Why Artists Need To Start Blogging NOW

All over the web, there are articles and posts with social media advice for artists with titles like, "Grow your followers by 1000 in 10 days!". There are other more real life advice ones, but a lot of them are professing to help artists aim towards the goal of selling on IG and Facebook. There's just one problem. It won't work. 

I'm exaggerating, but not too off the mark as it might sound. The reason is that almost all of that advice was given before the algorithms of Facebook and IG changed. Frankly, the only social media advice I come across on how to strategize with these new challenges are sites and podcasts and blogs for the business world. So it's time for artists to really look at marketing on social media from a business side of view, not just the pretty visual side of view. 

I'll go in depth more on Instagram and Facebook in future posts, but artists need to realize that organic reach is only going to go down. Followers and likes don't really count anymore in terms of getting your page or feed seen. In some ways, this levels the playing field. In some ways, it's incredibly annoying if you're an artist just starting out on your marketing journey. (Like, really annoying.) Let's face it, Facebook is a pay-to-play site now for businesses, and Instagram is becoming so as well. Not surprising, because Facebook owns Instagram. 

The biggest takeaway I have from what I've been reading and listening to is that your email list is gold. Your focus shouldn't be on just getting likes and followers, your focus should be on directing traffic to your website and getting subscribers to your newsletter. Also, focus more on SEO. That's something I'm still learning about; it kind of makes my head hurt, but I know it's important. My partner has been working on Google ads for his business, and I'm hoping I can recruit him to write an article.

That's where blogging comes in. That is, blogging on your website. Luring people in with good, interesting content. (That sounds so awful and sneaky. But true.) Using SEO (search engine optimization) to be found more easily in searches. I see so many artist blogs on their website where the last post is dated January 16, or 2015 and 2014 dates in general. Social media has taken the place of blogs for many people in the last couple of years, but it's time to think about going back to blogging. Social media traffic is useless for you if it's not funneling traffic to your website. It's kind of like art school art show openings where all the students show up for the free food. 

We'll go into ideas for writing in another post, but get your blog out of the deep freeze...or if you don't have one, start one! 

You're going to be hearing a lot more from me on social media marketing for artists, because all this information is important and I just am not seeing it anywhere else. Let me rephrase that. I'm not seeing it anywhere where I don't have to buy an e-book or buy and e-course. There is nothing more annoying to me to click on a Pinterest link that sounds informative only to find a few sentences and then the e-book I'm supposed to buy if I want to learn that information. I don't know about you, but I am a little fed up with every website (for artists, specifically, but for non-artists, too) trying to sell me something. 

I want to sell my art, of course. However, I also want you to have the information that I'm learning, and I want you to have it for free. 

Print on the wall is Flaming Flowers.


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6 Social Media Marketing Podcasts Artists Need To Listen To

Ever since deciding to really tackle my art career, and to treat it as a business, I've been doing tons of research about social media and marketing. A big part of that has been listening to podcasts. 

I wish I had gotten into all of this two or even 3 years ago, before all the algorithms started. You know, when Instagram was chronological. When organic reach was easy.

But, to quote Michael Stelzner, "Those were the good old days. The good old days are gone, and they're never coming back." 

So, in no particular order, are the main podcasts I've been listening to:

Artists Helping Artists This is one of my favorites, specifically geared towards helping artists market their work online. Leslie Saeta, the host, is a delight to listen to, and has mad marketing skills. She always has a co-host, who can differ, but always add value to the show. 

Social Media Marketing Podcast Michael Stelzner, who I quoted at the beginning of the post, founded SocialMediaExaminer.com and also has created the Social Media Marketing World conference, the largest social media marketing conference out there. He has fantastic interviews, and his knowledge and wisdom about social media today is unparalleled. He also has a fantastic voice that I've developed a bit of a crush on! 

The Science of Social Media This podcast is produced by Buffer, which is designed to help you manage all of your social media on one platform. I haven't tried them yet, but they do have a free version you can try out. This podcast also has great interviews, including ones with Michael Stelzner, with social media experts. It's smart, to the point, and enjoyable. 

The Strategy Hour is a podcast by Think Creative Collective, and the two women are always incredibly fun to listen to, have great advice, and are up front and honest about all the good and the bad of being in business for one's self. Some of the episodes are just them talking, but other ones have interviews. Their interview with Nathan Barry of ConvertKit is one I've actually listened to twice, and made me decide to use ConvertKit for handling my email marketing. 

Online Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield Although this podcast is aimed at entrepreneurs launching their own online courses, there's still plenty of information that anybody can use. It's another interview style podcast, with a great range of experts interviewed, including Michael Stelzner. (Ok, I really like the guy.) 

Manly Pinterest Tips Podcast It's got a quirky bit to it, "adding testosterone, one pin at a time", but it's not nearly as male dominated as it sounds like it might. Humor aside, it's another interview type podcast, with the same great content as the other podcasts I've mentioned. It doesn't stick to just Pinterest; in fact, Pinterest doesn't seem to be its main focus, social media in general is. Fantastic guests as well, including, ahem, Michael Stelzner. 

There are a lot of podcasts out there on social media marketing, and a lot of podcasts skewed more towards visual artists, but these are ones I've actually found the most helpful, and the most enjoyable to listen to. I've learned so much that I had absolutely no clue about before, and continue to learn more with every podcast I listen to. One thing to be aware of is that there are a lot of podcasts that sound great, and I subscribe, only to realize that the last episode was in 2016 or 2015. They may have been great, but with social media changing practically every week, I need to know what's going on today.

The best thing about podcasts is that you can listen to them anywhere. Car, gym, vacuuming (just did that one today), walks, you name it. The ones I've mentioned here, too, have built up quite an inventory of episodes, so you can search and listen to the ones that you think you will most benefit from. 

Do you have any favorite podcasts that you learn or have learned from? What are they? I'd love to hear them. 



6 Reasons Why You Should Sell on Society6

When I was last in the art world, Print On Demand (POD) sites simply didn't exist. The amazing internet options for artists didn't exist. If you wanted to sell prints, you had to shell out the money up front and hope you could recoup it in sales. POD sites are a game changer. 

There are tons of POD sites out there, but my preferred one is Society6. Why?

1. The layout. Like most artists, visual aesthetics are important to me, which is why my partner and I will always disagree about Macs and PCs. (Hint: I'm the Apple lover.) It's clean, attractive, and dead easy to navigate, from both the consumer and the seller side. 

2. It costs nothing to get started. Literally. 

3. You set your own profit scale. When it comes to art prints, there is a base price, and you can markup how ever much further you want to increase your profits. That's not the case for the other products, though. Those have fixed markups. 

4. The options. You can sell far, far more than just art prints. You can have your images available on everything from pillows to totes to phone-skins to clocks to window curtains, to t-shirts and leggings....

5. You keep the rights to your artwork. The copyright always remains yours, which means you can sell the same image on other sites and platforms if you want. 

6. Exposure. It's an added way of getting exposure. You do have to work at it, but it's a way of getting your artwork out to an audience that might not otherwise find you.  

I also love that I can upload images to my website and then just add the clickthrough URL of the individual image's Society6 page on my Buy Prints page. 

My Society6 page