Last week it was a Web site checkup for you.
This week, it’s time to look over your blog. Maybe you started it because I said you needed one. But you never quite got the hang of it. Or maybe you started it and got so caught up in it that you haven’t paid much attention to how it’s working for you. It’s time to give it the once-over. Let’s get started.
*Is your name prominent? I’m not crazy about fancy names for blogs, I just want to know who is writing it. Seth Godin’s blog, one of the most highly trafficked blogs around, is simply “Seth’s Blog.” People come because of what he has to say–not because it has a big important title. I’m somewhat annoyed when I visit artists’ blogs and I can’t find their names easily. Unless you are anonymous and you don’t want to be associated with the images or words you’re posting, get your name in the header of your blog.
*Are you posting enough pictures of your art? Decent photos that make us want to see it? Use images of your art whenever you can. Challenge yourself to post a new Make sure you include titles, media, dimensions, and photo credits when appropriate.
*Is your RSS feed easy to find and subscribe to? I’m not sure that the majority of the general public knows how to use feed, so be sure to provide email updates for those who prefer finding out about your postings in their inboxes. See http://www.feedblitz.com .
*Are your post titles easily differentiated from the posts themselves and do you have “permalinks” enabled so that people can link to a specific post rather than to your blog as a whole? (Permalinks are the addresses given by blog software to each individual post. In Typepad and WordPress, you can usually mouse over the titles of the posts to get the permalinks, which might also appear in the posts’ footers. Blogger’s permalinks are usually somewhere in the footer.)
*Speaking of titles, are your post titles interesting? Do they make people want to read further?
*Are you linking enough in your posts? When you mention someone in your blog, are you linking their names? Don’t just provide a URL like http://www.artbizblog.com. Instead, link to “anchor text” — text that someone might search for. Clint Watson talks about these in the teleseminar he did with me titled “Become an Online Art Magnet.”
*Do your categories make sense? Are there enough of them to cover the ground you want to, but not too many? I have a lot of categories on the Art Biz Blog, but recently cleaned them up a bit and combined some so they didn’t look too overwhelming.
*Does your blog show your personality? If you have products for sale, are they featured in your menu columns? Is your blogroll up to date? Your blogroll is the list of blogs you recommend to your readers. Do you need to add or delete links? In a post some time ago, David Meerman Scott talks about “pimping out” his blog.
*If you use Blogger, please fix the settings to allow for comments from non-Google accounts. Ditto for other services for which you have to be a member to comment. Every so often, I visit an artist’s blog that mentions me or my book and really want to leave a message, but there’s no place for me to do so. This is antithetical to the purpose of blogging, which is about starting a conversation with people. This reminds me…
*What are you doing to encourage conversation with your readers? Are you including questions and asking for opinions? Asking for questions and opinions is by far the biggest source of comments on the Art Biz Blog.
Oh, yeah. There’s one more thing you should look into. One very big, very important tip for your blog. Don’t miss it. I’ve posted it on the Art Biz Blog.
Your blog needs some lovin’ too.
THINK ABOUT THIS———-~>
Are you starting a conversation with readers or just talking to them?
Perform a blog checkup. Make sure you’re showing your personality. Double check to see that you’re starting a conversation and not just talking at people. Verify that it is easy for people to get information from your blog and to be updated on your goings on.
There’s more about blogs and blogging on the Art Biz Blog. Take a look at the category “Web Sites, Blogs and Technology for Artists.”