This article is an edited excerpt from the soon-to-be-released newest edition of I’d Rather Be in the Studio.
This Quick-Start Manual outlines the key areas you need to work on if you want more blog visitors. And who doesn’t want more blog visitors?
Focus on Content
More than anything else, good content will attract people to your blog. Create a regular schedule – perhaps once a week in the beginning – of writing and posting images of your art. Readers need to know they can depend on you.
Feature other people on your blog, like loyal blogger Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson did (above image). It encourages those people to share with their followers. I was so happy to see this nice write-up of my visit with Elizabeth that I couldn’t wait to share it on Twitter and jumped at the chance to share it here.
Make sure that people who need to see your post actually do see it.
I love this email I received from Brad Blackman after my last post. He was right. It would be helpful for my peeps to read (“How to Write Blog Posts Faster with a Checklist or Template“), so I was happy to tweet it out and share it here all because he reached out to tell me about it.
Here are three other ways you can share:
- It should go without saying, but make your blog very visible on your website. The link to your blog should be one of your major links.
- Add your most recent posts to your Facebook page and Twitter feeds. See that social media sharing buttons are available with your post to make it easy for other people to share.
- Collect email addresses with a sign-up form so you can send blog post updates to anyone who prefers email to an RSS reader.
- Use your newsletter to drive people to your blog. Don’t just include a mention of your blog in your newsletter, but give your newsletter readers a compelling reason to visit your blog.
For instance, let’s say you include a Top 10 list in your newsletter. Instead of giving away the final item on your list, post it on your website or blog. In its place: “And the number one reason people are coming to the art festival is posted at artbizblog.com.”
Get Keywords In Your Posts
I am not an expert at SEO, but I do know that it’s helpful to use keywords and phrases in your writing.
Use keywords and phrases throughout your blog posts. If you want to be found by those people searching for “American Indian sculpture” you’d do yourself a lot of good by using those three words together and linking them to other blogs and websites when the occasions arise.
Don’t forget your titles. A blog post title, or headline, can make or break a post’s popularity. For example, you might not have read much past the title if it had been “An Excerpt from My Book.”
Lisa Call got my attention with “Why I Didn’t Enter Quilt National.” (link no longer available) I knew it would have some good lessons that other artists could benefit from hearing.
People want to know why they should spend time reading what you have to write. What’s in it for them, even if it’s pure entertainment?
Ask & Respond
Ask people to leave comments on your blog. Whenever someone sends you an email about something that was on your blog, ask if they would please leave it as a comment on your blog. I had to do this when I first started the Art Biz Blog, as many of my subscribers were unfamiliar with how blogs work.
Another way to encourage comments is to ask questions at the end of your posts – like I do below – questions that are relevant to the posts’ content. People love to share their opinions and you often don’t get what you don’t ask for.
Be sure that you respond to comments.
The Bottom Line: You will attract more visitors to your blog by committing to rich, useful content and by being generous to others.
What’s worked for you?
23 thoughts on “Attract More Blog Traffic”
This is great, thank you Alyson. I’m brought back to the age old question of blog vs. email newsletter content, which I know you’ve already written a lot about.
I am curious to hear what works for other artists in terms of driving traffic to your blog. I tend to reserve blog posts for more in depth stories about an individual piece and the newsletter for sharing a few pieces and recent news. I do wonder if the blog is delivering more value than my email newsletter.
I’ll be looking forward to reading the comments and input from other artists here.
Kelly: This is always an excellent question. You have both blog and newsletter subscribers?
Hi Alyson, that is a very good message on blog posting. Since taking your Art Biz Lift Off Workshop this month, only a year behind in my schedule(smile:)(I’d recommend to others do now, you have the e-version) but getting back to blog posting since going to my new miniature painting using watercolors, I knew my customers were going to be new ones and so I have started to use my FASO blog to help generate more interest and new comments from customers are coming in, which help so much, other potential customers love to read what other folks like them think about Jimmy Springett art, the old bit about being informed helps a great deal. With my new miniature art I am using a ” Special Bundle “package along with the original miniature painting, many love this new offering and is helping to get my new business off the ground. Thanks for that suggestion in your Art Biz Lift Off workshop, just one of the many great features shared. AS always a painter has to get to work eventually and do take care, with best wishes to happy blogging.
Jimmie Springett wildlife painter
I love that you have a mission, Jimmy/Jimmie. (Which one is it? I never know!)
Fantastic article – thank you! Brilliant Read 🙂
I read all the emails you send, and wonder what the difference is between a blog post and an email newsletter. It seems that if I click on a link in your newsletter it takes me to your blog which is the same?…
Hi Jane, when Alyson says newsletter she means the series of emails she periodically sends out. Often, yes, they do include a link to a blog post.
Great question. Yep, I’ve combined mine and put a teaser in my weekly newsletter, which also has a personal note and upcoming classes and events.
Only on rare occasions does the newsletter have the entire article in it.
Another great article Alyson, thank you! I have persevered with my blog, which seems to get a lot of hits, but not many followers. How do I get people to sign up? Or does it not matter?
I use my newsletter more for promotion about upcoming events and print releases, my blog is more the story behind the art.
Catherine, I’m looking over your blog and can’t find a sign up form. Wherever it is, making it more visible would be huge for converting more readers to subscribers. If you’re talking about twitter followers, then try including the link to your twitter in more places and trying out unique “calls to action” to find out what kind of message users respond to and click most often.
Catherine: Grayson is right. There’s no sign up form. Where are they supposed to sign up?
And you can’t “get” people to sign up. You have to share something of interest to people that encourages them to sign up. So I discourage you from trying to “get” sign-ups and instead encourage you to write and share your best stuff.
While the direction of my world has changed from artist books, your suggestions are helpful on my new path of promoting my debut novel. Publishers don’t do what they used to, so much is left to authors.
Your articles, which I read on BookArts List Serv, have brought clear, concise suggestions, which I try to incorporate into my daily schedule. Thank you.
Alice: I’m very happy you have found value here. The BookArts list has been very good to me. Thank you for being here.
It isn’t lost on me that I wrote how important it is to respond to comments and I haven’t done so for two days. My bad! I’ve had my nose in the new edition of my book, so I apologize. Now, to read what you have to say.
Good day to you too, morning there I think? To keep painting “beauty in nature”, even when things are not so perfect(when are they) and to celebrate the miracles of all wildlife with those who enjoy too. To do unto others as I would want done unto me, in my art business that means give them a lot more value for their hard earned money and a lasting beauty in their home. Have a great day, hope that book is a winner!!! Jimmie Springett wildlife painter
One thing that helps me get more blog traffic and comments is to read and comment on other people’s blogs. Usually they will reciprocate. I’ve started a little community of artists this way, it’s a lot of fun.
Yes! Good one to add, Lori.
I have contemplated starting a blog for about a year. I have a good monthly newsletter with over 600 followers. I want to start sending info/features/class info ect. more often because many people look at the newsletter once and forget what is there the rest of the month. I thought a blog could be more personal and weekly to start. Can I send my blog to my newsletter subscribers? Is that invasive to those that signed up for a monthly newsletter or should I start with posting for a month and then put it all in a newsletter with shortened info and links to the blog? do they have to sign up to receive my blog? I use FASO so it does not have a “send to email” feature only a “post” which is to my website and I guess an RSS feed.
Judy: I would either gather them and send 1x a month or tell your list that you’ll be sending your regular newsletter alternating (every two weeks) with a blog update.
And, yes, wait until there are at least 4-5 posts there before you share. If there’s just 1, there is no reason for people to think it’s an active blog.
Oh, and I would so love for you to come to Art Biz Makeover in November. We have at least one other person from Tennessee attending.
This is Great Advise Alyson, we Well differently Be implanting this!
My art, my blog and me are all in one place and its on my website. I don’t add to my blog very often now because sadly I can’t paint as freely as I did before.
And after six years there really is not great deal that I can think of to write about me or my art.
Loved this. All great information. I know my blog has brought me a community of artists from all over the world, and people I’ve never met who are now really my friends. I agree with responding to comments. Life is pretty intense this fall, so I don’t have as much time as I’d like to visit and comment on the blogs on my blog list. But the minute I have time, I do catch up. Commenting brings comments. And comments are the fuel for blogs. Great advice to be generous with commenting.
Love your work,
Exactly, Barbara. I know you know what I’m talking about. Sometimes I send people to a post just to read the comments.