Why Artists Should Blog...
There has never been a better time to be an artist. With the Internet, a whole new world of opportunity has made itself available for artists to be able to sell work and make a living from their art. I've already written about my favorite social media sites to sell and market your art and art-related products, but there's another major player in getting the word out about yourself and your art, and that is blogging. If you're not blogging, you are missing out on an opportunity to market your art.
Oh boy, let me count the ways . . .
First, as I mentioned before, you should definitely have a website. A website is crucial if you want to project a professional image. Clients expect it, and it validates you as a professional. Your website is where you create an online gallery space and sell.
In order to sell your art online, you should have a checkout cart or something like PayPal so you can safely accept payments. People trust a third-party service like PayPal and this makes it easier for people to purchase since they are protected. You, as a seller, are protected as well.
SO, WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH BLOGGING?
Once you have your website up, you need to be found by search engines. Yes, you still need to constantly promote on social media. That's just a reality. Here's where blogging comes in though . . .
There are millions of artists out there with websites. It's not easy to stand out from the crowd online. Blogging can help you.
Once you have a website, logically, you're going to post your art. Posting stuff keeps your website current. In order to rank on Google, the biggest of the search engines, SEO (search engine optimization) is not enough. Google now ranks websites based on content, and they like fresh content. Stale, outdated content will be buried, so if you don't regularly update your website, Google will bury it.
BUT, I CAN ONLY CREATE AND POST SO MUCH ART!
I know, I know. Life happens and it's not always easy to pop out a painting a week. For some artists, the process is very time-consuming and some pieces may take months. This is where blogging comes in.
By blogging, you can create regular content and keep your website up to date. Blogging helps you get noticed by Google after a while if you post consistently and post quality content. In order to do this, you need a website that has a blogging feature, as FASO does.
WRITE ABOUT WHAT?
You can write about various art-related topics like I'm doing now. Just don't write about politics! You might laugh at this and think, duh, but I've seen people write about politics on their art website. It's just not the place for it unless your art is political in nature and it helps to drive your point home for your art.
Writing about various art-related topics is not really that hard. You can write about work you're creating, works in progress, inspiration, your process, your favorite art supplies, and a whole slew of topics. I like to brainstorm a lot of ideas and write them down. I actually have a blog topic list I keep adding to every time I get a bright idea. Lists are good.
There are times I have lagged in blogging, and that's ok. You do what you can, but now I'm aiming to write one post per week. I'm also aiming for a thousand words when it's possible. Sometimes that's not realistic depending on the post, but some topics can easily generate one thousand words.
WHY A THOUSAND?
Well, again, Google.
As I said, Google likes content and is working on making the Internet a better experience by providing people with quality content. Quality is key too. There was a time when people could try to play SEO tricks to fool Google algorithms, but that won't get you far anymore. You might get temporary gains, but they'll be quickly lost once Google catches on and flags your website. Then you'll have a nightmare on your hands trying to rank and might have to re-do a new website. Not fun.
Remember, quality content.
THERE'S MORE . . .
Another reason blogging is awesome sauce is just the simple fact that your followers and fans are interested in you and what you have to share. They love staying up to date. Others love to pop in and learn something from you. Many might want to see your process, read your thoughts. Trust me, people who love your art love hearing from you. Blogging is a great way to keep your people engaged. It's just another way of giving back to people who love your art, and giving is always good.
PROMOTING YOUR BLOG
Once you have a website with a blog and start blogging, you want to be sure to have photos, at least one. Make sure one of the photos is long-form for Pinterest. Pinterest is the best place to promote and share your blog posts. I've written about why I love Pinterest here. Let's just say, it's a great way to drive traffic to your website, and from there people can buy art or any other art-related product you might be selling, such as books, video tutorials, prints . . . Making a living off of art is not just about painting themselves. For some yes, for others no. There are many ways to make a living as an artist, and that'll be another post.
Blog posts can also be shared on other social media platforms, but Facebook buries outside links now, and I've never had any traffic from Twitter, and not much from Instagram. Again, Pinterest is king here, especially with blogs.
YouTube is awesome if you're creating videos and this way you can incorporate your videos in your blog posts. Google loves the whole package, from one thousand words to photos, and videos. If you can do all this, bonus!
WORK WITH OTHERS
Collaborating with other art bloggers is also a fantastic way to get more blog traffic. This is something I haven't done yet, but do plan to in the future. By collaborating with others, you're creating backlinks for each other, which is helping everyone out. Backlinks can also help your website rank, so by collaborating, everyone wins. Just make sure whoever you collaborate with is someone you actually want to work with. Again, quality content, you know?
Blogging will help you with your online presence and branding. This can help you grow your audience and reach new people. It's a place to tell your stories, and let people know who you are as an artist. People can be updated on new events, shows, paintings, and whatever else you want to share. It's just a great way to share. If you're an artist publicly showing, then you are a brand. Blogging can help you make sure you get your brand promoted your way.
Just like the creative process, patience is required with blogging. Massive traffic won't happen overnight. It takes time to get recognized by Google and to rank. Don't let that discourage you. Blog, and blog regularly. Write some longer posts regularly, use keywords and SEO, use photos and videos if you can. But just get blogging.
If you're not a writer, use something like Grammarly. Just start and learn as you go. Get help with editing if you must, but do blog.
Still not convinced? I am just an artist and as I've said before, I'm not an Internet marketing guru. I read a lot of marketing blogs, and learn a lot from YouTube. If you want to learn more about why blogging works, and how to blog effectively, just YouTube it and you will learn a ton as I have. YouTube is a great place to learn how to market your art. I eat that stuff up and apply when I can, where I can.
I really hope this was beneficial. Marketing online can be complex and confusing, but by learning various bits and pieces, putting everything together can really help you get the word out about your art. It is a lot of work, but everything worthwhile is.