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What Is Your Blog About?
Since you are reading this article right now, you probably have a good idea about what you want your blog to be about - you are starting an art blog! But you will want to dig a little deeper to decide what, exactly, you want your blog to accomplish. Are you starting a painting blog? A blog about making money from art? A music composition blog?
By targeting in on what you want your blog to be about, you can determine what your tone needs to be and what content you need to write.
There’s a quote that fits this situation perfectly:
"If you try to be everything for everbody, you will be nothing to no one."
Establish Your Niche
When creating a new blog, you need to find your niche. This is the corner of the market that you have the most knowledge about, the place you can establish yourself as an absolute authority. If you try to take on Gaping Void all at once, you will quickly discover just how hard it can be to compete with an industry leader.
Your goal should be to find a niche that is narrower than “art” because art is so broad you could never distinguish yourself. Yet you want a niche that is broader than “art from DeLeon, TX, in 1973” because too narrow a niche will leave you without enough to write about. You want something that hits the sweet spot, somewhere in the middle.
Some examples of niche art blogs are:
- Painting Blog - Lucy Chen Fine Art
- Independent Artist Blog - Hockley Photo Art
- Ceramics Blog - Kristen Kieffer
Name Your Blog
Once you’ve found your niche, it’s a great time to start brainstorming a name for your blog. You’ll want to pick a name that’s brandable and available. Use our domain name tool to check if your name is available. If it is, scoop it up before someone else gets to it first.
After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com). Google's G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free
Finding Your Audience
Having a good sense of who is going to be reading your blog is one of the best ways to know what type of content to create, how to shape it, and, ultimately, how to grow your following. With a clear understanding of your niche, understanding your audience should come more naturally.
Finding your target audience - the people you want hanging out on your blog - isn’t only statistics and demographics. It requires a deeper understanding of who these people are and what they want. Your target audience is the people you’re writing to when you write your blog.
Are you writing to an audience that is professionally trained in art and requires a sophisticated voice, or an audience that is just dipping their toes into art? Whatever your content is going to cover, knowing your audience is necessary so that you can speak to them in a voice that will resonate with them.
Create a Persona
One way to understand your audience is to create a persona of your perfect target audience member. This essentially means creating a mock-up of the ideal person you hope to reach with your blog.
Here is an example of a target audience persona:
Having a persona for your perfect audience member helps you to visualize and understand who you are writing for and provides important direction to your content.
Be Your Own Persona
Another popular way to find your perfect target audience is to be your own persona. Many of the best products and services come from scratching your own itch. It’s possible you’ve searched for the perfect art blog to read, came up short, and decided to create it yourself. This makes you the perfect audience member for your own blog.
This can be a great strategy for creating highly effective content. If you’ve noticed a meaningful omission in blog content, chances are you are not alone. By writing personally satisfying content you are likely to reach an audience in search of the same things.
Where Is Your Audience Hanging Out?
No web content exists in a vacuum. While you should strive to create uniquely entertaining content for your blog, your target audience is almost certainly already out there reading other blogs, engaging on specialized forums, and using social media. Finding the sites where your audience already mingles is a great way to discover what topics they are most interested in, what language they are using, and what valuable content you can add to that mix.
Some examples for your art blog may include:
Visiting these sites is also a great way to begin engaging with your audience before your blog has even gone live. Jump into conversations on forums and in comments sections and get to know the people you’ll be writing for. This is a great, organic way to build relationships and direct people to your blog in its early days. Sharing your passion with like-minded people will make them more excited and passionate about supporting you in your blogging endeavor.
How Will You Present Your Work?
Traditionally, when most people think about a blog they picture written content on a page. However, there are several different ways to present your ideas on your blog, depending on your subject matter and target audience. Every blog will thrive with different formats, so it’s important to think carefully about how to best showcase your content before you start.
There are several effective methods of presenting the material on your art blog. They include:
As the name suggests, evergreen articles are composed of content that lasts. These articles are designed to have a long shelf life and continue drawing readers to your blog over time. They are typically long-form, text-based articles that delve more deeply into a particular topic.
An excellent option for evergreen articles on an art blog is how-to tutorials. You can teach your audience how to do certain things - such as how to paint with watercolors - and you can expect your instructions to remain relevant for years to come. How-to articles are a good way to build a foundation of evergreen content that will be useful for new readers well into the future. And if something ever needs to be changed, you can always go back in and edit your blog to update it.
While the video format is not new, the explosive growth of YouTube and the advent of new and innovative video-based tech like Snapchat and TikTok have shown the true power of video as an online medium. While you may think that creating video is much more difficult and expensive than writing your content, you have access to all the technology you need to make high-quality video content right on your smartphone.
Compelling how-to videos are a wonderful way to provide exciting video content for your audience. Many people learn better by seeing someone do what they are trying to learn, particularly art techniques. You can make videos based on your niche and audience demand that will be appealing for a wide variety of people over the long-term. Don’t stress too much about making perfect videos, particularly at the beginning of your blogging career. You will get better at making videos with practice.
News articles or other “announcement” type content can be a great way to gather new readers. One benefit of news content is the short-term but powerful increase in search volume during an event. While this bump may be temporary, it can be a great tool for grabbing new readers who end up coming back for more.
Writing about current events or new happenings also means there will typically be less competition for readers. Other blogs and media sources are all getting the information as it develops. Since the base of knowledge available is smaller, this gives you a good opportunity to add your own flavor to the article.
The downside to news-type articles is that they tend to lose popularity much more quickly than evergreen content. While the interest for an event may be very large one day, the next day people may already be moving on to the next shiny object.
There is always something new happening in the art world, whatever your niche. You likely come across news regularly as you research your niche. When you see something that you think is interesting or that you think your audience will appreciate, write a news-type post about it. Just remember to get the post written and online as quickly as possible because news-type content is only really useful for driving traffic when the news is still fresh.
While most people expect to be reading when they visit a blog, image-heavy content can be very appealing and break up your text-focused posts to keep people’s attention. Depending on the topic of your post, displaying multiple images per page on a single subject can give your audience a better sense of what you are trying to convey.
While some topics may take to images very easily, like a car blog or a celebrity gossip site, others may require some deeper thinking to make this strategy work.
An art blog is a perfect place to offer image-heavy content, especially if you are writing about visual arts. But even if you are writing about music or something else less visually focused, you can still find plenty of accompanying visual art to go along with your blog topic - such as album artwork, photos of artists, book covers, and so on.
Many art bloggers take their own photographs for use on their blog. When you use your own photos, you don’t have to pay for someone else’s - and you get more control over the image. If you have an interest in taking photos, there is no better time to start than now. You can gain skills and experience as you build your blog. Even if your photos aren’t great now, they will be as you improve your abilities.
Mix and Match
Your blog needs variety to reach the widest audience. While you may prefer creating one or two types of content - like writing or photography - you should try to push yourself to explore other content delivery strategies as well. You can learn to take photos, write, produce videos, and anything else that your audience will appreciate. Trying your hand at new types of content will keep blogging interesting and will ensure that many different types of people can enjoy your blog.
How To Make Money From A Review Blog
One of the main reasons people start blogs is to generate some sort of profit. Whether you’re looking for a few hundred dollars per month or a job-replacing income, blogging is still an excellent way to make those dreams a reality.
There are a few great ways to make money from a review blog:
Display Ad Networks
Display ads are the simplest way for websites to generate any sort of income. Ad networks, like Google Adsense, are fairly simple to be accepted into, and implementation onto your site is streamlined and clean. If you’re just beginning to see some traffic to your blog and want to turn this into dollars, display ads are where most people start.
There are a few downsides to display ads, however. The first is that some feel they detract from the user experience on your blog. Most people have been to a site where large ads pop up and block the content in the middle of reading. This can be distracting, frustrating, and even drive people away from your blog. While it’s possible to clean up and control the type of ads you use, it can be a constant battle to balance effective ad placement with aesthetics and readability.
The other main downside is that they don’t pay a lot. These networks generally use a pay-per-click (PPC) model which, depending on the niche, can pay anywhere from $0.01 to $1.50 per click, most on the lower end.
While display ads are a great way to make your first dollars, you’ll want to make sure any negatives they bring are worth the profits they provide. Once you develop a solid following, you can consider moving on to more lucrative and effective profit-making options.
Affiliate marketing programs like Amazon Affiliate have become much more popular over the past few years, as they take the payment model from pay-per-click to cost-per-acquisition (CPA). This means you can refer as many users to an advertiser’s product as you want, but will only get paid when the user makes a purchase.
Both advertisers and publishers benefit from an affiliate marketing setup. The advertiser pays nothing until a sale is made and the publisher enjoys much higher commissions than the pay-per-click model.
There are many different affiliate programs that you can incorporate into your art blog, depending on your niche and your personal preferences. The biggest thing to remember when choosing affiliate programs is that you want to recommend things that you can feel good about. It is important for the long-term satisfaction of your audience that they can trust you.
Blick Arts Materials is one major affiliate program that many art bloggers use. The company sells a massive variety of art supplies, so you shouldn’t have any trouble steering your audience to find what they need on the site. For every sale that you facilitate, you will get a 10% commission.
Elephant Stock is another art affiliate program that bloggers prefer. The Elephant Stock site has a big selection of canvas print panels, wall art, and other pieces that your audience may like. For every sale you facilitate on Elephant Stock, you get a 20% commission - a great commission rate by any standard.
Sell Digital Products
Digital products are an online entrepreneur's dream. You create the item once, then sell it as many times as you can, with little to no cost of reproduction. This means that you can scale your business to infinity.
Examples of digital products are:
- Ebooks - A piece of writing, generally in PDF format. These can contain literally anything that your audience would want. They can either be true book-length all the way down to a few pages of content. Depending on your niche, audience, and subject, these can run from $1 to $100 per sale fairly easily.
- Gated Content - This is content that is served on your website just like any other article, except that is behind a “paywall”. If you are creating content that you don’t want to be released to anyone but your true followers, you have them sign up for an account on your site and charge them a subscription fee for access. Generally, authors charge anywhere from $5 to $200 per month for access to gated content.
- Online Courses - If you can teach a skill that your audience wants to learn, you can create an online course to sell to them. These courses can be formatted in whatever way makes the most sense to you, but most nowadays are video courses. Online courses can sell from $10 to well over $10,000 per course, obviously depending on the subject matter and audience.
A great example of a digital product that an art blogger could create is a subscription service for special content - such as giving your audience access to your best paintings for a monthly fee. You can offer some visuals for free to entice people to pay for the subscription service. If your blog is popular enough and your work is in high demand, you can expect some to be willing to pay for access. You could charge $30 a month or more for the subscription.
Sell Physical Products
Selling physical products is the original money-making strategy. You gather an audience that is hungry for something, you sell it to them, and everyone wins. You don’t have to be an inventor, designer, or manufacturer to sell products. Sites like Alibaba and AliExpress import already-made items into the United States and sell them for a markup.
The two main methods for the distribution of these items are: dropshipping and self-fulfilled.
Dropshipping is a method where you advertise a product on your site that you do not own. Once you make the sale, you inform the manufacturer, who will handle the shipping and handling to the end-user. While this is simple because you don’t have to worry about storing or shipping any items yourself, you’ll find that the margins can be quite slim.
Self-fulfilled sales are much more of a hands-on approach to sales. You buy the item from the manufacturer, store it, then ship it to the end-user once you have made the sale. While there is much more work involved, you’ll find that the margins per sale are much higher.
Product sales for an art blog can make a lot of sense when your niche centers on things that people like to hold in their hands or hang on their walls. If you are a visual artist, you could sell prints on your blog. If you are a musician, you could sell albums through your blog. You will need to build the popularity of your blog before you can sell more expensive items, but you are already planning on building an audience anyway!
While it can be very profitable when done well, selling products is not generally recommended for the beginner blogger. It’s best to secure an audience that you know will be receptive to the product before making a large investment in product development or acquisition.
Create A Service
Providing a service is another very basic money-making plan. If you can provide a service that you know your audience needs, you have a viable business on your hands.
Whether this service is delivered through one-on-one interaction with the user, through a piece of software that you develop, or by directly completing a task for the user, this is a great way to monetize your skillset and your blog.
If your art blog focuses on painting, you could offer to create custom paintings for those willing to pay for them. If you focus on teaching people how to record music, you could offer seminars on the subject. What services you offer will depend on your niche, your skills, and your audience's demand.
It can be problematic if you overcommit yourself when selling services - which is easy to do when demand is high and the price is right. Your blog is what makes your business work as well as it does. It draws traffic and gets your name out there. You need to make sure you keep your blog going strong, even while selling services. It may take some time to learn the right ratio of services and blogging, but you can figure it out and earn a good income in the process.
Next Steps To Get Your Art Blog Started
Now that you have the strategies in place to build and grow your own blog, check out our free course: How To Start A Blog.
This course includes all the essentials on how to get your blog out of your head and onto its own website. Starting a blog is simple and inexpensive, so there’s no reason that you shouldn’t start today!
Free Course: How To Start A Blog
Get your blog up and running today with our step-by-step course.