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Blogging for Artists Part 3 – Getting Subscribers

September 8, 2010

(Illustration by Gonçalo Viana)

What follows is Part 3 of the Blogging for Artists series, which will explore the ways that Illustrators and other creative professionals can use a blog to promote themselves and build a better business. You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

As discussed earlier in this series, a blog offers a personal and customizable marketing opportunity for Illustrators and other creative professionals.

It allows you to tell the story of your business and who you are as a human being.

The problem is, there’s not much of a point in spending your valuable time and energy on your blog if no one is reading it. That’s why it’s important to keep your readers in mind and try to give them reasons to return, or even subscribe, to your blog via email or RSS.

In a future post, I’ll be focusing on ways to target your blog to a specific audience, but first it’s important to think about how you can make your blog an interesting place to be and inspire your readers to come back again in the future.

Here are some ways that you can increase the number of subscribers to your blog:

Be Useful

One of the most important things to remember about the internet is that most of the time people are looking for answers to questions or products and services to fulfill their needs.

When posting on your blog, always try to ask yourself what your readers might gain from your post. Rather than simply talk about yourself, make an attempt to help people with tutorials, process posts, advice, or just some healthy inspiration. The more people get out of visiting your blog, the more likely they will be to return.

Be Entertaining

The other major reason that most people wander the internet is for entertainment. Try to determine what your more entertaining qualities are, such as humor, wit, or intellect, and try to bring them to the forefront when publishing posts. If you can make people laugh, cry, or gaze in wonder, you will be fulfilling a part of them that can’t be put into words, and they will remember you for it.

Be Personal

Art Directors and others visit your blog to learn more about you. That’s why your blog is a great place to give your visitors a peek inside your creative process as well as share the things that inspire you. The more you allow your readers to get to “know” you, the more inclined they’ll be to come back later to see what you’re up to.


One aspect of being ‘personal’ with your blog that most people overlook is the process of interacting with your readers. Ask questions, respond to email questions and blog comments, and even ask for requests for future content. By interacting with your audience, you’ll allow your blog to grow and evolve while building relationships that otherwise might not have been possible.

Make a Splash

Stand out from the crowd by doing something exciting, such as hosting a giveaway, starting a group, or inviting your fellow artists to submit their own artwork. These are the types of things that inspire your visitors to play a more active role on your blog, and even tell their friends about you.

Start a Series

Build anticipation and plant yourself in the minds of your visitors by publishing a series of posts that will make them want to check back often or subscribe to follow along. Of course, as stated above, your series should be useful, entertaining, personal, or something else that keeps their interest.

(The article you’re reading right now is a perfect example of this idea in action)

Update Regularly

The quickest way to make people forget about you is to do nothing. Even if a visitor likes your blog, they won’t have a reason to return unless they feel like they might miss something. By publishing posts on a regular basis, you’ll be more likely to inspire your readers to subscribe.

Simply Ask

The funny thing is, sometimes the simplest thing you can do to get people to return or subscribe to your blog is to ask them to. Of course, if you’re not providing value to your readers, they won’t be inspired to return, but if you are, they may not realize that they can subscribe, or they may not have considered that coming back later might be a good idea. If you make a promise to consistently provide quality content, then there’s plenty of justification for inviting people to subscribe.

Give Your Blog a Chance

Building up an audience takes time. If you want to increase the number of subscribers to your blog, try putting the ideas in this article to use for a few months and evaluate what is working and what is not. Visitors to your blog will be able to tell if you’re committed to keeping things going, so try sticking with it and give it a chance to develop into a meaningful part of your presence online.

How do you encourage subscribers to your blog? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section of this post.

Special thanks to Gonçalo Viana for providing the artwork for this post.

About Gonçalo Viana: Gonçalo Viana is a freelance illustrator based in Lisbon. He started off as an architect and since then geometry keeps seeping into his illustrations. He’s been doing mostly editorial work, working for publications both at home and abroad. He shares a love for all themes and subjects but business magazines seem to love him and he loves them back. It’s an open relationship though. Gonçalo has stranded himself on illustration island out of free will and has no desire to escape!


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11 Comments leave one →
  1. September 8, 2010 11:46 AM

    Very useful and inspiring, thank you.

    • September 8, 2010 12:18 PM

      Thanks Anna-Maria. Glad you enjoyed it. I hope it helps. Are you already doing some of the things mentioned in the article?

  2. September 8, 2010 1:05 PM

    I will definitely use these tips. I usually visit sites/blogs for advice(just like this site), tutorials and inspiration. Quality content will absolutely keep people to constantly visit your blog. Can’t wait for the next post! :)

  3. September 9, 2010 4:00 AM

    Great articles… i’m finding all the EFII info quite enlightening, and hopefully i can start building up a better business for myself – Thanks a million!

  4. September 9, 2010 5:38 AM

    This is a great article! each paragraph has given me a new idea on how to get my blog off the ground :) thanks for the help!

  5. Gayle permalink
    September 9, 2010 10:30 AM

    Thank you for all the tips. I have just started my own blog site via Google.Mostly after reading the first part of why we should. Now to apply the other tips you posted.

  6. September 9, 2010 1:44 PM

    Thanks Thomas,
    Another great article, jam-packed with good advice! It is encouraging to see that I am on the right track with my blog and now, thanks to this article, I have a few more ideas to try out! I really enjoy the blogging process and getting to know others in the illlustration community. I have had some grood feedback when I have featured a “how I work” process-type post. And I try to post about my thought-process behind my work or even purchases(ie. recommended illustration books, etc.)

    It really is so meaningful to get comments from those other artist and illustrators who take the time to give feedback and share. I always make a point of thanking them and visiting their blog too.
    Looking forward to the next series :)

    • September 9, 2010 4:08 PM

      Thanks Suzanne. A blog really is a great way of stepping out and interacting with others. I’m glad your blog is working out for you in that way. Cheers.

  7. November 18, 2010 9:33 AM

    Awesome article! I’ve been constantly grappling with what’s appropriate to post and what is not. For instance, if I make a super awesome finished piece, I’ll post that, and then there will be tons of sketches and random stuff that doesn’t look as “good,” and I kind of feel weird about pushing that lovely finished piece down the page more. I feel like all of my posts should have work as awesome as a really huge detailed finished piece, which is something I’m trying to get over.

    Similarly, I’m not sure how much “personal” content to post – some illustrators I admire post pictures of their vacations, and recipes/pictures of cookies they made, and while I love seeing this on their blogs for a change of pace and a more personal touch, I’m struggling with making those additions to my blog. Hopefully it’ll come in time!


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