The SEO Mindset for Artists: Are You Ready for A Long Haul?

By Dan in Art Business Advice > SEO for Artists

Today’s SEO article is a bit different from all the others I’ve written in the past. I won’t be explaining a normal search engine optimization technique for artists, or for that matter, an SEO tip at all.

Instead, this article is about the proper mindset an SEO-savvy artist should have if they truly want to see more people finding their art online.

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The SEO Mindset

If you’ve already looked through the other SEO tips for artists on EmptyEasel then you’ve probably got the technical concepts down. Hopefully you’ve put most, if not all of them, into practice on your own art blog or portfolio website.

But here’s the last piece of the SEO puzzle, and maybe the most important one to try to understand as you’re starting out:

Search engine optimization is an ongoing process, not just a one-time fix. You will not see results immediately—and you may not see results for months.

To put it even more bluntly:

SEO techniques work only when practiced continually over a long period of time.

Are you ready for the long haul?

Actually, I doubt anyone really understands what they’re getting into with SEO when they first start out. I know I sure didn’t.

This website began as an experiment of sorts. I wanted to see how effective blogging could be in communicating with other artists, both new and established.

Of course I’d read about SEO before I started blogging and I already knew some of the techniques that I’ve written about in my SEO for Artists series. . . but what I didn’t have was the right mindset.

My first four months of traffic looked like this:

First Four Months

Believe it or not, it wasn’t until that small spike of traffic in January that I really started to think this blogging thing would have any impact at all.

I’d been posting new articles five times a week, socializing on art forums (a great way to attract readers for your blog), and making use of all the SEO techniques I knew. Yet until that spike, I was only averaging 34 visits a day and I was getting discouraged.

I guess I just thought I’d see quicker results, or that it would be much more obvious when things were working.

But here’s the truth, folks—it WON’T be obvious. Not at all. It’ll seem like nothing is happening. Which is why having a long-haul mindset really helps.

Fast-forward another four months and boy did my perspective change:

Middle Four Months

Gone was my old average of 34 visits a day. Now I was averaging over 300!

All those blog posts I’d written in the first four months were finally getting read. All the articles I was currently writing were being indexed faster by the search engines, and the inbound links from other art websites were starting to add up, too.

If I had stopped blogging or optimizing after those four months of low traffic, then these four months of high traffic would have never happened!

That’s when I really began to understand the kind of mindset that online artists need to have. I also started writing more about using blogging and SEO as a way to promote art online, because I could see how it was working for me.

But you know what’s even crazier? It didn’t stop there. With blogging and SEO, once the ball gets rolling, it doesn’t slow down.

Last Four Months

The next four months saw traffic to EmptyEasel take off. My daily average climbed to 726, and several times I had over 1300 people visit my website in a single day.

All together, the number of visits during my first year of blogging came to just over 137,000. An unthinkable number the year before. . . but now, just more concrete proof that SEO (and blogging) DOES work.

Are my results typical? Based on this EmptyEasel poll from a few months ago—no. But my results are possible, and I truly believe that anyone, any artist, can do if they’re willing to adopt a long-haul mindset, and put the time and effort into it.

If you haven’t already looked through my other search engine optimization tips for artists, please do. They’re absolutely free and they’re all geared towards artists trying to promote and sell art online.

I don’t wonder anymore if they’ll work or not. I know they’ll work, because I can see the results right here, every single day.

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