Better Art Blogging: Top 5 Rules from an Expert

29 Jul 2013

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.

balzer designs blog header for art business
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.

art quilt by julie fei fan balzer
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.

This and all our webinars are available in the Quilting Daily store.


P.S. Do you have an art blog? What are the pros and cons? Leave your comments and any advice below.


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Comments

Fabric Queen wrote
on 30 Jul 2013 12:22 PM

I have a quilting blog that I find it to be a lot of fun and a great way to share and also enjoy other quilter's blogs I have chosen to follow.  Having the blog keeps me on track with my quilting projects.  Knowing my 'virtual quilt buddies' are waiting to see my progress on projects or help with a design decision.  I try to blog at least once a week, which for me seems to be just the right amount of time.  I include mostly pictures of what I am working on since quilting is so visual, and try to keep the writting to just what I am working on in that blog.  I find long, wordy blogs to hard to digest.  Just show me the quilts!  Keep it short and sweet!  Thanks - Debra www.debraharryquilts.blogspot.com

Sherrie S. wrote
on 30 Jul 2013 10:49 PM

I have an art blog called Sherrie Loves Color at  www.sherriequilt.blogspot.com and I LOVE working on it. I started it as a way to share with other quilt artists, but ended up incorporating anything colorful that might provide some inspiration. I try to mainly focus on art, since that seems to spark the most comments. The only drawback is that I don't like it when others take photos from my blog and post them elsewhere (like pinterest) without so much as a "may I?" or even letting me know that they like my work. But the joy of the creative blog process outweighs that irritation.

zeldacheri wrote
on 3 Aug 2013 10:32 AM

Just so you know, the link you gave for the webinars does NOT show Julie's Building a Better Blog for Artists, which is instead listed under video downloads.