Being visible matters (detail from a self portrait - photo and painting: Stephen Riley)
I have two websites: one for photography – a commercial practice – and one for art/painting - a more self-directed practice.
As regards photography
I’m very pleased to announce that, through search engine optimisation strategies, I have finally dragged my site onto page one of Google, if you search for ‘photographer Tameside’.
It is still a long way down the foodchain for the equivalent search using ‘Manchester’ instead, though, due to the much greater numbers I’m up against.
My painting website
comes up on page 4 of Google in a search for ‘artist Tameside’, but on a Manchester search it was a long way off the pace. The problems are twofold: obviously, the size of the city; but also, perversely, the fact that so many professions call themselves ‘artists’: eg ‘hair artist’ (barber/hairdresser) or even ‘sandwich artist’ (butty maker). These things clutter the definition and searches.
Obviously, all this matters, particularly in the case of the commercial work, because one needs to be visible to attract clients and make a living. As regards the less commercial work: it is still visual art and its function - whether it sells or not - is to be seen.
Never mind, still working on it... watch this space!!
Stephen Riley: Artist and Photographer, Tameside, Manchester, Cheshire, Lancashire