Searching for Content for Your Artist Blog

In my last post, I made the case that your blog is a gold mine for you.
What I didn't say is that it's only a gold mine if you are consistently committed to blogging and to improving with each post. You can only fulfill this commitment with rich content.
But what do you write about and where do you find it? It's probably not under the wood boards of the deck, but you never know.
Photo of man looking for something
On pages 143-44 of I'd Rather Be in the Studio, I lay out 32 specific ideas for newsletter or blog post content. But before you can make that list useful to you, you must know your purpose.

Who Are You Writing For?

What you write about will depend on your goals as an artist.
How do you want to position yourself? Who do you want to read your blog?
The answers to these questions are necessary before you trust the resources for content that I share below.

Listening to Find Content

The most important tip I can give for finding good content is to listen up. Listen – depending on your goals – to what the following people are saying in conversation:

  • Your collectors
  • Your students
  • Your artist-friends
  • People commenting on your blog
  • Your Facebook friends and fans
  • People you follow on Twitter

How could you help them solve their problems with a blog post?
How could you piggyback on a trending topic?
How could you enlighten them about your work?

Out-of-Network Sources

While you always want to be responsive to your community, you also want to be part of a bigger dialogue around art.
Think like a journalist looking for her next assignment. Be present for conversations and capture everything you think has potential.
You'll uncover infinite possibilities in the following situations:

  • Artist talks and art lectures
  • Art films and documentaries
  • Lectures, films, and books related to your niche market
  • Books about art and artists
  • Newspapers
  • RSS feeds from other blogs

Not to spoil the party, but don't be alarmed if you later toss out 95% of your potential ideas. It's part of the process.
What's most crucial is that you don't let the 5% of ideas disappear into the ethers.

My Favorite Places for Finding Content

Most of my blog posts and social media updates come from these sources:

  • Your comments on my blog posts
  • Your questions
  • Conversations with artists at openings and studios or over coffee
  • Zite or Flipboard (personal “magazine” apps for my iPad)
  • Artist talks and lectures

If you're soaking up the potential around you, you'll collect content that will keep your blog well fed for years.

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6 thoughts on “Searching for Content for Your Artist Blog”

  1. This is an excellent blog post, thanks so much. I am about to start writing a blog again after almost 2 years away and am planning what it’s going to be about – mainly my art making, how my life impacts that art making, and thoughts on art and relevant content. I’m pretty experienced at writing and pulling thoughts together, and I think I can commit to posting frequently. When I was doing my previous blog I had started it on January 1 and committed to writing a post a day which was pretty easy actually (for me) but when I suffered an acute illness, that went out the window. I started writing it again after a couple of months, but the fire had gone out. Now the fire is rekindled.
    so thanks again for this post which is another log to add to that fire

  2. Apart from finding content from your mentioned sources which I have listed under, you can always get high quality content through guest blogging, posting reviews on your blog etc
    – Your comments on my blog posts
    – Your questions
    – Conversations with artists at openings and studios or over coffee
    – Zite or Flipboard (personal “magazine” apps for my iPad)
    – Artist talks and lectures
    I have found some sites that are hosting the art work or many artist, artists also have the facility to sell their art using such platforms. For example; artorca – an online art gallery provide many options like artists can host their art work, can add interesting descriptions, can sell their art work in reasonable prices. There might be many other like this, my point is don’t you think hosting art is always better as compare to the textual art related content?

  3. I was just beginning a blog after having let them slip for a month or more. After my first sentence I was stumped. I deleted it, and decided to check my email. Alyson, there you were, speaking to my stumped self! Thank you.
    I have just completed your bootcamp and have been inspired by your query: “Whose hero do you want to be?” That is one great place to start. You had also inspired us to reply to blogs that relate to our field…(see, I’m doing that right now!)so I look forward to re-reading your notes on blogging ideas, and to getting back into the swing of things. P.S. I’ve also had your article about “falling in love with your blog again” sitting on my desktop for months, and haven’t read it. I’ll do that as well. Many thanks.

  4. Great post Alyson. • I have a blog for the last eight years. I like to write about creativity, my main subject. Posting every two or three days, I have to always search for inspiring news and that is great for my own creativity. • At the beginning, I wanted to share with my ex-students my discovery on the web, it was a way to continue the dialogue with them. After a while, I realize that they were not visiting my website at all. Because my blog is in french (I’m from montreal), many people in europe discover me and are now regular visitor. • I also use my blog as a huge “bookmarks bank”. I just have to search with a word I remember using in the post and “voilà”, I can find the information.

  5. Why curator? This person is in the business of selling art…however, a plumber, veterinarian and pilot all deal with people every day and they too might be good story tellers that could improve my worldly vantage point.

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