Perform a Blog Checkup

Last week it was a Web site checkup for you.

Peter Muzyka painting
©Peter Muzyka, Georgia Lace. Egg tempera, 32 x 24 inches. Used with permission.

This week, it’s time to look over your blog. Maybe you started it because I said you needed one. But you never quite got the hang of it. Or maybe you started it and got so caught up in it that you haven’t paid much attention to how it’s working for you. It’s time to give it the once-over. Let’s get started.

*Is your name prominent? I’m not crazy about fancy names for blogs, I just want to know who is writing it. Seth Godin’s blog, one of the most highly trafficked blogs around, is simply “Seth’s Blog.” People come because of what he has to say–not because it has a big important title. I’m somewhat annoyed when I visit artists’ blogs and I can’t find their names easily. Unless you are anonymous and you don’t want to be associated with the images or words you’re posting, get your name in the header of your blog.

*Are you posting enough pictures of your art? Decent photos that make us want to see it? Use images of your art whenever you can. Challenge yourself to post a new Make sure you include titles, media, dimensions, and photo credits when appropriate.

*Is your RSS feed easy to find and subscribe to? I’m not sure that the majority of the general public knows how to use feed, so be sure to provide email updates for those who prefer finding out about your postings in their inboxes.

*Are your post titles easily differentiated from the posts themselves and do you have “permalinks” enabled so that people can link to a specific post rather than to your blog as a whole? (Permalinks are the addresses given by blog software to each individual post. In Typepad and WordPress, you can usually mouse over the titles of the posts to get the permalinks, which might also appear in the posts’ footers. Blogger’s permalinks are usually somewhere in the footer.)

*Speaking of titles, are your post titles interesting? Do they make people want to read further?

*Are you linking enough in your posts? When you mention someone in your blog, are you linking their names? Don’t just provide a URL like Instead, link to “anchor text” — text that someone might search for.

*Do your categories make sense? Are there enough of them to cover the ground you want to, but not too many? I have a lot of categories on the Art Biz Blog, but recently cleaned them up a bit and combined some so they didn’t look too overwhelming.

*Is there a clear link where people can click and see more of your art? And a link to your Web site? Links to any online stores like Etsy or CafePress?

*Does your blog show your personality? If you have products for sale, are they featured in your menu columns? Is your blogroll up to date? Your blogroll is the list of blogs you recommend to your readers. Do you need to add or delete links? In a post some time ago, David Meerman Scott talks about “pimping out” his blog.

*If you use Blogger, please fix the settings to allow for comments from non-Google accounts. Ditto for other services for which you have to be a member to comment. Every so often, I visit an artist’s blog that mentions me or my book and really want to leave a message, but there’s no place for me to do so. This is antithetical to the purpose of blogging, which is about starting a conversation with people. This reminds me…

*What are you doing to encourage conversation with your readers? Are you including questions and asking for opinions? Asking for questions and opinions is by far the biggest source of comments on the Art Biz Blog.

Your blog needs some lovin' too.

Are you starting a conversation with readers or just talking to them?

DO THIS———-~>
Perform a blog checkup. Make sure you're showing your personality.
Double check to see that you're starting a conversation and not just talking at people. Verify that it is easy for people to get information from your blog and to be updated on your goings on.

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4 thoughts on “Perform a Blog Checkup”

  1. I love your articles and I recently bought the book, ‘I’d Rather be in the Studio”. So much information but it really helps me to focus and get on track with the ‘other side’ of being an artist – marketing.

  2. Am new to your site, but am loving it. Is already bookmarked and on a special folder for Business.
    I been wanting to do a blog on ceramics and home decor in general, the issue is that am not a native english speaker, so my grammar can be a lil messed up… so am concerned about writing stuff that is not gonna make sense to the english reader (am based in US). Am I drowning in a glass of water or is my concern a serious one? Thoughts?

    Much appreciated.


    1. Alyson Stanfield

      Gustavo: I’m glad you’re here!

      Have fun with it. Call it “Ceramics and Broken English” or something. Focus on images. You need words, but get really really strong images.

      This will be great for you!

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