Reaching out to your own community can be a difficult challenge. This month, art critic Brian Sherwin gives us a detailed analysis on how you can do so!
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Art Blogging 101: Think Locally When Blogging About Art
by Brian Sherwin
The artists I've known over the years tend to share a desire -- they want to have a solid local or regional presence. In other words, they want to be recognized for their art within their community or surrounding community. In addition to that, they often desire to be a 'known name' within their local art community -- even if their art community is spread out between several towns/cities (which may very well be the case for an artist living in a small city or rural town). Establishing local / regional recognition can be an uphill battle no matter where you live. That said, many artists appear to forget that their art blog can help in the 'climb' -- even if it amounts to just one little step (connection) at a time.
Before I delve into this further I want to offer some clarification. This Art Blogging 101 article was written with small city / rural artists in mind -- and how they can benefit from local online searches for specific art-related venues/events in their area. Artists living in larger cities may be able to benefit from this strategy as well -- though it will be more difficult to achieve. Especially if the 'big city' in question happens to have a very active art community -- and thus a steady flow of online content about art news in general. Point blank -- the 'numbers' can work against 'big city' artists... you'll understand if you read further.
I'll make this short and bitter sweet -- many artists fail to take advantage of their art blog when seeking local / regional recognition for their art. They want to establish themselves within their local / regional community -- but fail to take advantage of one of the most powerful tools at their fingertips... that being, the power of the Internet. They fail to benefit from online searches made by local / regional art lovers. They forget that online documentation of their local / regional art experiences can be just as important -- for establishing 'real world' presence AND connections -- as receiving local press in traditional print.
I'll offer a fictional example: Jane the Artist has a steady track record of being involved in local /regional art exhibits, art fairs and other art-related events -- but if you visit Jane's art blog you will not find any blog posts about those events and experiences. Jane has failed to establish an online connection between her local / regional 'offline' art marketing efforts and those specific art venues. Thus, her artist website will likely not show up in search results when people from her surrounding community submit online searches for those specific local art galleries, art fairs and other art events.
Why does this matter? Simple. Jane could have easily taken advantage of those online searches depending on the art venue and how much coverage it has had online (again, I'm writing this with small city / rural artists in mind -- specifically those who live in areas where art coverage is minimal... which means page results for those searches are untapped, if you will). Unfortunately, Jane failed to offer art blog posts about her local / regional art involvement. If she had -- Amy the Art Collector may have 'discovered' her when searching for information about those specific local / regional venues. (Obviously the chance of Amy the Art Collector finding Jane the Artist's post about a specific local art gallery, for example, will also depend on how well Jane distributed her blog content. Hint: when you make an art blog post -- be sure to distribute a link to it via social networking or other online means. Don't wait for people to discover your art blog content -- get it 'out there').
Don't Forget to Search All Years!
As promoters are wrapping up their 2016 details, it might take them a bit to get around to updating their event for 2017. But don't let that deter you!
You can still search for events for next year even if they haven't been updated yet. When you're doing a search, be sure to select "all years." This will keep events from the previous year in your search. You'll be able to use that previous year's info to estimate what to expect for next year, and you can always call the promoter to confirm any details. Many of the details in reoccurring events remain the same from year to year.
We work diligently all year round to get updated event information as soon as it's available, but keep this tip in mind if you're not quite finding the events you're looking for.
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