Thursday, October 14, 2010

Notice Me! Creating a popular art blog

This post follows on from Notice Me! (or why you should get an art blog) which I posted on Tuesday. What follows is the second part of my note on blogging for the article in the Notice Me! supplement in Artists & Illustrators (A&I) in September 2010.

Shades of grey and blue 
(in Fine Line Artists exhibition at Mission Trails Regional Park, San Diego California, November 2010)
coloured pencils on Arches HP, 10 x 8"
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
How do you optimise your blog/site to gain maximum hits?

Different art bloggers will have different experiences of what attracts maximum traffic.  It partly depends on the focus of your art blog

Some basic tips are:
  • Make your blogname and domain URL memorable and unique.  Calling my blog "making a mark" with a domain name of was probably the best decision I made early on.  I also bought the 'proper' domain name of and that's now an associated 'resources for artists' website.  Using your own name is also good if it's unusual (and do make sure you snap up that domain name even if you don't use it straight away).
  • Post on a regular basis:  Google likes sites which update on a regular basis.  I post to my main blog most days and it gets far more visitors than my relatively static website.  I'm expecting Making A Mark to top 1 million unique visitors early in 2011.  Having a blog and creating a post only once in a while is a waste of time as it will NOT generate any traffic.
  • Get out and about and visit other blogs  - people will then come and visit you and if they like what they see then they'll tell their friends
  • Make sure people know about your blog:  The majority of blogs die in the first three months because of lack of visitors and feedback and people get disspirited
  • Be persistent:  Traffic usually builds slowly.  However growth can be exponential once you get know as everybody tells their friends about this really good art blog they've found!  
What do you find to be popular issues/topics?

Topics I know attract interest and traffic are:
  • explanations of working methods - if you're doing anything interesting which you don't mind sharing, artists and collectors are always fascinated to know how you did it.  Steo by step demos and videos showing you creating your artwork are always good to view.
  • show how you've developed your art.  e.g.  Take one piece and explain the story of its development. Take a series of works and explain how they developed. 
  • exhibition reviews - including photos of private views and artwork in galleries.  Make sure you're allowed to take pics before doing this
You can find out more on my resource site Blogging for Artists - Resources for Artists.  This includes links to other useful blog posts about blogging for artists.

Are you an artist and want a blog? Or maybe an artist who wants to work on improving your blog? You'll find links on this site to sources of advice and information relevant to blogging for artists and blogging by artists.

It focuses first on blogging basics, then on blogging for artists. Finally it covers some problems encountered by artists who blog and how to deal with them

  1. Artists & Illustrators (A&I) magazine is a best-selling magazine in the UK for professional artists and aspiring amateurs. It provides both inspiration and practical advice to its readers through features, profiles and interviews of accomplished artists or new talent and previews of forthcoming show
  2. The image in this post, along with others in my cacti and succulent series, will be on display in a group exhibition by Fine Line Artists at the Mission Trails Regional Park Art Gallery San Diego, Californiain November/December 2010


  1. Thank you for such a great post. As always there is always very useful information for newbies like myself.

  2. Good Info. Now, do you have a cure for when you hit a wall and have that "blogger slump"? Staring at the blank editor is like staring at a blank canvas for me - it takes a bit to get started.

  3. Yes - two things help

    Have a bank of good ideas set up as draft posts. They can just be an idea or a title and a link to an interesting website

    Also take regular breaks. Nobody can keep going indefinitely and having regular breaks really helps a lot with the pace of things

    But plan them and then stick to them. I tend to take a break of a about a week about every three months (longer when it's my holiday)

  4. My compliments for all the useful information. I started blogging about three months ago and didn´t regret. But.. it takes time if you wish to do it well. And indeed take a regular break to take distance.

  5. Thank you for the info. I have a few books about blogging but I prefer reading actual blogs. They're usually more interesting, especially when they're about art!

  6. Alyson Stanfield said something similar in a recent post... It's apparently more time efficient to write a number of blog posts at once and post them one by one, rather than writing a new post every time.

  7. You'd hoot if you saw my draft list. I've probably got more posts in draft than many people have on their entire blog.

    I just like the idea of jotting down ideas when I get them - even if I haven;t got the time to write them up there and then.

    You need to choose whichever way works best for you.

  8. Thanks Katerine for these simple and to the point suggestions. I always enjoy reading your blog. I started a blog earlier this year but I am now getting discouraged by lack of vistors. I need some spice to gather some followers. Any suggestions there?

  9. I think the draft list is a good idea... otherwise you have to keep it all in your head and that can become very difficult and even stressful to handle.

  10. I'm far too old to keep it all in my head!!! I need lists!

    If it's not on a list inside my computer

    ...then it's stuck on a yellow post-it note 'inside' my screen desktop

    ...or on a yellow post-it note on the below the screen of my imac!

  11. Hi Katherine. Many wonderful tips here to explore. 3 quick things that have helped me get more followers and traffic.

    1. Properly labeling photos and blog posts so that people searching for art find my blog through Google etc. For example, if you paint horses then you should label photos of your blog horse painting or acrylic horse painting. When someone searches for that, and click on your images they will land on your art blog and explore from there.

    2. Write about other artists with strong followings or a gallery and then send them a link. They will likely tell their friends and link back to you which can bring you lots of new followers.

    3. Make it easy for people to subscribe to you art blog using an Rss feed or email so they automatically get updates. Encourage them to subscribe in every post you write and remember to let them know that it's free! :)

    my art blog is called Stop by when you get the chance.

    good luck everyone



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