Do you stop your blog when you’re sick, while you’re on vacation, when life gets too hectic, or business becomes too crazy? Did you know that behavior could be detrimental to the growth and success of your art blog?
It takes a lot of work to attract readers, but only a few weeks of not posting to lose them forever. That’s why if you’re hoping to use your blog as a way to increase art sales or make connections in the art industry, it’s important that you keep a regular posting schedule.
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Below are 5 steps for creating and maintaining a blog schedule.
1. Know where you’re headed
The first step in developing a blogging schedule is to figure out what you want your blog to do for your business, and what type of audience you want to reach.
Knowing these key facts will determine what you write your posts about. Your posts might be on how you juggle your art business with being a mom. Or perhaps you’ll want to write posts that create the allure of success, or posts which will update your industry about gallery showings, art exhibitions, new licensing opportunities, etc.
2. Determine your posting frequency
Once you know your audience, you’ll know how many posts you’ll need to create each week to attract that audience—or should I say, how difficult it will be to create posts to reach that audience.
Writing posts that are more business-like in nature may be harder to write, or may require more research; therefore, you may want to limit your posting to once or twice a week.
Posts that are more personal in nature (showing your current works in progress, talking about the inspiration behind a piece, or telling buyers when a new item has been listed in your online shop) will be easier to write and can be done on a daily, or near daily, basis.
3. Create an editorial calendar
If you find coming up with new topics to write about difficult, consider taking some time to develop an editorial calendar. An editorial calendar takes the guesswork out of posting and gives you something concrete to work with.
To create an editorial calendar for your blog, you must take into account the theme of your blog. Then you need to sit down with your calendar, and based upon the number of posts you plan to write each week, determine how many posts you will need to complete in any given month.
Once you know how many posts you need to create each month, you can then decide upon tentative topics to fill in those dates.
If you plan to only share news about upcoming shows, exhibits, and workshops, you can build suspense for these events by sharing the history of the event, by sharing in-progress photos of the work you’re creating for the exhibit, by interviewing past or current instructors who will share the limelight with you, or by offering your personal experience with past shows.
If, on the other hand, you plan to write about the personal side of being an artist, you could schedule posts based upon seasons, holidays, industry events, or even something less structured. . . something like this:
Monday – Post your goals for the week and update readers on last week’s goals. Tuesday – Do a product review. Wednesday – Upload photos of your works in progress. Thursday – Share the joys and struggles of simultaneously building an art business while working full-time or being a stay-at-home parent. Friday – Inspire your readers. Talk about other artists, or things that inspire you. Saturday – Anything goes! Share artsy finds, show a project you created for a challenge, talk about what you learned at the latest expo, talk about your family, etc. Sunday – Give shop/sale updates or no post at all.
Or your schedule may look like this:
Monday – Personal thoughts about anything relating to your life as an artist. Wednesday – Art tutorial, complete with step-by-step photos. Friday – Shop/sale update.
4. Block out time to write
Once you’ve figured out how many posts you want to write each week, what days you plan to post, and what topics you want to write, it’s time to block out some time to actually write those posts!
The key to blocking out time for writing, is choose a time when you feel the most productive. I, for instance, cannot write when I first wake up in the morning. My brain is just fried. I prefer to write in the late afternoon or evenings. My colleague, on the other hand, cannot start her day without first writing her blog posts—her brain turns to Jello in the late afternoons and evenings and therefore reserves that time for work that requires little thinking.
Once you discover when your brain is better suited to writing, the posts will flow more freely. In fact, you may find that there are certain days when you can crank out two or three posts in the same amount of time it takes you to write just one on other days.
5. Schedule posts for automatic publishing
Once you have your posts written, and proofed, immediately upload them to your blog, and schedule them to post on the appropriate day. Having a few posts in the queue, in advance, will alleviate a lot of stress and make your blogging experience far more enjoyable.
Once you get into the habit of following your blog posting schedule, you will discover that you’re no longer scrambling to throw together some half-witted post just to fill space, or end a month long hiatus. Instead you will create posts that are not only worth reading, but worth bookmarking, forwarding to friends and colleagues, and quite possibly, interacting with!
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