The pressure to write is among most artists’ chief concerns these days. You need content if you have a blog, write a newsletter, post status updates on social media, and more.
“But I’m not a writer,” I hear you say.
You don’t have to be a writer. You just have to write. (A nod to Patti Digh here.)
See the difference? One is a title and a profession. The other is an action verb.
You’re not a writer. You write. You also post pictures and share content from others.
You create content.
It’s Not an Option
Maybe you’ve bought into the “I write” line of thinking. Now you’re saying, “But I don’t have time to create content.”
No one has time to create content. We make time because it’s beneficial to us.
It’s not mandatory that you become a content creator. If you’re doing well in the world you have built for your art, keep going!
However, if you’re looking to expand your online presence and influence, content creation is paramount.
Content – especially fresh content – rules the Internet.
Content Drives Traffic To Your Site
Content is why people visit your website or blog. They want to read about your work, and they want to see what is new. They want to be part of your world.
Content is why people share what you posted on Facebook or re-tweeted what you said on Twitter.
Content brings people together. The artist’s life can be a lonely one. Content reminds us that we’re part of something bigger when we’re alone at our computer or in the studio.
Content also makes you a leader in your field.
A Content Structure Saves Your Sanity
Every structure you put in place for your business rewards you with peace of mind. In contrast to the usual rap that structure inhibits us, structure brings more freedom to the areas where we need it most. (Read Twyla Tharp’s book, The Creative Habit, for more about this.)
Here’s a simple 2-step process to follow in creating a content structure. If you are a blogger, some of this will be familiar, but I imagine you haven’t seen it in exactly this light.
Step 1: Create content CATEGORIES
Categories are the main topics you will write about. These might include Works in Progress, Materials, Art Business, Featured Artists, and Exhibitions. I suggest fewer than 10 categories as this keeps you from straying off topic.
Step 2: Create SUBCATEGORIES for each category
Subcategories can also be considered tags or keywords. Using the Works in Progress category as an example, you might choose subcategories by genre (Landscapes, Portraits, Seascapes, Wildlife, Abstract). Or you could separate them by media (Clay, Bronze, Marble, Steel).
You will have a lot more than 10 subcategories, but after you develop a basic structure, resist the urge to create too many subcategories. If you find yourself wanting to add yet another subcategory, think about whether or not the topic is appropriate for your goals.
Subcategories can migrate from category to category. For instance, you might write about the subcategory Clay in a Materials or Exhibitions post instead of a Works in Progress post.
Although there will be times when something fits into multiple categories, select one main category for each piece of content. This will help you create more focused content.
My hope is that you start to see how the things you come across in daily life fit into your structure and how you can make meaning of them for your followers.
I’ve only just begun reorganizing my Categories and Subcategories. I plan on posting a progress update in the future. Be sure you’re subscribed to blog updates to receive it.
Incidentally, this post is in the Category “Business Practices” and Subcategory/Tag “Writing.”