This article is by Clint Watson, former art gallery owner/director/salesperson and founder of FineArtViews. You should follow Clint on Twitter here.
Artists need (at least) two channels in their art marketing efforts: inbound and outbound.
What is your strategy for drawing in an audience of prospects, fans, followers, etc?
It could be art fairs, traditional galleries, online galleries, art contests
, an enticing blog
, or some combination of these efforts and others. When considering your inbound strategy think about what's likely to get your work in front of qualified
Inbound is where people tend to focus a lot of effort.
But there's also outbound strategy to consider. Outbound strategy is how you communicate with people who like what you do, are interested in your artwork, and have already given you permission to contact them again. Outbound includes: daily painting blogs, email newsletters, personal emails to customers, hand-written notes with photos that you send out, postcards announcing your exhibits, RSS feeds of your artwork, phone calls, and private home-shows of your art for your customers.
The mistake I see a lot is tons of focus on inbound, and too little focus on outbound.
What if you flipped your strategy? What would happen if you spent your time and creative energy on outbound? What if you asked yourself how you could "wow" 10 or 20 of your best followers? What if you created 10 artworks, each one with a particular customer's tastes and interests in mind, and then invited those 10 people to an exclusive private showing of your work?
Putting some extra effort into outbound could pay off dramatically. But it's difficult work for artists who want to change the world
. Most people will choose spend the time "tweaking keywords" for their SEO
"strategy", that's much easier, and it "feels" like progress.
There's your advantage - most people aren't doing it - you could amaze your followers by being one of the few who does.
Software Craftsman and Art Fanatic
 In Hugh MacLeod's post, "Why Most Artist's Blogs Fail
, he discusses how to utilize a blog to draw in a large audience...and how most artist blogs fail at that goal. Of course, you may have developed another inbound strategy for you and your painting only blog may not be a "total failure" if you are utilizing it as described in the second footnote.
 I listed blogs under both inbound and outbound. Most artists simply post paintings of their artwork to their blog. That strategy fails as an inbound strategy. However, it can be a channel for showing paintings to existing customers who want to keep up with what's new. A better strategy however, is using email newsletters for alerting existing customers. Another strategy is to use one blog for both types of posts which can serve as both an inbound and an outbound channel. This is what Hugh MacLeod did for many years, but has recently switched to utilizing an email newsletter as the primary outbound channel.
 If you're giving outbound the proper attention, you'll know the tastes and interests of your customers because you will have written them down. If you're not doing that, read How to Sell Art
 SEO is an inbound marketing strategy, just not a great one for most artists.