Once you become comfortable sharing with strangers via your art blog, it can be tempting to throw caution to the wind and write a little more “off the cuff,” so to speak.
However, it is important to remember that potential clients and customers are always getting a sense of who you are from what you write. . . and ideally, you want them to see the better side of who you are.
That’s not to say you can’t be edgy, or different, or share things about your personal life, you just want to be careful how you present that information.
Below you will find 6 ideas to help you avoid posting things you’ll later regret:
1. Share personal data sparingly
We live in a world that makes it extremely easy to forget there are still stalkers, murderers, and identity thieves lurking around the corner. When sharing personal information online, you need to remember not everyone that reads your posts is your friend; not everyone is safe.
If your entire family is going on vacation, don’t share the news until your return arrival. If you live in a city where everyone sleeps with their doors unlocked, don’t mention it. If you have a set routine in which you do certain things alone at the same time each day, don’t post that information online.
Hearsay can be a dangerous thing. How many times has a trusted friend or colleague told you something that you believed to be true, only to discover the facts were misconstrued? How many times have you developed an opinion about a certain person, business, or object only to discover that you were wrong?
While we live in a world that allows freedom of speech, when it comes to writing posts about others-whether it’s a person or a business-it is vitally important you take the time to check your facts. You can avoid libelous lawsuits by checking your facts before posting.
Want to comment on a certain aspect of someone’s personal life? Want to share a photo of someone’s child? Want to talk up an artist you admire and share his/her work on your blog? Ask permission.
It doesn’t matter that you were asked to create an oil painting of a child or that you own the rights to the artwork itself. Some parents do not want their children’s identities shared on the Internet. Respect your client’s privacy by seeking permission and then honoring that decision.
And it definitely doesn’t matter that you were reviewing or touting the horn of another artist by snagging an image or text and pasting it on your own blog. Take the time to send an email seeking permission to share the work with your readers. It can save you tons of legal headaches down the road.
How many times have you landed on an artist’s website that was riddled with grammatical errors, slang, and internet lingo only to find yourself confused and quite possibly put off?
While you don’t have to major in English to write good posts, you should write posts that are easy to read by avoiding text abbreviations like TGI or TTYL. It also helps if your posts flow from beginning to end, and paragraphs are broken up with spaces.
Finally, while it’s okay to write the same way that you talk, it is also important to start sentences with capital letters and end them with proper punctuations.
Potential and existing art clients come to your art blog to discover more about you, the artist. They want to know what makes you tick, how you are inspired to create your art, who you admire in the art world, what new arts you are creating, and even what’s new in your personal life.
What they don’t want is to be bombarded with sales pitches every time they visit your blog. And while they definitely want to learn about your new product line, e-course, or workshop, they don’t want to be told about those things on a daily basis, either.
Don’t treat your art blog like a personal press center. Share exciting news about your art business, announce sales, invite your readers to sign up for your workshops, but don’t let these types of posts be the main focus of your blog.
I discovered early on in my career that an occasional whine is acceptable, but should you experience a windfall of bad times, sharing via your blog is not the best option.
Loyal readers don’t mind cheering you on once in awhile, they’ll even thank you for showing them that you aren’t perfect, that you’re just another human being struggling to make in the world. But they don’t want to do it on a regular basis.
If you’ve experienced a bad business deal, for example, don’t jump online to rant about the problem. Wait until you’ve had time to cool off and gain a better perspective on the situation, then write a constructive post that shares a lesson learned. Give your readers a brief recap of what happened, without naming names. Share an overview of how it made you feel, and then provide the steps you took to overcome that situation.
In the end, it is important to remember that even if you remove a post later, you may not have removed it from the Internet completely. Others may have already written posts in reaction to what they’ve read on your blog, and your past, present, and potential clients may have read the post before you’ve had a chance to take it down.
Above all, always consider your blog an extension of your art business. If you don’t want your clients to know something about you, your business, or your art, don’t write about it on your blog.
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