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Professional Blog Advice May Not Work for Artists
I'm going to use a lot of generalizations here, so if that is your only comment at the end, save it.
After a profoundly enjoyable evening with a local writer's group, I walked away with a newfound sense of appreciation for artists. I am an artist, though you couldn't tell by my daily production. Duty calls for marketing messages that compel readers to act. But at my center, I am a poet and creative writer.
And while the tips from Copyblogger, Problogger and dozens of blogging, branding, and marketing experts are invaluable for corporate blogs, the same principles are stifling and unnatural for many strictly creative types. I call all creative types "artists", because anything creative can be art: words, paint, dance, sculpture, song, design, etc.
I've spent the lion's share of this site's existence on marketing principles recommended by the experts. The danger there is missing the forest for the trees. CultureFeast will be two years old in November. Prior to this, the only writing I showed anyone outside the office was poetry, prose, or journal entries that I felt were worth sharing.
You have to be careful not to suffocate your art with marketing. It happens all the time. You have something worth sharing, but in order to get the public's attention, you have to walk a fine line balancing marketing and artistic sincerity.
My advice: read the tips and study effective marketing strategies, but realize that they must not overtake the art. Balance. It's not a fun word. It's not a sexy word. Balance is not a popular concept, because it's one of those responsibilities people don't want to take the time to mess with.
Be true to your art. Look for ways to hone your craft that can make it more successful without losing power. Whether you post words, photos, or video, there are sure-fire ways to improve your presentation without sacrificing content. There are also plenty of opportunities to focus on results rather than the message.
There are enough self-improvement gurus already. Guard your art with your life! If you don't, you'll discover that the purpose of your art has declined from the pleasure of creation to that of recognition. Recognition is wonderful, but it's fickle and fleeting. The first and foremost active ingredient in successful artistry is quality product. Preserve quality at all cost.