Artist Guide: Increasing Traffic To Your Blog

by Natasha Wescoat

Here are a few things that really help draw traffic to your blog:

-Commenting and linking. Be sure to take time each week to comment on at LEAST 3 other blogs related to your company or style.

-Network with other bloggers. Getting connected is the most important and normally neglected advantage we have to use in our growing business.

-Contribute or ask to contribute to other blogs, where you can do advice articles or reviews of other things. Do commentaries on art you admire or for that matter, don’t.

-Do product reviews on your blog of similar companies. Reviewing your competition is actually good for your blog. This is a way of linking to other sites and keyword searching will draw people to your blog

– Get linked on blog directories

– Ask other blogs or sites to link to you, but let them know you link to them. It’s best to follow the earlier tip on commenting and networking because this would be the best and most effective way to get a link to your blog from them.

– Blog often. Keep it regular. WordPress, as far as I have known has a timestamp tool that allows you to plan your blog posts out. Really awesome if you are out of town or vacation and want to keep it consistent. It keeps you up in traffic ratings.

– Incorporate other internet media to draw traffic to your blog. Link and discuss it on your other sites, in your email signatures, and on your business cards.

http://www.natashasartcandy.com

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Artist Guide: Artist Networking Through Microblogging

by Natasha Wescoat

Many of us artist have been made hip to the new social networking tools out there.

Twitter is known for 140 character posts with other people who follow you. It’s a great tool for quick messaging to friends, shouting out ideas, and sharing links. (EBSQ’s twitter is : http://twitter.com/ebsq)

Pownce, which was recently made open to the public, does that and more: allowing you to punch in html, video and other multimedia links, and sharing quick ideas without the 140 word limitation. It’s gaining notoriety, and inho would make twitter obsolete. It’s a matter of preference, I suppose, and…popularity of the tool.

Utterz is quickly gaining momentum. It’s the new micropodcasting site where you can record audio from your phone or via the computer. Now, you can record and post quick videos as well as photos and text posts. It’s a great way to converse with others should you forgo the use of the telephone/cellphone communication option. It’s free as well!

MICROBLOGGING VS. TRADITIONAL NETWORKING VIA THE NET

All of these tools and the many others available on the net would be an excellent tool to communicate and network with other artists on the net, and for these many reasons.:


Artist Guide: Spirited Social Media: “Keeping It Real” In The WWW

by Natasha Wescoat


A SOCIAL MELTING POT

Social media is taking our world by storm. It’s the forerunner of Web 3.0, which is the integration of the internet as a symbiotic thing working throughout our everyday lives. Internet on Fridges and Tv’s, anyone?

Everything from blogging, videoblogging, podcasting, lifecasting/webcasting, texting, twittering, micropodcasting, microblogging, etc is becoming the norm, or at least us geeks think so. And what’s really fun is that it’s FREE and accessable in all forms and places.

And of course, everyone is cashing in on this free candy!

Entreprenuers, corporations, home makers, and teenyboppers are designing and creating media and building a web presence for themselves. With artists selling online, art sites are cashing in on this evolution, grabbing their virtual real estate and popping up in every corner of the web. Great things are being created, but it feels like we are being overwhelmed with art sites and art communities every which way. Thousands of artists are putting up websites and sticking their heads in every facet of the web to build their presence. It feels as if we’re in the same boat we were in before we started jumping in the water! Can anyone even see me in here?

There is also quite a slew of competition out there. Very amazing artists are finding a presence on the web, and building a huge fan base using social media tools.

So, how do we stand out, as media producers and artists? How do you attract attention amidst the hundreds, thousands, and millions of other internet media users/producers out there?

languishing in our walled garden

A Breath of Fresh Air by Poxodd

A Breath of Fresh Air by Poxodd

A long time ago, in an internet far far away, EBSQ used to be a 100% open community. Anyone could post on our forums. And often did. Much bitterness ensued. And we built a wall around our city to keep our residents feeling safe.  

Six years have passed since our forums went, for the most part, private. We’ve weathered a lot of ups and downs.  I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to keep a community healthy since then.  Our community is harmonious, no question. Folks are generally happy, and quite comfortable. Real friendships have grown out of conversations started on our forums. But I also fear that walls are keeping as much out as they’re keeping in, and we’re becoming stagnant. I’ve been slowly trying to nudge folks toward opening a window or two in our wall, and letting a little fresh air in.  One existing section that I’d love to see go public is our media-specific forum. I think EBSQ as a community could really benefit  if the wider artistic community had reading / posting access. I have to say, I have been surprised at the resistence I’ve been getting. 

Open Community  vs Walled Gardens

Now, there have been some good arguments for why members don’t want to open this subdivision of our online neighbourhood to the general public.  One artist is learning a new technique in her media and has a lot of questions. She’s concerned that she’ll appear unprofessional to people who might have otherwise bought her work.  Others feel this section should remain strickly a perk for paid membership and that folks have to pay to play.  Some folks just want the privacy to say whatever without having to worry about whether the section is public or not. One artist came right out and said she doesn’t like change. Period. 

Here’s my problem with the above arguments. I think our forums would become even more valuable if this small but important section was open to the public. It would allow us to tap into a pool of knowledge we don’t currently possess while also letting our members add their collective wisdom to the general search engines for anyone to find.  Regarding the previously mentioned artst who is learning a new skill–wouldn’t it be great if she actually had the courage to ask her questions publicly and someone who might not have been familiar with out community otherwise stumbled upon her questions and was able to give an answer that wasn’t available within our existing community? Or what about the non-member that was thinking about learning scratchboard art and found that we have in our community what I consider to be an expert in the field? Why can’t artists just talk shop? 

Now, we’re not talking about throwing our doors wide open. We’re simply talking about metaphorically cracking a window and letting in some fresh air.  As it is, I feel our lack of diversity, our lack of openess is killing our community. Slowly perhaps, but killing us all the same. 

And so we put it to you, who ARE our community. How do YOU feel about this issue? If you’re a paid member of our site, we strongly encourage you to come vote on the poll we created to debate this issue internally. And if you’re a registered user, but not a paid member of EBSQ, or even just an artist who’s been considering EBSQ membership, we’d love to hear from you as well via the comments section of this post. Do we keep the walls up? Or may we crack a window?