As artists, let's be honest - most of us aren't marketing gurus. Most of us don't even like marketing, and avoid doing it. But we all know that it's a necessary part of building an art career, to help us find our fans and customers.
I realised a few years ago that in fact, marketing has a bigger impact on your success as an artist than your skill does. It wasn't a nice realisation, since until that point I'd been all-in on building my skill, and ignored marketing completely!
Recently I've concentrated on learning more about marketing, and it's brought a lot more success to my art career.
Unexpectedly, many of the places I found the best information were blogs, of which I've listed my favourites below.
First though, I'll justify why you should check out these blogs, even though blogging is dead.
Why read Blogs in 2020? Isn't Blogging Dead?
Isn't it a little ironic to read that headline on a blog ;)
Nowadays video content is king, and it can seem like blogs aren't as relevant as they were years ago.
In some ways this is true, but there are still plenty of people who head to google with a question instead of heading to youtube. Some questions are simply better answered in writing than in a video, such as this article!
When blogging was in its heyday, there was an over-abundance of them as everyone jumped on it and wanted a piece of the pie. Nowadays you can see the same thing happening with social media like Instagram and YouTube, and blogs are less exciting.
Today, most of the blogs you'll come across have been around for a long time and are filled to the brim with valuable content. They're written by very experienced people, with the aim of informing their audience and helping them achieve their goals.
Why should I care about art marketing blogs?
If you want to make a career of art, then you'll have to accept that you're starting a business and therefore you need to be well versed in business and marketing.
The following Art Marketing Blogs contain a lot of advice and experience from people who have already gone through the nastiest part of building an art career, have learned a bunch along the way and want to share their knowledge with you.
Besides art focused blogs, I have also included some blogs that give more general marketing advice - it's good practice to also pull knowledge from overall business and marketing experts, not just from other artists and art marketers. You may end up learning something that the rest of the art industry doesn't know yet!
My List of the Best Art Marketing Blogs (and some of their best articles)
1. Empty Easel
Empty Easel is a blog made by Dan Duhrkoop. He started out in commercial art, but ended up staying with traditional oil painting, and afterwards moved to managing websites, writing and researching how artists can use the internet and the tools it provides in order to help them out.
Empty Easel focuses on 2 main things - educating people about art and educating artists about art marketing. To be able to provide a wider range of topics, the articles are often written by experienced guest artists. What I personally appreciate about this is that Dan Durhrkoop has clearly stated that while he does edit the articles, he will still publish an article even if he disagrees with the opinion given in the article.
You can always apply your own article or art too if you would choose to do so - the author of the is always shown on top and most times it leads to their own website. Even if you don't have a website or a blog, the blog's owner has stated that he's fully willing to link the site where you sell your art, if you would choose to do so.
So if you're an artist starting out just now, or a more experienced artist but would like to hear more about people's successful art careers, I would definitely recommend to check out some of their articles that peak your interest.
Here's some articles I personally like from the blog:
Nevue Fine Art Marketing was created by Dave Nevue. Their mission statement is as follows: "To provide one place where artists of all levels can find the answers they need to help them to start, grow and monetize their online art business. To have every artist reach their unique goals.".
While Dave Nevue himself is more focused on graphite, pastel and pyrographic art, the website is full of very informative articles that apply to most artists who want to market their art online.
At the top right corner you can click on "Art marketing" and it sends you to a page that lists all the art marketing articles that he's done, which makes it very very easy to navigate, browse and find the specific thing that's relevant to you.
I feel like Dave has certainly made it so that any artist, with no matter how unique their goals, can find something of use in his website - and his articles are always very straight to the point.
Abundant Artist was created by Cory Huff. Together with Sharayah Pranger and Sarah C.B. Guthrie they run the blog in order to teach artists that giving your art to a gallery is not the only way to earn with your craft. Their message fights against the long running joke about starving artists and shows ways how you can earn a living by being a traditional artist.
This is a traditional art based blog. But the right articles can be very useful for digital artists too, as long as you apply it correctly to your own situation.
4. Copy Blogger
Copy Blogger's core is content marketing. The founder Brian Clark has built his entire career around content marketing, and this website is him sharing the knowledge and experience he's gained in the process.
Starting as his personal blog, it's evolved into a website with a lot of very experienced and skilled authors that make articles in order to teach and share their skills. As they themselves state: "We’re here to help you create the kind of audience-focused content that helps you reach your business goals."
Copy Blogger does hold different types of articles, as some are reviews and some are podcasts, some are masterclass posts you have to purchase, so there's something for everyone, and there's also quite the amount of content on the site at this point. Luckily they've implemented a search option that seems to be working quite well, so navigating the website that way is easy and fast.
They also hold AMA, one of the last ones was about Content Marketing that was held June 2020 (the way they hold AMA is that you receive a link in your email an hour before the call starts, and you can join then) - so if that's something you're interested in, I'd be on the lookout.
Content Marketing Institute (CMI) was founded by Joe Pulizzi, an entrepreneur and an author who specialises in content marketing. At the first glance the website can seem overwhelming and focused on things that are far away from what's relevant to you. But as long as you make sure you educate yourself about content marketing, you will gain a lot of value from these articles, as a freelance artist career is a business.
There's some articles from the blog:
I thought it'd be good to include this article, as I've been mentioning these websites that talk about content marketing. This article gives definitions of different types of marketing and explains the difference:
6. The Futur
Founded by Chris Do, The Futur is a team of creative professionals producing all sorts of content in order to share their experience and knowledge. Their blog is usually talking more about design, but there's a lot of gems that teach you about creative professions and freelancing, so if you're looking to learn more about that, I'd suggest you browse their articles.
Few articles to start with:
7. MJ Demarco
This ones a bit of a cheat - MJ Demarco does have a blog, but it only has 7 posts on it and nearly all of those are just links to his Youtube channel!
But the reason I had to include him is because his first book "The Millionaire Fastlane", despite it's clickbait title, was by far the best book I've ever read on entrepreneurship, wealth and businesses.
I've read a lot of entrepeneurship books and this one stood out by a mile, so I had to cheat and sneak it into this list.
Unscripted is his sequel book, also a fantastic book that taught me a lot, but it's bigger and covers a lot of other less relevant topics such as social conditioning - also recommended, but perhaps after you finish The Millionaire Fastlane!
He also has a large forum filled with interesting discussions on different entrepreneurship topics and is full of like-minded people, if you're fascinated by these topics too. You're bound to find loads of inspiring people who are trying out their first business ideas, to people who've managed to achieve massive success sharing their stories.
These are a few of the blogs that I've found to be inspirational, and have gleaned a lot of knowledge from about marketing, so I really recommend you give them a fair shake.
They inspired me to make this very website, and maybe they'll inspire you to create something of your own.
Hey, I’m Christopher
I started making digital art in 2009, became a full-time freelance artist in 2016, and now I’m able to work on my own schedule from anywhere in the world.
I created this blog to help other artists make the same journey.