A blog for artists is a great tool for being found online and gaining a larger audience for your work. Blogs are ideal because they can be completely free, search engines love them, they are easy to start and simple to manage. Many artists try blogging at one point or another to help promote and market their art online.
But I also know many artists abandon their art blogs too. Mostly because the blog never really “takes off” and it seems no one is reading it. Why bother?
It is like they keeping working in the kitchen making cupcakes but no one wants to eat them. Why keep making them?
People love cupcakes. I think we can all agree on that. So it is not the cupcake per se it might be that they are missing an ingredient or two.
Blogging can be the same way. People love blogs. They have become a staple of the internet. So when a blog fails for artists I believe it is probably missing a few key ingredients.
At least 250 of them to be exact.
Many an artist has uploaded a photo of their latest work in a blog post with a sentence like “Finally finished this piece last night.”
Brief statements like that do not help you because they do not help people find your blog. Search engines need text in order to know what your site is about and point people to it. Be sure to have at least 250 words in every post. It is more ideal to have 300 to 750 but if you can manage at least 250 words in every post you’ll be fine.
It helps me to write blog posts offline first in a notepad. Try it. If you are going to publish a blog post about a piece sit with the piece notebook in hand and write a letter to the viewer.
Start simple and trust yourself.
For the blogging artist this is usually not an issue. A lot of your posts are probably centered around an image or two. But even when you post something that isn’t be sure to add an image. We are visual creatures as you know and it is much more pleasant to read an article that has a picture or two than just a screen full of text.
And while we are talking images do yourself a favor and change the name of the image file from something like IMG_245885 to something that includes your name or something that describes the work. This will also help people find you because I guarantee no one is putting IMG_245885 in to Google‘s search bar.
I am speaking from experience on this one and I dare say this might be the most important ingredient in blogging.
Set yourself a bare minimum goal for your blog and stick to it come hell or high water. Start with an easy goal like once a month or once every three weeks. Schedule it and make it happen.
The more you blog the better for sure. If you can pull off every day or 5 times a week you’ll see your blog’s traffic increase fast. But if you can only do once every two weeks and you do it consistently you’ll be ahead of most artists out there.
#4: Stay on topic
In this case your art and your life as an artist. If you feel the need to post a restaurant review, a movie review, or an update from your family reunion please start another blog and keep your art blog about your art.
#5: Write to just one person
Just as in speaking it is a lot easier to address something to one person than it is to a whole audience. Writers refer to this as your “IR” or “ideal reader.” It is a person you keep in your mind as you put the words on a screen. I am doing it right now.
My ideal reader is a fictional amalgamation of artists I’ve coached over the years. I write to please just that one person because I know I can’t please everybody and it would be a waste of time to try.
Your ideal reader should be your ideal collector or patron. Who is your biggest fan? Who is drawn to your art at shows or galleries? Picture this person when you write and only this person and you’ll find the words come much easier.
Again I am speaking from experience on this one. I am very guilty of writing a post and then rushing to hit publish before I check it over for any obvious spelling and grammar errors.
Most folks are forgiving of such errors but others just can’t get past them and the beauty of your wisdom is forever stained because you used a your where you should have used a you’re.
If you do not have a someone else to proof read it for you try either reading it out loud or reading it the next day. (Or both)
#7: Promote the post
After you’ve written, formatted, and hit publish on your blog post now is the time to spread the word about it. Post it on the social media networks of your choice. Blogs can be configured to do this automatically but the “how to” of that goes beyond the scope of this article.
But don’t just post it once. Continue to promote it through different channels in different ways for weeks and months. Keep in mind that social networks are more like rivers than walls when it comes to posting content. The information is always moving and flowing so people are going to miss your posting because maybe they didn’t log in that day. Just don’t over do it and you’ll be fine.