10 reasons why you should be art blogging

10 reasons why you should be art blogging

If you’re a contemporary artist competing into today’s fast-paced market, you can’t afford not to be art blogging. Why?

Well, you invest your work with value; time, money, emotion. That work deserves to be shared with the world. A blog is a fantastic way of connecting with people and those people are potentially your most-likely collectors. 

    • True, posting regularly to a blog takes time and can seem like a distraction from the real work at hand: creating art!
    • True, starting an artist blog is not a quick fix and you probably won’t sell huge amounts of work overnight as a result of writing a great post.
    • And true, the amount of hats you are expected to wear as a modern-day artist and business-person can seem overwhelming; writer, blogger, social networker, online marketer – the list is endless.

But the benefits of blogging for artists outweigh the negatives

A million times over! Blogging can be extremely gratifying for artists both on a business and a creative level; it’s a platform on which you can share ideas, get feedback, reach out and communicate with your audience, and eventually, once you’ve established a strong connection with your readers, sell your work. Engaging with an audience of potential fans and buyers is a long-term investment, but one it could be well worth your while making.

Today I’m hoping to show you how an artist blog can be highly beneficial to you and your business.

1, Stories sell

The factors that effect whether a certain person will buy a certain piece of art on a certain day are numerous. Trends change, tastes vary, the economy fluctuates, but one thing is constant; people love stories.

You’ve probably heard many times that people don’t really buy art at all; they buy the artist. Besides his unquestionable importance to art history and his significance as the originator of expressionism, Van Gogh had a tragically romantic life; his story enhances the value of his work and demands an emotional response from the collector.

A blog is the perfect platform to tell the stories of your life and art; the more your readers understand you, the more they will feel connected to your work.

Our friend Cory Huff over at TheAbundantArtist.com, an expert in teaching artists how to sell their art online, suggests that using Joseph Campbell’s Heroes Journey can unlock an endless supply of source material for artists to tell the story of their art. Try tapping into the following for ideas about which stories you should be telling:

  • The artist’s call to adventure: What called you to be a creator? Where do you turn for inspiration and why?
  • Obstacles to making your art happen: Everyone loves an underdog – what have you had to overcome in your life and work to make your practice a reality?
  • Going dark: When has the muse consumed you? What periods of your artistic journey have been so immersive that nothing else in your life was an option?
  • Abandoning the self: What questions do people ask about your work? Why do they want to know?
  • Return and share your success: How have you grown and developed as an artist? How was this possible?
  • Be the hero of your story: You are your art. What is it about you that makes what you create unique? People recognising similar traits and experiences in themselves will connect.

For more detail about Cory’s method for creating compelling stories, check out this FREE VIDEO TRAINING prepared especially for the TextileArtist.org community.

2, Search engines can’t read pictures

Lots of artists already have a blog of sorts, but so often each post contains one image of their latest piece with a single line of text (something like ‘Finished it at last!’). Ultimately, they fail to see any increase in traffic, their audience doesn’t grow and they don’t attract any new sales, so they give up on art blogging.

If only they knew! By writing an actual blog post (with text) you have the power to reach a far wider audience. Google and similar search engines can’t read images and so without the support of text, your blog stands very little chance of being shown to potential buyers in search results.

How do people describe your work? What would people type into Google if they were looking for art exactly like yours? Use these words and phrases in your blog posts to attract new visitors to your blog and widen your reach.

For a more detailed analysis of using search engine optimisation to attract traffic to your blog or website see SEO for artists.

3, A blog is a two way street

Having a blog gives you an easy and instant way to communicate with your audience. By encouraging your readers to comment on your posts, you get the opportunity to engage with potential buyers on a personal level and start conversations.

This is not only a great way of getting to know your audience, but you can learn from them too; What connects with them about your work? Which pieces are particularly popular? Does your work attract a type? You can use this information to become more business-minded in your approach to creating art.

For more tips on finding your audience as an artist click here.

4, Be the artist you want to be

Which words best describe you and your work? Or which words describe how you would like yourself to be thought of? Are you knowledgeable, trustworthy, educated, motivational, funny, creative? A blog is a wonderful way of sharing your personality and establishing yourself as a certain type of artist.

As a textile artist, this can be even more essential; fiber is a tactile medium. Think in terms of sensory word; silky, smooth, rough, course.

5, Letting us in

Have you noticed how people love to feel they have access to privileged information? You can use this human instinct to your advantage. Give readers a sneak peak of a piece of work in progress, tell them about your processes and techniques, or talk about what has inspired a particular piece.

Let them into your world by giving the blog a personal context too; personal experience can be a strong driving force in creating art work and your audience will feel they know you that little bit better. The popularity of the interviews on TextileArtist.org is testament to the hunger for this type of content.

6, Going viral

Your posts are a ready-made way of engaging with your followers on other platforms (like social networking sites). Sharing your content and saying something pertinent about it on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn can lead your fans away from those sites and onto your own website or blog, where you’ll be offering them the chance to connect with you and your work on a much deeper level.

Remember though, social networking shouldn’t be all about you; why should your followers be interested. We see a lot of artists posting general information about an upcoming show or a new piece of work without giving a compelling reason for people to click through. Make it about your followers. It can be as simple as engaging them on a non-artistic level. Do you work make inspired by nature? How about targeting people who also have a love of the same region that inspires your work by asking if they’ve ever visited the place that’s the subject of their work and encouraging them to share their memories of that place in the comments.

For more about how to use Facebook as a marketing tool, click here.

7, An online journal

A personal benefit is that if you commit to your blog in the long term, you’ll create an online record of your work and progression as an artist. You and your audience can look back and see what developments you’ve made and how your work has evolved. And art journaling blogs are evergreen; art fans love to see the method behind the madness!

8, Promote events

A blog is a brilliant way to let your audience know what you’re up to in the real world and garner interest in your latest exhibition, a book release, or a magazine article featuring your work. But be careful not to over-promote. Nowadays, we tend to have an in-built immunity to the hard-sell!

9, Moonlighting

Some artists even use their blog as a secondary means of income. There are many ways to monetize a blog if it has a decent amount of traffic; you can promote affiliate products (like equipment you use or books you are reading about specific techniques) and receive a share of the profit if a reader clicks through and buys, display banner ads, or sell a product or service (like online tutorials or an ebook).

My advice would be to do this subtly and stick to material directly related to the subject of your blog; audiences will be turned off by the ‘Sell, sell, sell’ approach, particularly if you are pushing random, unrelated products. It’s also a good idea to build up your audience first, then monetize.

10, An evolutionary process

Each time you publish a blog post, you create an opportunity to reach a slightly larger audience of readers. If you do it right, a blog can become an ever-growing community, eventually building up a monthly readership of hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people!

The longer you stick at it, the more benefits you’ll notice; more comments from a wider range of people, more newsletter subscribers and yes, more sales!

OK, are you convinced? Well if not, here’s one last reason why you should start art blogging today. Online sales of art are rapidly on the up;

“We sell more art in a month online than most bricks-and-mortar galleries do in a year”

Rebecca Wilson, a director of Saatchi Gallery

Shouldn’t you be getting your share of this market? The first step is telling people about your work. And what’s the easiest and potentially most effective way of do this? You’ve guessed it! An artist blog!


For more insight into Selling Art Online check out our FREE ONLINE TRAINING with art marketing expert Cory Huff.

Why haven’t you started a blog? If you have, how is it going? Let us know in the comments section below.

FREE E-BOOK: How my journey into textile art began, a fascinating insight into the work of textile artist Sue Stone
Monday 22nd, May 2017 / 23:11
Joe

About the author

Joseph Pitcher is the son of textile artist Sue Stone. He is an actor and voice-over artist and has worked at the RSC, the National Theatre, West End theatres and several other leading regional venues across the UK. Find Joe on Google

View all articles by Joe

15 Comments on “10 reasons why you should be art blogging

  • Hi,
    I have been sharing my life and creativity on my blog, MarmaladeRose for over 6 years now. I originally started my blog to encourage myself to be more creative, after all you need something to write about!
    As a life long lover of textile crafts I needed to find a direction and I knew to do that I need to just do more! I need to create more, knit more, embroider more, sew more just do more to find my own style, my own path and the best way to do that seemed to be to blog about it. If I didn’t make something I had nothing to blog about!
    Well it worked! 6 years later I have just registered as a self employed artist (it’s taken a loooong time to have the confidence to tell people when asked that I am an ‘Artist’ rather than just a housewife/mum) I’m now selling my work in local galleries, online through my blog and this year I will have my first exhibition in July.
    Blogging has introduced me to a wonderful supportive community online. The people who read my blog have supported and encouraged me with gentle hands and open hearts and I will always be grateful for that. Without them I don’t think I’d be doing what I’m doing now, I’d still be stacking shelves at M&S!
    You can visit my little corner of blog land at http://www.marmaladerose.co.uk
    Fiona Gill

    Reply
    • Joe

      Hi Fiona – thanks for the comment. You certainly are a blogging success story and other should take heart. With perseverance anything is possible. Congratulations on a great blog and on finding the courage to be an artist!

      Reply
    • Hi Fiona,

      Thank you so much for sharing your article. It’s given me hope! I am today where you were 6 yrs ago and after reading this fab article decided to start a blog! I am a self taught artist and lack a lot of self belief and confidence. I am also at the experimental stage of my “career” and hoping that my new blog will help with this. I will have a good read through your blog and if you have any advice, I could really do with some 🙂

      Reply
  • thankyou for all the hints and tips, i have tried so hard to keep up with the blogging idea but i get bored easily, and i go back to facebook, i dont have any followers on my blog because of this, after reading your ideas i am now determined to go and blog more, and try to be more interesting,lol, and see what happens, i shall persevere this time.
    thankyou jannette of jansfabfairies.blogspot.com

    Reply
  • Yes I agree with you on this. Blogging on Art topic will be extremely beneficial for the blogger as well as for the reader. Many aspirants can get encouragement to get into this industry and also try in this economical way.
    Truly appreciated your creative thinking and the presentation way.
    I am hoping for some more information like this in near future.
    Thanks.

    Reply
  • I loved reading your article and I believe blogging is the way to go for professionalism and exposure. I started my art blog lyndrart.com about 6 months ago and even though I haven’t yet started receiving significant traffic, it has helped me get jobs from freelancing sites. I usually share a link in my proposal every time I bid for a job. Thanks for this great information.

    Reply
  • I’ve been blogging about my journey through a distance learning City and Guilds in machine embroidery at kate.philbin.wordpress.com for the last 2 years. This was primarily as when I started I couldn’t find anyone doing this course and writing about it so I thought it might be helpful for other people.
    I’ve had really lovely comments about the blog on my study provider’s Facebook page but I never have had anyone comment on the blog itself. I’ve now finished my studies so I’m wondering what direction to take the blog in next. I’d like to continue it and I know I need to develop my own style and interests, but it’s easy to feel a bit lost after 2 years of structure and deadlines. I’ve started blogs before and then stopped using them when I start to feel like I’m just talking into the ether…it all just feels a bit embarrassing after a while!

    Reply
  • Hello Joe, great help, I am now focus on creating Info graphics, it really helps, I have noticed one thing If you research hard before writing an articles It gets audience today or later, I try Viral Marketing as my favorite of all time, like creating my post’s ppt, sharing on file sharing sites, giving option to print, giveaways send to my subscribers as small ebook.and so on. engaging readers is abig art and the best solution is to use the latest trends and technology in your blog. thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  • To Jeanette, the way I got followers was to follow and comment on other peoples blogs, then they tend to pop over and visit you. Wish you every success Tapestry@Sand Studio

    Reply
  • Brilliant advice. I have a small blog attached to an online shop via the ukcraftfairs site. I don’t have any followers as yet & don’t get comments or interaction but I only post once a week & use it as a record of my work & what events I am doing more than anything.
    I enjoy putting my thoughts etc down like this & will continue to do so but hope in time to have some interaction.
    If any of you want to read it & suggest how to improve it, please feel free.
    Anne
    https://www.ukcraftfairs.com/craft_finder_more/7436/anne-pearson-designs

    Reply
  • Hello,
    Thank you for this article and the whole web, just amazing source of inspiration!
    I’d like to ask you an advice. I live in France, so my everyday language (no my mother tongue) is French; but all I read and I’m interested in about art is mostly in English. So my question is: should I write my blog in French or English, and let the reader click on ‘translate’? Or should I write in both languages?
    Thank you again and have a beautiful day!
    Patricia

    Reply
    • I am dutch and struggle with the same thing. I’m a weaver and I read/follow/connect mainly with Brits and Americans.
      Then again, these weavers will never be my buyers, they make their own textile/art. So although I sometimes think I should do everything in english because of all the people I (already) connect with and the much larger community I can reach…..sometimes I don’t. I won’t be attending a fair or show in Tennessee to connect with people there and let them touch my textiles, but may be I will in Rotterdam…so that’s where my customers are, right? But yeah, like I said, I struggle with this. too!

      Reply

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