Do you have a passion for the arts? Are you an artist that wants to create more exposure for your work? Maybe you have unique observations about the art world that people might find to be interesting and engaging. All of these options qualify to help create a stunning new art blog. Knowing how to start an art blog means taking a different perspective than the rest of the world, but still showing that you have expertise in techniques, genres, and even art influences.
Your content is going to be the key to having a successful art blog. You need to create content that solves problems for art lovers. This means that you’ll need to anticipate questions that your visitors will have about the world of art from your perspective and answer them in your posts.
Pick Your Platform Wisely
Where you put your art blog is going to give you an automatic audience. Art blogs on Tumblr tend to gather a younger overall audience that is interested in learning more about art rather than being tempted to purchase art. WordPress blogs offer more layout variety and the better chance to display work, but it can be quite costly to unlock the coding needing to incorporate a sales page from the blog. This means it’s more about information processing than anything else.
For artists who want to sell their work directly, the best option is Blogger. It offers automatic coding that can let artists list their products, incorporate purchasing buttons, and even link their PayPal or WePay account so that instant payments can be made and items shipped.
Most artists blog because they want to increase sales. Let’s just be honest about it. You might have thoughts and perspectives to share, but the ultimate purpose is to increase your brand exposure in a unique way to get people into a sales funnel so they’ll want to purchase something. Decide if you want to make direct sales or not and then pick the appropriate platform.
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Make Your Blog Noteworthy
If you are blogging about how to use watercolors for painting and your blog posts don’t have anything to do with the subject matter, then the average person is just going to leave your blog and never come back. When people come to an art blog, they want to know more about art, not what wedding dresses were popular in 2008 or what the hottest pop music video is right now. Relevant content builds up a loyal readership.
It is important to focus on value and in the art world, value comes from technique, skill, and instructions. People are coming to your art blog because they have questions they think that you can answer. If you provide those answers, then you’ll create value. If you don’t answer those questions, then people will find someone who will.
Part of your content must also be visual in nature. Blog posts that have at least one graphic image associated with them will have double the amount of average visitors. Words and text can certainly be art if you’re a writer, but paintings, mixed media images, and most other artwork is visual in nature. Without images of art, how good will an art blog actually be?
Don’t Be Pushy About How You’re Building Readership
How many times have you been to a blog and had a squeeze page pop out at you that demands your email address? You go to click the “X” or the “No Thanks” link and instead you’re forced to read, “I’m not interested in XYZ because I don’t care.” Why are people trying to make their visitors feel terrible because they don’t want to hand over their email address? Because these blog owners know that even guilt email addresses are better than no email addresses.
This is where you can choose to do the right thing or the black hat thing. Using organic results from people who genuinely want more information will provide more opportunities to get people into the sales funnel for your art. Using black hat guilting techniques might help you build a huge email list, but it will be filled with mostly people who are just going to delete your emails once they receive them.
Let’s look at some real numbers. Let’s say white hat email opt-in boxes are providing a total of 200 addresses per month. The black hat version that shames people into providing an email address generates 1,000 emails per month. You’re getting a 20% conversion rate out of your white hat emails, but just 2% from your black hat emails. The white hat email campaign is actually more successful because it is giving you 40 conversions per month while the black hat campaign is giving you 20. Something to thing about.
Make Sure You Include Your Contact Information
This is the biggest mistake that artists who start a blog make today. They’re so concerned about their personal privacy that they leave no place for people to contact them about a piece of art that they may wish to purchase. Use a separate tab to create an “About Us” page or an artist bio and include the contact information there. Take the chance on this page to answer common questions you think people may have about the work that is on display.
As a final step, it is important to make sure that people who visit an art blog have a clear user experience that will lead them to a purchase if that’s what they want. If artists that are blogging to teach skills should still offer some of their art for sale because their classes, tips, or videos are helping people and that help is a great marketing technique to increase brand exposure.
Knowing how to start an art blog is part talent, part skill, and part knowledge of what the targeted audience demographics want. Follow these tips, put your finished work on display, and you’ll create an amazing place on the internet that people will want to visit on a regular basis.