EBSQ Blogger of the Week: Miriam Schulman

Artist Miriam Schulman

Who and where are you?

I am a full time watercolor artist who lives in Scarsdale New York with my musical children, sensitive husband and a quickly growing tuxedo kitten.

Art by Miriam Schulman

How did you get started art blogging?

My first blog post appeared November 2007 after reading an article in Art Calendar magazine. In the first few years the egocentric posts averaged about 4-5 per month. I sent out blogs to my email list of online collectors and they seemed to enjoy getting posts about my new work. This May I completely changed my philosophy towards my blog. I started writing 4-5 days per week and wrote about more than just my own art. My topics range from art shows I go to in New York, to social media tips I learn that I want to share with other artists, to color trends in decorating and fashion and more. Due to the breadth of topics and frequency of my posts I decided it was no longer appropriate to send my updates to my mailing list and started to build a following for my blog organically through google connect, twitter and facebook.

Art by Miriam Schulman

Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?

Don’t underestimate the power of promoting others to increase exposure. Every post I do features someone besides me in a small or large way. Either they get a free advertisement on the bottom of my blog or I may be discussing their hand crafted item in my post. Not only does this make the blog more informative and interesting but all the other people who get featured work hard to promote my blog. A post about artist wardrobe staples was republished on the GAP’s website. The Metropolitan Museum of Art tweeted a post I did about getting inspired at the museum. Some self-representing artists also have large followings on their social networks which are very effective.

Art by Miriam Schulman

What’s your musical inspiration of choice when you’re working in your studio?

I have three pairs of overalls/ rompers that I rotate as my painting uniform. Putting on the overalls signals to me that it is time to work. Playing music keeps me focused in my studio as well. I listen to anything from classical to Bruno Mars. I also like to make myself tea. My painting students enjoy hot tea and cookies when they come for painting lessons which keeps my classes social and fun.

Art by Miriam Schulman

What can we expect to see next from your easel?

I am enjoying creating ethnic art with an eclectic culture clash. I mix African art with luminous watercolor, and far eastern art with a modern abstract twist. Living in New York’s backyard I have incredible resources for constant inspiration.

http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/

Thank you Miriam for being an EBSQ Blogger of the Week!

If you are an EBSQ Artist and would like to be considered for Blogger of the Week just add us to your blogroll. I’m searching EBSQ profiles weekly for links to artist’s blogs. If you aren’t an EBSQ Artist, what are you waiting for?

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Art Blogging

This summer we’ve looked back at some of the excellent advice given by EBSQ Artists on art blogging. Now it’s my turn. Today I’m sharing some of my practical advice. You may be familiar with some of these do’s and don’ts already, they are part common sense and part time-tested laws of blogging.

NO by Cathy Santarsiero
NO by Cathy Santarsiero

The Do’s

1. Show your personality: Buyers and potential buyers check out an artist’s blog because they want to know more about The Artist–not just the art. Diversify your blog with posts on your favorite art shops or galleries, what you did over the weekend (did you see a movie you loved?), challenges you are having with a projects, etc. Write casually and let your personality shine through!

2. Save your Draft: I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been ready to click “Publish” and I lose my entire post. Most blogging platforms have a “Save Draft,” use it! Use it just as if you were writing an essay for college. You wouldn’t write your entire paper without saving it at least a few times.

3. Don’t rely on Spell Check: Spell check is great for catching those stray typos, but it won’t catch homophones or missing words from a sentence. Always re-read your post before publishing.

4. Make Time: If you want to blog, but have failed in the past, you need to make time and have a schedule. You need to decide how often you want to blog and then set aside one hour on those days to write your post. And don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day! I also suggest getting your blog posts out of the way early, then you have the rest of the day for your other priorities.

5. Comment on other Blogs: One of the best ways to create a new relationship with potential buyers and readers of your blog is to comment on other blogs. When you leave a comment you are also leaving a link back to your blog, it’s the most simple way to attract visitors. When commenting be active, be courteous, and be genuine.

Computer Cat by Lauren Davis
Computer Cat by Lauren Davis

The Don’ts

1. Don’t be spammy: If the majority of your posts contain an image of your art and a Paypal button you are missing out on a wider audience.

2. Turn off the Music: There is nothing I hate more than visiting a blog and be accosted by music and then scrambling around the page looking for the stop button. Don’t do it, it’s rude.

3. You Shall not Pass!: Does your blog take ages to load? Is it cluttered with flash widgets and other unnecessary baggage? These things can make it incredibly difficult for visitors to read your blog. Keep it clean!

4. Not Replying To Comments: If someone posts a comment on your blog you need to respond. They are taking the time to stop by your blog, read your post and compliment your work. If someone did this in public you wouldn’t ignore them, would you?

5. Irregular Posting: You don’t have to post every day for your blog to be successful, but you do need to stick to a schedule. Not blogging for a month is like stabbing your blog in the heart. Pick a schedule and stick to it!

EBSQ Bloggers of the Week: Tips for Blogging Part 2

This week, in lieu of the Blogger of the Week feature, we are taking a look back through our featured Bloggers and focusing on some of the tips they gave for successful art blogging. Most artists know by now that blogging can be extremely beneficial for marketing their art, but it can also be the biggest hurdle to overcome. We hope some of these top tips help!

Diapente by Sandra Willard1. Sandra Willard

The best way that I’ve found to improve my blog is by reading other people’s blogs.  I make notes about what I like about their blogs and then consider doing the same thing with mine.  One of my favorite blogs is usually about art but every so often she interjects personal or interesting comments regarding something she had discovered that day.  It’s fun to see what other artists do outside of their studio.  It helps me to understand what inspires them and where they come from.

The Google Analytics tool has become my new best friend. For example, since following the statistics of readers to my blog, I’ve noticed that the titles of my posts seem to be the reason people find my blog. So I try to make them relevant to the content of the post.

If someone leaves a comment be sure to follow up on it.  There is no better feeling then when I get a response to a comment that I’ve posted on someone else’s blog!

Needles of Light by Jeanne Forsyth2. Jeanne Forsyth

Stay current – I try to post at least once a week.  When I do a work in progress, I will spread that out over several posts.  This keeps my readers interested and checking back for progress updates.

Pictures are a big deal.  Good quality is a must.  Art buyers, and gallery owners are looking at your work. First impressions mean everything.  I edit every picture before putting it on the blog.  Usually the color from the camera is not as vibrant as my painting in real life.  I will do the necessary adjustments needed for the best quality.  Cropping the picture also allows the viewer to see the piece clearly and pleasing to the eye.

I try to keep my articles in my blog on an upbeat and positive note.  I think most people are in looking more than reading, so keeping it simple and directed to the artwork works best for me.

My objective is to motivate and inspire my readers.  The best compliment to me is when a reader takes the time to comment on my work.  I always try to respond back, and pay that blogger a visit if they are keeping a blog.

Watercolors by Erika Nelson3. Erika Nelson

My biggest tip is not to get too wordy and try to have a focus like you need a focal point in your painting. People live busy lives and they’re looking for a quick read and hope to gain something (knowledge, humor, good news, etc). from the 5 minutes they have to spare. Must use IMAGES- they are wonderful baits! But same advice – try not to get carried away; too much of anything is too much.

EBSQ Bloggers of the Week: Tips for Blogging

This week, in lieu of the Blogger of the Week feature, we are taking a look back through our featured Bloggers and focusing on some of the tips they gave for successful art blogging. Most artists know by now that blogging can be extremely beneficial for marketing their art, but it can also be the biggest hurdle to overcome. We hope some of these top tips help!

Sweet by Kari TirrellKari Tirrell ~

1. Plan your blog posts with your audience (and search engines) in mind. One of the things I like best about blogging is that it makes the artist accessible.  I enjoy blogs where I can read the artist’s thoughts about what they’ve created, see their process, and interact with them through comments or email.  I assume that the readers of my blog are similarly interested, and try to write my blog posts accordingly.  It is also important to keep in mind that search engines need keywords.  If you want people to find your blog, include relevant keywords in your posts.  Simply posting a picture of your work with the title and dimensions is not only less satisfying for the viewer, it will also do very little to help the search engines find you.

2.  Follow the blogs of artists you admire, and leave thoughtful comments on their work.  The value of interacting with other artists is a benefit of blogging which should not be underestimated.

Fetch by Claudia RoulierClaudia Roulier ~

I would say that the single most important thing is to do it regularly. I had someone ask me last First Friday if I added content on a regular basis, I knew he was asking me was it worth his time to check in every so often. You need to keep it interesting and give people something to come back for. It’s a great way to show your new art. I really like showing point A to point Z during a project. Sometimes I feature things I see that are of interest  on other blogs (always ask permission first). Some of my content is about my dog who is a real character, I did a recent flyer featuring my dog. On my blog we can also add a snippet of a sentence or two to help entice people to swing in for a look. One time I was having the blues about my art and the short phrase I chose was “my art sucks”…boy did I get a lot of interesting  comments and a bunch of hits. Pictures are always good I use them almost every time I post. Try to be concise, sometimes you don’t need many words, people tend not to read long rambling posts. I try to mix it up, with tips and suggestions to just posting art. Spell check everything!

Geranium by Maria Soto RobbinsMaria Soto Robbins ~
1. Blog as frequently as you can. For me it’s at least three times a week, usually more. I do see the benefits of blogging frequently (via Google analytics) but sometimes I don’t have time to craft a complete post  and instead will just post a description of one of my paintings from one of my venues (Etsy or ebay), along with a picture.  This is still good for the seo however it is lazy approach and I don’t recommend you over do it. The point is to get something out there rather than go for days and days without posting anything on your blog!

2. I’d like to share, a simple list I glance at each time I blog. It consists of these basic, but important reminders (adapted from dailyblogtips.com):

1.  Did I read the post after writing it?  (You’d be amazed how many times, I’m in a hurry and forget to do this-lol.)
2. Is the post as complete as it could be?
3.  Did I research any related keywords?
4.  Did I think carefully about the title?
5.  Did I link to one or more of my older posts?
6. Did I link to external resources when appropriate?
7. Did I check to make sure my links are working?
8. Did I include an interesting image?
9. Is this a good day for traffic?
10. Did I proofread and check my spelling?

3. Besides these things though, the most important thing is to have a certain degree of passion about that which you blog about and have those feelings shine through to the reader. It’s a lot about your reader (not you necessarily) and what he hopes to find in your blog. They’re reading because you inspire them somehow!

EBSQ Blogger of the Week: Debbie Lincoln

Artist Debbier Grayson Lincoln

Who and where are you?

I am Debbie Grayson Lincoln and I live in the unincorporated community of Morgan Mill, Texas – about 45 miles South West of Ft Worth – “Cow Town”! I am surrounded by incredible horse breeders and real cowboys – many who still make their living ONLY from working with horses and/or cattle. There are a bunch of wannabe cowboys, too, but I get my best images from the real ones – those with the scruffy boots, the un-clipped horses wearing saddles that haven’t squeaked in years and tack softened from hard use, not oil. My neighbors know to call me when a calf working is scheduled – my track and camera are ready at a moment’s notice.

Battle Scars by Debbie Grayson Lincoln
How did you get started art blogging?

I really, really wanted to get into the DailyPainters.com website/art sales site, and to do so an artist first had to show a commitment to, first, painting every day; second, FINISHING a painting every day; and third showing consistent quality of work. EEK! My husband and I sold our business in 2006 and I knew I finally had my chance to paint full time – it was now or never – so I jumped and never looked back.

Experienced Rider Only by Debbie Grayson Lincoln
Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?

Blogging not only attracts attention (we artists HAVE to learn how to blow our own horns) but it also lets your potential buyers/collectors into your world. They can see why you create what you create and get a chance to make a connection with you. That is an essential element in sharing your art. We have to get connected. Blogging is risky, though – it can make you vulnerable, and often my husband chastises me for things I include in my blog (political rants, for instance). But it’s ME! You don’t have to read about me – close the blog. I will still be me, though.

Party Begins Now by Debbie Grayson Lincoln
What’s your musical inspiration of choice when you’re working in the studio?

Music in the studio is hard to listen to, because I love to dance and that’s hard to do with a paintbrush in your hand! I love rock and roll from the 60’s, but in the studio my radio is tuned to an XM station that pays old time radio story classics from the 40’s and 50’s – like “Lights Out”, “Gunsmoke”, “The Whistler”, “The Jack Benny Show”, etc. I already know many by heart now, but I still enjoy listening to them.

They Are Not Dancing Yet by Debbie Grayson Lincoln
What’s coming next from your easel?

Horses in motion are getting my attention right now. Bucking ones with and without cowboys, running, jumping, fighting – both realistic and impressionistic. It’s hard for me to stay in one particular style – some days I want to finish a painting and walk away; others I enjoy carefully plotting, crafting layers, making plans and taking weeks to finish. Must be a hormonal thing!

http://nowornever-debbie.blogspot.com/

Thank you Debbie for being an EBSQ Blogger of the Week!

If you are an EBSQ Artist and would like to be considered for Blogger of the Week just add us to your blogroll. I’m searching EBSQ profiles weekly for links to artist’s blogs. If you aren’t an EBSQ Artist, what are you waiting for?

EBSQ on Blogging

Blogging can either be a joy or seem like a form of torture, sometimes even both. We live in an age where people not only ask, “Do you have a website?” but also “Do you have a blog?” In some cases blogs have even taken over the role of website. Here are some words of wisdom from our very own EBSQ Bloggers.

Amie: Write. Even on the days you don’t want to write, write. Share your work. Share some thoughts. Share someone else’s post you really enjoyed and want to riff on. Consistency is the key. And it’s so hard. But your writing will be better for it, and your audience will appreciate knowing they can depend upon you for something new to think about on a regular basis.

Melissa: You have a blog. You want people to read your blog. Speaking for myself, the absolute worst thing you can do is let it languish. If I check your blog regularly and there is rarely anything new to read, I am going to stop checking in. I’m not saying post something every day and I’m not saying that every post has to be pithy, riveting and informative. Brief is fine on occasion. I would rather read something short and engaging than long winded and dull. Pictures are good, too. You have a camera phone, so use it. If you see something that you think is funny or interesting, take a picture. It can make great blog content when paired with a few lines of explanation. There are all manner of things you can do make your blog a place people want to stop by. Explore the possibilities and resources. Your blog should reflect you and say what you want to say, but not everything in your post has to be thoughtful text wrested from your soul. Enjoy what you are doing, do it regularly and readers will follow.

Amanda: Beware the dark side–multimedia overload. As artists we all want our blogs to be beautiful and inviting. But there is such a thing as too much decoration, too many widgets, too much clutter. It can be incredibly frustrating trying to read a blog that is overloaded with fluff. Worse are the music players that begin assaulting your ears before you’ve had a chance to read one word. Don’t forget, people come to your blog (including potential buyers) to read what you have to say. They want to know more about you and your art, not be bogged down by games, widgets, and endless slow-loading images. Ask yourself this question, when people come to my blog are they looking at my super cool blog background or the painting I just posted? Don’t let your blog overpower your art and your thoughts! Find a balance, so the two compliment one another–not fight each other for attention.

Thinking about starting a blog? We recommend: WordPress.com, Blogger.com, LiveJournal or for something a little different Tumblr.com.