Your Blog, Your Way: Post 5

Tips on blogging by Seth Apter

Your Blog, Your Way is all about helping you to create your ideal blog, one that both stays true to your authentic voice and has a growing readership. To do this, we will continue to explore the 10 Cs of blogging. So far, we have reviewed Consistency (maintaining a central focus), Continuity (the regular addition of new posts), and Community (a group of dedicated and interactive readers). Today we turn our sights to what might be considered the most important aspect of blogging: Content.

It almost goes without saying that, more than anything else, the Content of your postings determines the success of your blog. If you don’t like the food in a restaurant, you probably will not go back. Similarly, if the Content of your blog is not compelling, creative, unique, and authentic, you are likely to lose readers over time.

Both what you include and how it is presented are important aspects to consider.

The idea of posting interesting content, day after day, can be daunting to many artists, who would often rather be in the studio than writing blog posts. However, if you think of your blog as an extension of your creative endeavors, the two activities can seamlessly combine. Imagine that your blog is a virtual sketchbook in which you document your ideas, processes, works in progress, artistic activities, thoughts, obstacles and, of course, artwork. These are the very things that will keep your blog authentic and attract returning readers. This is what makes your blog your very own.

As artists, we often share similar thoughts and concerns, even if we come from distinctly different artistic schools. What is of interest to you will likely be on the radar of other artists, as well as non-artist blog readers, who are coming to the art blogs to get a window into the artist’s mind.

The ideas for blog posts are as endless as your own creative imagination. And, as artists, we are nothing if not creative. Thinking about the challenge of pricing your work? Loving (or hating) a new paint you are using? Struggling to finish a new piece? Blog about it. Excited about an upcoming exhibition? Discovered a new artist online? Frustrated with art critics? Blog about it!

And don’t forget the art. No matter how adept we are as writers and how many ideas we have for posts, we are artists first. And that is the primary reason people are visiting. Post your art using images that are large and clear. Include detail shots. Put as much time and effort into photographing your work as you do into creating it. Your art will look better as a result. Good photography is especially important if you are using your blog as a sales tool. In my survey, 72% of respondents have purchased an item from a blogger at least occasionally. Make it easier by presenting your artwork in its best light.

Finally think balance when deciding ‘how’ to present the ‘what’ of the Content. By far the majority of survey respondents (69%) preferred an equal balance of text and images. Not a single respondent wanted to see long posts with images or text only. Sharing images highlights your artwork and sharing your thoughts highlights you. That is the perfect combination to make it Your Blog, Your Way.

Today’s homework: Keep a list of all the ‘creative’ thoughts that cross your mind for one week—all of them. Consider turning the most compelling ideas into blog posts. You will be surprised at just how many you will come up with.

Next month: Comments

Seth Apter is a regular contributor to CreateMixedMedia.com, the voice behind, The Altered Page and the author of the forthcoming book, The Pulse of Mixed Media. (North Light Books, Spring 2012)

You can listen to a podcast with Seth right here.


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