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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Art Licensing: Marketing Art with Blogs

A major key to license art is to get your art out into the world so that clients and consumers are aware of it. And, ways to gain visibility is to actively market your art with publicity (news releases, advertisements, exhibiting at trade shows, etc.), having art on products at retail, and networking via social media such as Facebook, Linkedin, blogs, and twitter. Writing a blog is considered one of the best ways for people to get to know and connect with you. It is also a good way to market your art.

Artists are often hesitant to start a blog because they heard that you need to produce a post each day and they just do not have the time. However, blogging is still an effective marketing tool even if you do not post daily or weekly. For more information about how often you should post, read founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips Darren Rowse's article "You Must Post Every Day on Your Blog (Misconceptions New Bloggers Have #2)."

Creating a Blog
Even if you want to have your own blog, you may not know what to write about. Some artists use a blog to showcase their art, and/or show their licensed art on products, and/or discuss how they get inspiration to create their art. Others use it to voice their opinion, interview people in the industry, or share information.

Blog articles do not need to be long but should contain content. Some blog experts state that a good blogger uses the 60/20/20 rule. 60% of the content of the blog should be useful information for the target audience, 20 % should be used to promote others and 20% to promote yourself. They also suggest that each article include a picture(s) to create interest. Note: This is one way an artist can market their art by using the art to illustrate the content in an article.

Enticing Readers to a Blog
Having engaging and varied subject matters entices readers to view blogs. Some bloggers may give away free things, have contests and drawings, have a blog hop (see below for an example), list resources, give tips, and show how-to-do something. Also using keywords in blog articles to optimize search engines helps drive readers to the blog. For more about search engine optimization (SEO), read "Search Engine Optimization and Blogging."

Below are some examples of blog posts that artists, agents and manufacturers have used to drive traffic to their blogs.
• Product Drawings (Sweepstakes) and Free Items
– manufacturer Clothworks "Valentine Quilt Kit Giveaway!"
– artist Phyllis Dobbs - "Free Patterns for Bee Yourself Fabrics"

• Tips: how-to & how-it-is-done
– artist Jane Maday - "Emerald Green"
– artist Jody Bergsma "Mysterious Aqua Blue and a Trip to the Sea"
– manufacturer Magnet Works, Ltd. - "DrinkBlots - Made in St. Louis, USA"

•  Interviews of artists, manufactures & retailers; Sharing art licensing resources & view points

– artist Alex Colombo (The Moon from my Attic, an Art Licensing Chronicle)
– agent Jim Marcotte (Art Licensing: Thoughts and Comments from Jim Marcotte)
– artist Kate Harper
– agent Lance Klass (TheBusinessofArtLicensing)
– agent Maria Brophy – artist Patti Gay (illustrator's Market)
– artist Tara Reed (ArtLicensingBlog)

• Blog Hop
Blog hops are a list of links that a group of bloggers post on their blogs so that readers "hop" from blog-to-blog and see the same theme on each blog. Successful blog hops have an interesting theme that is an incentive that drives traffic to each blog. A good example of a blog hop is by artist Aaron Christensen and 11 other artists that showcased their studios in 2012 "Hi Resolution - A New Year's Studio Meet and Greet."

Creating Successful Blogs
A simple rule that I have often heard about creating successful blogs is to post a picture, post often and post short (length of article). But just like many things in the art licensing industry it depends upon the usage and circumstances. Not all posts need a picture but for art blogs it sure is a good opportunity to market art. And, posting often and short can mean different things to each person. Thus, it is up to the blogger to make the decision how often she/he should post and how long the articles should be.

Read "How to Be a Successful Art Blogger: 7 Effective Blogging Strategies for Artists" by Dan of  In his discussion about successful art blogs, he states that:
1. Create an art blog that is NOT a 'personal" blog,
2. Treat your blogging time as a business time
3. Be a content creator, not a content recycler.
4. Keep a schedule of upcoming topics to write about,
5. Don't just write about yourself and your artwork,
6. Point to good resources whenever you find them,
7. Re-read and edit each post before you publish it.

Blog Software
Two of the most popular free blog software is WordPress and Blogger. To find out about them and others, read "2013 Best Blog Software Comparisons and Reviews."

Your comments are welcome. Please click on the comments section (below) to write your comment.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Art Licensing: How to Transfer Multiple & Large Hi-Res Files

Often it is not an option to send electronic images to clients on CDs or DVDs via snail-mail (postal delivery) because in the art licensing industry manufacturers need high-resolution (HiRes) files as soon as possible to meet their deadlines. And, if there are many files to send and the files are large, there may be a problem sending them via electronic mail (e-mail) because the recipient's e-mail carrier often limits each e-mail to 25MB or less. Most of the Hi-Res files requested by my clients are 3MB to 9MB. If three or more images are requested, they usually cannot be sent in one e-mail because it will most likely be rejected by the e-mail carrier. And, if a large Hi-Res layered Adobe Photoshop image needs to be sent it may be at least 250MB in size that is impossible to transfer via e-mail. Some manufacturers have ftp (file transfer protocol) sites where an artist can enter a password and upload large files. However, most do not.

So how can artists transfer multiple and large HiRes files to manufactures? This is where internet file sharing host services make it possible such as dropbox, Goggle Drive, YouSendIt, MediaFire, RapidShare, ShareFile, etc. Most of them are free with limited options. Additional options are available at a cost.

One of the most popular file sharing service used by artists is The free version allows a person to store up to 5GB of files on the YouSendIt site with a maximum of 100MB per file size. The files can be customized for the length of time they are stored on the site. YouSendIt also tracks when files are download and by whom which makes it convenient in tracking that the client received the file(s). The downside to the free version is that only a link to one file at a time can be sent to a recipient via a YouSendIt e-mail. But, for $9.99 per month, a person can store up to 25GB and send links to multiple files with a maximum of 1GB file size. Note: I purchased the service so that I could send links of multiple large Hi-Res files to all my clients (manufactuers, publication editors, agent) with one e-mail. With the limitation of the free version, I found it VERY cumbersome and unprofessional to send multiple e-mails when clients requested numerous images! All my clients find YouSendIt sent links straightforward and easy to download files. I usually limit the storage time of each file on the site to about ten days for security reasons. That way, not many images are available if the site is hacked (unauthorized access was gained to the site).

To find out about other file sharing services, read "10 file-sharing options: Dropbox, Goggle Drive and more" by Serdar Yepulalp on the Computer World website. He described and listed the options of MediaFire, RapidShare, ShareFire, YouSendIt, Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, Minus, SkyDrive, and SugarSync.

Please share your experience with any file sharing services. Click on the comments section (below) to write your comment.