Art blogs for all, from beginner painting and sketching to landscape and still life lessons
“Art is an essential for me, and a career mainstay. My academic studies were in art history, specifically focused on the Old Masters of Spain and Italy. I’ve also worked in the museum world; as a magazine staffer reporting on the arts and culture, and as a book editor of lifestyle and cultural history books.” – Courtney Jordan
Courtney Jordan has been blogging for Artist Daily since February 2010, but her first experience blogging was when she was on staff at Smithsonian magazine. After she left, she freelanced as their art blogger for about a year.
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Mequoda – How many blogs are you currently writing for?
CJ – Artist Daily is my one and only.
Mequoda – Which CMS (ie: WordPress, Typo) are you using?
CJ – We use Telligent.
Mequoda – Are you blogging for your company as part of you job (ie: corporate) or is this a personal passion?
CJ – I’m the online editor for Artist Daily, so it is a key part of my job, and fortunately coincides with my personal passion for all things art.
Mequoda – Has your blog enhanced your professional reputation? How?
CJ – I’ve definitely gained visibility in the community (my headshot is in every post). Having people come up to me and say they’ve seen me on the blog is novel and definitely a first. No autograph requests yet, but I’m optimistic.
Mequoda – How often do you post a new blog?
CJ – My main posts are twice a week-Monday and Friday-and these go out on our Artist Daily e-newsletter as well. But if something newsworthy or interesting comes up, it can easily find its way onto the Artist Daily blog during the rest of the week.
Mequoda – Who is your target audience?
CJ – The Artist Daily community is my top priority. We have a readership of some 30,000 people, from beginning artists who’ve just found us to enthusiasts and professionals who come and share what they know.
Mequoda – What are you doing to grow your audience and to create customer loyalty?
CJ – We are committed to making a place for artists of all different media and interest. Customer loyalty comes easiest when you think like a member of your community and always remember that they want fresh content from someone with a point of view, and give them a way to interact and share what is happening with them. We strive to engage Artist Daily community members when, where, and how they want to be engaged, plus act as their source for everything art related, whether with instructive demonstrations, new products and books, or introducing them to fellow artists and up-and-comers.
Mequoda – How are you using social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin) to promote your blog? Has it changed the way you blog?
CJ – The Artist Daily blogs, special events and promotions, and noteworthy information about what is going on in the community all make their way to the social media sites.
Mequoda – What is your main source of revenue: ads, sponsorships, products sales, or donations?
CJ – Product sales, for sure. And that’s a growing source for us.
Mequoda – Approximately what percentage of your overall revenue comes from product sales vs. advertising/sponsorships or other sources?
CJ – We have a diverse revenue stream, and ad sales is just one of those. It hovers around slightly less than 20%.
Mequoda – What is your main source of referrals?
CJ – Google sends us around 70%.
Mequoda – What key metrics do you monitor to analyze the health of your business?
CJ – We look at pretty much everything-open rates, RPMs on products, ad sales, new visitors, time spent on the site, blog comments, click through rates, and subscriber attrition rates.
Mequoda – How many sites have you linked to in the last 30 days?
CJ – We link whenever appropriate, from our internal store and online features to websites of artists, events, galleries, and museums. If a site might be of interest to our readers, we want to make accessing it easy through the Artist Daily blogs.
Mequoda – What changes have you seen in your market since you began blogging?
CJ – Artists and the art-minded community are going strong. For many of us, it is a passion that doesn’t really go away, so I’ve been lucky to see growth irrespective of what’s going on economically, etc. The art world as a whole is also steering more and more toward online. That’s exciting to see and be a part of.
Mequoda – Any interesting experience you’d like to share? Has the blog led to any other interesting projects?
CJ – Blogging takes me one step closer to real-time interaction with the community around me. At Artist Daily, we are gearing up to take another step in that direction with video blogs. I’m in the planning stages, but it is an exciting prospect. We also have a brand new line of Artist Daily instructional DVDs that are coming out in the next few months.
Mequoda – What advice would you give a new blogger?
CJ – Start with a meaningful conversation. In my experience, it all comes from that.
Mequoda – What ways are you planning to expand over the next year?
CJ – We are working toward making Artist Daily a true ‘daily,’ along with video features, new topical blogs, and products that will resonate with our community members.