How to make a successful artist blog
When you start online as an artist and you want to make it serious, you might be considering an artist blog. However, the blogging world can be a little complicated. How can you write a good art blog that attracts and audience?
Apart from the fact that blogging is a world of its own, the art niche is also something different. It can be hard to know what your blog needs to be successful and helpful.
Your blog, however, can help you turn your dream into your job! Here are some tips for you to start a successful art blog!
Why would I even Blog?
Blogging is a good way to build a following. It gives you a great independent platform for your news and updates.
(Having that independent platform means you always have something to fall back on when social media platforms change their sites or algorithms. It means more stability in the end.)
The constant flow of new content also makes it a great way to turn up on google. Plus you can incorporate your artist blog on your site, together with your portfolio and contact info making it a great hub of information.
Do I need a blog?
Blogging might not be the right thing for you and that is okay. It is a great tool, but it does cost a lot of time to write the posts, proofread and coming up with topics.
If writing is not your strong suit or you feel like it just doesn’t work for you as a means of expression there are still other options. Think things like Vlogging (youtube) or social media.
Apart from the writing, you also need to spend time on promoting and admin, so keep this in mind when you start your blog.
Follow common blogging practices
Like all blogs, an artist blog works best when you follow common blogging practices. This means including good writing, posting consistent and making content that is helpful in some way to the reader.
This also includes having a newsletter. Newsletter make people remember you because you pop up in their inbox regularly. They are also great for strengthening that personal bond.
Some of the first rules of blogging include;
1. You need a good title; something that makes people want to click and read. This mostly means to not be vague.
2. You need to be consistent; it can be very hard, but when you post consistently it can really help your traffic. You don’t need to post every day, but choose a frequency you can keep up with like once a week or even once every two weeks.
3. Try applying some SEO; SEO stands for search engine optimisation and can really help with getting traffic to your blog. This doesn’t have to be complicated at all.
4. Include images; people love pictures and it is a nice way to break up the text.
5. Make it shareable; include share buttons and a “call to action” to make people share your content!
Of course, there are many more common blogging rules that will really help your blog.
Two other major common blogging practises are to pick a niche and knowing your target audience! These two definitely make the difference for the way you will write your content later on.
Need some more info on general blogging practices // Check out this amazing list by Raelyn Tan wit 101 tips to have a successful blog
Find a way you get to offer value to the reader
Offering value to your readers is how you can really capture their attention. People love free stuff, so don’t be afraid to give loads of it. I don’t mean send people 1000$ paintings for free of course. But if you can make your audience feel like they are getting something valuable for free, it will certainly help you grow online.
While it might sound difficult there are may different ways to do this.
Here are some of the angles you can take for your blog.
Teacher; tutorials and lessons are your specialities. Especially great if you are offering classes as well. There are many ways you can teach your community things. You can make drawing tutorials, teach about the creative process or give specific advice.
Reviewer; You love new things and sharing your opinion. Think new products, though, online resources etc.
Storyteller; Have a story behind every piece and you know how to tell it. Use your blog to give life to your art and entertain your readers.
Promoter; love scouring for new artists on the blog? Your blog can be a great place for people to find new artists. You get people to your blog and make friends around.
Networker; Are you good at creating a sense of community and sparking discussions? Your blog could be a great networking spot to find like minded people and discuss a variety of topics.
Make sure that you do offer a variety of content thought. Your angle can be a good way to start but you don’t want to make it monotonously.
Artist are a personal brand
The important thing about your blog is that you need to show your personality through it. People come for the info but stay when you find a way to connect with them.
Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Definitely, don’t imitate someone else!
This also means a nice balance between personal content, information and promotions. Not a lot of people will keep reading of the only content you posts is about self-promotion (even if that is the eventual goal.) Try using the 20/80 rule which works for blogging as well as social media. 80% is about offering value in any form. 20% can be self-promotion!
It is also a great idea to keep smaller personal updates for your newsletters and social media!
What content do I write about?
When you know your target audience and the angle you want to write from it should be easier to find the topics you want to cover.
Make sure the content you write is relevant to the goals you have for the blog. If you have a blog to help people find your artwork and make more sales you need content that is relevant to that.
(You can still add in personal pieces which can be great for the personality side of the blog. Just keep in mind that you need to provide value and who your target audience is.)
Since all your content should provide some form of value to your readers it is always good to make sure you know what it is for that blog post.
For example; “this post shows how I set up a landscape” or “this post helps artists embrace a messy workplace”
If you know the value of your piece it will also be easier to get it out there and promote.
Don’t; What doesn’t work is just uploading a picture with a small blurb of text about your day. You change you will build following this way is much smaller. Although this thing can work when you use Tumblr or Instagram. But as a stand-alone blog, it doesn’t really keep people coming back
Do; Longer posts about your inspiration, FAQ, tutorials, series, perspectives, tips and tricks, and reviews
Mixing different kinds of content makes sure your blog doesn’t become repetitive.
(Need more specific ideas for content? Check out this list with content ideas for art and illustration blogs.)
You want your posts to be accessible for everyone. So try to avoid jargon. Not everyone knows a lot about art or all the technical terms you might be familiar with. So make sure you explain things. Never assume knowledge. Also, add as many details as possible. It makes it so much easier for people to understand the content.
When you get your first posts out it will get easier to see which content works and what content doesn’t do as good. When you see a pattern you know what content to create more of!
Should I not blog business to business content?
Business to business (B2B) content/marketing mostly goes about helping other businesses with your content. This mostly only is done by people who want to sell things to other businesses. That business will then use it to create something to sell again.
Business to Consumer (B2C) content is content directly to the people you are wanting to sell to. *(who will be the end-consumer) For most artists, this is the kind of content they are looking to create.
Of course, this is totally up to you. But if you think that it will give your more traffic or that you will make more sales; you probably won’t. The best posts on this blog are mostly about my art and art supplies. There are a lot more art lovers out there then you might think.
Posts that did well on my blog;
- Tombow vs Copic markers
- Fine liner vs dip pen; inking your drawings
- 8 months in; starting a creative business
As you can see these are mostly about art.
When you write about what you know and love it will be much easier to keep it up. So if business to business content is what you love than do just go for it. But if you like to write about the thought process and painting or art itself, write about that!
What about content upgrades and newsletter hooks?
The last thing I think a lot of artists struggle with is the content upgrades and newsletter hooks for their artist blog.
Lots of artists don’t really know what they could use as a hook for people to subscribe to their newsletters. I think this really depends on the type of content you post normally (which of course is based on the target audience and niche of your blog). Not everything will work for everyone. Again this is quite a personal thing and unique for every blog.
However, these are the general categories one off which might help you;
1. An ebook; you can add some post together and add some extra information to create a great ebook. You can do this for all subjects you have written about or even something new you have come up with.
2. Tutorials; Have some small tips and tricks you could share. Why not offer tutorials for people who want to create their own artworks!
3. Courses; if you have some in-depth info you can try making a small course to get people to sign up. If you have bigger plans consider this more of a paid feature.
4. Printables; Have some practise sheets for sketching, inking, hand-lettering, colouring or anything else. Add those as a newsletter hook.
The point is that there is always something you can offer as extra value to your readers that get them to sign up for your email newsletter.
(Which makes them one step closer to buying your work.)
Need some inspiration before getting started with your art blog? Read this list of 49 amazing examples of artists who have successful blogs.
To wrap this up I would love it if you can tell me in the comments; What makes you read/follow someone else’s artist blog?
P.S. If you want more advice on online art promotion with social media tips, portfolio advice and a whole lot more you can get the free ebook when you sign up for the newsletter!