Art Marketing After the Holidays {art marketing vlog}

Hi friends! For many of us tomorrow is the first day back to work or school after the holiday break. It can be tempting to take some more time off while business is slow but I don’t recommend it. You can use this time for professional development  such as: learn a new type of art, take a business class or begin a large project. This is the time of year I plan summer classes and workshops and undertake large freelance projects. I also like to use my slow time to build my content inventory reserve by filming extra videos and writing extra blog articles that I can publish quickly if things get hectic. That is what I am talking about in today’s Art Marketing vlog! *I filmed this in October by the way… 😀

Video!

This video is sponsored by Rich Mom Business, they have a free handmade training course that can help you design a product line that will sell. Now is the time to be designing products for spring and summer fairs and festivals. Remember that thing I said about “professional development”…

So, you might be wondering how making videos or writing blog articles will really help your bottom line when people are not spending much on art and craft items this time of year. Well, this is where YOU give back to your customers. It is nice to sell a painting or necklace but that should not be the only reason you want people coming to your website. Give people a reason to stop by even if they are not looking to buy. You should be giving value WAY more than asking for a sale. People won’t come to your blog just to be sold to. You want people coming to your blog and pining your posts to Pinterest and sharing them in Facebook because those back links are powerful. Search engines see that, and rank websites based on the amount of traffic and high quality websites linking back to them. You will not get this to happen without offering valuable content to your audience.

What do I write about?

  1. Share your process.
  2. Show photos of your studio or where you create.
  3. Explain why you choose certain paints, beads, paper etc. This could be a weekly series called “My Favorites”
  4. Show them how to make your art. You may think it will cost sales but it will really make them respect you more and make customer realize all the work that goes into your craft.
  5. Haul video: Show people the supplies you bought for your projects and why you chose those particular pieces.
  6. Storage ideas as pertains to your work.
  7. Review a product you just tried.
  8. Collaborate with other artists who may share similar customers (consider crafters who compliment your work instead of competing with it, like a framer and a painter)
  9. Share artwork done by students (if you teach) it will encourage your readers to give it a try, and if you do workshops you may get a boost in enrollment.
  10. Share “behind the scenes” anecdotes, I always looked up to designers in magazines before I started getting published, I thought it was so weird how I had to have Christmas projects done in May to meet the printing deadlines. What quirky stories could you share?
  11. Show how you photograph your art or film your videos.
  12. Write about the difference in quality of the supplies available for your craft.
  13. Share pics from trade shows or craft fairs you attend or snap reference photos to share with your viewers.
  14. Try a different craft and see how you do, if it’s not a success it will be good for a laugh LOL!

There are 2 types of content you should be thinking about writing:

Evergreen: These are not seasonal and can publish any time of year.

Seasonal: These are holiday projects that should run 2 weeks before a holiday or within a certain time frame. Also you can make content inspired by a current trend or cultural phenomenon like I did with my Katniss Wrap free crochet pattern when the second hunger Games Movie came out. When the Great Gatsby movie came out there were lots of jewelry project published on that theme. Did you notice any YouTubers making DIY Star Wars projects lately? There were.

Make sure you post the seasonal content leading up to the events they are tied too and the evergreen content can publish any old time you need something new on your blog. I typically blog daily but if you are new try once or twice a week. You can even write up posts when you have the time and schedule them so you can space them out. You don’t want to post 9 articles in one day and then nothing for 2 months. You want a steady stream of traffic so that when you have something new to sell people will still be looking. The art marketing game is a marathon, not a sprint. There is no “overnight success” and the best way to succeed is to keep showing up!

Hey, if anything else it will force you to be creative everyday instead of binge watching Netflix in your free time.

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PS, another quick tip is to share photos! I was working on a deadline tonight and snapped a quick pic of my desk to share on instagram and I can recycle it here too! I am working on an upcoming class, this opportunity came to me because an editor saw one of my videos (do you see what I am getting at here?)and if I hadn’t posted that particular video I would not have gotten this project. Don’t be afraid to share your crafty knowledge because you think people will not buy your work if they know how you did it, it s the opposite, it builds a connection and opens the doors to so many more opportunities! Ant that is what I call Happy crafting!

Hey Bloggers & YouTubers, this Art Marketing Videos is for YOU!

Hi friends! It’s Art Marketing Monday, I think that’s going to be a thing (at least until I run out of ideas) and today I want to talk to the bloggers and vloggers out there who enrich our lives with their inspiring content. I know many of you have blogs and YouTube channels and I know how hard it is to get your channel large enough to be hired or sponsored by companies or even get on design teams working for product. You likely have a passionate audience who often buys things you use and recommend, so why not get some of that money that you have earned? I am going to talk about affiliates today. Anyone with a blog or YouTube channel can sign up to be in an affiliate program. You put a link to the product you used and if someone clicks through and buys it (or anything else on that website) you get a small % of the sale. It will not cost your viewer extra either. It is a way your viewers can support you while purchasing stuff they want. I’ll explain more in today’s video!

Video!

Unfortunately there some states where you can not be an affiliate with the major companies, Maine is one of them so no Amazon, Blick or Joann affiliations for me which is a shame because I send so many people over there anyway for the deals but I have found smaller companies who are more than happy to have me like Hallmark Scrapbook and honestly, I’d rather promote an independant family run business who stocks all the new products at the lowest prices. See what I did there? 😉 I bet most of the bloggers you follow also take part in affiliate programs and I know of a few who make a near full-time income at it. They don’t live in Maine. Many other bloggers use it as a way to offset costs of keeping their website up and running. However you choose to approach it remember to be honest about your affiliations, it will only help you in the long run. I really hope this helps some smaller crafty content creators out there bring in some cash so they can continue doing what they love and (selfishly) keep inspiring the rest of us! The rising tide lifts ALL boats. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

I can’t believe I never blogged this!

Hi Friends! Happy Valentine’s Day! How ironic is it that I never blogged my tips for bloggers video I shot in October? Very.

I hope that helped those of you who are thinking about venturing into the world of blogging. It is a great way to improve your writing and photography skills while keeping a record of your work or personal life. Blogs can be private or public. I have made a wonderful community of friends by having a blog and I am so grateful for that. Thanks for being a part of it! Til next time happy crafting!

Make Art, Not Trash! {and my 5 year blogaversary!)

Holy moly, can you believe that I have been blogging for 5 years! Well, maybe it feels longer for you LOL but for me it seems like just yesterday I sat down at the computer and opened a wordpress account! Writing this blog has helped me develop as an artist and opened the door to so many wonderful opportunities from freelance art and design work to writing my own column for Scrap & Stamp Arts. The lovely comments from readers make my day and the support I feel from you is overwhelming. I have received sponsorships from many art & crafts companies which I am thankful for but also I have tried to stick to my frugal crafting roots by offering up low-cost and recycling projects (like the one I have for you today.) This is my 1300th post, how am I doing? Here is a card I made for the occasion using some prints from Styrofoam trays that were headed to the trash:

DCF 1.0

Some people had a hard time obtaining the ingredients to make a gelatin plate or finding the rubber gasket (I posted a tutorial on printmaking on plumbers gasket last week on YouTube, that video will be at the end of this post) I used for another printmaking project. Then I remembered how much fun it is to make prints from Styrofoam trays. All you need is a Styrofoam take out tray (cut out a flat panel with a craft knife), acrylic  paint, a brayer or paintbrush and some mark making tools. Let’s go!

I used the prints I made on this easel card. The stamps I used are by Pink Persimmon. Tip! Flip your clear stamps around on your block and stamp with the backside for custom shadow stamps like I did for the 3 circles on this card!

DCF 1.0

As promised here is my rubber plumbers gasket printmaking video. I scored a bunch of 12″x12″ sheets of rubber for 99 cents each at a hardware store, I have die cut it into custom stamps, cut it down to fit my Big Shot for an embossing pad and used it for various household projects. Plumbers buy this to cut custom leak-proof washers. I guess I was lucky to find such large sheets cheaply because others have had trouble obtaining it. You are not limited to what you can make prints on, some ideas are: Plexiglas (or plastic packaging, scuffing it with sandpaper is helpful), silicone mats, glass (be careful!), EZ cut sheets, and if you look around with a creative eye I bet you can find more ways too! anyway, here is the video, it is very much the same as my other printmaking videos, just with a different materiel as a base. I don’t blame you if you don’t watch the entire video 😀

Thanks again for sticking with me over the past 5 years of blogging, I hope I am still at it in 5 more! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

 

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

About 55,000 tourists visit Liechtenstein every year. This blog was viewed about 470,000 times in 2012. If it were Liechtenstein, it would take about 9 years for that many people to see it. Your blog had more visits than a small country in Europe!

Click here to see the complete report.