I totally agree with comments presented. I too realize that blogging is very beneficial for aspects related to motivation and building an audience. However, I want to know how blogging has helped your INCOME. How has blogging increased your sales or increased the money you get to support your art?
That is the topic for which I am REALLY interested.
Ah Sheree, the answer to that would be ‘not at all’ since I’m not currently set up to make money off my art. I am slowly coming to terms with the idea that maybe I should try to make some money from my work but it’s something that I’m still internally struggling with. For a long time I believed that my work was completely unsaleable because of the fragile and often temporary nature of the things that I made. That’s no longer as true as it once was but I’m still trying to reprogramme my brain on this issue. I plan to write more about the issue of money and artists in the future.
That’s a long-winded way of saying that I’m probably not the best person to answer your question!
Fortunately, Katherine from Making A Mark left a long and detailed comment, some of which addressed this issue. I’m reprinting the relevant bits here:
Kirsty – I absolutely agree a blog should be for yourself. I personally am less on reading ‘commercial’ blogs where people are blogging for a business which is not their own or because they think it’s ‘what you have to do’ to sell art. These blogs often seem to run out of steam after a bit.
Blogs which just present work for sale (as one e-bay) are fine by me – but IMO they work so much better with a few details about why the artist chose to paint the picture…
…Re. last comment, here’s my observation. The people who appear to sell consistently using their blogs as part of their marketing are those who do good quality work. (By which I mean good quality work will find a buyer if you market effectively). What a blog maybe does for them is speed up the process of increasing awareness – and then once you’ve attracted people who like watching what you produce then you have a ready market of people who are more likely to buy.
I would agree with this, personally I prefer blogs where the artist is not solely focused on selling, although I have no objections to being gently reminded that they’ve updated their Etsy shop or that a particular piece is available in a commercial gallery. In fact, I definitely think that artists should do that, where applicable.
However, the artists who seem to have the most success online usually seem to take the long view. For example, Camilla Engman is an artist who’s had a lot of success online and she seems to have built up her sales in a gentle and organic way. She cultivates an audience for her work by having relationships with the readers of her chatty and informal blog and maintaining an active Flickr presence including starting a new group called Organised Collection recently. And of course, she makes excellent and consistent work that she offers at a range of prices from affordable calendars and prints to the more expensive original paintings.
Engman is a lovely example of how to operate as an artist in the offline world too. We had a show of her work at the Here Gallery and she included a couple of packs of her little prints as a thank-you gift for those of us who’d helped with the show. She’s the only artist I can recall who did something like this and it was certainly appreciated by those of us who unpacked and hung her show, since we were all volunteers and none of us were getting paid. Getting curators and gallery people on your side never hurts!
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