No matter how much I talk with other artists about the benefits of blogging, many still resist the idea of starting a blog of their own—and it puzzles me, every time.
These artists DO want to sell their art online. . . I know they do! They’ve joined all the online galleries, some have their own websites, but the story is always the same. After several months or years online, they STILL haven’t sold anything. And they’re looking for a real solution.
Of course I always suggest starting a blog.
With a blog, the sky’s the limit. . . each time you publish another blog post, you create an opportunity for yourself to reach a slightly larger audience of readers. Eventually you can build up a monthly readership of hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people!
Unfortunately the very idea of blogging is foreign to a lot of artists, and each time I talk about it, I struggle to find a good way to explain how it works.
But then a few weeks ago I came up with an analogy for how blogging works which I really liked. And instead of just sharing it by email every time someone writes in, I decided to post it here.
I hope you’ll enjoy it, find it helpful, and share it yourself. Here goes:
1. The internet is a superhighway
You’ve heard the phrase, “information superhighway” right? If you haven’t, it’s just one of the ways that people like to describe the internet. So that’s where I want to start.
Think of the internet like a highway—a highway that billions of people use every day. They’re using it for business, for pleasure, to socialize with friends, to search for information, and so many other things.
Now, because there are SO MANY people using this highway, you really only need to capture the attention of a tiny percentage of them. How do you do it? Well, let’s try blogging. . . :)
2. Having a blog is like having your own billboard
When you start a blog, it’s like putting up a billboard next to the biggest highway in the world. At first, your blog/billboard is tiny—people can barely see it as they drive by, and only if they’re really looking for it.
BUT, every time you add another blog post to your blog, guess what. . . your billboard gets a little bigger! Each new post is like adding an extra square foot of signage to your board.
If you add a new blog post every day (or every other day) people won’t have to look quite so hard to see your billboard. In fact, after about a half year of blogging, you’d probably be getting some decent attention!
3. Billboards lead to more billboards. . .
As your blog gets bigger and more noticeable, other blogs will start start mentioning yours. In our analogy, this is like other billboards springing up underneath yours and raising it even higher. Soon there’s a massive city of billboards next to the highway, many of them directly pointing at yours.
At this point, people driving by CAN’T miss seeing your billboard. Even if they look at another billboard nearby, it’s probably pointing at yours. And now that you have their attention, you can use your billboard to direct them wherever you want. If you’re a member of an online gallery, you can point them there. If you have your own website, you can lead them right to it—it’s your call.
Now let’s consider how an online gallery compares to a blog, using the same highway/billboard analogy.
4. A gallery is like a series of side streets
Each time an artist joins a gallery, the gallery builds a new “street” just for that artist to show their work. And of course, every gallery has their own sign alongside the highway that says “Artwork, next left” so that people know the art is there.
The problem is, that’s not very much information for people to see when they’re driving. Not compared to a huge billboard, anyway. And yes, many people DO turn off the highway to check out those side streets. . . but how many side streets do they drive down before deciding to head back to the highway?
You see, the more artists an online gallery has, the more streets they build and and the harder it is for visitors to actually find YOUR artwork in that gallery rather than someone else’s.
So what’s the takeaway from this analogy? Don’t just join an online gallery and think that you’re getting enough exposure. You’re not.
You could be getting SO MUCH MORE with your own billboard!
But I’m no writer. . . who would want to read my blog?
Honestly, there are no standards or requirements for blogging. You do NOT have to be a great writer and tell incredible stories all the time.
Normal, everyday people have blogs—and they’re fascinating. That real-life aspect is partly why they’re so intriguing.
A blog simply is what it is. :) It’s a little bit about you, and it’s a little bit about your readers. And here’s the most amazing blogging principle of all:
Just by writing about the things that you’re interested in, your blog WILL appeal to the exact same people that you want to reach in the first place.
You’re reading my words right now because of that principle. And you can do the same with your own blog.
All right, well—I’ve said what I wanted to say, and despite my best efforts I know that many of you are probably still on the fence about blogging. I understand. It’s a very different way to promote art.
So I’ll end with this. When the time comes that you truly want your art to be noticed, you already know what you have to do. . . just start blogging.