This painting is called Atlantic Atmospheres and it’s very new, finished just this week.*
Tonight I listened to the Xanadu Gallery’s broadcast in Google hangouts about blogging for artists. I was surprised to hear the hosts of the event tell us that blogging isn’t for everyone, yet it’s very important to drive traffic to your site! I would say that if it’s very important, it should be “for everyone” but I know what they mean. Actually I’m comfortable with blogging, I have a long blogging background, starting in about 2004, 2005 and have been a writer on several blogs for about 10 years. For me the bigger challenge with blogging is to find the time to do it.
I’ve always started my own blogs, and though I started out on Blogger.com, my later blogs have all been done using WordPress. I don’t see any reason to use anything else. (In fact, if anyone out there would like their own WordPress website I can set one up for you).
Writing comes easily to me but that’s more true if the subject is one I feel at ease discussing. I’m at ease discussion many topics, like politics and the environment, but not necessarily my own art, unless my own art is about politics or the environment, for instance. When I just do a landscape or a scene that I just like to paint, I don’t really have that much to say about it, unless it was one of my favorite locations (like a Maya ruins site, which I have painted more than once). I have even less to say about my abstract art, in part because I want other people to feel a connection with it. That will only happen if they see their own ideas/things in it.
Xanadu Gallery owner Jason Horejs and his friend and marketing expert Barney Davey presented this video event on Google hangouts, and it was a good presentation and format. I learned some things about how to market my blog that were really useful, like using resources such as Copyblogger. I wish they had talked a little more about what kind of content people like to read, or expect to read, on art blogs. Luckily I’m full of ideas and can write a lot about something that it would take other people 200 words to cover. I’m blessed with an abundance of words and opinions, which sometimes get me in trouble, but I admit I can be verbose if necessary. It’s no fun reading a blog where you can tell someone is struggling to fill up space and has little to say so they just repeat what they’ve already said.
One point they made that really surprised me is their advice to keep most content off of Facebook. I know a lot of people who have their main art website and writings on Facebook, and apparently that is a mistake. The content should be on the artist’s website, and the Facebook page just a place to link to it. That is mostly what I have been doing myself. Another thing that surprised me is they advised us to not let our blogs languish, to really commit to them. Then later said that blogging once a week is plenty. The advice I heard long ago was to blog daily, and that’s what I did for years, so blogging only once a week to me almost is languishing.
I thought it would be useful to other people if I posted the links they gave us during the hangout, because I’m not sure how long that hangout page will remain the same.
Blog Post Ideas from Barney Davey
Google Authorship Link
Barney Davey’s New Book, Guerrilla Marketing For Artists
(I got this book for my Kindle app and it was less expensive that way).
Sign up for Xanadu Gallery’s Mailing List
Follow Barney and Jason on Google+
These are my own links that I recommend: WordPress.com for your blog. You can use the WordPress website or self host your blog by downloading WordPress here. I self-host mine so I can add whatever I want to it. If you want me to explain that, or make you a WordPress blog, email me. Also I recommend SEO by Yoast. (Davey talked about Yoast quite a bit and luckily I knew what he was referring to).
By the way, Barney Davey stressed that google + is going to be around for a long time, and it’s more business-oriented than Facebook, and Google has sunk a lot of effort and money into it, so it is probably the better platform to use, more than Facebook, for marketing your art!
I’m also going to allow more comments than I used to on my blog here, so if you have a comment on this topic, let’s hear it!
*I’ve decided to illustrate each blog post here with a painting even if it has nothing to do with the topic. Atlantic Atmospheres is an acrylic painting on panel and can be yours for only $250 plus shipping ($45 in the US, more elsewhere). For framing add $50.00. Contact me if you are interested.