One of the aspects I’ve long understood about getting more engagement on a blog (or any interactive medium) is the importance of directly addressing one’s audience, and asking questions or requesting feedback.
Anyone who’s read this blog for any length of time knows that I rarely employ either of these strategies. The main reason for this is that I began this as a kind of archive, or a conversation with myself, so I rarely have an ‘audience’ in my mind.
Another reason is that no one wants to address an audience to the deafening sound of crickets.
According to my stats, the most consistently searched and viewed posts here continue to be a series of How-To posts I published in 2010 and 2011 regarding printmaking processes. Yet for all that they are viewed, they receive little or no interaction. This is a curious thing.
But, as anyone who is on twitter, for example, knows: a post can garner thousands of views and receive only a few or a few tens of likes or retweets. You can see the same phenomenon on Medium. I believe this has to do with vulnerability, among other things.
It’s that whole notion of the ‘carefully crafted profile’ or online presence. We are naturally inclined to hide certain aspects of ourselves. Add to that the fact we have thousands or tens of thousands of snippets coming at us constantly— we are barraged with information, opinions, advertisements, just all sorts, all day every day. Only a small percentage of which we will deem worthy of interaction, based on mood, proclivity, time, etc.
To deal with this, conventional wisdom says to aim at a niche audience. Get granular, get specific. This makes sense; a thousand actively engaged fans are better than ten thousand passive ones.
Out of curiosity, I’ve been keeping an eye on my (admittedly modest) blog stats in recent months, paying attention to which kind of posts garner the most engagement, and it fluctuates, but there seems to be a three way tie:
— photo essays from wanders (abroad or at home)
— single or groups of observational sketches
So, how does one niche down from that? Or does one? There is no clear top Category. It’s fine with me, as I am absolutely a generalist within the field of visual art; a self-described visualist.
That said, I’d love to hear from any of my readers: do you have a favorite type of blog post or content here on The Museum? Hit me up in the comments. I’ll send some type of art to the first five to reply; maybe a postcard, a print, or a sketch. (I’ll gather some things and maybe give you a couple options.)