Are we blogging just because it’s cool?

In response to my recent four-part series on blogging from the Art Marketing Action newsletter, artist Sherry Loehr confessed:

You have been spending much time on blogs and I have to admit , I still don’t get it!!!!! If blogs are just to have artists spend time, a lot of time, chatting, is this really a smart use of our time/energy? I am already plenty busy DOING art, and trying to sell it , tell me again what good blogging does? I’m just not convinced that it either helps you make better art, or sell that art. If it doesn’t do those things, why are you pushing it? Just because it’s cool?

Well, I guess I didn’t do my job good enough. I don’t think I’m going to convince skeptical artists to start blogging. They’re just going to have to take a leap of faith based on the experience of others. I don’t think we do it because it’s cool. We don’t have time to do it just because it’s cool. We make time for it because we have found it to be an extremely valuable tool in marketing and building our businesses. All you have to do is look through the comments on the Art Biz Blog to see how many different people read it.  In fact, this may be why blogging IS cool. Not because it’s a fad, but because it produces results.

Trust me, you’ll never get it until you’ve done it.

If you like, think about it this way:
If you made a flyer and posted it in a very public place, you’d get people who happened upon it to read about your exhibit or art or event. Fine and good. That’s kind of like your website. It’s relatively static and stays in one place. BUT, if you made a flyer and copied it 100 times and posted it in 100 places, you’d get that many more people to read about what you have going on. That’s your blog in the most simplistic terms, but it’s really more than that. Blogging lets you leave your virtual footprint all over the Internet. The Web LOVES sticky content. The more you’re connected–the more posts you make, the more links you leave on your blog, the more comments you leave on other blogs–the more you’re loved by the search engines.

The more you’re loved by search engines, the more likely it is that people who don’t know you will find you.

(And, Sherry, I just did you a favor by posting your name on my blog AND linking to your website AND giving you a Technorati Tag. I was going to post an image, which would have provided you with another place that your name appears online, but all of your images have a thick black line on the side of them and I don’t have time to crop them. That’s a deterrent for me when I pick an artist to write about on this blog. Something to think about, although I suspect the black line is there to discourage people from using the images. Mission accomplished.)

Previous related posts:

Blog readership is a good demographic for artists

Podcast: Blogging with Margret Short

Comments under Why aren’t you blogging? (turned into why others ARE blogging)

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15 comments to Are we blogging just because it’s cool?

  • Alyson, thanks for all your insights – let me second what you say here – Blogs are easy to set up, free or very low cost to maintain, and let you send the equivalent of a full color postcard to the world, every time you post. I post a sketch every day, and have done it for over two years now. I have seen traffic to my site increase, and get inquiries as well as comments from all over the world now. Blogging can be a strategy to increase the audience for your work, as well as a rewarding project on its own.

  • I’ve really enjoyed your series on blogging Alyson, you’ve highlighted the marketing benefits of artist blogs and I certainly agree. I can understand that some artists can find it daunting, a blog is a commitment, especially because it works! there are times when it is a struggle but it is so rewarding. I consider my blog to be just one step under painting as mission critical. My blog relates directly to the creation of art, my processes, my ideas, philosophy, I work through creative dramas, write my feelings about my work and focus my thoughts on news surrounding my genre. my blog is a history of my career and a catalogue of my works. I look back over my thoughts regularly, it helps me get inside my works and helps me order my ideas – a visual diary that anyone can see and I consider it vital to my process of creating art.

  • Hi Alyson – some of us locally did your Art Marketing Salon and I found it very helpful. And I have also been at least skimming your newsletters. I have had my web site http://www.dianeclancy.com for over 6 years … and I keep tweaking it, adding content and getting my network to give feedback on the “look” of it. But I had never really even looked at blogs until your newsletters started talking about blogs. I couldn’t do anything about it until about 3 weeks ago – but I pulled out all your articles and read more on “the” blog. Two weeks ago I started my blog – http://www.dianeclancy.com/blog – I pored over all your newsletters and blog posts to decide how to do it. Then got all sorts of help from people online. I have been posting everyday for two weeks. I do collage, pastel, digital and more – so it has been great to alternate between different types of my work. I do consider my website as a brochure. Often when people go, they start looking at just one type of work and never get to another medium. On the blog I make sure that people are exposed to various aspects of my work – I have more control over that. I feel as this is the difference between having an art show (the website) and having an art show at the opening (the blog). People are getting more of “me” – which is part of what they want from me as an artist. Thank you again for all your posts – and all the comments – I often learn a lot from them too. – Diane Clancy

  • My experience has been that when I started bloging in my site, and promoting the blog, traffice went up considerably. I use it primarily to keep people up to date on my work, and also to give an insight to my philosophy and vision as an artist – important aspects to success as an artist that are very difficult to convey through a static website. Most firends and customers tell me they get a much stronger sense of who I am, and look forward to returning to the site for new info. Sure, there are plenty of blogs who’s only purpose is beaause they can, but it has been a powerful tool for me and my business.

  • Artists cannot work in a bubble, as much as we romanticise the notion of going off and working in seclusion (I do, at least) we need to mix and mingle with other artists and non-artists. I see blogging as a version of that and a way to push myself to do the very best work that I can by sharing ideas and asking for critique on my work. Its fun too! It does become difficult to find time to keep correspondence up but its healthy in the long run, I think. -BK

  • I appreciate everything that you have been sharing with us about blogging. I have had a social network blog for over a year, and have just begun working on my business blog. You raised an interesting question in my mind about what people go through watermarking or otherwise making it difficult to copy images from websites. I’ve felt at different times I should try to do more to protect my work; but now I see a different perspective, that art could actually be promoted in unexpected ways. I’d like to hear more about these two sides of the coin in further postings. Thanks for all you do. ~ Sue O’Kieffe

  • For Sherry and other artists who are skeptical of blogging….When I began my blog I had only read a few blogs. I couldn’t understand how it would help me sell my art or my writing but so many people insisted that it would I decided to try it. I have made sales to people all over the country as a result of my blog. Through blogging I learned about Flickr.com and post photos of my work there every week of current work, etc. which has lead to sales as well. I don’t get tons of hits on my blog every day–around 50-60 most days and increasing–but it has tripled the amount of traffic to my website and made so many more people aware of my work it’s simply amazing. I have even sold a few of my photographs, which is a total fun bonus. And, I have only been doing this for about 6 months….try it, you might be amazed!

  • I just spent time out-of-state at an art conference. Several people came up to me out of the blue and complimented a piece of art I had recently posted only on my blog!

  • Joe

    I started a blog in March 2006 and had no idea where to go with it. Writing was not one of my strengths, and I had no idea what I’d write about. My blog sat idle for the next 9 months. In December 06, I started a blog for the Artists’ Gallery cooperative that I belong to – that one was easy because collectively, we have a lot of news. Once I got started on the gallery’s blog, I also started posting to my own blog. I’ve had a lot of art news lately, and I find the blog a good format for that sort of thing. I still don’t have a clear concept of what my blog will be about, but I hope to write about my work more, instead of just announcing shows and events. I find that the more I write, the easier it gets. I am busy enough with other things(!) but I don’t find blogging to be a burden. Besides providing more fodder for the search engines, blogging has improved my writings skills, and I think it’s a nice compliment to my website. It lets you put a different type of content out there. My blogs: http://joekaz.blogspot.com http://artistsgallery.blogspot.com For anyone that’s skeptical or uncertain, just give it a try – it’s easy enough to get started with any of the free blogging sites out there. And if you decide it’s not for you, it’s easy enough to delete your blog too.

  • My website is my business card, my brochure, and my store all rolled into one. My blog, on the other hand, is my open studio. An ongoing virtual space where people can meet me, see my work, and discuss it with me.

  • I have my first blog last December. I can say that I am not that techy but I realize the power of blog after trying it. Let’s put this way, English is not even my first language and I am having a blog in English. Does this encourage some readers? you can come and visit me, or even teach me a little.

  • It wasn’t until I read your series on blogs and artists that I began to give blogs a serious consideration. That and the fact that I finally allowed myself to start working on a line of art that I’ve always enjoyed. What struck me was a comment on web sites being, for the most part, static; they don’t change. A blog can be very up-to-the-minute. What was the art I denied myself? Creating art dolls; always wanted to do it but never allowed myself to do it (lack of self-confidence?) So this combination of creating an art form that I love and wanting to share my inspiration for the dolls prompted me to start my blog. My blog is Musings from the Moonroom; Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, and Creativity. You’ll find it here: http://moonroommuse.wordpress.com. And Alyson, I’d like to add a link to your blog too.

  • Was browsing and found this article on “why blog?” Now that I’ve been at if over a year (and writing is easy for me, so that part isn’t a problem), I’m starting to see sales from folks who don’t show up on my site meter because they’re subscribed (I haven’t figured that out yet and site meter hasn’t responded to 3 queries)….the point is, people are buying from my blog (and not small sales either) and all I have to pay is postage (and not in all instances – sometimes folks want to help they’re so excited!), not 40% commission. Now, just as this seems to be taking off, I’ve not been blogging daily, and it doesn’t seem to matter. Not to mention all the friends I’ve met that I converse with off-blog now. Blogging is a great network, can get your work out like nothing else, and is fun. Your emphasis on it is right on!

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