This article is by Brian Sherwin, regular contributing writer for FineArtViews. Brian Sherwin is an art critic, blogger, curator, artist and writer based near Chicago, Illinois. He has been published in Hi Fructose Magazine, Illinois Times, and other publications, and linked to by publications such as The Huffington Post, The Boston Globe, Juxtapoz Magazine, Deutsche Bank ArtMag, ARTLURKER, Myartspace, Blabbermouth, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Conservative Punk, Modern Art Obsession, Citizen LA, Shark Forum, Two Coats of Paint, Vandalog, COMPANY and Art Fag City. If you want your blog posts listed in the FineArtViews newsletter with the possibility of being republished to our 17,000+ subscribers, consider blogging with FASO Artist Websites. Disclaimer: This author's views are entirely his/her own and may not reflect the views of BoldBrush, Inc.. You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.
Several artists have asked me for art blogging advice. Thus, I felt it might be fun to offer a little advice in series form. In this series I will explore some of the common questions that artists have asked of me concerning art blogging. For clarification -- I'm thinking along the lines of art blogs that focus on the blog authors art (such as a blog an artist might have on his or her art website). In other words, I'm not writing about news / criticism focused art blogs (though some of the advice in this series may apply to those types of art blogs). The first Art Blogging 101 lesson deals with art blog comments -- and the concern that some artists have when their art blog fails to spur a comment response from readers.
I've noticed an unfortunate trend over the years when it comes to artists and blogs-- that being, some artists feel that they should stop blogging about their art if their blog posts don't receive many comments. Point blank -- they feel like they are wasting their time blogging if there is little to no response comment-wise. Feeling that way is understandable on face value. However, one could suggest that it reveals a lack of understanding in regard to common trends within the 'world' of blogging in general.
In my opinion, an artist is NOT wasting his or her time by blogging about his or her art -- even if the 'comment-department' is lacking. The buildup of your art blog content will only serve to help your online presence -- especially if it is posted in association with your artist website. Focus on content... not comments. Realize that blog comments are not the end all, be all of blogging in general.
If you follow art blogs as I do you will come to the realization that comment numbers are not a legitimate way to decide if your blog has value or not. For example, people often assume that a high comment blog is popular. In truth, that may not be the case traffic-wise. In fact, some of the most influential blogs -- in general -- receive few comments compared to the number of visitors they have overall on a daily basis.
In addition to the above, artists need to understand that most art blog visitors (and blog visitors in general) are lurkers. In other words, they read/browse the content offered by the blogs they follow -- and rarely leave a comment. I'll admit that I'm an art blog lurker. I visit dozens -- if not hundreds -- of art blogs each day. I rarely comment -- but I'm a loyal follower. Point blank -- just because people are not commenting on your art blog does not mean that they are not paying attention to what you post.
Pay attention to what I'm about to communicate -- DON'T dismiss art blog lurkers such as myself (or halt the content feast by closing shop on your blog). I may not comment on your art blog -- that said, I may be interested in what you do... and point others to your blog and website. Your art blog may not have a lot of comments -- but it may have dozens -- perhaps hundreds -- of dedicated lurkers... even with minimal blog promotion. Keep that in mind before pulling the plug on your art blogging efforts.
Don't worry about blog comments. Just keep doing what you are doing with your art blog -- and learn ways to do it better. For example, if you routinely promote your art blog on Facebook and Twitter you are bound to pick up a few 'comment regs' at some point. Comments will come in time -- or not. If they don't come... DON'T give up on your art blog. You won't get anywhere with art blogging if you throw in the towel so easily.
Remember that a lack of art blog comments does not say anything about who you are -- it does not mean that your art is 'bad'. Point blank -- don't make your art blog into a self-imposed popularity contest based on numbers. Don't beat yourself up. Remember that blog comments -- be they few or plentiful -- have little to do with the value of your blog content OR the value of your art. Remember that lurkers -- such as myself -- are always just around the corner.
In closing, I realize that some of you may be reading this and thinking, "But I know for a fact that people rarely follow my blog" -- you may even have access to specific numbers that prove that fact. For those of you in that scenario I ask -- what can you do to change that situation? How often do you promote your blog? Do you need to re-think your content approach? After all, you can't expect blog comments or blog lurkers if you are doing little to promote your art blogging efforts OR if your approach to blogging -- in general -- is under par. Keep following the Art Blogging 101 series on FineArtViews for suggestions that may help you out.
Take care, Stay true,