Challenge of Blogging – Part 4 Your Audience

Challenge of Blogging by #artist @erskinec
Challenge of Blogging by #artist @erskinec

The Challenge of Blogging – Who is your audience?

The power of social media is the ability to create that special relationship with people who love and support your art. This relationship is what separates you from the hundreds of other artists.

This is not a competitive thing, it’s about your art being able speak to people in a way that no one else can; it’s about creating value and meaning.

In the past, this relationship might have occurred within the framework of institution like a club, bar, bookstore, or gallery.

In my younger days, my friends would always to go to particular clubs and bars when certain indie group returned for a local performance.

I also still remember the midnight release of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire at Bryan Prince in Westdale. There were hundreds of pre-teens and their parents waiting and socializing on King Street as everyone counted down the hours and then minutes to the release. It was an amazing and rewarding experience; something that marked a generation.

Finally, I remember a time when you could enter a gallery and not feel pressured into buy a painting on the spot. The owner would actually expect you to return dozens of times, educating yourself about the artist and his or her body of work. These days you are likely to get friendlier service at Tim’s Hortons than an art gallery.

So, when you are creating your blog and developing your personal narrative, reflect on who your audience might be. You will often get it wrong, but through trial and effort, you will gain a better sense of who likes you work.

While you are talking to the whole world, in reality you are not. You are trying to connect to people who are like you and want to find something interesting and different. You are throwing a party, who would you invite and why?

You need to have a focus.

Next week: How much of me should I put out there?

Challenge of Blogging – Part 3

Chris Erskine, Urban Landscape Artist
Chris Erskine, Urban Landscape Artist

Challenge of Blogging – Part Three

The biggest challenge to blogging is feeding the beast.

Just remember, we are not just talking about a few postings, but hundreds of postings over many years.

If you post only once a week then you will need content for 52 postings. In the crowded world of blogs, expect 3-5 years of effort before your audience reaches a critical level of support (however, you define that).

Ask yourself, what topic will give yourself enough content to get to the promise land of brand recognition and then beyond?

I am a big fan of Film Riot on Youtube. Film Riot explores the techniques of film-making, but even these guys have mixed up things to generate new content and to keep things interesting.

Recently, they invited other film-makers to create short films with behind the scenes look at how they did it.

This raises another challenge, the content must be relevant, it must provide value to your audience. You know why you want people to follow you, but why should they?

For example, I love watching artists create their art, but it is a slow process and needs something more to keep me coming back until the project is finished. If all you offer is essays on how it is to be artist, then do you really believe that people will stick around?

My answer to the challenge is to be local. However, not just with a few references to coffee shops and places to shop, but detail studies on the urban landscape and how the past has shaped the places where we live and work. Further, I try and visit these places and create regular written and visual postings. All this being directly or indirectly connected by my art.

The results may be very rough, but it is my hope that the focus on local urban architecture and local landscapes will compensate for the lack of polish.

Next week – defining your audience.

Soundscape Hamilton – Engineering Building

Do buildings and places have unique sound features?  This is the first installment of a year long project to see if buildings and their surroundings have sounds unique to them.