Mandy Sowell writes: My question is about art blogging. I struggle with coming up with good blog posts. I am not very good at writing, and I’m wondering if there are any good methods for a non writer to keep a blog? How do you balance blogging with creating art? Thank you for taking the time to address questions, I have been learning a lot from your videos.

This is something that I struggled with for YEARS!! I’ve had a blog for way more years than I’ve been actively using it. I didn’t know what to write! How do you come up with new content on a regular basis?! Besides that, because I didn’t post regularly I would just forget to post at all.

Do I even need a blog?

Now to start, for those thinking about starting a blog I want to say DO IT!! It’s great for your website’s search engine optimization because all those words you write help people to find your site. They may come to your site because you wrote an article on how to draw a tree and end up finding your gallery or prints for sale. Anything that brings people to your site is good! Blogging is a great way to create a following and to get people to come back to your site on a regular basis.

Get organized

Ok, onto your actual question. For me, my blog posts are actually my video scripts. I write my posts out in batches of 5 every Tuesday so that I’m ready to record the videos every Friday. You don’t need to have THAT many blog posts each week though, one is fine to get started. You will ideally want to have your blog post go up on the same day every week so that people know what to expect. This is great if you have an email newsletter because you can use your blog content in that email newsletter.  I’m able to get a lot done because it all ties into each other.

  • Blog post = Vlog script
  • Vlog = content for blog = content for email newsletter

Because I write my blog posts all on the same day, it doesn’t really get in the way of creating my art, plus one of those posts will be all about the art I’m creating that week. The key to keeping on top of stuff and having time to get it done is really a schedule that you make yourself stick to. Trust me, some Tuesdays I do NOT want to sit down and write blogs. But if I put it off, it then does get in the way of painting.

Great…a schedule. Now WHAT DO I PUT IN THAT BLOG?!?!?

This is easier than you might think, but it does require you to pay attention to questions people are asking online. For me, you guys provide most of my content. You send in critiques which take care of one blog a week, you send in art Q&As which takes care of another video or two a week. I get that most people won’t have content emailed to them every week like this, but that doesn’t mean it’s not being provided for you elsewhere.

  • Read art group questions on facebook, or go through the questions asked in art videos on youtube. What are people asking? Do you see people constantly having trouble blending their colors? Maybe write a blog about how you do it.
  • Do a short tutorial on how you painted or drew an element in one of your pieces. A tree? A cherry? Break that big painting down into a few smaller tutorials.
  • Talk about the meaning behind your current painting or drawing.  You can even talk about why you chose the colors that you did.
  • Interview another artist.
  • Art supplies you like, or new art supplies you’ve recently purchased.
  • Art product reviews.
  • Talk about how you got into art and what your goals are. Your goals will likely adjust as your career moves forward so you can bring this up again a few times.
  • Go to other artist blogs to get ideas for your own. Obviously,  I’m not saying to copy what they write, that’s not cool at all,  but is there a topic that you would like to talk about? Put your own spin/opinions on that subject for your blog.
  • Did you read a quote that you feel reflects well on art? Write about it! This is one you can do quite often.
  • Have you gone to any art shows lately? Post photos and talk about that.

Tips

  • You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. I think the idea that you need to have all your original blog ideas is what prevents a lot of people from getting started.
  • Don’t try to be so professional in your writing that it bores people. Write how you would talk to a friend. Let your personality show.
  • Don’t get so personal that it gets awkward. I’ve seen people post some pretty inappropriate things on their social media and blogs. Do not rant about your daytime job. Do not rant about your family. Keep the blog centered around your artwork or things related to an artist’s life. Remember, this is public and you never know who is reading it. Besides being awkward for your readers, if your job fires you after they see what you’ve written online, you aren’t going to have money for more art supplies! If you are acting unprofessional on your blog, this doesn’t put a lot of faith in buyers about you being professional when it comes to the art itself. There is a differents between showing personality and being inappropriate.
  • INCLUDE PHOTOS!! There is nothing more boring than a blog post with no images. …wait this one has no images. But it has a video so I’m calling it good enough 😛
  • Don’t write in one large wall of text. Break that text up with headlines, bullet points and of course those images. If someone sees too much text on one post they probably won’t bother to read.
  • Get to the point. Your post doesn’t need to be a novel. Readers enjoy getting the information they’re looking for quickly.