Starting a Successful Art Blog – You Only Get to Keep What You Give Away

Successful Art Blog - You Only Get to Keep What You Give Away
What is the real essence of a successful art blog? Giving stuff away. You give and you give and then you give some more.

Have you ever thought about what was at the heart of a successful art blog?

Have you ever wondered about the real essence of an art blog, what are the guiding and underlying principles that will make it a true success?

A lot of artists out there trying to start up their art blog and art website get this all wrong.

I see it all the time.  I look at a lot of art blogs and art websites.

Every day artists write me and ask me to look at their websites or art blog. And I try to look at every one.

What I see when I look at a person’s new art blog or website always makes me think. I think about how the first inclinations that you have when you go to put up your art blog or art website are usually all very wrong.

What do I mean?

Your first inclinations, like mine were in the beginning, are to make the blog all about you. You get all excited and pumped up thinking that you are going to become a celebrity.

And all you can think about is getting the show on the road, telling the world everything you think they want to know about you.

I remember when I first started this art blog.  Yes, I was really excited.  And, of course, I was going to tell the world all about Me.  It was going to be:  ME, ME, ME, ME!!!!!!!

But luckily, before I really got going, I did some research and reading about blogging. And luckily, I changed my tune before I got too far along.

Nothing will sink your art blog faster than just blogging about yourself, your latest paintings, your newest work, the skiing trip you took last week.


Because unless you’re a famous movie star like Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie, nobody cares about you personally.  Nobody cares about your newest paintings, or what you did last Thursday.

Sorry to burst your narcissistic little bubble, but I’m trying to tell you the truth here.

Secrets of a Successful Art Blog -  You Only Get to Keep What You Give Away

So what is the real essence of a successful art blog?  Giving stuff away, and I’m talking about mainly information here.

You give and you give and then you give some more.

Specifically, what kind of information do you give away?  You give away everything you’ve got stored up there in that big, beautiful brain of yours.

You give away stories and articles that educate and entertain your audience.  And then share and give away all your most cherished secrets concerning your craft or art form.  Tell us your secrets how you paint what you paint, or sculpt what you sculpt.  Give us the secrets how you have become the success that you are today.

If you’re a photographer, you give away everything you know about cameras.  If you’re a graphic designer, you give away everything you know about your tools and your craft.

Does this make sense?

In the final analysis, it’s all that really matters.  It’s how much you give away that will finally equal how much you get to keep in loyal readers, subscribers, and sales.

Always remember:  You only get to keep what you give away.


This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. Sonsoles Fine Art

    Once more, Gary, you are so helpful and so right. It is funny, just a few months ago I realized this and switched gears in my blog. In future posts I will include “all I know about painting”… and the material I use for my young art students. Immediately after I started the new focus, I started getting more traffic to my blog. See? you are right on the money again! Thank you! 🙂

    1. Gary Bolyer

      Good to hear from you again. I always enjoy and appreciate your comments. Glad to hear your blog is doing well. Keep us updated about your future successes.

  2. Alina Oswald

    Thanks, Gary, for another great post! Helpful and practical, as always. I’ve spend years experimenting and trying things out on my blog. Finally came to a conclusion, which is good. I think I know now what would work best.

    Look forward to reading more of your posts!

    1. Gary Bolyer

      Hi Alina,
      Always good to hear from you. I think a lot of trial and error is required to build any business, internet or brick and mortar. Thanks for commenting.

  3. Patricia J Finley

    Yep. You’re right. Switching directions to giving away. Thanks, Gary!

  4. Ambika Sudhakaran

    Thats very practical advice Gary, and one that many artists ought to take notice of! Thanks for these frequent tips that keep us on our toes 🙂

  5. danabatho

    Thanks for that Gary, it makes lots of sense. I have been trying to do that when I’m posting about whatever project I happen to be working on (I used to be a teacher so it comes naturally to me to try and help others learn). I basically write a tutorial explaining how I’m working (whether it’s a new cross stitch design, a painting, adapting art practices to a disability or injury, or a DIY project around the house). I’ve gotten some good comments and feedback (particularly on my YouTube videos in my blog) saying people are appreciating the tips and are inspired to try something new themselves. I want to help people tap into their own creativity, so I think by documenting how I work on my various projects and providing tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way will help others do the same themselves. And learn how to make a handy dandy cross stitched pin cushion as well. 🙂

  6. dianariukas

    Thank you Gary! I’d been getting your newsletters and seeing your ads very often for pars 2 months but had an art teacher blog at first. Now I’m quitting that and focus on my passion of art for my new blog which I started just last week. Wow…….I’m looking forward to learning everything I can from you about promoting my art on line!!

  7. ee33art

    Thank you for sharing this. I need to go in a new direction with my blog. I don’t have ant WIIFM! What was I thinking?? I really enjoy your blog posts. Thanks for modeling what good looks like!

  8. Elizabeth Fusco

    Great article, Gary. I promised myself to create an art blog this new year and need to put some time aside. I will definitely consider your advice and make it more about what I can offer. Thanks!

  9. janiskirstein

    Hi Gary, you emphasize these points in your book. I started my blog all about the lovely And talented Janis Kirstein and her fabulous works of art . Gag! Now I have converted the blog to “Collector’s Choice,” where I feature a different fabulous collectible artist each time. I gives me access to so many other artists, thus building a community, and a target audience of art collector, which is my intended audience anyway. We’ll see… Check it out.

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