How To Create an Artist Blog

Starting a blog is one of the best ways to build an audience, get your ideas out into the world, and possibly make some (or a lot) of money while doing what you love. Everyone has different reasons for beginning a blog and different goals in mind when they do so. Your personal path will dictate some of the choices you make along the way. One thing that is true for everyone, however, is that the only way to succeed is to get started.

Taking that first step can be a huge challenge, but by the end of this article, you should have the tools you need to feel confident and prepared to start your artist blog today.

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This article is a great place to learn the strategy of an artist blog. If you want step-by-step instructions on how to start your own artist blog, check out our free blogging course. 

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What Is Your Blog About?

The fact that you are reading this article means that you already have a basic idea of what you want your blog to be about - you are starting an artist blog. But there are a lot of different artists and arts out there. Which are you going to focus on? Are you starting a painting blog? A music blog? A blog for your watercolor work?

You need a specific subject to direct the tone of your work and the content you produce.

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 Hugh MacLeod all at once, you will find yourself squarely outmatched and very disappointed.

You need a niche that is big enough to give you plenty to write about, but not so big that you will get lost in the shuffle. “Art” is too big, while “49-year-old composers” is too small. You need a niche that is somewhere in the middle. 

Some examples of niche artist blogs are:

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.

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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 has years of art experience, or are you writing to an audience that is just getting started with art? There is a huge difference in the experience and expectations of each and so many different audiences in between. Whatever your content focus, make sure to choose your audience so you can write directly to 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:

Gabby Greybell 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 artist 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 artist blog may include:

  • Painters-Table.com
  • ArtProMotivate.com
  • GapingVoid.com
  • AustinKleon.com

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 artist blog. They include:

Evergreen Articles

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.

A great option for evergreen content on an artist blog is how-tos on basic art techniques. Whatever your niche, you can create tutorials that teach readers how to learn different techniques. Your tutorials are going to remain useful year after year since the basics of making art remain fairly constant. Even if things do change due to some unforeseen revolution, you can always go back and edit your blogs to reflect the changes that you believe are relevant.

Videos

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.

How-to videos are an excellent way to try your hand at making videos and produce content that your audience will certainly find valuable. Your niche will dictate the topics of your videos, but you can generally expect that any topic you write a tutorial on will also be a good topic for videos. Do not expect your video production skills to be amazing at first. You know what it is like to learn a new medium. Just keep practicing and you will produce videos that you can be proud of.

News-type Articles

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 news in the art world. You may want to write about new art supplies that you are excited to try out new works produced by your favorite artists, or any other news that is relevant to your niche and your audience. You can usually expect news that excites you to also excite your audience, especially if you write about it in a way that demonstrates your enthusiasm. Just be sure to write news-type content as soon as you learn about the news. Otherwise, you may find that your blog is already old news by the time you post it.

Image-heavy Content

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.

You have so many ways to incorporate images into your artist blog, from finding stock images online that demonstrate a point to taking photos of your own work to post on your blog. You can decide exactly what images meet your standards and post them in ways that contribute to the overall aesthetic of your blog. 

Many artist bloggers start taking photographs to post on their blogs, even if they did not start out as photographers. Taking your own photos gives you so much control over how the images on your blog look and feel to your audience. You can learn a lot about photography just by practicing and watching tutorials online. Or, if you really want to accelerate your progress, you can take a class that relates to the type of photography you are interested in.

Mix and Match

Your blog should incorporate a variety of content delivery styles to attract the widest possible audience. While you may prefer creating one type of content, you will benefit from the process of learning new content methods and applying them to your niche. Sure, it may take time and practice to gain proficiency, but once you get better at things like making videos and taking photos, your blog content will improve as a result. Try to step outside of your comfort zone regularly to make new types of content. Both you and your readers will get a lot out of your hard work.

How To Make Money From an Artist 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 an artist 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

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.

You have numerous options for affiliate programs on an artist blog - which makes sense for your blog will depend a lot on your niche, your audience, and your own personal preferences. 

Elephant Stock is one affiliate program that offers a large selection of canvas print panels, wall art, and other distinctive art pieces. You get a 20% commission on every sale you facilitate, which is an excellent commission rate amount for an affiliate program.

Blick Arts Materials is another popular affiliate program for artist blogs. Blick sells a wide variety of art supplies and offers you a 10% commission on the sales you facilitate. If you write about any art supplies that you like and steer your audience to buy those supplies at Blick Arts Materials, you can make a decent commission. 

Amazon Affiliates is another major affiliate program that may be appropriate for your blog. You get a small commission from sales that you facilitate. The great thing about Amazon is that you can find products to link to for just about every niche.

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.

As an artist blogger, you can develop digital content that is perfect for your niche and your audience. For instance, if you teach your readers how to paint, you can design an online course that goes in-depth on painting techniques and sell the course for a great price, possibly $100 or more. Or, if you focus on blogging about your own art, you could release an Ebook that includes high-quality renditions of your favorite pieces. You could sell such an Ebook for $20 or more.

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 through an artist blog should be oriented towards what your audience is likely to find most desirable, such as a high-quality coffee table book of your photographs or prints of your paintings. It is best to start small with product sales to gauge interest. You can begin with small prints and postcards, then move on to books and other more expensive items when you believe that there is a demand for them.

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 artist blog focuses on your watercolors, you could offer to produce watercolors for clients. If your blog focuses on how to draw, you could offer seminars where you teach people to draw. You can come up with services based on your niche, your audience, and your unique skills and experience.

There are plenty of bloggers who make good incomes selling services to their audience. However, the most successful know that it is vitally important to maintain their blogs - because it is the blog that drives the business. Try to avoid overcommitting yourself when you first start offering services, even if you are able to charge a premium. Learn to balance your services with your blog for long-term success.

Next Steps To Get Your Artist 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!

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