why most artists’ blogs fail

By “artist’s blog” I mean, a personal blog by an artist, not a blog about “Art” per se.

I read a couple of artists’ blogs. I like Austin Kleon and Hazel Dooney, for example… John T Unger doesn’t like writing much, but he has a great podcast, Art Heroes Radio.

But sadly, most artists’ blogs don’t do it for me. And if you check out the stats of your typical artist’s blog, they’re not doing a lot for many other people, either.

Why not? Why aren’t more artists’ blogs more successful?

Most artists’ blogs fail because they fail to understand the basic truth about artists’ blogs:

Nobody’s reading your blog because of your art.

Your typical artist’s blog usually consists of little more than a photograph of the latest art piece, with a brief description like, “I painted this yesterday. I like how the purple dog clashes with the green sofa.” Or whatever.

But the reality is, most people are not reading your blog because they have an inherent love for purple dogs and green sofas. They’re reading your blog because THE PERSON YOU ARE inspires them. They’re not reading your blog because they’re thinking of buying your paintings, they’re reading your blog because the way you approach your work inspires them. It sets an example for them. It stands for something that resonates with them. IT LEADS THEM TO SOMEWHERE THAT THEY ALSO WANT TO GO.

And if your blog can do that, suddenly your readers are associating purple dogs and green sofas with something that ACTUALLY matters to them. And then, and only then, do they pull their credit cards out. Ker-chiing.

That’s the REAL job of the artist: To be a leader, not to fill the space with pretty “stuff”.

That’s also the REAL job of any blogger: To be a leader, not fill the space with pretty “content”.

Why? Because whatever your blog is about- art, tech, politics, culture, entrepreneurship, sex, it doesn’t matter- it’s either leading people somewhere worthwhile in a meaningful, positive way, or…

Nobody’s frickin’ reading it, end of story.

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Hugh MacLeod is a genius.  Genius.

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  • Seth Godin
  • The New Republic
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  • Tony Hsieh
  • Brian Clark