By sharing your insights and ideas with your creative tribe and potential buyers, you’ll extend your sphere of influence. Most importantly, your blog can create steady traffic to your website. Your most engaged visitors will happily give you their emails so you can alert them whenever a new post goes live. Including links to relevant works in your posts will lead them to work for sale on your website. In this way, your blog will become a major asset to your business.
How to start an art blog
As you investigate the details about how to start an art blog, questions of what you need arise. Follow these steps to get yours off the ground.
- Choose a great name.
- Pick a blog platform you like.
- Write posts worth reading.
- Post on a regular schedule.
- Bring readers back.
Before we walk you through the process, let’s first explore the why of blogging.
Why learn how to start an art blog?
Know your why. What do you want to achieve from your blogging efforts? It’s got to be more than because people are telling you to start a blog. You might want to increase your exposure or improve your chances of having work accepted into juried exhibitions. You can find more inspiration for your “why” in the post, “Top 10 Reasons Why Artists Should Blog for Success.” Make sure your blog topics align with your “why.” Your readers will reward your consistency with more interest and time on your site.
Convinced? Follow these steps to start your own art blog.
1. Choose a great name
If you already own and use a domain name for your art website, you have the choice of using a subdomain such as blog.jaysmithfineart.com, or buying a domain just for your blog. There are pros and cons to both options. It’s a personal preference and branding decision. If you have an established brand and steady traffic to your website, go with a subdomain for your blog. This will build on the brand recognition you’ve already established.
Your domain name serves as your web address and anchors your personal brand online.
2. Pick a blog platform you like
After a domain name, your next choice is what blogging app you’ll use to build and publish your blog. WordPress remains the best option due to its popularity, versatility and the enormous online community supporting it with plugins, themes and help. You’ll need hosting to make your WordPress blog visible to readers the world over — get tips on choosing hosting here.
GoDaddy offers a maintenance-free version of WordPress for bloggers. Many artists aren’t technical, which makes this a good choice as it takes the bother out of account setup and core updates, daily backups, security patches and lots more. If you want to focus on learning how to start an art blog and not on the tech side, GoDaddy’s Managed WordPress is an excellent option.
Pro Tip: Whatever blog platform you choose, make sure your content can be exported to an .xml file. If not, find another option.
3. Write posts worth reading
Creating high-quality content is the cornerstone to success. As you learn how to start an art blog, remember “Content is king.” You can’t bore people into reading your blog posts or watching your video tutorials. Compelling content is the reason people will subscribe to your blog.
The more words you give Google, the more accurately it will categorize your content and serve it up to people interested in reading your posts (and hopefully buying your work).
The EDIE formula
One way to think about what to put on your blog is by using the EDIE formula as a guide. As you brainstorm ideas for blog posts, ask yourself if they meet any of these criteria:
For best results, make sure two or more EDIE aspects figure into each post. Not all are needed, but more is better. A blog is about your readers — you want to leave them wanting more. To keep them engaged, revolve overarching themes using EDIE, picking three major themes and rotating them. For example:
One week you could talk about new work or something you are doing in the studio. Include photos and detailed descriptions of your process, being careful to write the way you speak.
The next week, converse about something topical — a movie you saw recently, a quote you love or perhaps a non-controversial current event. This is known as newsjacking.
For your third theme, make it about your life outside your art. For example, recipes, dining, lifestyle, self-improvement, yoga, travel, pets, activities, what’s on your playlist or reading list and so forth. This is how you draw fans in. They will love knowing other facets of your life.
For more topic ideas, check out this article.
A few tips on writing:
- Keep your writing tight and professional. The free Hemingway App will help you learn how to write sparse, impactful copy.
- Grammarly offers both free and paid versions of its online grammar checker.
4. Post on a regular schedule
How often you publish new content is crucial. To own a position as a favored artist with your subscribers, you must engage them frequently. Weekly is ideal, but I recommend no less than bi-weekly for your schedule. You and your readers will benefit when you set a day of the week and time when you will post.
One key lesson in how to start an art blog, is deciding when to schedule your posts. Ideally, you’ll want to release them on the day and at the time when your readers are most likely to stop what they’re doing and read or watch them.
If you have a Facebook business page, you can use the Insights link within it to learn when your followers most often consume your information. Google Analytics can also help you determine when to post new articles.
Once you know these data, set your schedule and stick to it. Being consistent proves your professionalism, honors your readers and creates a habit that will give you resolve to stay the course. It will also teach readers to expect and look forward to your posts.
5. Bring readers back
There’s no point in publishing a blog without gathering readers’ contact info. To sell your work, you need eyeballs on your content, and for your visitors to return once they’ve seen and liked what you offer. Because email list-building is a huge benefit of blogging, you should give new readers multiple opportunities to opt-in to receiving emails from you.
We’ve all seen those pop-ups that appear the moment you open a web page. Statistics show these are very effective.You may need to move outside of your personal preferences when it comes to building your business and your brand. If this makes you uncomfortable, read about using ethical bribes to entice visitors to trade their emails for something of value to them. Remember, only those who love your posts will respond.
Consider using a pop-up opt-in form even if you think they’re annoying.
I’ve learned useful tips from Noah Kagan and Neil Patel on how to build an email list. They are both worth following because they give practical advice, based on how they built massive subscriber lists.