The Internet has had a profound effect on how the quilting and fiber art communities communicate. Sharing and selling your art, learning about and teaching techniques–it can all be done from your computer.
|Detail of Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's blog header.|
Before joining Quilting Arts, I kept a personal blog about my fiber art. I enjoyed the way it connected me to my audience and peers in a way that "keeps things real." I was able to get feedback from my followers about the direction of my work and promote new works and events. It was easier to update than a website and much less formal.
On the other hand, keeping a blog was time consuming. Photography, text, and subject matter needed to be created, edited, and posted frequently enough to keep the followers interested and coming back.
Some fiber artists use social media as a way to accomplish what a blog can do. Others combine a blog, social media, and online shop such as Etsy, and even a website.
In fact, there are so many options for artists online, that it can be hard to know where and how to spend your time.
In her live webinar, Building a Better Blog for Artists, mixed-media artist and successful blogger Julie Fei-Fan Balzer offered her advice for presenting your art life and art business on the Internet.
Her top five rules for having a successful art blog are:
1. You've got to love blogging. If you view it is a chore or something you're "supposed" to do, you probably won't be successful.
2. Figure out what you're going to share and not share. Will you just talk about your art adventures? Include posts about your family? Bare your soul? It helps to set parameters at the beginning. This will give you focus and let your readers know what to expect.
3. Analyze the blogs you love. What do they have in common? Lots of photos? A strong point of view? Technique-heavy? The answers will give you an idea of what you want your blog to be like.
4. Internet = public. When you post on the Internet, people are going to have opinions. And they will share them with you. Are you ready for that?
5. Develop your technical skills so they are not a barrier. Photo-editing knowledge is essential. But knowing basic html code knowledge, video skills, etc. will enhance your blogging experience for you and your readers.
|Mixed-media art quilt
by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer.
These rules are just the beginning. In the webinar, Julie discussed in great about different ways to approach blogging with tips and tricks she's discovered, referencing her own blog and those of other artists with plenty of visual examples. She then answered questions from the audience, and we received many notes of praise and thanks for her presentation from the the attendees.
Fortunately, we recorded Julie's talk and the Q&A (as we do all webinars) so people who missed it the first time can still watch as much as you like and reap the benefits.
P.S. Do you have an art blog? What are the pros and cons? Leave your comments and any advice below.