How to start an art blog – A guide for beginners
Artists looking to get more attention on their work, or established creators that want to share a more intimate side of their creative process, should start an art blog. That’s great, but, where do you begin?
Why should artists blog?
Even if you’re not particularly outspoken about your work, you should still consider blogging. While you don’t have to write tomes, offering a bit of insight into your creative process, or even some backstory for your work, can be engaging and educational for visitors to read. Plus, there are other benefits. Here are just a few:
- Increase traffic to your website and subsequently get more eyes on your art
- A study of blogs that published 16+ posts per month showed almost 3.5X more traffic than those that published between 0-4 monthly posts (Source)
- Acquire and retain users and fans
- 57% of companies with a blog have acquired a customer from their blog (Source)
- Get personal and creative fulfillment
- Introduce your work to galleries
- Make it easier for collectors and buyers to find your work and hear your story
Step 1: Pick a blogging platform
Determining where to set up your art blog doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process. Basically there are two main categories – self-hosted, where you rent server space and install something like WordPress – and non-self-hosted, like Blogger.com or our very own Foundmyself blogger.
If you’re not tech-savvy, you might want to use a non-self-hosted blogging platform. If you feel like trying something a little bit more complicated, but with tons more options, I’d recommend WordPress. It’s not the steepest of learning curves, and it has so many free themes and plugins that you can create a truly original site. This blog, for example, is running on WordPress.
Keep in mind if you do go that route, there’s the .org WordPress site, which allows you to download and install their free software yourself, and the .com site, which is a commercial version that has a free option, but charges for certain features.
This post isn’t meant to be a comprehensive list of free blogging platforms, though, so Google around a bit to find the one best suited to your needs, taking into account what’s mentioned above.
Step 2: Create a list of potential topics
After you’ve picked your blogging platform and given it the look you want, you can do the really fun part – creating posts!
When you first start, just do some free-associative thinking and jot down topics as you go. You can trim down your list later on. Shoot for at least twenty on the first go. Here are a handful of ideas to get you started:
- Write a deep dive into what you’ve created this last week
- Share personal creative techniques that are unique to your process
- Blog about something in the news that affected you and your work
- Share your studio setup
- Interview an artist friend to get their insights
- Offer a free video lesson on how to draw/paint/create something
- Compile a list of the best art community websites you’ve found
Step 3: Start researching and writing
Depending on what your topic is, you might want to pull together a number of sources and resources to fill out your article. For example, if you’re sharing painting techniques, you might want to link out to a few artists that you admire. You can also do some email outreach send them a friendly note after you publish your article. Who knows? If your article is engaging enough they just might link to it in one of their posts, or share it on social media.
Write in a voice that’s comfortable for you
All I’m saying here is that, unless you’ve got a good reason not to, you should write more or less how you speak. That is to say, don’t go over-the-top with flourishes or formalities, unless that’s like, really your thing. Otherwise, a conversational or slightly informal writing level can make it easier for a larger number of visitors to enjoy your blog.
Add supporting images
People are naturally drawn to photos and graphics, especially unique ones that support the blog topic. It’s easy to add them to your articles. Don’t know where to find free images that you can use?
We’ve linked to sites with literally millions of free images for artists right here. Enjoy!
Step 4: Publish, share, and do some outreach
After you’ve posted your article, be sure to tell your friends about it and link to the article on social media.
Also, as mentioned above, reach out to websites/people mentioned in your post. You might not even want to ask for a mention or link back at all, since, especially for established brands, they’re asked that all the time. Instead, just let the strength of the article speak for itself, and if they think it’s worthy of a Tweet, link or whatever, they’ll send one your way. If you Google around for email outreach best practices you will find lots of helpful articles on the subject.
Consistency is important, so blog as often as you can, provided you’re writing informative, entertaining, or otherwise worthwhile articles. The best way to get started is to just dive in.
If you’re a member of Foundmyself, you can start your own blog right here in our artist community, free.