10 reasons why you should be art blogging
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 number 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 affect 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, 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.
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.
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.
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 the 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 peek 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 artwork and your audience will feel they know you that little bit better. The popularity of the interviews on TextileArtist.org is a 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.
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 inbuilt immunity to the hard-sell!
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 doing 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.