Having a successful blog is the key to making a living online as an artist.
By far the most common worry I’ve heard so far from people on my Threads program is that they can’t run a blog because they don’t have anything to share.
The natural impulse is to wait until you feel you’re ready. Except, of course, that that day will never come.
I think you have something very compelling to share right now.
You just need to be strong enough to do it.
Share your struggle
We all know how hard it is to learn to draw and paint well.
Sometimes it’s hard just to get to the easel!
The way I built the audience I have now was sharing my learning journey, complete with all the frustrations and dead ends.
I look back at some of it now and I cringe that I could ever have got things so wrong.
Sometimes I would even post drawings that I’d ripped up and had to tape back together just so I could put them on the blog.
Even now I still post my failures and you know what? People really appreciate those posts.
So share your struggles because we all have them.
People will identify with your struggle, and by sharing it you may very well help somebody through theirs.
Share your triumphs
To be fair, I’ve had a lot more struggles than triumphs.
But if you persist, eventually you will make progress. It’s inevitable.
And when you can see it in your work it is empowering. Your dreams seem more achievable. Perhaps you can make it after all.
So share your triumphs along with your struggles because people need to see that it’s possible for them to make progress too.
Share your Journey
Those struggles and those little triumphs add up to something very powerful over time: A living record of your learning journey.
It will be useful for you because we tend to forget the detail of what we’ve been though, and what got us to where we are.
We have a strong tendency to rewrite our own narratives so that we can see ourselves in a better light.
It’s natural to do that.
But it’s not very helpful for anyone else. Or for ourselves, come to that.
You’ll probably already have heard my mantra for running successful websites and building an audience: Make it about them.
So although you’ll be writing about your own journey, you’ll be doing it because it may help others.
So share your journey, share all it’s highs and lows.
Be unflinchingly honest. Because we all need it.
Share your story
Over time, your journey will evolve into a story of your transformation.
Stories are incredibly powerful and compelling. Especially stories of transformation.
Ultimately, that’s how you’ll connect with people.
If you want to build an audience and eventually make some or all of your income from art online, you will need to connect meaningfully with people.
This is how you do it.
Yes, it might feel unfamiliar at first. Awkward. You will be self-conscious.
The awful truth is that it’s a whole new thing to learn, a whole new area to struggle with. As if worrying about your work wasn’t enough, now you’ll have to worry about how good your writing is!
The fix is the same as it is for art: Write often.
If you want to know where to start, I’d advise you get a journal, and start writing a little in it every morning.
Don’t worry too much about it being good material for a blog post to start with. Just get writing. Write about what you struggle with, your triumphs and your journey.
Do a little every day, even if it’s just a sentence. Get into a writing habit.
Over time, your story will begin to appear.
I’m willing to bet that you’ll be surprised by what comes out, if you stick at it long enough. You’ll be surprised to find too, that it’s pretty interesting.
Writing out your story will help you find meaning in your struggles (because that’s what stories are for) and it might help you find a way through some of them.
Sharing that might help someone who reads it to find their way too.
So share your story, because it’s the most meaningful thing you have.
And you don’t have to wait, you can start doing that today.
Best wishes and thanks for reading,
Threads is an artists community designed to help you make a living from your work online.
If you’re interested in living an independent life as an artist on your own terms, Threads is for you.