Do you know the one skill that you have as an artist that will really help your art blog succeed? It is your artistic design skills. Because you are an artist, you are already way ahead of a lot of other people out there who are blogging.
Because a successful blog is all about design. And as an artist, you are well-trained in design. Whether you are a self-taught artist or have an art degree from
the best art school, one thing is clear. You know how to design. And this is very important to the success of your art blog.
When it comes to designing the blog posts, I'm not talking about the design of your blog . When you first set up your blog, you designed it by picking out your theme and making other decisions, such as the header picture, etc. These decisions stay fixed. What I'm talking about is the design you must do within each blog post itself.
In other words, the body of text that you write each time you write a new blog must be designed correctly. It can't be just a big block of text with lots of paragraphs that ends up looking like a wall of words.
Why do you have to carefully design each blog post? Because people don't read a blog post, they scan it.
People Don't Read, They Scan
This is the most important point in this lesson. If you don't remember anything else, remember this: People today are too busy to read, so they only scan.
People in today's competitive and busy world just do not have the time to read a large body of text. It's almost like they have Attention Deficit Disorder on steroids. So your blog posts can't read like a novel or a book, with lots of long paragraphs and blocks of texts. In fact, you are not writing a book or novel here. You are blogging, which is vastly different.
Most people who land on your blog post will stay there less than 1 minute. The vast majority will leave after 5 to 10 seconds. The reader who lands on your blog page will decide in less than 5 seconds whether they want to scan your blog and stay longer. So what does that mean for you?
You must make your blog posts easy to scan. How do you do that?
How to Make Your Blog Posts Easy to Scan
Making your blog posts easy to scan is simple when you use your artistic design skills. One element that is very important in artistic design is the use of white space. Using white space in your blog is very important.
Always use lots of white space. Break paragraphs into 1 to 5 short sentences. And always space between paragraphs.
Most sentences should be very short and easy to read. If you are in doubt about using a very long sentence with 2 or 3 commas, break it into 2 or 3 shorter sentences instead.
Use lots of headings and subheadings. Use bullets or numbers for key points. Use bold text for key points and to highlight the most important ideas.
Use a summary at the end to highlight key ideas. Make it very easy to see the important ideas and scan them in less than a minute.
Write at least 300 words
Each blog post needs to be at least 300 words. It can be longer, of course, as long as it is designed well using the ideas in this article. But don't post blogs less than 300 words. Why? The search engines, especially Google, will not index blogs less than 300 words.
There is an upcoming lesson in this course that will help you optimize each blog post for the search engines. So I'm not going into detail on search engine optimization (SEO) in this this article. Be on the lookout for that future lesson.
For now, just be aware to write a minimum of 300 words. Okay?
Always Add at Least One Picture
Pictures add a lot of interest to your blog post. They help may your blog post look well-designed and professional. People will stay longer to look at an interesting picture and read the caption, which might hook them and lead them to read your entire article. So always use pictures.
Always add at least one picture to each blog post. You will need a picture to add an alt tag (alternative text tag), which gives you a big, big boost with the search engines indexing your blog post. Again, this is all covered in a future lesson on SEO for your blog posts.
Add captions to your pictures to add more interest and to repeat important key points.
Use text wrap to wrap the the text around your picture. Look at the picture in this post. See how the text wraps around the picture. This is a great design element and makes you look professional.
If you use more than 1 picture, use your design skills to make the pictures come alive on the page. Experiment with using pictures of different sizes and alternating them from the left side of the text to the right. Or you might try centering the picture instead.
Where do you get pictures and images? There are lots of free places to get pictures and images on the internet. Usually, the free websites will say "royalty free" images. There is no charge for using a picture from a royalty free site.
For instance, let's say you are writing a blog post about apples. And you want a free picture of an apple. Just go to Google or Yahoo and type "Free picture of an apple" into the search bar. Lot's of choices will come up. Sometimes the artist or photographer of the apple will post their name. If they do, you may give them credit for the picture in the caption. But most times this is not necessary.
Summary of Key Ideas
Take a moment to look briefly at this blog post and see how it is designed with lots of white space, bold text, a picture, bullets, and headlines.
Make your blog easy to scan and you will always be rewarded with lots of readers.
- Use your artistic design skills to design each blog post
- Use lots of white space
- Make paragraphs only 3 to 4 sentences each
- Always space between paragraphs
- Use bullets for key points
- Use bold text for important ideas
- Always add at least 1 picture
- Use headings and subheadings
- Always space between headlines and paragraphs
- Add a summary of Key ideas at the end