Several years ago, I started a personal blog.I wanted a venue for talking about all the things I like to talk about–vintage linens and stuff, my house, my kids, my opinions–and besides, everyone was doing it. I quickly discovered that while I had a lot to say (no doubts there), it took up a lot of time to say it on a blog. I had to have a picture, I had to size the pictures. I had to link to things. I had to create contests and giveaways to get people to follow me, but then I had to keep blogging to keep them coming back.
Then the "gosh, I'm sorry I haven't blogged in a while" posts started coming. Then I gave up and joined Facebook.
|Detail of the header from Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's blog.|
I still love to blog browse and like most people, I have my don't-miss favorites. But I've also seen some favorite bloggers lose focus and abandon blogs I would liked to have seen more of
Looking at them and reviewing my own experience, I realize now that I didn't really have a focus or a structure for my blog, and that would have helped. (For example, for Cloth Paper Scissors Today, I'm committed to blogging three times a week about mixed-media art and collage.)
In fact, if I'd heard amazing blogger and mixed-media artist Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's presentation on blogging before I started, I might have made a successful go at a personal blog–or at least known better what I was getting into back then.
In her live webinar, Building a Better Blog for Artists last spring, mixed-media artist and successful blogger Julie Fei-Fan Balzer offered her advice for presenting your art life and art business on the Internet.
Julie started off by giving her top five rules for having an art blog:
1. You've got to love blogging. If you view it is a chore or something you're "supposed" to do, you probably won't be successful.
2. Figure out what you're going to share and not share. Will you just talk about your art adventures? Include posts about your family? Bare your soul? It helps to set parameters at the beginning. This will give you focus and let your readers know what to expect.
3. Analyze the blogs you love. What do they have in common? Lots of photos? A strong point of view? Technique-heavy? The answers will give you an idea of what you want your blog to be like.
4. Internet = public. When you post on the Internet, people are going to have opinions. And they will share them with you. Are you ready for that?
5. Develop your technical skills so they are not a barrier. Photo-editing knowledge is essential. But knowing basic html code, having some video skills, etc. will enhance your blogging experience for you and your readers.
In the webinar, Julie discussed in great detail different ways to approach blogging with tips and tricks she's discovered, referencing her own blog and those of other artists with plenty of visual examples. She then answered questions from the audience, and we received many notes of praise and thanks for her presentation from the attendees.
We recorded Julie's talk and the Q&A (as we do all webinars) so anyone who missed it live can still get the recording and watch the presentation as much as you like, whenever you like.
Building a Better Blog for Artists–and our other mixed-media webinars–are all available in the Cloth Paper Scissors shop and through today, July 31, are on sale for 30% off the original price. Take advantage of this special sale now and improve your blog or consider starting one–eyes wide open.
P.S. Do you blog? What do you like or not like about it? Leave your comments and advice below.