What’s the purpose of your blog? Do you have blogging goals?
Some artists (like many other entrepreneurs) start blogging, because they think they’re supposed to blog. That’s the wrong move to make. It’s important to have an online presence, but blogging is a commitment and a long-term game. Understanding your blogging goals will help you to be a more successful blogger, because you can determine what content you should post based on your goals.
Artists blog for many reasons, including:
- increasing sales
- getting exposure
- having a place to share their thoughts
- making connections in the art community
- interacting with fans and customers
But, from my experience, it usually comes to down to a desire to increase sales. If this is one of your goals, then you don’t want to commit one of the five biggest mistakes that artists make when blogging:
1. Providing bland, useless content.
If I come to your mixed media blog and the first five posts have nothing to do with mixed media, I’m gone. I’m not sticking around to look at the pictures of your cat or to read about the ugly bridesmaid’s dress you have to wear to your cousin’s wedding. You shouldn’t leave your personality or personal stories out of your blog, because your personality sets you apart from other artists. You just need to provide relevant content at the same time.
It’s important to build up a loyal readership, especially if you want your readers to buy anything from you. Let’s suppose you’re the author of the mixed media blog and you want readers to buy your mixed media prints. You could post about the inspiration behind each print, share pictures of your art studio, and share the process of making one of your mixed media art pieces from start to finish.
When you’re stumped for content ask yourself, “How can I get readers interested in my art? What can I share that will allow them to be a part of the story?”
2. Not having an obvious email newsletter opt-in form above the fold.
You want to capture the attention of your greatest fans, and the best way to do this is to collect their email addresses and send them regular updates via email.
Email continues to be one of the best ways to stay connected with your readers and customers. One mistake that many successful bloggers regret making is not having an email opt-in option from the beginning. The people who sign up for your email newsletter are raising their hands and telling you that they want to hear from you.
You can use your email newsletter to let your readers know about sales, give them special discounts, send them updates when you make new pieces of art, and provide them with more information about you and your art.
I’m not sure where the idea that you have to post everyday came from, but it’s a rule that you can break. You’ll probably grow your blog faster if you post daily, but only if you post useful, relevant content. You should come up with a realistic plan of how often you can post and stick to it. Some really successful bloggers only blog once or twice a week, but when they do post, they make sure their content kicks serious butt.
Don’t post daily for a month, disappear for three months, and then start posting sporadically. If your readers come back to your blog and don’t see any new content over and over, they won’t keep coming back…unless, they know when to come back. If your readers know that you post every Wednesday, they’ll look for your posts on Wednesdays.
4. Leaving out their contact information.
Your contact information needs to be in a place that your readers can easily find it. Many bloggers include this on their about pages and/or on a separate tab in their navigation. If readers want to ask you about buying your art, displaying your art, interviewing you, promoting your art on their blogs, including your art in their magazines, or anything else that would benefit you, you should make it easy for them. If they can’t find your contact information after a couple minutes of looking, they’ll probably give up.
5. Not providing a clear path for readers to buy their art.
It doesn’t matter whether you sell your art online, offline, or a combination of the two, you need to make it easy for your readers to buy from you. Again, if they have to search for more than a couple minutes to figure out how to buy your art, they’ll probably give up.
You might have a way for your readers to buy your art, but is it easy? Don’t make your readers go through step after step after step to give you money. Ask someone who’s not tech savvy to try to figure out how to buy your art from your blog. If that person can’t do it, make it more simple.
Keep your goals in mind when you’re setting up your blog, provide your readers with useful content, and make it simple for them to contact you and purchase from you. If you do those things, you’ll minimize frustration and increase the likelihood that your blog will add to your art business success.
April Bowles-Olin works with creative women to lead more fulfilling lives while they make money doing it. She also attempts to add a little prettiness to the world with her art and jewelry. You can learn more about her at Blacksburg Belle and connect with her on Twitter @blacksburgbelle.
This was incredibly useful. I am currently blogging and I had loads of questions about how often, and content. You answered questions that I didn’t even realize were there! 🙂 I am not an artist but I think that the content is applicable to anyone who blogs.
Randy C. Brown says
This article was great. Being an artist and a blogger myself, I find it sometimes hard to come up with meaningful topics to blog about. I am currently trying to use my blog to teach others how to create art themselves. However, teaching is more time consuming than painting.
Thanks for the great information.
Interesting article. I mentioned it in my Nov blog review :
Jenny Hoople says
Every post you write is so helpful to me, April. Thank you so much!
Sometimes things seem so obvious that I forget to check and see whether I actually did them. Contact Info! I have a Contact page on my site, but when I did a redesign, I never worked that page back into the mix. This will be number one on my list of 3 things to actually take action on, thanks!
Ashok Sharma says
Great artist guide line for online survival, not only artists but every creative persons must follow the same rules
Khaliqur Rahman says
Indeed, it is a very useful blog giving very valuable and practical tips to bloggers who blog but don’t succeed in achieving their goals.
Great article. I don’t have a blog – yet. I want to start one because I think I should, but I’ve been laboring over content; part of me wanting to just jump in and go for it, the other part of me wanting to make sure I know what I’m going to blog about and when. Thanks for giving me a better vision!
Joyce Gentile says
Great article. Thanks for sharing. I have my email address on my website but it is not a link meaning people have to copy and paste it. I also don’t have a place for comments. I enjoyed reading your article and I learned from it.
Hello, I am going to make a blog soon to promote my work and I really want to thank you for your useful article. It’s really helped me out before I’ve got started.
I wanted to thank you for writing this article and I have learned a lot from it. I’ve been blogging about my art work for about a year and I have to admit, I’ve made at least all of the mistakes in your article. Can you make any recommendations for getting more visibility and getting others to actually visit your blog?
Thank you for posting these tips! For someone who’s just starting out, there seems to be a bit of a learning curve (making it surprisingly easy to overlook such important details!). Your advice was very helpful – so thanks again!
Thanks for that, April. I have been blogging for nearly a year now and have to say it has proved a bit of a challeng. Whilst I have picked up some subscribers it is proving harder that anticipated. So hoping your tips will prove useful
I got a lot out of your post. Specifically about making it easy for people to find and buy our work. Duh right? I don’t know why I would overlook that for my own site LOL. Also love your idea to share the process of creating the painting. I’m planning now to use video to share that. Thank you April. I appreciate people like you who share awesome content. I’m a subscriber now!
Hello there.From a young 6 months starting blog I also find this information very useful. I have not made many sales with my art and also I’m slowly gaining a audience so thank you very much. It is great to read that content is more appreciated,which is better for us artists.
Best of luck!
Thank you for this article. I found it very simple and helpful – a winning combination! I have only recently started my blog about my paintings and my writing, so I’m still feeling my way. Some useful tips here that I need to really consider.
Daniel Jean-Baptiste says
Thanks for this great article, it’s always better to do things right the first time. I look forward to more of your post.
Marco Builtz says
Hi, thanks for that, I noticed I have made a few mistakes already. This whole blogging thing is a bit more difficult then I thought. Writing content, building links and designing the blog, but I am getting better at it.
Great tips! Very well written article, have taken many of these tips on board to create my beautiful website!
hello I’m from Brazil and here I see very aproveitosas tips Thank You.
Janet Davies says
Useful article, thanks. Not started a blog yet but thinking about it. What will I keep finding to say? I am glad that I followed a link about a month ago, from this site, to Artpal. Fantastic site, so easy to use and no charge. I haven’t sold any art yet but, early days.
Lindsay Berquist says
I totally agree with your points April. The main problem I see with most artist sites is a lack of an email opt-in form.
Paulo Roberto Gomes says
very good I am making changes
Paula Manning-Lewis says
Thanks for the great post! I’m currently working on updating and improving my art blog and realized after reading this post that I didn’t have a contact page on my blog! After 15 years of blogging! Yikes! Thanks again for the informative post! 🙂
Paulo Roberto Gomes says
made changes visit my paintings blog http://www.gomespintor.blogspot.com.br
I did most of these mistakes when I fisrt started 🙁
Writing useless, bland content is something that happens far too often on mixed media blogs nowadays. The blogs are quickly becoming random rants of personal problems and garbage. It can be interesting to read these kinds of posts but as long as it comes full circle to the reason I should be looking at that blog in the first place. Express yourself, but don’t lose sight of what you’re doing.
These are all such great points! It’s definitely difficult to not be bland and to find new ways to say the same things. I’ve found that writing about thing that I can tie into art helps, rather than only writing about the art in general.
Alexandria Kuo says
I’ve been trying to sell my artworks but been debating recently whether to start blogging. Thank you for the pointers! 🙂
Dousic Media Group LLC says
Nice post ..
Well described about the things which we dont do or doing it but in a wrong way.
Putting contact information clearly is a major one..
Call to actions lines are important and placed wisely..
Nilam sangle says
This article is giving overall idea about where artist make mistake. I like to read blogs about all types of artist. This 5 points also very helpful. when i will start to write the blog i will never do this all mistake. Thank you for sharing this blog.
Manju Jagdish says
I’m from India . Very inspiring and a like starter kit for a person like me who is just planning too start s blog . Thank you very much for sharing your experiences and knowledge .
Iordache Cristina-Vivi says
This is so useful. I have two blogs and I keep getting frustrated. I am not sure if my content is useful enough and if I should continue doing it. But your article here is very good and I will try to work harder on it.