How do I come up with topics for my artist blog?
Do you struggle to find new and exciting ways to engage the readers on your artist blog?
It’s not uncommon. Many contemporary artists understand the benefits of having a blog and know that posting to it regularly can increase their chances of being found on Google, help build a loyal audience and help create a connection between their artwork and potential buyers. Why is it then that most blogs run by artists fail?
Well, lots of artists don’t update their blog regularly enough, meaning that they never cultivate a following. And when they do publish a new post, all too often it’s a photo with a couple of lines of text, which means it’s very unlikely to be found on Google; search engines can’t read images and only know what your post is about by analysing the words. Google also favours longer, more in-depth content in its search results.
Why artists don’t write better blog posts
I know how hard most artists work, so I’m convinced the lack of consistency in updating has nothing to do with laziness.
Perhaps the main stumbling block is that many artists find it difficult to know exactly what to write about. This article is dedicated to finding an abundance of topics that will keep you and your readers engaged and encourage a deeper connection with the art you create.
Write about your passion…but do it for your audience
What interests you? Matters to you? Would that interest and engage your audience? Does it matter to them?
In order for your writing to come to life it needs to meet two criteria:
1, You must feel passionate about your subject
2, It must fulfil a need or want in your audience
As the main subject of your artist blog is going to be your art, you should have the first one covered. But the post should always do something for your readers; is the topic engaging, entertaining, informative, educational, or does it solve a particular problem? If yes, then you’re audience will be well-served by it. Remember you are not writing a blog just to be read by you, your mum and your pet Spaniel; aim for a wider reach by writing content that people actually want to read and are even searching for.
How to come up with great topics for your art blog
Here are a few ideas for finding topics that will not only be fun to write about, but that your art-loving audience will want to read about.
1, Answer a question
Humans are an inquisitive bunch. If we don’t know the answer to something we usually ask! How do you know what questions your readers would like the answer to?
- Ask you Twitter or Facebook followers to post questions related to your process.
- Look at the comments of previous posts and continue the conversation in a new post.
- In your newsletter or on your blog, ask readers to submit questions via email.
The questions you receive can act as a great starting point for a blog post. You can even use them as the title: What tools and materials do you use everyday? What is it about nature that inspires you? What techniques did you use to create your latest piece?
2, Set up Google alerts
Google Alerts is a brilliant tool for finding hot topics in your particular art niche. Go to Google.com/Alerts and type in a search term related to your artwork (‘Recycled textile art’, ‘Mixed media sculptures’, ‘Contemporary quilt art’ etc.). Each time the search term is written about on the internet you’ll receive an email with a link to the relevant article or blog post; this can provide great inspiration for you in terms of adding your voice to an existing conversation on your blog.
3, Look to other artists for inspiration
Salvador Dali said “Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.” Borrowing ideas from other blogs is a great way of hitting a topic that will at least engage some of your audience: after all if you found the topic useful or entertaining on someone else’s blog, it’s likely your audience will enjoy reading about it on your blog. Remember, it is just the idea you are borrowing, not the opinions expressed or the specific content – Dali wasn’t justifying plagiarism!
4, Keep a notebook
Much in the same way as you might keep a sketchbook for your artwork, why not try keeping a notebook handy for when inspiration for your blog strikes? Think of it as a running list of topic ideas you can draw upon when you sit down at your computer to write.
Brainstorming and mind mapping can be powerful tools; one idea leads to another which leads to another. Some of them will eventually be trashed of course, but there are bound to be some nuggets of inspiration.
6, Add to the conversation
Has a magazine article or internet post made a point you disagree with recently? Or perhaps you just feel the writer is missing a particular angle? Your blog is the perfect place to respond. In the comments of our recent article on Pricing Textile Art Rachel Biel from TAFA wrote almost an entirely new article responding to our suggestions. You could do the same thing, but do it on your own blog (you could name it How I Price my Work).
7, What have you become an expert in?
Have you run stalls at art fairs for years? You could write a post on the best way to discuss the work on show with potential customers. Or the optimum way to display work at these events. Or even how to prepare thoroughly. The skills you’ve developed and the knowledge you’ve gained may seem dull to you, but others are thirsty for this information.
If you’re a student artist, you might write a post dedicated to tips for getting into art school or how to write a great art dissertation.
8, What are you learning?
Are you working on a new technique? How are you going about learning it? Journaling your progress or teaching your own audience as you learn yourself can make for great blog posts.
9, Keyword research
You need to strike a balance between serving your current audience and attracting new visitors to your blog (with the aim of introducing them to your artwork). Perform some basic keyword research to discover which topics related to your art niche are regularly searched for on Google. You can then write blog posts around the most searched topics. Here at TextileArtist.org we use a keyword research tool called Longtail Pro.
10, More suggested topics
If all else fails, here is a list of 50 topics you might consider:
- Works in progress
- How you became an artist
- Your niche and why you chose it
- The story behind a piece of work
- Drawings from your sketchbook explained
- Artists you admire and why
- Why you are an artist
- Lessons learned
- Favourite art blogs
- Tips on art promotion
- Your toolkit
- Blog about work you’ve had published in magazines
- Shows, past and present
- How you generate ideas
- Tips on finding a gallery to show your work
- Current events you feel strongly about
- Travel and how it has affected your work
- Favourite art supply sites and stores
- Your goals
- Memories from art school
- Art book reviews
- How to handle criticism
- How life and nature have inspired your art
- Work/life balance
- Current art trends
- Organising your studio
- Favourite art vids on Youtube
- Artists block
- Advice for emerging and aspiring artists
- An artist group you belong to
- Choosing a title for your art
- Online gallery reviews
- Real life gallery and exhibition reviews
- Selling art on and offline – how you approach it
- Time management
- Preparing art for galleries
- Collaboration with other artists
- How you write about art
- A piece of work that didn’t work out and why
- Other forms of art that inspire you (literature, theatre etc.)
- How you prepare for an exhibition
- An art teacher from your past who inspired you
- Your favourite art resources
So now you have some new ways to find topics for your artist blog, what are you waiting for? Start writing!
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