8 Reasons Your Art Blog or Website Isn’t Making Any Money (And What To Do About It!)

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Have you wondered why your art blog or artist website isn’t making any money? Is your art blog failing financially?

You’ve probably been working hard on your art and putting your work on your art blog. You want people to read your art blog, of course, and look at your work.

And sure, you want comments.art blog

And subscribers, and shares, and likes.

But you don’t really care about any of these things. You want what they will eventually lead to …

Money.

Yes, traffic is good, and so is reader engagement. But if you’re reading this, chances are you’re running a blog with the intention of marketing a business and making some money.

Now, that could be a bit distressing, because most bloggers are broke.

Here’s why …

1) It’s all about you

This is the big one.

Unless you are a famous movie star like Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie, nobody cares about you personally.  So wake up and smell the coffee, because it ain’t about you baby.

Yes, that’s right — all of your posts are about you, your news, your newest paintings or photographs, your studio. And you wonder why nobody signs up for more? Forget about your subject area, and think about your customers, your collectors. What are their problems? What matters to them? That’s what you need to be writing about.

This is where I see so many artists making their biggest mistake.  I even saw a website recently of a art business guru who was telling her artist followers to blog constantly about their art and their newest art offerings.  This is terrible advice.

2) You don’t hook their interest

Yes, I’m talking about headlines. For your blog posts, for your email newsletters, for your ads, and for the teaser links to your content. They all need to hook your audience’s interest.

You need to become an expert in writing headlines that will grab the reader’s attention.

Begin reading magazines like Cosmopolitan, Newsweek, or even some of the tabloids. Study their headlines.

Read all you can about what makes a enticing headline.  This is one of the most important skills you can have in internet marketing.

3) You don’t make it explicit

Yes, that’s right. If you want your visitors to opt in to your mailing list, then you have to say so, in so many words: “Sign up for my list to get all sorts of goodies. Do it now. Click here.”

Put those words, or words like them, near your opt-in box, and make sure to include a call to action in your posts, too.

4) You don’t ask for the sale

Yes, this comes back to being explicit. Don’t just have an “Add to Cart” link on your site — you’ve also got to tell people that you want them to buy your stuff. Tell them why they should do it, and what they’re going to get. And tell them when they should do it (right now!), which leads us to the matter of urgency …

5) There’s no urgency

Why buy today when I can buy tomorrow, right? You need to give your audience a reason to take action now. Make sure the constraint is real — maybe you’re raising the price after a certain date. Maybe the first 50 people to sign up get a special bonus. Or maybe you’re closing your program on September 1 (hypothetically speaking, of course …).

6) No social proof

Nobody wants to be the first one to arrive at a party — you want to know that other people are there, and having a good time. So who’s already bought your product or service? What was their experience like? Were they happy? Were they a lot like the person who is thinking about buying today?

7) No guarantee

There’s something comforting about a money-back guarantee. It provides a safety net, and shows how much confidence the seller has in whatever is being offered. Most companies offer guarantees, to the point that it looks sketchy if you don’t. So you have to offer a guarantee. But don’t just offer a simple “if you’re not satisfied we’ll give you your money back” guarantee — go over the top. Give them 110% of their money back. Donate $100 to charity. Set it up so that it’s not just about satisfaction, but about results (we guarantee that you’ll add $1,000 to your bottom line in six months, or your money back).

8) You’re not building trust

This is another big one.

If someone lands on your website or blog for the first time, they really don’t know you.  So they don’t trust you.  And it’s unlikely that they are going to buy from you. But if you can get them to subscribe to your newsletter or blog, then they will begin to get regular messages from you.

Over time their trust will grow.  And trust will lead to sales.

So the formula is simple:  Consistently delivered messages = Trust = Sales.

One of the best ways to deliver consistent messages to your readers is an email newsletter.  An autoresponder will deliver consistent messages over time that will lead to trust and greater sales.

I’ve written an in-depth article about email newsletter marketing and which provider I think is the gold standard for the industry. Click here to read the article now!

Now, a question: how long are you willing to wait before your blog starts delivering dollars to your bank account?

Having realistic expectations is important. If you try to run a marathon as though it were a sprint, you’ll end up exhausted on the side of the road. And if you try to run a sprint as though it were a marathon, you’ll finish dead last.

So what kind of race do you want your blog to be running?

If you’re willing for it to take 2-3 years to get your blog to where you want it to be, then a good strategy is to read business books for bloggers, along with the best blogs in the industry.

I’ve put together a free video training for artists.  You’re going to love this free 3-part video series. It will help you sell more art online.

Click here to get your free video artist training.

Comments

  1. Good for you very professional!

  2. khelil 05/12/2012
    Prénom: SAMIR
    Né le: 11/06/1978 à Tizi-Ouzou (Algérie)
    Adresse: B.L No 390 cidex 02, Rue Abane Ramdane
    Azazga 15300 Tizi-Ouzou Algérie
    … Tel: 00213.799.24.36.43
    E-mail: khelilsamir@yahoo.fr
    Site: http://www.artmajeur.com/samiro sam.art@live.fr

    Objet: Demande de invitation
    J’ai l’honneur de solliciter votre haute bienveillance de bien vouloir me renseigner sur les conditions pour une participation à l’une de vos manifestations culturelles programmées au fil de l’année. Cela me permettrait d’atteindre une certaine dimension culturelle au niveau international et pouvoir entamer du moins une pratique d’intérêt culturel.
    Renseignement me concernant:
    – Nom: KHELIL,
    – Prénom: SAMIR,
    – Né le: 11/06/1978 à Tizi-Ouzou (Algérie)
    – Expérience: Plusieurs expositions, manifestations, festivals
    – Membre à: l’ONDA (l’Office National des Droits d’Auteurs et Droits Voisins), à l’UNAC (Union Nationale des Arts Culturels) ainsi qu’à l’Association Culturelle pour la Sauvegarde du Patrimoine et de l’Authenticité de la wilaya de Tizi-Ouzou.
    – Membre a la chambre de l’artisanat et des métiers : dessinateur décorateur.
    Pour d’autres renseignements me concernant, je reste à votre entière disposition.
    Dans l’attente d’une suite favorable, veuillez agréer, Madame, l’expression de mon profond respect.
    Cordialement
    Samir KHELIL

  3. Gary,
    You always leave me in awe. I don’t know where you gather all your information and knowledge, and I am particularly impressed by your confidence. Am I too intrusive if I ask you how you earn your living? Do you sell your landscapes, your advice or both? This might help me too.
    Andrea

  4. You write: “It ain’t about you baby”.
    I accept and understand that, but isn’t art largely about the artist too?
    Would you buy a piece of art by an unknown artist?
    How should one balance the ‘selling’ and ‘knowing who the artist is’ on website or blog?

    Thank you, Paula

    • Hi Paula, Thanks for your comments. This is a huge mistake I see so many artists making on their websites and blogs. The focus of your marketing efforts can’t be on you. If you write about you and talk about you all the time, nobody will ever read it because no one cares about you personally. Like I say in the article, unless you are a famous movie star or art star, no one will be interested enough to read more. You have to think about your customers and what benefits them. Then you write about that mainly, with splashes of selling what you do mixed in. Please subscribe to my Smart Art Marketing newsletter to learn more about this concept. Thanks again.

  5. Hi Gary,

    I can totally see your point. However art marketing isn’t the same as selling a product. In a very real sense the product IS – to a certain extent – the artist. It’s much more pronounced in the performing arts (just look at Lady Gaga, for example) but it’s there nonetheless. Else why would pieces by a famous artist fetch ten or a hundred times more than nearly identical ones by an unknown?

    I think it’s quite wrong to assume that no one cares about you personally. I follow a number of blogs in which the authors frequently share personal anecdotes and musings. I am actually more likely to follow blogs that are written in such a manner because I feel like I get to know the person, almost like a friend, and begin to actually care about them and what they have to say. I also notice that such bloggers also tend to consistently earn amazing numbers of comments.

    The trick is that while they are not afraid to let their personality show, nor to be a bit vulnerable once in a while, they don’t let their egos take control. By that I mean that while they may be sharing bits and pieces of their lives, they do so in a manner which elicits universal truths. In that way they are involving me as well. It’s not just “all about them.”

    Personally I think it’s fine to share and talk about oneself and especially one’s art. But – and here’s where I completely agree with you and what I think you’re getting at – it’s important not to shove it down people’s throats. Instead, make it a dialogue. Listen to your followers. Find out what’s important to them. Relate your own life and art to what interests them – but don’t lose your own, authentic voice.

    (Actually this approach works pretty well for people outside the arts, too. Dan Kennedy comes to mind…)

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