post it for you on 10 sites, that´s it.

There´s a ton of similar sites out there, some paid, some free - my experience with IFTTT is good, so I can recommand it.

Another useful tool is Hootsuite: www.hootsuite.com. It let´s you setup twitter, facebook, linkedIn and post as also interact with others, which makes conversation easier.

All in all, it depends on what you want to do. Your content should always be king, so it is just a matter of distributing it evenly. Good luck with that and btw. feel free to share your experience with me.

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Oliver aka Fantasio is a creative blogger who likes to share his insights about art, marketing and social media. Follow Fantasio on twitter or facebook

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