Cynthia Morris and I recently asked for artist-volunteers who wanted a mini blog critique. Many people were eager to get a free advice! The only caveat was that we would share our feedback with the world. This video is a small sampling of what we do in our Blog Triage class.
Whether you’re writing for a blog or a newsletter, spend extra time on subject lines and titles, images, links, and your call to action.
These four components distinguish great from good content.
Audrey Phillips, Ray of Hope, 82 x 50 inches.
Subject Line or Title
The title you select for your blog post or subject line is critical. It will either entice people to open and read further or it will encourage a quick delete.
Being an artist, you understand that art is a form of visual communication. Images are engaging and should be used frequently to illustrate your content.
Links in Blog Posts
When you discuss a good resource or talk about an experience, link, link, link!
Call to Action
What do you want readers to do as a result of reading your article? Sign up? Attend?
Some subjects are always winners – they just need a little tweaking for today. You might update a post because the topic is still relevant or because new research has come along. I show you want I looked for when I updated a 7-year-old post.
Guest blogger Kim Bruce shares the story of how she was included in an exhibition proposal by someone who found her through a Google search.
If you’ve left a comment on this blog, you’ve noticed that some people have their pictures next to their comments and others don’t. You can get yours at Gravatar.com. Now, whenever you put your cursor over someone’s image on Art Biz Blog the picture cocks to the left and his or her Gravatar profile appears.
One of the most difficult things about blogging is coming up with ideas.
Sandhya Manne, Musical Tribe in Color – Nallamma. Watercolor, 14 x 11 inches. ©The Artist
Do you feel pressure to write the perfect blog post in a single sitting?
That’s rarely how good blog posts come together.
The secret to having a vibrant blog is to juggle a number of ideas for posts so that you’re writing a little bit at a time rather than an entire post at once.
The secret to coming up with these ideas in the first place is . . . are you ready for it?
The best blog content comes from listening – tuning in to what your readers are interested in. Are you paying attention?
What questions are people asking you about your art? Take each question
I scoured the 257 posts (to date) from 2010 and came up with a Best Of list. These might not have produced the highest number of comments, but they incited discussion or had information that I thought was most relevant. And many did, indeed, have the most comments.
Q: With everything that Facebook offers, why do I still need a blog?
A: Whoa, cowboy/cowgirl!
Yes, Facebook is a robust site that helps you engage with others in powerful ways, but it cannot replace the need for your own Web presence.
Both your blog and Facebook allow you to update your followers. They give people a place to comment and for you to respond in turn.
Both your blog and Facebook allow you to share images of your art. So far, they sound the same.
Linda Billet, Not So Pretty Now. Fused glass, 14 x 17 inches. ©The Artist
But . . . and this is critical . . . Facebook can never replace your brand. Facebook is its own brand and cares only about promoting itself.
Facebook has all kinds of diversions on every page, and
The bar for blogging well is high. Often we’ll jump in without really knowing what we’re doing. Which is fine – I’ve made my way through life with this kind of chutzpah. What’s not okay is spending your precious time blogging badly. Because if you’re not going to do it well once you get going, why continue?
Your About page and all other pages and posts on your blog or website should include text that is as “evergreen” as possible. “Evergreen” means that it will be just as valid next year as it is right now. Here’s an example.