Calligraphy: A Scribe's Notes Art Blog
Part Three: Blogging I__™ve heard (and used) every excuse in the book - too busy, can__™t be bothered, waste of time, don__™t have anything to write about and what the heck is a blog anyway? I admit it, I thought it would be a nuisance but I was mistaken. I first heard about blogs about 5 years ago. Instructors in the scrapbooking industry, who were very popular, were using their blog to stay in touch with their students, follow up on classes, post photos, write about new techniques and products and answer questions. ___Hmmmm___, I thought, ___maybe they__™ve got something here.___ It made sense for these relatively high profile people to keep their buzz going, but why on earth would I need that? I filed that tidbit away in my head until a few months ago when artid added blogging to the member functions. So I gave it a try. A web log is a way for people to get to know you and your work. And believe me they really do want to know. At a gallery opening this past weekend, people were asking me, ___Is there a story behind your work? Where do you get ideas? How do you work? What got you started?___ A small amount of prestige comes with ___I know/met the artist.___ Small aside here - Post a photo of yourself, no matter how candid in your Bio section and give people a little more than ___I am an artist in New Jersey___. People interested in art are visual thinkers and they want to see you, it helps them make a connection. A web log is also a place to connect with other artists, share techniques, ask questions, comment, complain, and share ideas and support. You don__™t have to write in your blog everyday, there__™s no pressure here and your writing need not be lengthy either. Some blogs are just a few sentences every now and then as an update. Keywords or Tags help the search engines find you. Tags need to be relevant to the content of your blog. For instance, if your blog is about a recently finished painting, then possible tags would be, painting, new work, recent work, etc. If you are writing about a technique then possible tags would be, watercolor clouds, painting technique, brushes for texture etc. Choosing random tag words from your text are too vague. Words like hi, it's, hello, look, or welcome are not relevant choices.. Post images with your blog, allow comments and tell people you have a blog. If someone is interested in what you are writing about then they may want an RSS feed to your blog. RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication. For instance, I like to read Jessica Greenlee__™s blog, JessicaGreenlee so I click on the icon in the address bar that is an orange square with a dot and two curved lines (which I assume mean sound waves) and fill in where I want my notifications to go, for me it__™s My Yahoo page. Now I get an email that alerts me when Jessica posts something and I can read a portion if it right there on my Yahoo page. It saves me from checking her blog page all the time to see if she__™s posted something. Statistics show that artists who blog, get more traffic than those who don't. Here's something I didn't know, when you read others' blogs or visit any other webpage and leave a comment you can also leave a link back to you via your web address. This encourages people to click on it, comment back, or at the very least look at your studio. These are called inbound links and they are very important to building traffic to artid and to you. Take a look at Nina Bagley__™s blog, ___NinaBagley___:http://www.ornamental.typepad.com. Hers is one of the more beautifully written and visually calming that I have ever seen. I have left a comment and I encourage you to as well. A blog can be a very useful tool for keeping interested parties informed and for sparking some lively debate. All artid members have the blog tool and I encourage you to at least try it and see how easy it is. It's one more way to keep your name out in front.