Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Why Every Artist Should Have A Blog

I was watching Susan Carlin paint live on Ustream TV on Wednesday night, and a number of the viewers who were watching were asking questions about blogging, and how to get people to visit your blog.

In this post I will go into some detail on why to have a blog, and how to set one up for free using Google Blogger. Let me also say that it is easy, you don't have to be an expert computer user, all you have to do is to be able to follow simple instructions.

One thing I noticed after following blogging experts for over a year now is that most of the experts suggest that you register your own domain name, pay for web hosting services, and use Wordpress to start up your blog. I don't disagree with the experts, they have lots of reasons for their advice, but I also noticed that about 90% of the artist blogs that I visited were hosted by Google Blogger which is free.

So Why Should You Have A Blog If You Are An Artist?

  1. There are 1,596,270,108 people on the Internet in the world according to Internet World Stats, I did a quick search on Google to get that information. I have no idea how many of those Internet users are interested in art, but the basic idea is that with the Internet, you have a worldwide market that might be interested in your artwork.
  2. A Blog allows you to connect with people interested in art, and other artists that might be able to help you promote your art, and also help you with sharing information that might be useful, or even valuable to you all for free. Bloggers tend to be a friendly and helpful group of people.
  3. Blogging also gives you a platform to establish a community, or tribe (latest buzzword) that gathers people around your artistic expression, and allows them to contribute their views, feelings, and thoughts about your art in general, and the art world. This community can also help you find customers by word of mouth. If someone who visits your blog likes your work, but is not in a position to buy it, they might by word of mouth mention it to one of their friends which may lead to more business.
  4. Having a blog allows you to post a photograph of your artwork online for sale. You can easily set up a PayPal account, and allow buyers to purchase your artwork online directly. You can also offer your artwork on Ebay, and as well allow, buyers to buy your artwork directly online. Or you can set up the procedure to have the buyer fill out a sales agreement form, and forward a money order to you to complete the sale. Everything is possible with a blog depending upon which avenue you want to pursue.
  5. A Blog allows you to advertise your artwork across a wide audience that is only limited by the number of ways that you work at to drive traffic to your Blog, which I will go into in the next post.
  6. If you are a seasoned artist with knowledge to share, you can teach others through your blog, and even get paid for it as David Darrow does by offering classes on painting and drawing live over the Internet.
If the above are not enough reasons, feel free to read 9 Reasons Why Every Artist Should Have Their Own Art Blog written by Dan from the Empty Easel Blog, which is an excellent Blog to follow.

OK I am going to start my own blog, what do I do now?

I recommend that you start with Blogger which is free and easy to use.
After you click on the link above, you will go to a page that looks like the one below.

When you get to this page, the first thing to do is to go through the video tutorials which give you excellent information on how to get started in setting up your blog.

Here is a link on YouTube on How To Start On Blogger, very basic and simple. Blogger has a small number of templates to choose from, but you should find something that suits you for a beginning, and you can change it later as there are lots of free blogger templates that you can download for free.

One CAUTION regarding free blogger templates is that many of them do now work as they should, and you should always visit the demonstration page for the free template which always has comments of people having problems with a free template. If there are lots of posts with problems with the template, it may not be a good idea to use it. I suggest in the beginning that you stick to one of the basic templates that Blogger offers at the time that you start up.

Well I hope this helps you make the plunge into starting up your own blog, if you have any questions, I will do my best to answer them. You can email questions to tkrysak@gmail.com

My next post will go into detail about getting people to visit your blog.

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