• How to blog about your Art and wow people’s clothes off

    Hypothetically, of course. Anything else might get me into trouble.

    In my ebook, the Grymm & Epic Guide to Blogging, I talk a lot about figuring out what to blog about. A successful blog strikes a balance between writing about what interests you, and writing that helps you find and build an audience – the right audience. The audience that will go on to buy your art. And sometimes, that audience isn’t whom you’d expect.

    A lot of artists get stuck in the habit of writing about the business of selling art. Often, they’ll get quite in-depth, writing epic 2000 word posts about their successes and failures at craft fairs, etc. These posts will be extremely useful for other artists, and they’re profoundly interesting for the artist writing them, because they offer the chance to put thoughts about business down in a cohesive way and analyse what is and isn’t working. But whenever I see an artist with a blog that’s all about running an art business, I wonder if the artist knows whom their audience really is.

    Who wants to read a blog about how to run an art business? People who want to become full-time artists, of course. And yes, many people who are full-time artists want to support other artists and love to buy art, but they are a small slab of an infinitely larger pie.

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  • Can you Quit Your Day Job and Make a Living as a Full-Time Creative?

    In Monday’s Epic Interrogation, NYT Best-Selling urban fantasy writer Jeaniene Frost talked about honestly about her first failed attempt to quit her job – you can read the full story in Jeaniene’s interview, but basically, she quit too soon, thinking the money would be coming, and the money didn’t come. She had to go back to her day job, just to make ends meet.

    Imagine how scary that must be, not just for Jeaniene, but for her family, too. Luckily, she’s now doing so well she’s been writing full time for two years with no sign of stopping.

    You can quit your day job and make a living as a creative entrepreneur. There’s work aplenty out there for artists, writers, musicians, sculptors, actors, dancers and designers, if you learn about the business side of your art and apply yourself to finding it. You can find more joy than you’ll ever know working for yourself and spreading your unique creative message all over the world. But how do you avoid quitting too soon?

    I am not a full-time writer. I’ve been running my freelance business part-time for nearly seven years now. When I’m not writing, I work for a non-profit creating braille books and resources for blind and low-vision NZers. As I’m legally blind myself, this job is especially important to me, as I know firsthand how hard it can be to access things you want to read if you can’t actually read them. Full time work may suit me some day, but right now it doesn’t, because I love what I do.

    However, here’s what I would make sure you had in place before considering quitting your day job:

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  • Epic Interrogation with NYT Best-Selling Urban Fantasy Author Jeaniene Frost

    [dropcap]I[/dropcap]’ve got vampires on the brain.

    I blame it the kobo website, who has cottoned on to the fact I like books about bloodsuckers, so sends me daily emails about the latest fanged thrillers. I blame Poppy Z Brite, whose book Lost Souls restored my love of erotic horror, after it had been shattered by the Twilight books (which, to be fair, had a lot of the erotic but not nearly enough horror). And I blame today’s guest, New York Times Best-Selling author of steamy vampire urban fantasy, Jeaniene Frost, for getting my vampire on four years ago with Halfway to the Grave.

    But Jeaniene Frost isn’t just an author, she’s in part responsible for bringing vampires and urban fantasy back into the mainstream, and her legions of fans worldwide (her novels have been translated into seventeen languages) attest to her remarkable ability to write amazing books and get them in front of the people who want to read them. I’m thrilled to sparkling bits to have Jeaniene here today for an Epic Interrogation about how she kicks ass with her creative business:
    Firstly, we’d just like to know who you are, what you write, and what’s new in the world of Jeaniene Frost?
    Thank you so much for having me. I’m the author of the Night Huntress series and Night Huntress World novels, which are urban fantasy romances containing vampires, ghouls, ghosts, demons, and a sprinkling of black magic. The most recent novel to hit the shelves was This Side of the Grave, and my next novel is One Grave at a Time, which releases August 30th.

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  • How to Write Without Colour

    I don’t talk a lot about my eyesight, since it seems kind of irrelevant when we’re not talking face to face. If we were, you might notice that I don’t make eye-contact, that I seem to stare at a spot over your shoulder, that I blink all the time, and that when I go to […]

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  • Announcing My New Ass-Kicking Writing Packages!

    There’s no Epic Interrogation this week. Instead, I’ve got an announcement. A lot of people write to me saying they’d love to hire someone like me to work on their site, but they don’t think they’ve got the budget. I don’t like advertising my rates, but I’ve been thinking of creating some special writing packages […]

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  • The Tentacle – one article, press release or sales page

    You’ve got your little creative business set up, and so far, everything is sweet as. You’ve been reading all the business advice, creating your fantastically awesome art to sell, or writing your first novel, or choreographing your first dance routine, and reveling in your own creative awesomeness. You’ve never been more excited. You’re nearly ready […]

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  • The Rise of the Personality Brand (and what it means for your creative business)

    [dropcap]L[/dropcap]a Carmina says it best: ” I love every aspect of my work; it feels like play, so I don’t mind the long hours … For example, Sebastiano and I are going to Hong Kong, where we’ll be having “fun” at a Macau hotel-resort opening, cute cooking lessons, and an art fair. But the trip and apartment are sponsored, and these activities are material for paid AOL Travel articles, my blog, and other projects.”

    If I could be so bold (what? Me? Bold?) I’d say personality branding is probably the biggest marketing innovation brought on by the internet – and, in particular, Web 2.0. Many bloggers have built full-time businesses by embracing the concept of personality branding.

    So what is personality branding? Basically, it’s creating a caricature of yourself that’s saleable. This means, you put yourself “out there” as a particular type of person, you attract readers/viewers/customers who WANT to be the same type of person, and you sell them things that will help them become that type of person. They might be things you’ve made yourself, or they might be things from companies who see

    La Carmina, this week’s Epic Interrogation victim, is one of the best examples of personality branding I’ve ever seen. The La Carmina we see through her blog and her other projects is outgoing, fun, quirky, upbeat, stylish, and an advocate for alternative subcultures the world over. She sells herself and her lifestyle through her TV work, collaborations with companies and her books. But what she’s really selling is her lifestyle (and personal style). Thats why she can make money with adverts on her site.

    The real-life La Carmina is much more complex. She probably has grumpy days, and walks around the house in her pyjamas, and yells when her boyfriend eats all the peanut butter. She’s probably interested in things that have nothing to do with gothic subculture or Japan.

    But you won’t see her writing about any of these things. Why? Because she knows her blog isn’t a personal diary – its business, and insanely fun business, at that. But even though her readers probably don’t realise it, the La Carmina they see on the blog has been filtered with a selective eye. What works with her personal brand is put up – what doesn’t work, is kept to herself. We see the cumulative effect of all her efforts, and we fall in love.

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