The Overwhelm of Getting Started
I’ve observed a lot of artists who have an interest in possibly selling and/or exhibiting their art who get overwhelmed by all the technical things involved in this online age, not to mention all the things they “should” remember to do…
Set up an email software…
Which software to use?…
Send a monthly newsletter…
What the heck do I write about?…
So when Mary, part of The Artist Strong Studio, expressed interest in blogging best practices, I knew this article would help you, too.
If you are one of my curious creators, or many media explorers who have no interest in selling or exhibiting your art, you can run off to the studio right now and join us back here next week.
For those of you who are dabbling, or thinking about promoting your art, stick with me today and let’s talk about how all of these online moving parts work together for your art.
What is a blog? Why is it important?
A lot of entrepreneurs like to talk about blogs being dead, that they don’t work anymore like they once did.
So what exactly are they supposed to do?
A blog is a piece of internet content that is posted regularly on a website to draw people to your work. Historically, some people blogged just for fun, or to document personal endeavors and share this with loved ones. This is still done.
In terms of business, blogs are a way to start connecting with people who could invest in your art.
People who blog regularly help their website be better indexed on search engines, which means the search engine knows the website is actively being used and thus, if people search for terms related to your content, they feel confident they are directing them to a site they will value.
This is not something that garners immediate attention or quick results. This is a long game tactic, that helps you build your own online geography outside of social media to build relationships, develop connections, and garner sales for your work.
Blogs are never dead.
They are also a great way to get people to join your email list.
Wha?! Email too?!
Email remains the single most successful place to sell something to someone.
Full stop. Read that above sentence again please.
People who choose to give you their email address trust you enough to share this information with you. These are the humans you should dedicate time and care to as much as you can, for it is these people who are most likely to invest back into your work.
How social media fits in
Social media is a great place to repurpose content on your blog. You can:
- Take pieces of a larger blog post and create multiple smaller posts
- Write a long form social post using one of your blog articles
- Share a live video where you talk about the article on the blog
- Share the link to your blog with a snippet of content discussed
These are only a few of the things you can do on social that uses content you’ve already created on the blog to find and connect with even more of your humans.
My mentor Marie Forleo in her class B-School is emphatic about the following point: you don’t own your social platform.
This means they can change algorithms, and make you “pay to play,” or even turn your account off. This means building up ONLY a social media presence is risky, because after all of your effort, your reach can disappear overnight.
Because of this, social media is a great starting point to connect with people and start your journey of developing relationships, but is only the beginning.
A blog is your property.
Periodically and regularly, you should encourage people on social to visit your blog. So, social media drives people to your blog, and blog drives people to your email list. (Note: you can totally try to drive people to your email list directly from social media, too).
The point of these efforts are twofold:
You build trust, authority, and develop relationships with people interested in your work,
You get those same people to join your email list, where they are most likely to invest in your art.
I’ve made a handy flow chart for you here:
Advanced Blogging Strategy
If you are new to all of this, that is PLENTY of information to tackle and start acting on. But if you are already familiar with blogging, then let’s dig in a bit further.
Batching is when people create a number of articles at the same time to them publish out over a period of time, say every 4 or 6 months. I know of one entrepreneur who created a year’s worth of video content (that she released weekly) in the month of January.
Personally, I’ve been able to batch for up to 3-4 months, but I’ve never managed more than that.
The idea is batching let’s you be more productive with all of your goals by doing things chunked. I talk about batching for artists in terms of creative process here.
I’ve found that I like my content to be timely AND consistent. This year, that means creating some articles, like this one, pretty soon after someone requests the article. It means other content, like video feedback, may be something I’ve edited and prepared weeks ago.
Even when I’ve batched my blog content for months on end, one thing I always save until the day or two before is my email.
I draft emails and have them ready to go, but then review them before I schedule them and send them off. I like to do this incase of specific world events, for example. I want to also be in touch with our community’s most pressing issues and concerns, so I like to leave space to address those topics in both email and blog posts.
The people who have the “fastest” results on their blogs show up everyday.
I love the idea and admire those that manage it, but that just isn’t in my current bandwidth, so I post every week and have done so almost for 10 years now.
(I had a year where I had months of repurposed content in my emails because of baby or moving but I had 400 or more blog posts at that point).
What is most important is deciding on a frequency you will commit to, or that feels truly aligned with your energy level and goals.
I have evolved in my use of images. Currently, I include images of art when I do interviews of artists to help break up the text and highlight the artist’s work.
If you are blogging about your art, share images of your art. That is what people are there to see and learn about and will help you take people along with you on your creativity journey. It’s how you can start building trust and create an email community.
I include a Pinterest image in every blog post of mine to help get my content spotted there, as historically it has been a place of high traffic for my content. I don’t like how big they are so I found coding so I can hide the image in the article, but if people pin the page, it will pop up as an option.
People are more likely to stick with a blog post that has paragraphs that are at most 3 sentences, broken up with headings, images, etc. The visual experience helps people stick with your content.
Let’s pause here a moment to thank today’s sponsor. This post from Artist Strong is brought to you by The Artist Strong Studio, our community of patrons who believe in and wish to support this community. You can become part of the Artist Strong Studio for a small monthly commitment as low as 1 dollar a month.
Mary is currently a member and asked me to create content around this topic, something you can do, too.
To learn more visit https://www.patreon.com/ArtistStrong.
Ultimately, blogging is about sharing your story through text, video, or audio to build trust and authority that helps drive people to your email list, where you continue to build trust and develop relationships that encourage art interested people to turn into your art collectors.
I’m in the process of building a service that helps you get a regular reminder to send a bi-monthly email newsletter to your potential collectors/actual collectors AND gives you 4 ideas a month you can use to create blog and newsletter content.
If this sounds good to you, be sure to join my email list because that’s where you will learn more about it.