I seem to be spending more time on the computer these days–between this blog, Facebook, my website, Twitter, and Constant Contact–I never have time to paint. I keep hearing about all the great things these new tools have to offer for artists, so I thought since I’m trying them all, I’d write a series of articles on what I’ve found to be useful.
Just the other day I noticed I reached the 15,000 hits mark since starting this blog about 6 months ago. When I started, I promised myself I wouldn’t write about anything just for the sake of writing. I’ve tried to keep things relevant, informative and up-to-date. I hope I’ve succeeded in doing so.
The interesting thing about the blog is that it isn’t being used only as I had initially intended–I designed it with my students here in NY/NJ in mind as a place they could visit for class handouts, materials, re-caps of demos and concepts presented in class. I know quite a few students use it in that manner and have told me it is helpful–but what I didn’t expect was the opportunity to reach such a wide audience around the world. I have that widget on the sidebar that tells you where your visitors are coming from and I’m amazed at the traffic the site generates not only in the US, but in Europe and other parts of the world as well.
Writing the articles is a little bit time consuming, but I try to keep the blog updated daily and to vary the postings with class notes, ideas, techniques, works-in-progress and demos, plus a few posts thrown in that are a little more on the philosophical aspects of this crazy profession. I like it when other artists chime in and share their thoughts and ideas on these types of things.
So is blogging worthwhile? For me, I would have to say yes. I think the exposure is beneficial and I like the idea of sharing information with others that they may find useful. Prospective students can sample my classroom handouts and get a glimpse of how I teach by reading the articles. Also, since I am getting exposure outside of my local area, I am able to reach prospective students in other parts of the world who may want to attend workshops that I am teaching in other parts of the world (I have a trip to France scheduled for 2010, click here for more info).
I think the value will vary from artist to artist–for example, I don’t sell my work directly, so I don’t expect to generate sales from the blog. But, I do know from looking at my stats on WordPress that there are clicks to the gallery links I have on the sidebar–so while that may not translate to a specific sale, it’s still generating traffic to the galleries I work with and indicates some interest in my work. Since blogging does not cost anything in terms of a fee, it is only my time that is being invested. It is easy to post photos of my latest paintings and writing about them often helps me to analyze the direction my work is headed in. So for me, blogging is a worthwhile venture.
Tomorrow: FaceBook and social networking for artists