Wow. Two years. . . Not a long time in the grand scheme of things, but it still seems like a lifetime ago that I first installed WordPress onto my shared hosting plan and began writing to the world.
For those of you that blog on a regular basis, you can probably relate. And as EmptyEasel.com celebrates its second birthday, I decided to look back and share some highlights from the past two years.
November 14th, 2006 – EmptyEasel received its very first visitors. There were 4 that day, and I treasured every one of them. : )
December 22nd, 2006 – I published one of my first painting tutorials, explaining how to successfully mix oil colors. Two years later, it’s still the most-read article on EE.
April 1st, 2007 – The first sponsored advertising appeared on EmptyEasel. I know, I know, nobody really likes ads—but they’ve made it possible for me to kept EE going all this time. And I do try to pick good sponsors.
I’d mention all of my current sponsors by name, but you can just look around and see them for yourself. : )
May 21st, 2007 – I got quite a little shock when StumbleUpon sent 421 visitors to EE in the space of about 3 hours. Unfortunately it took me another year to write the article I should have written on May 22nd—how to use StumbleUpon to market your art.
August 4th, 2007 – EmptyEasel swapped out its old (and rather depressing) design for a new blue and orange layout. You may recall, it looked something like this:
At the same time, I also opened up EE to guest writers, giving all of you the chance to straighten me out when I was wrong, share your own advice and tutorials, or just vent.
In looking back, I think that’s the best choice I’ve made with EE. Most of my favorite articles on EmptyEasel have come from you. Here are just a few of my favorites:
6 No-brainer Art Marketing Tips by Angela Fehr
How to Make a Paintbrush Cleaner Jar by MaryAnn Cleary
7 1/2 Practical Tips for Packing and Shipping a Painting by Zach Risso
How to Grow Your Mailing List by Marsha Robinett
A Vinyard Plein Air Painting Demo by Jennifer Young
November 12th, 2007 – EE’s first birthday celebration. I remember looking at my stats for the year and being blown away by the number of visits EmptyEasel had received up to that point—over 137,000.
About that time I decided that blogging (paired with a bit of SEO knowledge) was the absolute best way for artists to promote themselves and their art to the public.
June 23rd, 2008 – Denise Ivey Telep published her first article on EE, soon followed by EmptyEasel’s other permanent writers, Margot Dinardi and Dianne Mize.
If you haven’t checked out their personal websites yet, please do. They’re all talented artists and great writers as well.
October 13th, 2008 – EmptyEasel got its second redesign along with several new category sections to handle all the articles that Denise, Margot, and Dianne were adding into the mix.
Which brings me to today.
November 12th, 2008 – Two years and approximately 700,000 visitors after I first launched EmptyEasel on a quiet Sunday afternoon.
Boy has it been fun. : ) And it’s not over yet.
Here’s what’s in store for EmptyEasel during its third year of existence:
First, you can look forward to a brand new comparison chart highlighting the differences between various online art galleries where artists can sell their art online.
Up until EmptyEasel’s latest redesign in October I had a static comparison chart posted—soon I’ll have a more dynamic chart which I can update and add new companies to on a regular basis. Expect that in the next month or so; I’m working with a programmer to help me build it right now.
Second, I’m hoping to hire some additional writers. If possible, I’d like to set up a rotating group of 5-10 authors interested in writing for EmptyEasel on a casual basis. Once a month, perhaps.
I’m mainly looking for currently blogging artists, so if you’re interested and you fit the bill, send me an email with your blog address and I’ll get in contact with you before the end of the year.
Third, I’ve been thinking about adding video tutorials to EE. It’s just an idea at the moment, but I’m pretty sure it’d be a nice addition. I’ll let you know more about that as I figure out how. (Update: video tutorials are now available each week.)
And fourth. . . well, lets just say I’ve got a secret project in the works. It’s been brewing for about a year now, and if you stick around until January of 2009 I should have something more for you then. : ) Click here to see what it is.
Any suggestions for the future? Let me know. And thanks so much for reading. . . here’s to another great year!
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