A blog about art is an effective way of building a larger audience for art and helping people find an artist online. Many artists choose blogs because they are free, easy to setup, and they can easily communicate about their art through them. Posts are easy to share with social networking widgets and buttons. Search engines love websites that are consistently updated. This is why certain blogs can rank high in a relatively short time with consistent posting.
Many artists who try out art blogs end up abandoning them. They may have reasons of their own, such as not having time to consistently post, not knowing what to write, or not getting visitors.
What follows are some tips to help in the creation of a popular art blog. By following these, hopefully your art blog will steadily increase in popularity.
What an Art Blog Should Have to Become Popular and Attract Visitors 2012
Art Blog DesignIf you are using a default blog template, spend some time trying to make your blog design unique. Create a large banner for the top, maybe including your name and art logo. Some artists choose to include one or more of their artworks here. This should instantly attract the attention of your blog readers. They should have not doubt that this is an art blog.
Avoid animation and flash. These may be annoying to some visitors. Some people may even have flash blocked. Also, search engines do not recognize flash, rendering it useless for visibility on Google search.
Include easily seen navigation links for your main pages. Preferably, these should be at the top. For posts, try to include a tags widget and blog archive. A related posts widget at the bottom of your articles may help visitors find articles that have content similar to the current topic. A popular posts widget is helpful in highlighting posts that have had the most readers.
Other features worth adding will help in building interactivity. Have a section with social sharing buttons, and a link to your RSS feed. Include an email signup form for your blog feed. Feedburner is the one we use at Artpromotivate. Consider including a poll widget and creating a poll for your readers. Include videos and slideshows in the sidebar that showcase your artworks.
Overall, the blog design should not be too cluttered. Include plenty there to keep the visitor at your blog, but don’t overload your pages. Take some time time to show off your artistic flare in your blog design.
Using a custom domainA custom domain that redirects to your blog will make it appear much more professional. Normally, a link that appears in your browser at a free service such as Blogger appears in this way: artpromotivate.blogspot.com
To shorten this link, and make it more memorable, a custom url is recommended.
Custom domains are easy to setup for blogs, and only cost about $10 per year at Godaddy, the largest domain registrar in the world. To setup a custom domain for your own Blogger or Wordpress blog, please visit this post: Custom Domain Redirection
Writing about Art at an ArtblogBlogging is about writing. People generally visit a blog to read about an artist’s artwork. Just posting images of your paintings without saying a little about them is one of the reasons some art blogs fail. If you do not have anything to say about an art work, do not post it. Visitors naturally desire some sort of explanation of a piece. How much you say is up to you. If you do not want to reveal the meaning of an artwork publicly, speak about your process, materials, and experience creating. Prepare posts beforehand in a notebook or sketchbook.
Another major advantage of writing for an art blog is searchablity. Search engines such as Google need words in order to find the blog post. Try to write articles that are between 300-700 words in length. The longer the blog posts, the better, as a blog consistently updated with lots of quality content will achieve higher rankings faster. Use words that help describe your artwork, such as abstract oil painting on canvas. These will help people find your blog when they are searching that particular keyword phrase.
When writing, think about the person who is reading. Ideally, they would be art collectors and art patrons. Center your writing around them. Answer all questions in the posts that you think they would have.
Posting Images of ArtworkThis is what the artist blog is about, so this should not be a problem for artists. Even if your post is not about an artwork, try to include at least one or two relevant images. This will make the post more interesting, and will help illustrate the article and break up the content.
Naming artwork images and including proper alt and title tags is important for helping search engines see the image, especially through Google Image Search. I have seen way too many people failing to name their images. Instead of leaving the artwork file name to the default (img12345.jpg), change it to something that describes the artwork.
Maybe include the medium, style, or your name. (graham-matthews-abstract-painting.jpg). Don’t use any more than 3-4 words in each file title, as long titles may be penalized by search engines.
Alt and title tags may be added in your blogger editor. Include the same phrases that are in your file title, abiding by the same 3-4 word rule.
For more tips on optimizing images for SEO, please visit this post: Optimizing Images for SEO
Posting Frequency and ConsistencyThe more you post on your art blog, the better. Some bloggers like to post once a month, while others manage once every week, or even every day. Try to choose a posting frequency you can manage, and make a point of pubishing at the same time.
To help keep your blog active, prepare several articles when you have time. Only post at your regular scheduled time, and always try to have more than one article to choose from. Having several prepared writings will help your art blog stay active even during periods you do not have time to write.
Stay on Your Art Blog TopicThe main theme of your art blog is you and your art. Try to stay on this topic as much as possible. If you have helpful tips to share, especially art promotion tips, your audience may welcome this sort of information. But, posts that have nothing whatsoever to do with art may be detrimental to your blog.
Make your Blog a Resource and Source of Art AdviceVisitors love blogs with advice and helpful tips. All artists have experiences to share that may be helpful to others. Share what you know about art promotion, and how you manage to sell art. Write these articles for a specific audience, such as other online artists who know little about art promotion. Always assume they know nothing about the topic, and make your articles thorough.
Take your time crafting these posts, encourage commenting, and answer any questions visitors may have.
The Right Way to Include Links at Your Art BlogOne time link building was a great strategy for bloggers to increase the ranking of their blogs. With the recent Google Panda and Penguin updates, blogs with lots of low quality, non-relevant outgoing links have been penalized. The fact is, including any non-relevant link can be harmful for a blog, and will contribute in lowering its search engine ranking. Google has a great way of solving this problem with the rel=”nofollow” tag. Some blogger editors have an option to add this tag. To add it manually, include it in this way:
<a href=”LINK.html” rel=”nofollow”>
The link will still be clickable, but search engines will not follow it, and your ranking will not be affected. Include this tag for all outgoing links not related to content on your art blog. All links leading to internal pages and posts should not include this tag.
Always Proofread Blog WritingsMistakes in grammar, spelling, and punctuation will make your art blog appear unprofessional. Do not hurry to hit the publish button without first rereading your post. Most blog editors have a spell check feature. Go through your article thoroughly, fixing grammatical errors and adjusting wordings in some areas. Use a thesaurus if you have to search for unique wording.
Promote Your Blog PostsHopefully, your blog has social sharing buttons to share at Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, Pinterest, etc. Use these same buttons to promote the article. But, don’t just promote it once and forget about it. Many people may have missed it the first time, because they did not log in during that particular day.
Try promoting the article on another day, at a different time. Keep sharing the post regularly, making a unique comment about it each time. But, don’t do it too often as to appear spammy.
Art blogs require lots of time, dedication and attention to build. Take time to design your blog and write quality content about your art. Ask for feedback about your design from time to time. Don’t be afraid to change it.
Over time, your art blog will increase in popularity and will be one that people love to visit.
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