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Why Every Artist Needs a Blog & How to Create an Artist Blog


As an artist, the key to selling more artwork is maximizing its exposure. The internet is an increasingly popular tool for promoting original art, and if done properly, can be quite profitable.

One of the most effective (and free!) online marketing tools for artists is the blog. Artist blogs provide an easy way to display your art, discuss your creative process, post exhibition announcements and more. Best of all, blogs require no working knowledge of HTML and the search engines love their dynamic content.

What is a blog and how will it sell my art?

A "blog" is a web-based diary or journal. The author of a blog, also known as a "Blogger", publishes content on a regular basis about a focused topic. These regular postings typically provide a "community" feel by allowing site visitors to post feedback to your journal entries. This mode of communication can deepen relationships with potential art buyers, leading to increased sales.

Blogs also have the ability to archive all of your previous posts, dynamically creating an individual page for each journal entry. The feature is great for art buyers using search engines to find original art. For example, if you have a blog post describing a painting that you just completed of the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset and an art buyer in Florida goes to Google and searches for "painting of Golden Gate Bridge at sunset", there is a very good chance that your blog entry will appear pretty high in the rankings. Cha Ching!!

Many artists have felt the pain of email marketing losing its effect due to spam filters, junk email overloads and virus paranoia. Blogs provide a new way to communicate with clients, fans and industry professionals. This trend can support your email marketing efforts by allowing blog subscription options for site visitors so that they are notified whenever your blog is updated along with providing a permanent place on the web for all of your postings as opposed to newsletter emails that are typically deleted.

How to start a blog

  • Blog Publishing Tools

    To begin, visit some of these free blogging sites, all offering unique template options that even an artist can appreciate, image uploads and syndication ability.

    • Blogger.com (blogger.com) - Simple to set up and multiple authoring ability
    • MSN Spaces (spaces.msn.com) - Create your own mini site, with an exceptional blogging feature
    • Live Journal (livejournal.com) - Requires a bit of 'blogging knowledge' to get it set up
    • Blog Drive (blogdrive.com)

    If you're interesting in reviewing additional blog features, these sites require a small monthly fee to maintain.

    • Typepad (typepad.com) - starts at $4.95/month
    • Tripod Blogs (tripod.lycos.com) - starts at $4.95/month

    Note to artists with MySpace accounts: MySpace provides members personal blogs, but it is important to know that MySpace blogs are not currently listed in search engines, which as noted above, is one of the main reasons to get a blog. While MySpace works to remedy this issue, it is recommended that you blog using a tool that is accessible to search engine spiders.

  • Decide on a title for your blog

    The title of your blog should be brief and to the point. You can get creative with your language in the blog description / tag line. A focused title will help with higher search engine rankings and make it clear to visitors what the blog is about.

    For example, the title for ThePauper.com blog is "Diary of a Pauper". The blog description is "Rants and raves about the careers and lives of starving artists." The title is concise, stating exactly what it is, while the description is a bit more creative.

  • Blog theme

    It's important to establish yourself as a professional working artist if you want to use your blog as a vehicle to sell your art. Blog theme involves the layout and color of the page, quality of the artwork images displayed and verbiage used for blog postings.

    Select your blog template carefully and make a habit to review your blog from the perspective of a potential client. Is the page visually appealing? Do the images of your artwork provide a link to an extra large version to see detail? Does your content have a consistent theme?

    Here's a good example of a working blog by mix engineer, Ken Lewis: http://protoolsmixing.com/blog.html

    The content theme is exceptionally consistent, plus the colors and page layout match his website.

  • What to write

    What's beautiful about blogs is that there are no rules on what to write, but if you want to attract and keep an audience, you might consider some of these suggestions.

    • Keep your posts creative and interesting. Move and inspire your readers by being completely honest about your creative process.

    • Use keywords in your blog title and post. Using the example mentioned earlier - if your post is about a Golden Gate Bridge painting, be sure to use that exact phrase in the title and body of your blog. Think about what people might type into search engines to find your content and then use those keywords in your blog. This technique will help increase the ranking of your web page on search engines.

    • Post daily, or at least twice a week. If you publish blog entries frequently, you will see more return visitors, subscriptions to your blog and comments from site visitors.

    • Proofread and preview your blog entries before posting. Some blog HTML editors have a way of creating weird symbols out of certain characters and a quick spell-check never hurts. (Note: be sure to create your blog entries using Word or some other text editor. Many blogging tools tend to "time out" after a certain amount of time and you could potentially lose hours of work.)

  • Publish your blog

    Finally! Your blog looks great and has unique content. Now, depending on the blogging tool that you selected, follow the steps to publish it to the World Wide Web. Test the live URL that now houses your blog. If all of your graphics appear correctly and the copy is flawless, then you want to make sure that you promote your blog on your personal website, in your email signature and by word of mouth.

    Using the tools you already have to spread the word while testing your dedication to frequent posting is the best way to get started. Part 2 of will unveil tons of ways to promote your blog online.

  • Kristin Royce is a search engine optimization and online marketing professional contributing online marketing and promotional content for artists to The Artrepreneur E-Zine and newsletter.

    The Artrepreneur offers articles helping artists focus on proven techniques to accomplish any goal. Read More: http://www.theartrepreneur.com

    Copyright 2005 Arctic Mouse, Inc. All rights reserved.


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