There has been a lot of talk lately in the art world about whether or not blogging is dead. I am here to tell you that blogging not only is NOT dead, but is more critical now than ever. BLOGGING ...consistently and on multiple sites is the BEST and QUICKEST way to build astrong internet presence. WHY BLOG? #1 I have always told my clients, there are people who collect art, and people who collect artists. Those who fall into what in this post is referred to as "online art collectors" peruse the internet for the perfect piece of art at the perfect price. They care not about the story behind the art, or the artist who created it. As artists, we very much appreciate these collectors, as they bring many of our online sales. There are also those who collect artists. In this case I am referring to those buyers who usually first connect somehow with the artist. They read your blog and your newsletters. They are interested in who you are as a person, what you do, how you live what you believe in. They are inspired by what they see and read. They connect on a personal level and purchase your art because they feel and value that connection, and want to bring that inspiration into their home. Blogging is how you create that connection and allow those people a glimpse into who you are. I know there are many artists who have no desire to create that personal connection. They blog the image of their art, size, medium, price, and a link to purchase. That is perfectly okay.....however, if that is the case, reason # 2 is still critically important. WHY BLOG??? #2 Blogging is a powerful VEHICLE for building a strong portfolio in GOOGLE IMAGES. WHY DO I CARE ABOUT GOOGLE IMAGES??? My years of experience show that most people searching the internet for art go FIRST to google images. This is true ofIndividual Collectors, Galleries, Interior Designers, Art Consultants and Art Licensing companies.
They click on an image that they like, which takes them back to where that painting originated from, where it was originally posted. Most people upload art periodically to their websites, which periodically enters their data into the internet artosphere (my special word). Bloggers, when posting consistently (as the serious ones do) are consistently, usually daily, even multiple times daily, (when posting on multiple blogs) entering their data into theartosphere, blogosphere, googlesphere...you get my point.Blogging is how you drive traffic TO your Beautiful Website, where you have a well organized cohesive body of work exhibited. Always place a link to your website in your blog post.
WHY NOT JUST POST ON MY OWN BLOG???While having a blog of your own is a MUST ...if it is the only place you are posting that image and those keywords make it into the search engines that one time. If however, you are posting on multiple blogs ( including group blogs) your image, name and keywords are going into the search engines multiple times, as opposed to one. Side Note... There are blogging communities that help to facilitate the above. For example, on the Where ART Lives community blogs, every post autoposts to the WAL Facebook, linked in, google plus and twitter platforms, and also go to the WAL Pinterest platform and the homepage of the WAL website. That's a lot of mileage for each post you make! WILL I SELL ART IF I BLOG???The answer to that question is most likely.......eventually, and in many different ways. While we all desire to sell paintings directly from our blogs....and many do...once you have a strong portfolio of your work in google images (which takes time and diligence) and if your art is "marketable" the sales will come. The sales will come in many forms: commissions, new gallery representation, art licensing contracts, direct deals with interior designers, and of course the intentional and the spontaneous collectors. WHAT IS MARKETABLE ART???That is quite a loaded question, and the answer is not so simple. By marketable, I mean sellable. Art is very much relative to the viewer. If the price is competitive, and you work hard to find your particular audience, AND become a keyword expert in your category of work......you will most likely find someone to purchase your art. If people are purchasing your art, you can consider your art marketable.The biggest common denominator I find with artists that DO have a strong internet presence that are NOT selling art, is that their work is not competitively priced for where they are in their art journey.Plain English...their art is over priced.
I have been contacted by, and do consistent business with all mentioned above, Galleries, Interior Designers, Art Consultants, Art Licensing Companies and individual Collectors... and every one of them found me online by googling Abstract or Contemporary Landscape Paintings, Abstract or Contemporary Seascape or Aspen Tree Paintings...which are the keywords that I most post under.
IALWAYSask them how they found me!! Blogging is KEY!! Key Words are Key!! Frequency is Key!! Consistency is Key!! I hope you found this post helpful! If you would like to set up a coaching session with me, or learn to speed blog, so that you can blog on multiple platforms without spending hours at your computer, you can reach me at email@example.com
Happy Spring! Spring is a season of phenomenal renewal for all living things. It is the season of new beginning's, of firsts.
Think of our earth; the grass becomes green, the trees show off brand new leaves, crops sprout from the earth, and beautiful flowers bloom. As I am writing this we have recently welcomed our second grandson Oliver. He made his entrance into this world three weeks early, blessing us all with three extra weeks of loving him.
It has been amazing to watch all of his firsts, for every day there is a new one.
It is been beautiful to watch his parents experience all of their firsts as well. There is such joy and excitement in the birth of something new and this includes for us as artists, the birth of new ideas, new pathways of expression. Our jobs, more so than many, really do afford us the opportunity to have a brand new experience every single day! In fact there's really no excuse not to have a brand new experience of some kind every day in the studio, if you commit to the idea!
You can do it! It can be as small as a new color combination, different music, but every time we give birth to something new it creates in us a desire to have yet another new experience, and isn't that what life is all about? Sincerely, Kimberly Conrad
CEO/Where ART Lives
I wrote once before about how important it is to have a solid network of "creatives" in your life. They could be professionals that are also on an entrepreneurial journey. People who support your vision and with whom there can be an exchange of ideas, encouragement-and knowledge. These people do not have to be in your exact field, though I think at least a few should be. They could be non-entrepreneurs, who have joyfully chosen to to make everyday life a beautiful creative journey. Most of us know at least one person with this gift. Everything they say, do or touch radiates beauty and creativity.
I must confess I struggled with this in 2017. Aside from a painting trip to France, I did not get much time with creatives. I had a major shoulder surgery, which seriously altered my life from July on.I was somewhat of a hermit as I recovered. And truthfully,it altered my mindset, in a negative way. Though I teach in my coaching practice how very important this concept is, I have never been more personally aware of just how much I need this interaction to thrive. Sure, I can make it on my own, but I thrive when collaborating, sharing and co-creating with other creatives. This year I am committed to getting back in the game of collaborating and co-creating. The journey is so much more joyful when shared with others, and often, much more productive and successful.
I have never understood those who hoard and hide valuable information, as if we are all in competition with each other. Of all of the things that bring me joy, the sweetest is knowing I have encouraged someone uncertain, given hope to someone that wanted to give up, passed on knowledge that aided someone in going to the next level in life,personal growth, spiritual growth or business.....you never who around you is ready to quit behind that brave face. Be generous with your words,and smiles, write notes of encouragement and send them snail mail-pass on the knowledge that someone was generous enough to pass on to you....BETTER YET..pass on the knowledge that was so long and painful for you to learn....if you can save the next guy a little bit of that agony- why wouldn't you????? Sincerely, Kimberly Conrad CEO/Where ART Lives
THOUGHTS FOR TODAY....ON...SHOULD-ERS I was thumbing through old issues of the magazineWhere Women Create. It's such a fabulous, inspiring publication and only comes out quarterly. I need to subscribe , because I am always at the book store a week or 2 too early asking when it will be on the shelf. If you've never read it, you must pick up a copy. I came across a TIP given by Nashville artist Kellie Montana ( http://www.meandmycanvas.com) that I love- I have said this very thing to myself and my clients in a variety of ways- but here is hers... There will be no shortage of SHOULD-ERS in your creative life,saying you should do this,you should do that. Rise to the challenge of listening to your own voice, and to that one be true. This resonates with me , and I am sure with most of you as well. The truth is that if I had listened to some of the well-meaning folk in my own life, I would not be doing most of what I am doing today, or many of the things that were stepping stones that led me to where I am today. It's not that "THEY" don't love you, or that they don't want you to be happy, it's just that your VISION is your own. It was breathed into you, usually in such a profound, divine way, that you KNOW it is your path. It was NOT breathed into them.....they cannot see what you see. Many SHOULD-ERS cannot have the faith in you that you have in yourself until there is tangible evidence of success. This, I know first hand can make for a scary, lonely journey- especially in the early stages of growing your craft or business. I believe it is incredibly important to surround yourself with creative people that are also on an entrepreneurial journey. People that feed your creative spirit and energize you, people with whom there can be an exchange, of support and encouragement. I am very fortunate to have a FABULOUS network of "creatives" who also happen to be power houses in the business arena. They are amazing women that I cannot get enough of!! We are all very very busy- so our times together are often very tough to schedule- yet once we commit- we always leave each other's company energized, inspired and ready to go to the next level in some area of our lives. If you do not have such a network, I would encourage, even CHALLENGE you to get to work on that immediately!!:) AND....once you have created these relationships, keep your meetings near the top of your priority list.
A Thought for Today....... "Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude." Denis Waitley
More from my SMILE CAMPAIGN!! Thought for Today....
"Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy." Thich Nhat Hanh
I so believe this, and have proven it to be true for myself. It is an exercise I have used many times, even recently when it seems the "rainy days" of life refuse to let up. The worse you feel- the more important it is to SMILE. Just try it, try walking around all day today smiling. Smile at yourself smile at others, smile at your pets and the pile of work on your desk and your laundry and your dishes and the crazy drivers on the road, and did I say YOURSELF?? Before long you'll be giggling, and the smile will be real not forced!!
A smile is one of the most valuable gifts we can give, both to the world and to ourselves, and costs us absolutely nothing. I read recently that children smile on average, 10 times more a day than adults do. I have been on a mission for some time now, to nurture that inner child, that little girl inside of me. The one that I stuffed in a room and closed the door on so many years ago. I have four grown sons. The oldest two are married, one has a seven month old son, and the other is expecting his first child in about 8 weeks. In the past 2 years, my two youngest completed their Masters Degrees, got their CPA's and began their "big boy" careers. So a lot of our conversations these days center around the topic of "adulting". They are all finding "adulting" to be quite a shock, even though they all worked as soon as they were of age, and were given plenty of household responsibilities as boys. My youngest recently said "adulting sucks", and truthfully, at that moment, I really felt in agreement with him, and I felt a little sad. I felt sad as his Mom, that even though he has this amazing new job with a fantastic company, my sweet little boy now has a whole new world of stress and pressure. He really is living an adult life, with fewer laughs and smiles.
Why as adults, do we put away the Child? Why can't the two coexist joyfully? Why can't we give time to both? That's my mission this year, to learn to give time, maybe not equal time, but a noticeable amount of time to my inner child. It has been so long since I have really allowed myself to play, that I will need to start slowly, and dip my toes in a bit at a time. Playing with my seven month old grandson Ziggy is what really stirred all of this within me. He smiles all of the time. He is truly the happiest baby I have ever known, and when he smiles, you cannot help but smile back. A smile is so very powerful, even between strangers. A smile between loved ones and friends is powerful. Do you know what else is powerful??? A smile to yourself in the mirror. It is a little odd at first, but is actually quite loving and therapeutic. I really have no idea how many times a day I smile, but I am starting a smile campaign. I'll start with 50 documented smiles a day. ( I probably already smile more times than that, but how do you really know if you're not keeping track?) So, what about the days I work from home alone?? Well, I am never alone as I do have 5 furry babies, but I guess the mirror and I will be pretty friendly on those days. Maybe if I smile enough at me, that little girl will feel safer and come out more often!
TO KICK OFF 2018..... I'm GIVING AWAY A ONE HOUR COACHING SESSION....WILL YOU BE THE LUCKY ARTIST? (this is an $85 value) Just send the words "CHOOSE ME" to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will enter your name into the drawing. The winner will be announced January 9th!! Good Luck!
Some find it really hard to get in a playful state of mind. It is something I have had to practice.
I tend to take life, myself, and especially my work very seriously.
Having my first grandchild last year really helped me. I get to have him on Tuesdays..."Tuesdays With Ziggy" My favorite day of the week.
For the first time in 11 years, I actually have a day that I take pretty much COMPLETELY off from work, and I give him my undivided attention. ( I confess I do a little work at night when he leaves) There is nothing to bring out the child in you more quickly than spending time with one!
If you don't have a child in your life, borrow one ( haha)....and make a regular date. I'd share my little Ziggy, but I am pretty darn stingy in that arena!!:)
Christmas Eve day, Ziggy ( who is now 7 months old) and Grammy painted together for the first time. The stuff this Grammy's dreams are made of!!
And, my beautiful artist friends, if you really cannot paint with a child, set aside time toPAINT LIKE A CHILD!!
SHARING TODAY: I voraciously read works that will motivate and encourage me-both personally and as a business professional. Jim Rohn ( who has now passed away) has been one of my favorites for many years now. He was a great leader in business - and a mentor to many of today's top leaders in business. One of my favorite sayings of his is "You must work harder on yourself than you do on your business", He knew that if SELF is not in order, BUSINESS cannot be either.... His words and concepts are timeless. I have read all of his books (multiple times) and watched every video I can find of him more times than I care to admit- I often play them while I am working- they never cease to motivate!! I will share much more on him as we go- but today I will whet your appetite with a short little video on THE DISEASES OF ATTITUDE!:) https://youtu.be/0sG31mTbHJU
This has been a buzz phrase for quite some time now, and I admit was a big part of my journey in 2017, both personally and professionally.
At first I struggled, as I felt if I were practicing the "art of allowing" it meant to cease planning and setting goals.
I mean how are things I want in life going to happen if I just sit around and wait for them to come to me???
I am quite the list maker and goal setter. In fact if I'm honest I've been like the mouse on the wheel for too many years now; the never ending cycle of effort.
It took me a good part of 2017 to understand that this "art of allowing" is more about ceasing the angst and the "wringing of the hands". It's about balancing work with play.
Having major surgery and your first grandchild are great teachers in this arena.
I still make lists and set goals, and I work very hard, but I've learned to play more, which helps me to be in a more relaxed state of mind while working.
When the "child" in us (and we all have one) is satisfied, the adult can relax. In 2017, I learned to play more, to spend time not only doing things that bring joy, but thinking and meditating upon the things that bring me joy. There is something to be said for learning to just "be" sometimes as opposed to always "doing".
And playing? Playing is wonderful, and I've found that the more I play, the more clarity and focus I have when I work. My wish for you this year is that you play more!!