Friday, July 24, 2009

Vancouver Photo Of The Day-Friday Rosebud

Friday Rosebuds
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The Rose Garden gives up new delights every day. What a treat, I am really enjoying taking these macro shots. Especially on a hot sunny day here in Vancouver.

This was taken with a Nikon D70 DSLR with telephoto lens.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

How To Get More Visitors To Your Art Blog

For the purpose of this post I am assuming that you have your blog set up, and you have registered with Feedburner so that you can add a RSS (Real Simple Syndication) and an email opt in section so that people can sign up for regular updates to your Blog.

If you have not done so already, sign with Google and get an account for free. I also suggest you sign up for a Goggle Gmail email account as well for free. You don't want your primary email address to show on your Blog because you will get more spam than you want to deal with.

The next thing I suggest is that you also sign up for IGoogle also for free. This allows you to put different applications such as Google Reader and Gmail on your personal page so that you can read blogs you may have signed up for, read your Gmail, and a whole bunch of other applications that they offer with this feature, again all for free.

OK here is a list of some of the ways that you can attract visitors to your Blog. This takes time, and you have to work at it and you will have to spend some time every day on this. It will take a few months before you start to get more visitors.

Comment On The Blog Posts Of Other Artists

I follow about 40 different artists who have blogs, and some times I will comment on a particular post because it interests me, I am responding to a poll, or I just want to make a positive comment about a particular piece of artwork.

However don't make a comment like "Gee great post", if the comments on the blog are moderated, the owner may consider those types of comments as spam, and not publish it. You want to provide a comment that is on topic, such as "I love this painting because of the vibrant colors you used". Many blogs have a section in their comments where you can put in the address of your Blog or Website, and someone reading your comment might be interested, and visit your Blog. This happens quite frequently, and is a proven way to attract visitors.

Register Your Blog Or Website With The Search Engines

It will take some time before your Blog will be looked at by the search engines and indexed, but this is something that you must do right away.

Register your Blog with Google.

Register your Blog with Yahoo.

Register your Blog with MSN.

Here is a link to a great post on how to do all of this by JTpratt, a blogger I have followed for a few years.

Register With Some Art Groups Or Forums

Art Groups and Forums are a great way to meet other artists and promote your work.

Join Wetcanvas for free, Registration Required.

Join Everyday Matters Yahoo Group, Registration Required.

Register Your Blog With Blog Directories

Registering with Blog directories is usually free, and will bring more visitors to your blog. They will often ask you to put their "Badge" on your website, and they provide the HTML that you can use to create a "Gadget" to add to your Blogger Blog.

Register with Blogged Directory

Register with Blogcatalog Directory

Register with BlogTopSites Directory

Register with Top Artists Directory

Link To Your Favorite Blogs By Putting A Link To Them On Your Blog

This is another great way to get some visitors. In the right hand column of my blog you will see links to the blogs that I like, and that I follow. This again is done very easily by creating a Gadget in Blogger. Sometimes Blogs you link to will reciprocate and link to you. Creative Spotlite which has a direct link to on my blog will add your blog to thier artist directory if you email them.

Some bloggers are very aggressive about this and ask for a reciprocal link right away. They believe you only get what you ask for. You might consider this if you are following a blog on a regular basis, and mention to the owner in an email that you have linked to them. I think it is best not to be too pushy about this. Remember that you are trying to provide more value to the readers of your blog.

Register With Social Networking Websites For Free

Another great way to get more visitors is to set up accounts with Social Networking Sites.

Register with Facebook

Register with Twitter

Register with Stumbleupon

Register with Digg

I have followed a few very successful Bloggers for over a year now, and some of them offer FREE Ebooks that you can download, and get a gigantic amount of information on Blogging and Marketing, and they are well worth reading. These Ebooks will give you all the information that you need to become a successful Blogger.

John Chow Free Ebook

Yaro Starak Free Ebook

SEO (Search Engine Optomization)

There is a ton of information on the Internet about SEO, and it is important because it gives you organic search results from the search engines which the search engines like, and they will rank your blog higher in page rank if you have a lot of organic search engine traffic.

Empty Easel Articles On SEO

And Last But Not Least, Give Away Something For Free

A number of artists have had success by giving away a greeting card or small print of their artowrk for free. You may have done some painting tutorials or something like that of value that you are prepared to give away for free if they sign up for your Blog.

Well, I have covered a fair number of items that I hope will be of some help to you in getting more visitors to your blog. Please feel free to add comments or ask questions.

Good Luck.

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

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

Vancouver Photo Of The Day-Frog In The Garden

Frog In The Garden
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Yesterday at dusk I was outside enjoying the cool evening air. It has been very hot and dry here in Vancouver. I decided to take my daily close look at how things are doing in my small garden, the Cucumber, Zucchini, and Squash blossoms are blooming in abundance.

I took a close look at the Cauliflower and Broccoli plants to see if there was anything happening there, and was startled by what I saw. A beautiful tiny little frog was staring up at me.

I dashed back into the house to get my cameras and get a photograph. I had no luck with the Nikon, but had better luck with my Canon Powershot. I shot the photo in macro mode without flash, and although there was not much light, the camera managed to at least get something.

What a wonderful delight to come across, mother nature truly is splendid.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Vancouver Photo Of The Day-Tuesday Rose

Tuesday Rose
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Here is another shot of the Orange Rose from yesterday which has opened up some more. It is amazing how much they change in a 24 hour period.

I just love the colors in this as they have changed from yesterday.

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Vancouver Photo Of The Day-Orange Rose

Orange Rose Photo
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Here is another photo of a beautiful Rose from the Rose Garden. Taken with a Nikon D70 camera in the shade.

This Rose Bush keeps budding almost every day and this has been going on for months.
What a beautiful flower.

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