How to start a successful Art blog
Anyone who creates can start an art blog. But how can you guarantee it becomes successful? Read on to find our top tips for beginning – and growing – your very own profitable art blog.
How to Start an Art Blog
1) Finding your Niche
First, let’s define niche.
A niche is a specific area within a larger area of interest. When it comes to art, charcoal sketching is a much more specific type of art under the “art umbrella.”
To start a blog with an art niche, you don’t need to be an expert or a best-selling artist. However, you should have some education or at the very least, significant experience to draw from.
The more specific you can be with your niche, the greater chance you’ll have of attracting your ideal blog reader. And the more you repeat key phrases that are popular within your niche, the higher up you’ll appear in search engine results. Niching down with a narrow focus is great for SEO.
When you consider finding a specific niche, think about these things:
- what area of art are you most passionate about?
- what is it about you specifically – your experience, education, or career experience – that gives you a unique take on this topic?
- what is something within the field of art that you could write about for years?
- what are questions other people are asking you about art that you have answers for?
As you research your target niche, you may find that there are a hundred other blogs in the specific niche you’re interested in. Rather than feeling discouraged and feeling like you can never stand out, remember that your voice is unique and if there are a hundred blogs on the topic, chances are there is a keen interest in that niche.
On the other hand, the more specialized you can make your niche, the better your chances are of standing out. Most blogging experts will tell you it’s better to begin your blog with a wider scope of a more generalized niche. Over time, you can narrow down and get more specific with your niche as your readers request it.
For example, you might start out with a blog called “Painting with Pam” but over time, your readers will ask you to discuss painting in a certain style. You won’t need to change the name of your blog, but you may end up with a blog niche that involves Painting, Pam (yourself), and Picasso.
On the other hand, if you find a niche with fewer bloggers in it, the greater your chances are of capturing an audience. All you need is to provide consistent, good quality content that will capture and hold your readers’ attention.
Some examples of some successful art blog niches include:
- women in art
- art of indigenous people
- nature photography
- marketing yourself as an artist on social media
- calligraphy and lettering
- art for healing and mental health
2) Think of a unique blog name and create your website
Now comes the fun part, creating your blog name. We suggest a name that’s short, sweet, and relevant to your audience. Some names for an art blog could be: Fantasy Art, Art Ability, or if you’re still stuck try using our blog name generator for some inspiration.
Once you have a blog name in mind, it’s time to get your website set up. Don’t worry, this is much easier than it sounds and can be easily done in less than an hour! Checkout our full guide on the best and easiest way to setup a WordPress blog here.
3) Get the essentials
Social media is a great way to share your content and build your audience. Creating a social media page for your blog is one of the best ways to take advantage of free marketing.
There’s no need to start an account on all the social media platforms you can think of. Start with one or two platforms that you are comfortable with and over time, you can gradually open up other social media accounts if you want to. However, the main focus should be on directing traffic to your blog.
One essential piece of equipment you will need to start your art blog is a camera. High quality images can make or break a blog. Invest in a quality camera and/or learn how to edit your pictures to create appealing images for your blog readers to enjoy. There are also many free online tutorials that can help you learn to take better pictures with the camera or phone you already own.
Depending on whether you plan to sell and ship your artwork , you may also want to check with your country’s postal guidelines to find out the best methods for sending your artwork.
If you want to offer online art classes, you’ll have several options for teaching platforms. Some of these include video tutorials, downloadable ebooks, or a website such as Teachable where members can login to access their class.
What content do art bloggers create?
Art bloggers have an advantage when it comes to creating content. They can write blog posts and they can create and display their art. An art blog can also use video blog posts for a variety of things. Once you build up an audience, you may also look into creating online classes to teach art.
Some artists will post what they’re working on almost daily. Sometimes it will be an entire piece of art and other times, the reader only gets to see one or two steps of the artistic process.
Artists can also post about upcoming or past art exhibits they’ve been a part of. They can also offer their reviews and critique of other artists’ work.
Artists can use their blog to highlight other artists and share stories of artists they admire.
Or if they’re travelling, they can share the art they encounter on their journeys.
Podcasts are a growing platform that have the ability to reach and grow your target audience. Today’s art podcasts cover almost anything you can think of from specific art techniques to using art as therapy.
Create engaging and relevant content
Good content will keep readers coming back. But what is good content?
Good content is anything that is relevant – or undeniably appealing – to your audience.
Is your reader looking for tips on how to prepare for their first art show? Write a blog post that outlines what they need to do along with a sample timeline to work from. You can also write blog posts that offer your review on art shows you’ve been to.
Is your reader wanting to learn a certain drawing technique? Write – or vlog – a post that talks about this method.
If you’re looking for ideas on what to blog about, visit other art blogs and read the comments to find common questions or read reviews of art books or courses and aim to meet the needs expressed by those people.
Your personal story can also be told but it will inevitably shine through in whatever you’re writing. However, be aware of over-sharing. You don’t want to scare away your audience with too many details.
Another type of post you can make is a curation or resource post. Let’s say you are making a list of the top artists who work on canvas. Adding in outbound links to other people’s blogs will be helpful in building your audience and boosting your SEO rankings.
You can also have guest blog posts written by other artists, you can have blog posts that interview other artists in your niche, and you can write a response post that may be contrary to what another artist has written about.
Really, the sky is limit to the kind of content you can create.
How to grow your traffic
There are a few methods you can actively work on to get more readers to your blog.
First, seek out other art bloggers. Chances are you already follow a couple of good art blogs. Reach out to these bloggers on their social media accounts and engage with them. Try to build a relationship with them, share their work, and perhaps they’ll begin to return the favor.
Another proven place to meet fellow bloggers is in Facebook blogging groups. Most Facebook groups will have a day of the week for you to share your most recent blog post.
Pinterest has boards you can join but you may need to jump through a few hoops to get accepted.
On Twitter, search for blogging hashtags. There are accounts with huge followings that retweet blog posts on a regular basis.
Next, submit your written or visual blog posts to top blogs in your niche. You may or may not get picked up but it’s worth a shot. The inbound link to your blog does wonders for your SEO.
One of the best ways to grow your readership is to provide useful content. Ask your reader questions – and then answer them!
End your blog posts with a question and hopefully you’ll get a response. The more activity your blog post gets, the more likely it will be that people will find you.
You can also start an email newsletter. This way, you can keep in touch with your readers via their inbox. Most blogs give something away to their readers in exchange for their email address. Consider offering a free downloadable piece of artwork, an art tutorial, or something of value for new subscribers.
Lastly, be sure to include social share buttons on your blog. You don’t need all of them but we highly recommend Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter as the essential three social share options.
The more you engage with your audience and respond to them, the more likely you will get readers coming back to visit you. When your readers see you as an expert who cares for them and takes them seriously, you will make friends for life.
How to make money with your Art Blog
One of the first ways you can begin to make money on your art blog is to sign up as an Amazon Affiliate. You can make posts of art products you use and if your reader clicks through and places an order on Amazon, you can make a small commission off of their order.
To find out if other online stores have an affiliate program, simply do a Google search for (online store name) + affiliate.
You can also host ads and ad banners on your blog. Be sure that ads don’t interfere with your customer’s experience on your blog. Keep them minimal and tasteful. Look at Google Adsense and Sovrn for two online ad providers that don’t required you to have a minimum number of page views.
Another method for generating money off your blog is to host sponsored posts. You can write a post that features a company that will sponsor you to highlight their product. You may have to be writing consistently for a period of time before most companies will consider a sponsorship with you.
For example, you can check if there is a company who would be willing to sponsor you to promote their acrylic paints as your favorite product. However, to be successful, these posts need to be true to you. If you don’t love a potential sponsor’s products, then don’t promote it.
Lastly, you can offer a service or a product on your blog. Perhaps you can offer book illustrating services. Or you are available for custom portraits replicated from a photograph. And as mentioned before, you can also offer art lessons or create an ebook that can help a struggling artist do something you have already done.
And lastly, don’t forget that you can sell your artwork from your website.
If you blog consistently and stick with it, you may find yourself becoming a true influencer in the art world. You know you’ve made it when you receive offers from other artists to guest post on your blog or companies may ask you to test out their products at no cost to you!
Who knows, you may also be asked to appear at an art expo or similar for a reduced rate. Oh the places where your art blog might take you!
Top #3 Art Bloggers
Cat Coquillette, a wildly successful artist still in her twenties, is a travelling brand artist and designer. She also does portraits by commission. Cat studied design and business at the University of Kansas. She is a natural entrepreneur so starting a blog was only normal for her.
Brand designers create logos and much more for businesses. A brand is a feeling or a vibe.
Since most businesses are online, Cat makes sure she is available online. A lot of Cat’s work is shared electronically via email.
You’ve probably seen Cat’s work before at Urban Outfitters and other stores. Celebrities such as Khloe Kardashian have also featured Cat’s pieces in their homes.
Cat’s work often depicts animals, bright colors, hand drawn letters, and digitally made illustrations.
You can find Cat on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Dribble, and Instagram.
Aaron grew up with a sketchbook in his hands. His childhood passion was painting animals, and after graduating college, he eventually worked as an animator for Walt Disney. It sounds like an artist’s dream come true!
After changing jobs to join a start-up, the company went bankrupt and Aaron returned to sketching and painting.
Aaron’s current blog shares drawing and animation tips primarily via YouTube videos and drawing courses. His first blog post from 2012 features painted animal photographs from his trip to Kenya.
You can find Aaron on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.
Melissa Dinwiddie is a self-proclaimed “creativity instigator”, speaker, teacher, and author of “The Creative Sandbox.” More formally, she is a freelance artist and calligrapher.
Her general life philosophy is that every woman should spend time being creative every single day. This is what lead her to create The Creative Sandbox community and course.
Her website is busy. On it you can view and purchase her art work, sign up for her online community, book her as a speaker, or sign up for one-on-one mentoring.
You can find Melissa on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. She also has a podcast called “The Creative Sandbox Way” with over 180 episodes.