You’ve spent months sticking to a rigid blogging schedule for your art blog, and traffic is starting to pick up. . . but now the busy season is upon you.
Maybe you’re prepping for an upcoming show, handling custom orders, or just dealing with the ins and outs of everyday life. Whatever the case, you’ll be lucky to spare one day to devote to your art blog for the next month.
What to do?
You could neglect your blog. After all, you’ve seen hundreds of artists do that very thing, then come back with an apology once things have slowed down. But it’d be a shame to lose momentum like that.
No matter what you’re dealing with, you CAN keep your blog up-to-date and on a regular posting schedule. All you have to do is use the schedule your post feature on your blog.
Of course, you’ll also need a few good posts to schedule. . . and that’s where this “cheat sheet” of 10 blog post ideas comes in. In just under 250 words per post, you can create an entire month’s worth of posts in just one day!
Here they are:
1. A “Countdown” post
A countdown post is a great way to build anticipation to a workshop you’ll be teaching, or an event you’re attending. Your countdown can last five days or fifteen days. Just make sure whatever you post builds anticipation for those who are attending, and gives everyone else something entertaining or educational to read.
Here’s a quick example of several countdown posts for a workshop:
“Did you book your tickets to the ________? I’ll be teaching _________. (Then describe your course in 50 words, include a photograph of a finished project, and sign-up instructions.)”
“At ________, I’ll be teaching you how to ________. (Then go into a little more detail about your course, and what they can expect.)”
“Don’t forget to bring ________ and ________. (Remind your attendees which course materials will be provided and what materials they should bring. Include a photo of the course materials.)”
“Last time at ________. (Share a story about one of your older workshops and if possible, include a class photo.)”
________ is such a fun place to teach! (Talk about the facility you’ll be teaching at. Include a photo of the building.)
2. An “I’ve been featured” post
Sharing places you’ve been featured is a great way to cross-promote the blog or publication that gave you a little publicity. And, if you’ve been lax on telling your readers where to find you outside your blog, this is the perfect opportunity to update them! In fact, you can create a week’s worth of these posts with very little effort.
The post title should read “I’ve Been Featured On XYZ Blog” or “I’ve Been Featured In ABC Publication”.
If it was a feature showcasing your art, share an image of the artwork that has been featured, a brief synopsis of your feature, and a link to where your readers can find the feature. (See one that I wrote)
If it was a Q&A interview about you as an artist, just share the logo of the publication along with an excerpt from the interview.
3. A review post
Review posts are where you share a quick, 250 word review about an art product you can’t live without, you just discovered, or is a regular part of your stash. You can also share reviews of books, DVDs, Youtube videos, and workshops you’ve attended. (Here’s an example)
4. An ongoing series of reviews
A review series is a great way to fill up your blog. You can do a review series every time your show schedule gets too hectic—that way your reviews become an annual or regular event, and something your readers look forward to.
Just create an initial post introducing your series, then create follow-up posts that showcase a product, a service, or an artist.
For ongoing product reviews, be consistent about including a photo of the product, a link to where the product can be purchased (Amazon has a nice referral program), and if possible, embed a video showing how to use the product. Youtube has tons of videos you can embed directly into your blog in less than 3 minutes!
For artist reviews, you don’t have to go into elaborate details of the artist’s work. Write something off the cuff and speak from your heart. What is it about that artist that grabs at your heart strings? Why does that art beckon you to buy?
Use similar post headings (or titles) for each post in your series. For example, if the initial post is “31 Days of Artsy Goodness” then the second post could be “Artsy Goodness Day Two: Product Title.”
Now I know most search engine optimization experts will cringe at the idea of altering only a word or two of each post title, but by choosing to use the title to countdown your series you’re building anticipation while giving your readers some indication of when you’ll be back to your regular blog schedule.
5. An “Artist round-up” post
A round-up post is where you choose 3 or more artists to feature on your own blog. Just talk about their art—for example, why you like a particular piece.
You’ll need to grab an image of each artist’s work so your readers have a visual to go along with your interpretation. (Don’t forget to seek permission from the artist to share their artwork on your blog.)
If you are short on time, you can often get around waiting for permission by checking out the artist’s flickr.com page and their Creative Commons License.
NOTE: You can also do tutorial round-ups, and tell your readers where to find cool themed tutorials. . . like “20 great Halloween projects” or “5 ways to use recycled materials in your art.”
6. A “Meet the artist” post
This is a great way to get more bang out of your buck. Instead of showcasing 3 or more artists in a single post, showcase just one artist.
In the post, you will need a headshot of the artist you want to feature. Therefore, it’s a good idea to contact the artist ahead of time and ask him or her to send over a headshot. Once you get all your headshots, it’ll be easy to jump right into writing your posts and scheduling them to go live.
In the post, include the name of the artist, the website address of the artist, and a brief description of who the artist is and what the artist does. You can even highlight what it is about this artist’s style that you really like.
Here’s an example of what a quick 78 word post could look like:
“Susan Sorrell became an artist in 1982 but didn’t become a fiber artist until 1998, when by a fluke, she took a watercolor class and the instructor introduced her to the art of quilting.
Knowing that she needed an edge to make it in the art world, to “distinguish” herself from the other artists in her immediate community, she began investigating the craft and eventually became hooked.
If you’re really short on time, or feel you aren’t witty enough to write something on your own, ask the artist to send you a press release. You can pull content directly from the press release for your post without getting into any type of legal issues since press releases are meant to be used “as is” or you can simply paraphrase information found in the press release to fit your blog’s writing style.
You can use this idea for more than just artists, too—substitute gallery owners, indie manufacturers, individual shop owners, and even editors at art publications.
7. An inspirational post
Inspirational posts are a wonderful way to get inspired or to inspire your readers. You can share a single image of an object from your home, from your garden, or from around your hometown, then tell your readers why that particular images has inspired you.
Alternatively, you can share a snapshot of a few art supplies then ask your readers to create something with those supplies. Once they’ve completed the project, ask them to come back to your blog and post a link to the finished project.
8. A “Helpful tip” post
Just share a simple tip you’ve learned when it comes to creating art, entering shows, obtaining art licenses, hosting workshops, or whatever expertise you may have.
Let’s say you love a certain product, but had a bad experience. The lesson you learned could save your readers headaches down the road. Share your experience. It could be something as simple as this 99 word post:
“Did you know that when shipping a project sealed with regular Mod Podge the heat and/or moisture in the transport truck can cause the Mod Podge to get tacky and cause the wrapping paper to stick to your project? Yep! It happened to me just last year.
And on really humid days, Mod Podge can turn tacky—at least it did with the broche I created this summer. I’ve since learned to seal every project created with regular Mod Podge with a top coat of Acrylic Sealer. It’s just one extra step and it makes a world of difference!”
And don’t worry about showing a before and after picture. Though it would truly enhance your tip and bring home your message, it’s not necessary.
9. A “Sneak peek” post
Sneak peeks are a great way to drum up anticipation for a project you have in the works. You can share a tidbit about the project or simply an image of the work in progress.
Joni Nickrent is a pro at using sneak peeks to build her business. (Take a look)
10. A question post
Instead of always giving your readers advice, tips, and information, ask them for something. It’s a great way to build a relationship with your readers.
If you’re struggling with a project and can’t find a solution, ask them how they’d solve the problem. Looking for a specific product and can’t find a store that carries it in your areas? Ask your readers where they buy theirs.
Your post could be as simple as this:
“Last week I was working on my doll design when I realized I ran out of Golden GAC 100. My stores no longer carry the Golden product line. Since I’ve never shopped for art supplies online before, I was wondering if you could tell me where you buy yours?”
“Here’s a photo of the bear I’m working on. Do you see the crease in the elbow joint? I’ve tried to fix it without having to take the arm completely apart but I’ve had no luck. Any ideas?”
Whether you are short on brain power or time, you can create a 250 word (or less) post that engages your readers.
The key is to not “over-think” things. Take an idea like one of those listed above, write whatever pops into your head, then move onto the next post.
When your well of ideas runs dry, go back to the very first post you wrote, check it for grammar and spelling issues, and include any images you feel will fit the post. Then schedule it to go live on your blog whenever you’d like.
Come up with your own list of quick blog post ideas, or use the ones above. Either way, you’ll find that keeping your blog updated and interesting year round is possible—even if you’re away from your computer for a month.