I've built several of these now: for $500 you get a hosted site (unlimited space and bandwidth) built for you to manage artwork and writing. It's a little more focused for artist than your average wordpress build, and includes shopping cart tools that can all be safely and securely managed through the EMG backend. In some ways, this is a crowd-funded project, because with each site that I build, I not only supply the basic features (galleries, libraries, shopping tools and category management), I also add more features. For every new artist that signs up, each of the existing artists get the opportunity to have these upgrades added to their existing sites. Future upgrades will include: A centralized wholesale database, for those artists interested in selling wholesale. (A wholesale client signs up and is vetted with me, then has a directory of artists that they can shop with, with wholesale pricing and shopping access on their individual sites.) Detail images. Direct submission from their own site to EMG-Zine and Fantastic Portfolios, complete with an automatic link back to their page. Better search and browsing functions.
These take only the time that I'm getting paid for. The first several were not worth it to me in a strictly time for money sense, but I've gotten past that investment stage, and I've become comfortable with the flow of setting them up and interfacing with the clients. I will continue to do these as I am paid for them!
What does this require of me? Marketing. Too many people don't know about this service, and it's not well documented anywhere that I can send them when they have questions - the ones I've done have been directly word of mouth. I need to build a page, update the lilypad, and get the word out there, and also make it more intuitive for existing clients to get their upgrades, set up some karma rewards, and work out standardized payment plans for folks who find $500 too much to plunk down at once (which is understandable!).
I would love to have these keeping me busy over drafting and programming less interesting things - it feeds neatly into my desire to help artists and I really enjoy this kind of coding. The possibility of teaming with someone more interested in the design aspect of it is also intriguing to me, especially if I get busy with more of them.
And... with this entry, we come to the end of the chopping block series. I'll tackle the wrap-up of the process next, and go back and look at some of the issues I left outstanding. It's tremendously useful to have these all laid out and tagged like this! You can view all of them here: http://ellenmillion.livejournal.com/tag/chopping%20block and note that your comments have been very, VERY helpful in determining where outside interest lies. If you have any last minute input to add, make it soon - the executioner is sharpening the axe now! :)