Monday, April 20, 2009

Selling Your Art Online: Blogging About Art

Okay, as I mentioned last week, the fastest way to get your work online is to start a blog. Pick a blogging site and follow the set up instructions - you do not need to know much about computers to set up a blog. They are designed precisely to enable people to get up and running with minimal muss and fuss.

I'm not going to go into detail about how to blog in general or how to increase your readership or SEO stuff, there are much better resources than myself for those types of things.

What I do want to touch on is the fact that unlike other types of blogs, artist blogs need to ensure a few things to catch the interest of their readers.

Quality Images: If you haven't already done so, read this article about producing quality images for online selling. Producing these is the single most important thing an artist can do to advance their career for selling art online.

Once you have these, I always recommend that you post these at the top of your entry. People will immediately know that you have updated your blog. If you have struck a chord they will stay to scroll down to find out more about your piece.

Even if you don't always have a fresh image of your artwork, having new photos of your discussion topics can create instant interest for your readers.

Personality: As I've mentioned before, I don't really believe that art is autonomous. Meaning, I don't think that it always just stands on its own - I think the artist and the story behind the work plays a critical role in the perception for the viewer.

Show someone a scribbly drawing, then tell them that it was drawn by Picasso - watch how the perception changes. Alternately, take the same scribbly drawing, show someone else and tell them your four year old child drew it - again, watch how the perception changes. Take the same drawing and show someone with no attachment of name or value, then watch how it is received.

People love knowing the person or the story behind the work. Little tidbits of your inspiration or a particular challenge you faced in executing the piece are all valuable to your readers. It gives depth to your development and will help people see the value in what you are working on. They will want to invest in your potential based on what you are sharing with them.

On the flip side to this, remember that your artist blog is there to support your career. Be professional and keep your client details, inside jokes and dirty laundry out of it for the most part. Just like you would keep really personal stuff out of a 9 - 5 job, you should consider keeping it off your blog. Anyone can read it. Including people who may not like details of their interactions with you posted in a very public forum.

Descriptions: The single best piece of advice I ever got about selling my work online is to describe it like you are trying to describe it a blind person. Pick out all the details that makes this piece of art special and write about it. Someone may not notice the tiny Eiffel Tower in the background or how the light is hitting the clouds in the sunset.

Do you think the best part of your piece is the tiny droplet of water trickling down the skin of an apple? Tell your viewers about it! They will feel like you are taking them on a personal tour of your artwork, offering them the perspective of the creator.

Use descriptive language. Vivid words can evoke a higher level of appreciation for elements of your work. Is that blue lush or is it cold? Are those clouds fluffy or are they angry? Is that red more velvet than electric? You decide, then tell your readers about it!

Frequency: Try to commit to a certain regularity in posting (and if you can't stay at that level, tell your readers what you are going to commit to, or why you've been absent) Once a week is a great start and very doable. Even once a month can be successful!

You can also plan on posting certain things on certain days. Currently, my posting looks a little like this (but sometimes life interferes!) :

Monday: Selling Your Art Online (article)
Tuesday: Original Art
Wednesday: Tools of the Trade (article)
Thursday: Original Art
Friday: Why You Should Buy Art (article)
Saturday: No Post or Original Art
Sunday: Sketchbook or Original Art

This can be done day by day or you can plan out your posts beforehand and then set them up to post automatically (on blogger, click "Post Options" on the lower left side, and then enter the date and time you want your post to appear). Personally, I do a mixture depending on how crazy my week ahead looks!

Go ahead and try your hand at posting! Let me know about it and I'll come check out your blog too!

1 comment:

sorayanulliah said...

thank you so much for sharing all of this info-I just started my blog. Actually I started it a few years ago but didn't actually write until the start of this year-would love for you to stop by-when you have the time:) Tell me what you think...