In an earlier post, I showed you WHY an artist’s blog is the most efficient marketing tool. In this post I’ll show you HOW to go about getting started on your blog—and how to ensure it’s successful.
1 | Be clear on what you’re going to talk about
First of all, you need to know what you're going to talk about on your blog. A good place to start is to identify your brand traits, or brand pillars.
To come up with your brand traits, brainstorm a page full of terms you think might describe the values of you and your business, and then narrow them down to three to five terms. These are your brand traits, or pillars. They describe what you stand for.
What terms or phrases best describe you and your work? After doing the exercise, you might end up with “Color,” “Adventure” and “Travel.” Or “Spirituality,” “Authenticity” and “Urban.”
Artist Ashley Longshore is brash and outlandish and she uses a lot of humor. Those traits are the core of what she does; they’re in her paintings and the content she shares. She’s not shy about being outrageous and saying things that other people wish they could say.
In your blog, address your themes consistently while sharing what you’re working on in the studio, what inspired the work you’re doing now, the latest adventure you've been on. Show them your process, tell a funny story. Give your readers a peek behind the scenes so that they get to know your work and your life as a small business owner.
Need ideas for blog post topics? Get my list of 15 creative ideas!
2 | Choose which media to use (video, written, visual)
Think about how you’re going to tell your story. What media are you going to use? Are you going to write? Do a video blog? Create a monthly photo collage with a small amount of text for each photo?
Make a choice about what kinds of content work best for your abilities and for what you want to convey.
If the term “blog” is bringing up objections in you, think about it this way: a blog is nothing more than an online journal or diary, so trying calling it that instead. Or your “artist’s notebook.” If it helps you get going, change the terminology in your head and on your website to something that sounds better to you.
3 | Decide how often you’re going to share content
I suggest that you post something new on your blog at least once a month.
For bloggers who are positioning themselves as experts, or working on establishing authority in their field, the standard is once/week, but with artists, posting once or twice a month should be enough to keep the interest of your audience. Post more often if you can!
4 | Create a 3-month plan
Create a plan for the next three months and commit to following it—otherwise, you might let it slide.
Without a plan, you might find yourself saying, “I have to write a blog post this week. What am I going to write about?” Then there’s a danger of getting distracted and drifting off, and the blog post might go out the window.
Make a spreadsheet with your ideas for titles, types of content, and include the planned publishing dates. Write your three brand pillars (“Nature,” “Color,” “Adventure,” etc) across the top.
Now fill it in and follow through! Take my list of 15 blog post ideas (above), and slot some of them into your spreadsheet for the next three months.
5 | Figure out whether you need help creating content
I’m a single business owner. I don’t have any full time employees, but I have several people who help me with my marketing work.
I’m a slow writer and a perfectionist with my own stuff, so it used to literally take me two weeks to write one blog post. I would overdo it and it would never get done. So I finally decided to hire someone to help me put my blog posts together. The posts still contain all my own ideas and thoughts, but I prefer to talk rather than write, so my writer takes transcripts of me talking and turns them into blog posts for me!
Maybe you have no trouble cranking out content, but you need some technical help with the logistics of getting your blog post onto the internet. You can get help with that too!
There are plenty of marketing tasks that you don’t have to do yourself, so if something is holding you back, consider hiring help to get some momentum.
For more on outsourcing, see this post: 5 Simple Ways to Conquer Art Marketing Overwhelm
6 | Get your blog set up on your website
I recommend setting up your website so that your most recent blog posts show on your homepage automatically. That is pretty standard website design, and many templates are set up that way.
WordPress and SquareSpace make this easy to do. With the right template, you can update your homepage by simply writing a new blog post—one more way for you to be efficient with your marketing efforts.
If you look at my homepage you’ll see that my three latest blog posts are showing, which means that return visitors (and search engines) see something new every week.
For more on setting up your website, read this: 5 Tips for Turning Website Visitors Into Art Buyers
If you haven’t got a website yet, start here: How to Choose the Best Platform for Your Artist's Website
7 | Start creating content
But where to start? Well, you’ve got your 15 ideas from me, and a schedule mapped out. Now it’s time to start telling your stories.
It’s hard to write about yourself and your work. I get it. Maybe you don’t even know what your story is—yet. But blogging will help you develop your story and your voice over time.
Storytelling helps to convey your personality, helps you and your art stand out in the market, helps you connect emotionally with your customers, and keeps your audience coming back for more.
That’s a lot of WHY and not much HOW, I know. But really, you just need to start. Set a timer for 30 minutes and write something. Commit to creating blog posts at a specific time of the week. Meet with a friend and do your blogs together. Find a way and just do it!
For extra encouragement, read this post: 7 Reasons Why You Need an Artist’s Blog
8 | Share the link everywhere
Once your blog post is published on your website, share the link in your email newsletter, on all of your social media outlets, and in relevant Facebook groups whenever promotion is allowed.
For social media, you can take snippets from the blog post and turn them into posts with your own graphics—or you can simply share the link.
Use your blog posts to get your message out beyond your website. This gives you more bang for your buck, because after you’ve done all the thinking and creating for the blog, it doesn’t take much more effort to send that content out in a variety of ways.
9 | Promote the content in multiple ways
Use the core message of your post in multiple ways, always directing people back to your website to read the full post.
Be creative with finding new venues for sharing. Ask yourself how can you use one piece of content in multiple ways.
For every one of my posts, I host a Facebook Live video where I give a much shorter overview of the content in about 10 minutes, and then I turn that video into an Instagram TV episode. I also upload the Facebook Live video to my YouTube channel and then create an Instagram Story about it.
Promote each of your blog posts to keep bringing potential buyers to your website where they will engage with you, subscribe, and shop!
10 | Do it again (and again . . . )
Get in the habit of putting out regular blog posts and sharing them, and your business will thank you for it!
For all the ways that blogging helps your art business, read this post: Why an Artist’s Blog is the Most Efficient Marketing Tool
Get in the habit of blogging regularly and promoting your posts, and you'll find that more and more potential clients will come to your website, engage with you, subscribe, and shop!
P.S. In my Create a Marketing Plan for Your Thriving Art Business course, we get into more detail about blogging. Add your name to the waitlist and I'll let you know when registration opens.