Have you ever felt envious of another artist’s blog?
Maybe it’s because their blog flourished and gained mainstream media attention while yours is struggling to reach 100 visitors a month. Or maybe it’s because they seem to sell a boatload of art from their blog when you have yet to sell your first piece.
How would you like to change those odds? Below are several tips from three people who know what it takes to turn failure into success.
Make your own opportunities
Beverly Solomon is the marketing expert behind Pablo Solomon’s art career (you may remember that we interviewed him back in 2010) and she has three excellent tips to offer: “build readership” “find mainstream media coverage” and “look for every sale.”
Let’s take a look at each tip individually.
1. Work on building readership
It’s not enough to write content, you must engage the reader. How do you engage your readers? Do you offer them information that interests them or do you merely talk about yourself?
The key to good content is inspire, entertain, and/or educate your readers. But the key to keeping them coming back is to interact with them. If they leave a comment; respond. If they email you, take the time to acknowledge their email, even if you can’t help them with what they’re asking.
2. Find mainstream media coverage
Content may be king once a visitor is at your blog, but you must also find a cost-effective way to attract people to your blog in the first place.
One of the best ways to do that is to take full advantage of the media—give the media something newsworthy. Give the media something that allows them to sell advertising space. Give them a story.
One way to gain media coverage is to join public relations listservs like HARO. Reporters use HARO to send out requests, telling the listserv their exact needs for an upcoming story.
If you can answer one of those requests, drop the reporter an email. If you’re what they’re looking for, they’ll contact you for more information and you’ll often get credited with a link to your blog (or more).
3. Look for every sale
Your art blog’s primary purpose may be to bring exposure to your art, your services, and your talent, but there is no reason you can’t diversify even more. Sell ads on the side if that works for your blog, and always be on the lookout for other revenue streams.
Never stop posting
Mario Muller, the curator of the Truffle Hunting blog which focuses on the Los Angeles art scene, brought up another valid point, saying “staying power and discipline are in short supply.” In other words, art blogs fail because artists lack the discipline and stamina to keep posting to them on a regular basis.
If we really think about Mario’s point, we’d all probably agree that we stop reading blogs which do not stick to a regular posting schedule. Simply put, nobody wants to return to a blog only to find the same post week after week, or read another excuse about why there’s nothing new up.
If you want your art blog to be successful, you have to decide right here and now that you will post to your blog a minimum of once a week. . . no matter how busy your schedule gets!
And once you tell your readers to expect certain types of posts each week, you have to deliver, even if that means pre-writing them and scheduling them to be automatically published at a later date.
Always ask for the sale
Thursday Bram of Hyper Modern Consulting has helped several artists build successful blogs and she believes that one of the main reasons art blogs fail is because they don’t ask for the sale.
“There may be a link or two to an etsy shop but there is no big button that says, ‘Buy my art!’ It may feel like you’re ruining your design or selling out, but you need big buttons that say ‘shop’ or ‘buy’.”
Another way to ask for the sale, according to Thursday, is to offer art pieces in different price ranges.
“It’s important to have a few low-priced items for sale. Most buyers feel uncomfortable handing over thousands of dollars to strangers on the Internet. . . having lower priced options allows them to start making purchases and building trust.”
Obviously a blog can be great for exposure. . . but there are too many blogs failing every day for me to say that it’s going to be easy.
The good news is that if you’re ready to turn your art blog around right now, you can. According to these experts, what works best is persistence and hard work. . . and all-in-all, that’s not a bad guarantee!
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