Making A Mark first started off on its travels on Tuesday 13th December 2005 with a beta blog of just 4 posts. Having got the hang of this blogging thing and had another think about a title and scope I then published to the world at large in January 2006.
|A work in progress - it's a green furry plant without a name!|
coloured pencils on Arches HP, 10" x 8"
Since then, this blog has:
- gained 2700+ subscribers (and a few bots!)
- had more than 875,000+ visits from unique visitors
- in the last year alone Making A Mark has had over 0.25 million visits
- achieved more than 1 million pageloads a long time ago
- ranked as the #3 art blog in the UK (Thanks to the Creative Tourist)
- ranked as being in the top 30 art blogs in the world (Thanks to blogrank)
- I've written a total of 1,702 posts in the first five years - which makes an average of 0.93 blog posts per day or 340 posts a year!
- I get a daily visit from the Google crawlers and my posts now get indexed by Google so fast that they are very often there before I have time to turn round and check!
- invited to press previews and am allowed to photograph paintings in major exhibitions. When the paintings are by Van Gogh that's a very big deal!
- receive books and art materials to review
- receive invitations to private views for numerous exhibitions plus major awards ceremonies and dinners
I've also tried to make my archive a bit more organised and accessible within the 130 art-related websites providing resources for artists and art lovers associated with this blog.Archives add substantial value to a site with very little extra effort.Jakob Neilsen
CLICK HERE to link to or create a bookmark to the compendium of all these websites.
Virtually all of these came about either as a result of the blog projects I chose to undertake or as a result of researching topics for this blog or because of something I read on somebody else's art blog!
How to be a long term blogger
Here's a reminder for all those who come and read and for all those that I have read over the last five years! I've revised it slightly to make it easier to highlight the lessons learned
How about you? What have you learned from long term blogging?12 tips for how to become and remain a long-term 'daily' art blogger
- focus and values - I find it useful to have a framework in my head about WHY I'm blogging and the values which drive HOW I blog
- write about what you enjoy and value - and that way you'll never ever be bored
- emphasise learning and sharing (and sharing your learning). These are two approaches to blogging art which have provided me with an awful lot of material and an awful lot of traffic!
- do your research - I probably spend as much time, if not more, on reading about my interests as I do writing about them
- be interactive: find time to read/look at and comment on other art blogs - they are ALWAYS a really great source of stimulation! :)
- pace yourself - find a frequency of posting which works for you and then take regular breaks as well
- create a routine - I find that a modicum of routine is very helpful to staying on track
- stick to one topic per post if possible - it enable titles to be simpler and more focused, makes the blog more accessible and increases the likelihood that your post will be indexed by Google for that topic
- be flexible - try out new ideas for a series of posts or regular/routine posts
- keep a file of ideas for posts (ie I sometimes just write a post title and save it as a draft!) for when your imagination goes out to lunch or takes a break
- planning guidelines are good - have a notion of what you'd like to focus on in coming weeks....
- ....but also 'go with the flow' and don't be a slave to "the plan". Some of my best posts and endeavours on this blog arose quite spontaneously.