Monday, 2 May 2011

blogging and the art of finding an audience

I started this blog as an experiment, to see firstly what it felt like to try and write in order to promote my photography, and secondly, whether it would be useful as an ongoing exercise.

Self promotion as an artist is vital, but somewhat uncomfortable. As I have mostly been writing about my thought processes with regards my final project, it is not necessarily of any relevance or interest to others. A blog really  needs to offer something to its readers; either interesting comment on a subject that grabs the reader, or "how to" do something. There is no shortage of blogs discussing "how to create an effective blog" or blogging tips or how to increase your website traffic. The more I read these, the more I realise that creating traffic for your blog is yet another job that needs attending to on a regular basis.

So what have I learnt about blogging?

  • don't expect people to chance upon the posts; they don't! I have posted some posts directly to Facebook, and left others quietly to themselves to see what happens. Traffic to the site rises dramatically for a few hours after posting to Facebook and then drops almost to zero within 24 hours. Other social networks such as Twitter are also recommended, but I have yet to try.

  • my subject matter is not generally appropriate for a blog, being a personal project that has little relevance to the outside world. If  I am to continue blogging after the course is over, I will need to be more concerned with photographic techniques and regular updates with images, without all the theory that I am currently including as part of my working for the final output at Central St Martins. The material needs to be less dense and more punchy. The aim should be to create something of value for readers that they want to share with others or enter into a discussion about.

  • I have come to understand more about the importance of keywords. By working on the keywords for my website Caroline Fraser Images and linking it to my blog I have doubled  visits to my site. The importance of linking blog titles to keywords cannot be underestimated.

  • I am now experimenting with IMAutomator which puts link building onto automatic, and Ping-o-Matic which updates search engines when new content is released. Initial impressions are that these quickly increase traffic.

  • One thing I have not had much time for is creating traffic by commenting on other people's blogs; another essential ingredient to successful blogging that is universally recommended in " how to blog" top tips. By commenting on respected sites, leaving your own blog/website details as part of your signature, you can build your own audience. Similarly, posting in subject related forums can be effective.

  • being consistent with posting e.g. daily or once weekly depending on your aims, is important for maitaining readership, as is respoding to readers' comments and inviting readers to particiapte in discussion.

I am not going to list all the miriad of suggestions that can be found on the web, but most of the points I have raised are mentioned at Write-a-Famous-Blog, one of the more user-friendly "how to" pages. The more research you do about how to blog sucessfully, and the more you analyse what is happening with your blog using Google Analytics, the more efective you will be.


  1. Building an audience depends on two things in my view

    1. Getting your posts up at the top of Google search lists - this is the MOST important of all
    2. Endless visting and commenting on other people's blogs. When they link to you, you climb up the Goodgle search index. Its hard work and takes at least a couple of years.

    Also, best not to use blogspot as your commenters have to jump through so many hoops to get it to accept a comment from a non-blogspot blogger. Wordpress and Typepad demand far less from your readers

  2. thanks, Tom. all help on this gratefuly received; am not up to speed with word press or typepad; another skill to learn.............

  3. Thanks for the post. I like what you have going here.