Why Artists Should Have a Blog … or Not

Pros and cons of getting your words, and your work, into the blogosphere.

 

 

 

If you’re reading this article, then you know what a blog is – and you might consider starting one for your own art website.

Pros:

  • You can establish a presence in the online community, and attract visitors to read your posts, which drives traffic to your site – and your art gets many more views that way.
  • Blogs can be free! Word Press is one of the most popular blogging platforms. Blogger is another. You can use their templates, and link your blog page to your website if you like.
  • You can share video blogs (known as vlogs), which introduce you to your audience. Tell about your work, or show a work-in-progress video. People feel like they know you because they are seeing you “in person.” Gaining that kind of recognition is a good thing.
  • Your blog increases in search engine optimization – meaning that your website shows up more in searches. As content is frequently added to your website through your blog, it creates many more pages to your blog and more ways to be found.
  • Blog posts invite conversation, and comments are interesting. Respond to as many comments as possible on your blog, which makes others feel that they are heard. Work to create a dynamic conversation.
  • Blog posts allow you to expand on the information on your “About” page. Share your inspiration, work in progress, and shows and events that you are participating in. Write about your last fair – or your next show, or a gallery that features your work.
  • A blog gets you interactive on the internet. It means that you should be participating in social media on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+, where you can make a lot of contacts. Many artists have sold their work, and even arranged gallery shows via social media.
  • Other people can link to your blog from other websites, driving traffic to your site. You can eventually get hundreds of these “backlinks” which can make your website a pretty popular place.

 

 

Cons:

  • It takes effort. Are you time-strapped, unable to commit to an ongoing project, or totally uncomfortable with writing? Then a blog probably isn’t for you.
  • You have to keep up with your blog. If the last post was August, 2010, your blog will look lonely and unattended. It might even make visitors wonder if you are still in business. Blogging on a regular basis (once a week, for instance) makes a good impression.
  • Once you write posts on your blog, you need to publicize them, and that can be time-consuming also.
  • You have to weed out spam. On your blog, install a spam-blocking plug-in to get rid of most of this annoying clutter. But, some will get through. Adjust your blog comment setting so that you have to approve comments – then you can delete the spam, and answer real comments.

If you decide you want to start your own blog, here are 10 tips to spread the word further and get more readership:

1. Focus on creating the most valuable content possible. Good articles get read and shared!

2. Submit your blog to blog directories. Some of these are Networked Blogs, BlogTopSites, Technorati and Globe of Blogs or Blog Catalog.

3. Connect your blog feed with your LinkedIn profile and Facebook page. All of your posts will appear on your page for your contacts to read.

4. Install sharing plug-ins on your blog. This allows readers to email your post, or share on social media with others.

5. Use tools like HootSuite and Tweet Deck to manage social media profiles quickly and easily.

6. Want to reach even more people with links to your articles? Join Triberr and team up with other art bloggers to publicize everyone’s posts.

7. Submit your blog to search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.

8. Make videos for your blog and submit to video directories like YouTube and Daily Motion.

9. Comment on other blogs, leaving your blog URL with your name. This creates backlinks for you.

10. Write guest articles for other blogs in your niche. Link back to your own website, and get known by their audience as well.

Do you have a blog on your art website? Have any great suggestions for other artists?

 

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