If you’re an art blogger like me, you know there’s nothing worse than putting your heart and soul into writing a great blog article, or posting a new work of art up for sale, only to watch it languish in obscurity when no one comes by to take a look.
And to be honest, that’s just part of being a new art blogger—but believe me when I say it doesn’t have to be that way forever.
In the next few paragraphs I’ll explain two methods for immediately drawing attention to your blog posts: the first is pinging and the second is simply smart social networking.
Pinging the big guys (Google & Technorati)
Perhaps the most desirable way to get more readers for your blog is to have each of your articles appear in major search engines like Google and on blog search engines like Technorati. This doesn’t happen automatically, however, especially if your blog is new—you have to ping them.
Now, I’m no computer expert, so I’ve kept the following explanation simple. Pinging is essentially like tapping Google or Technorati on the shoulder to let them know that you’ve just added new content to your website and politely requesting that they come over and check it out.
If you have a free blog at Blogger.com, you can choose to automatically ping Google and other blog “news” services when you publish a blog post—so make sure you have this option checked! If you use WordPress.com, I think there’s something similar under options>privacy in your control panel.
Hosting a WordPress-powered blog on your own domain gives you even more control, allowing you to choose which sites you’d like to ping (this is what I do).
And if you’re not sure whether your blogging service automatically pings sites for you, you can always do it manually each time you update your blog by typing in your blog’s address here at Google Blog Search, here at Technorati or by using a free service called Ping-O-Matic which will pretty much ping everybody important at one time.
Oh, and don’t ping anyone if you haven’t put up something new. Apparently it’s possible to be penalized (probably ignored) if you do it for no reason.
There’s probably more to pinging, but here’s why it’s so vital: the more consistent you are about posting new content on your art blog (and pinging places like Google and Technorati) the more often they’ll come back and index your new articles. When I first started EmptyEasel, I was lucky if Google added a bunch of my articles to its index once every few weeks—but now that I’ve been consistent in my writing patterns for almost a year, my new articles get added just about every other day.
Technorati, on the other hand, acts pretty quickly no matter how long you’ve been blogging, so I’d definitely recommend signing up with them (it’s free) and using it to find some friends among other art bloggers too.
Which brings me to the second method for drawing attention to your blog:
Be smart with social networking
If you want to be a successful art blogger, you’re going to need to network with other art bloggers. And that means that when you publish a fantastic new article or post a crazy experimental art piece, other art bloggers are the people you should go to first.
What do I mean?
Well, just like any social group, it’s a whole lot easier to get your foot in the door if one of the current members invites you to a function and introduces you to everyone else.
Also, if you’re just starting out as an art blogger, you’ve probably been following several art blogs yourself. . . so you know what those bloggers like to talk about, and what they’re interested in. It SHOULD be easy, then, to recognize whether or not one of your blog posts would be of interest to another art blogger—and once you’re pretty sure they’d be interested, why not send them an email and let them know? They might link back to your article and send you some traffic.
Let me just insert a quick note of caution, however. DON’T take this to the extremes by promoting every single blog post you publish! Odds are, only a few of your posts will be exceptionally noteworthy, and you’ll just ruin your chances later on.
It will also help if you’ve been a frequent commenter on that particular art blog in the past, or have talked with the blogger before. The more of a real friendship you have with other art bloggers, the more likely they’ll be interested in what you have to say and be open to pointing other people towards your blog.
In fact, when I look back at my own first few months of blogging, I seriously doubt I would have kept on without the written acknowledgment (and boost in traffic) that I received from other art bloggers.
To give you a few examples, one of the very first to write about EmptyEasel was William Lehman, B5media’s former Arts and Design channel editor, who is now running his own blog at deCloned.com
And more recently, Katherine from Making a Mark has featured EmptyEasel in a few of her justifiably famous, “Who Made the Mark this Week?” posts. (Katherine’s art blog is one of the best, in my opinion.)
So if you’ve been struggling with a new art blog, my advice is to be proactive—make sure you’re pinging the search engines (while consistently publishing new posts) and start networking. After a few months, you’ll definitely see improvement.
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