Thursday, August 09, 2007

Blog Marketing art

When I talk about “marketing” my art I sometimes get funny looks. So I think I should clarify what I’m talking about when I discuss marketing. Marketing to me is anything and everything I do to promote my art and my website. Think about it, you probably got a website to promote your art but what are you doing to make that happen? If your response is doing nothing then I think having a website is a waste of time. If you aren’t investing a little time each week to promote yourself the effort, time and money of having a website or blog about your art is wasted. If all you do is allow Google or other search engines bring traffic to your site you’re not effectively getting the word out about your work. How can I say that? Because I spent the first year of having my website letting it sit there relying upon Google, search engines and eBay sales to bring people into looking at it. I qualified my website and blog’s dismal failure by telling people that it’s only there to show interested customers and collectors what I do.

Well, where the hell were those interested customer’s coming from? There weren’t many! Someone would email me to ask me about my work, usually from a referral from a friend of theirs who had seen my work so I’d send them to my website. That’s how it worked for quite some time. Until I decided to take it into my own hands and figure out how to get more people coming to my website, to my eBay sales and to me for custom work. Thus my blog was born. I was keeping a personal blog that drove a lot of people to my work- I saw the power in my personal blog (sadly Diary-X is dead now) for marketing and getting people to check out my work. So I started the blog about my art.

Here’s rule #1 about the art blog- it’s all about art and the trials and tribulations of being an artist. You will find very little griping about my personal life here, you will find NO complaining about my customers here, nor will you see much complaining about my DayJob unless it pertains directly to my art. I’ve heard a lot of argument about artist’s blogs and what they should or should not contain. Each blog is personal and you should make it yours however you want. But these are my rules and I’m going with it. So I keep my blog art focused. (This comes from my personal preferences in blogs- I like to read about art, how the art was made and the like; I don’t like to read about some one’s dog puking on the carpet, cooking dinner or what grades the kids got. I read other blogs for that sort of personal info.)

Rule #2 about the blog is: promote it. Trade links whenever possible, get featured on websites whenever possible. Provide links in the bottom of your every email address. The signature file of emails is a secret and powerful weapon for artists. At the bottom of every email people get form me- I provide a link to my blog. I have the address to my website on my business cards. Now if someone asks me about my art I tell him or her to check out my blog- they can learn far more about my art and me through it than they ever could have before.

Rule #3 about the blog. Use it. Post regularly. Most blogs have the feature of saving entries (Wordpress and Blogger) so that you can publish them later, work on them more or what have you. This is a rule I break a lot. I’ll post 10 entries over a weekend instead of spreading them out across the week. So that’s a change you’ll see instituted on this blog asap.
Marketing shouldn’t be a dirty word for the artist and crafts person- we just need to change our thinking of it form a big corporate idea to think that it’s just thinking about how we’re going to get more people to look and buy our work.


bridgette said...

I have found blogging to be such a great asset for not only my books, but also for my artwork. Actually even more so for my artwork. I tell people who are interested in starting a blog for their artwork that they need to be clear what their intentions for their blog are from the beginning.

For my art blog, I want it to be strictly art. If I write something personal I first ask myself would I be ok with a gallery or a buyer reading this? Hence, the editing of extranwoud personal details of my life that other people don't really need to know!

Comfortable Shoes Studio said...

I completely agree with you. I've been turned off more than once by an artist who talks about highly personal items in her blog, to the point where I don't read her blog anymore. I look at it this way- if some one really wants to get to know me they'll exchange a few emails with me first, we'll get to know each other and if they want to read my personal blog they'll find it on their own.

bridgette said...

oh and I wanted to add that I totally agree with you too about marketing not being a dirty word for artists and artisans. How else are we supposed to keep creating? Supplies are expensive and our time is valuable.

Marketing takes a ton of energy and time and organization. But it is an absolute necessity. If an artist is not interested in this aspect of artmaking, then they need to be ok with keeping it a "personal" passion. Which is perfectly fine of course!

I am enjoying your blog, I'll be back for sure!

d.edlen said...

I've very recently started my art blog, and I'm glad to have found another artist who explicitly talks about marketing. Right now, my art actually is taking up less time than my marketing efforts. I've cold e-mailed so many galleries, and gotten ignored so many times. But a few have responded. I'm hoping that by creating my blog, I'm putting more of myself out there. After all, I want to be open artistically. I want people to understand me and why I'm doing what I'm doing. The website is great for presenting the work, but the blog is turning into a great tool to almost write an autobiography of sorts. Now, it continues to be a matter of persistence and consistency. Thank you for your candor and openness.

AscenderRisesAbove said...

it was great to read your thoughts on marketing and how yu do it. also interesting to read thoughts on what other artists like to see and what they don't like to see; what works and what doesn't. thanks for the tips

Comfortable Shoes Studio said...

You should check out the AJMarketing list on Yahoo Groups, the old messages contain loads of hints and ideas and tips for marketin gyour art!