3 Ways To Make Money With Your Art Blog

By Nicole Tinkham


Your blog does not just have to be a diary for yourself. It can be but if you are a professional artist blogging about what you do and different art tips and techniques, you can very well make money from your blog! And really, it’s not all that difficult to do either. Of course you want great content so keep on creating that for your readers. But there are a few extra things you could do as well to really get your blog going. In this post, we’ll walk you through 3 ways to actually make some extra money with your art blog. Remember, your time is valuable (we know the time and effort that goes into blogging!) so why not allow yourself to earn a little extra money while doing it?

1.    Sell on your blog

The first and most obvious answer to earning money through your art blog is to sell your work on it! You can set up a shopping cart (most likely linked to your PayPal account) or hire someone to set it up for you.

In addition to your artwork, you can also sell your knowledge. We’re talking PDFs, ebooks, guides, video series, CDs, audio and any other way to get your message out there. You can share your top tips and techniques for watercolor painting or a guide on how to keep your art room organized. Become and expert in that area and share your knowledge to help others.

You may be wondering first off how to do all of this and secondly, where you’ll find people to sell to. We honestly aren’t techies here so we recommend doing a little research, finding a friend to help you, or hiring someone to do the online work for you with getting everything set up. We’re just providing the inspiration so a professional can help you further with the production side of things.

When it comes to finding the right people to sell to, just keep providing incredible content! Talk to your readers and understand what they want. Cater to them and they’ll keep coming back to your blog, gain trust with you, and eventually buy from you.

You can also drive more traffic to your blog through guest blogging. Reach out to other bloggers in your niche, figure out how you can help them with your unique content, and ask to write a post for them.

2.    Affiliate marketing

Don’t worry, this sounded totally foreign to us at first too until we did a little research and found out how easy it really is. Amazon has an affiliate program where you can promote products (related to your niche) and earn a commission on sales through the link. You don’t have to worry about selling and shipping the items yourself as the affiliate company takes care of that part. All you have to do is share their link on your blog.

It’s basically like telling a friend about the art brushes you have fallen in love with and then that friend goes out and buys them based on your recommendation. Only with affiliate marketing, you make some money off that sale too.

Now we do want to warn you to think about what your readers want! If the link has nothing to do with what your blog is all about (like car parts on your art blog) you will lose your readers. If you have way too many ads on your blog, you’ll turn off your readers. Be sure to try the product out first and only use the affiliate link if you truly believe in the product.

If you’re interested in affiliate marketing, you will have to sign up with an affiliate program. You won’t start earning money just by adding random links in your post. Here’s a great resource to help you get started with affiliate marketing.

3.    Write product reviews

Have you ever dreamed of playing around with different art supplies and getting paid for it? Go ahead and write reviews for other companies. Reach out to different art manufacturers, be interested in any new products they’re offering, and ask to write up a review on it. You’ll probably at least get some free supplies out of it 🙂

We’ve seen this done for food and travel bloggers so we’re sure artists can have so much with it as well. Product reviews are basically a win-win for both you and the company you’re working with. You’re providing valuable content for both audiences.

Also, people LOVE looking up reviews on Google. This means your blog will pop up more often in the search engine results, driving even more traffic to your blog.

We’ll be honest, it’s not always easy reaching out to these companies to write a review for them though. Make sure you do your research first. Read their blog and become familiar with the company. When contacting these companies (start with email), be completely honest about your site traffic and subscribers. They can easily do their homework and find out the truth so don’t even try lying about it. Once you do get a review to write, stay in contact with them through the whole process and keep them informed.

If you’re serious about writing reviews, check out this helpful article that goes into more detail.

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed at this point, you’re not alone. We’ve mentioned briefly 3 different ways to make money with your art blog and each thing on this list takes time and effort. You’ll notice that your blog audience will increase slowly (ours did anyway) but once you get the momentum going your blog will keep growing as long as you’re consistent with it. Same thing goes with earning money through your blog. Don’t become discouraged for not making thousands of dollars overnight. Be patient and keep providing incredible content to your audience. You will get there!

Write Your Own Story – 4 Steps To Discovering Who You Really Are

By Nicole Tinkham


When it comes to knowing yourself, it makes perfect sense to say that you’re the one who knows you best. We’d be willing to bet however, that you don’t know yourself as well as you think you do. When we’re born we are open to so many different possibilities in life, even down to the language we speak. But as we grow, our surroundings shape who we are. We pick up on the language and activities around us and that’s who we become. We’re told what to do and what not to do. We tend to follow along with society and what everyone else is doing. While knowing who you are sounds simple enough, can you see why discovering the real you can be a bit challenging? Instead of making up your own story, we’ll explain how you can write your true story and really figure out the person who you are.

Why is it important to write your story?

Do you ever feel lost and wonder how you ended up on this particular path? Maybe you have little excitement in what you’re currently doing or maybe you just feel like you were born to do more. To discover your calling, you must first dig deeper and discover yourself. Once you figure that out, everything else will start falling into place. This also allows you to put your time and energy into the right things that will shape who you are and who you want to become. You’ll find that you’re more confident being the unique person you are and you’ll start challenging yourself more, striving for bigger and better things in life.

FIRST: Spend time with yourself

This doesn’t mean stay home and watch TV all day. When we say to spend time with you, we mean get yourself in the zone in a nice quiet area with no distractions. Be still, clear your mind of any stresses, and just be alone. For some people this can be quite uncomfortable but being alone with your thoughts can reveal information about yourself that you normally wouldn’t notice. Embrace the silence and become one with yourself. You can do this step often just to check in with where you’re at. Every once in awhile do a longer session and more frequently you can do shorter sessions, or whatever you feel is needed.

SECOND: Get honest with yourself

Still alone in a quiet area, grab a journal and start jotting down notes on who you are. This shouldn’t be who you want to be, someone else who you admire, or who you’re striving to become. Make a list of every single unique thing about you including both the good and the bad. Sometimes it can be difficult to open up about the things you aren’t proud of but remember that this list is for your eyes only. Plus you must be aware of these areas so you can work on them.

THIRD: Consider how you make people feel

This next step is crucial when making self improvements. How you make others feel says way more about you than your success and money. People don’t remember those things but they will always remember how they felt around you. Seriously consider how you currently make people feel and then think about how you’d like to make them feel.

FOURTH: Determine what you have to offer

The final step will take some time and could change as you go through different seasons of life. You may not have an answer right away but what we can tell you is that you were born with a special gift to share with the world. Even if you see a ton of other people doing the same thing you are, creating and selling art online for example, there’s a certain unique quality that only you have. To discover this, write down a list of everything you’re good at whether it’s a certain art technique or baking killer chocolate chip cookies. What do people most often compliment you on? What do they ask your advice on? What are some things you absolutely love doing? Keep asking yourself these questions and with time, you’ll discover what you were meant to do and how to give that unique thing to the world.

One last piece of advice, actually write these things down! Literally write out your story. Take your brainstorm notes and put them all together. Also keep in mind that your story can and will change. As we go through different life events who we are and what we have to offer also changes. So whether you’re trying to figure out your next career move or just trying to be a better version of yourself, walk through these 4 steps to writing your own story and discovering who you really are.

How To Choose A Blog Topic That Speaks To You

By Nicole Tinkham


Something that has recently come up on our Facebook page is blogging. Many artists would love to start a blog but have no clue where to start. In our first segment on blogging, we went over how to set up your own blog in 6 simple steps. We touched on how to come up with content ideas but now it’s time to really get into it. If you’ve set up your blog and are experiencing writers block or are overwhelmed with too many ideas, we can help! Here’s how to choose a blog topic that speaks to you.

Are you being yourself?

This is YOUR BLOG! There are so many other blogs out there that readers can choose from, having similar content to your blog. Why should a reader choose yours? Be a little different and let your personality shine through. Blog about the things that interest you most. If you’re fun and laid back, don’t try to be super formal in your writing. Write in the same language you use in everyday life. This will attract more like-minded people to your blog and make it easier for you to build a relationship with those people. You also don’t have to stick to one particular topic. There are so many different branches you can go off from the main theme of your blog. Take our blog, for instance. One day we’ll blog about acrylic painting techniques, another day it’s how to be happier in your life and the next it’s about growing your art business. They’re all different yet make sense together.

Are you solving a problem?

When you do some research online and look up various blogs, what are you really searching for? Most likely you’re looking for an answer or solution to your problem. When coming up with a blog post idea, think about what other people are often asking you. What are other artists searching for online? What are YOU looking up answers to? Be a resource for other people. Be the blog they go to for incredible information! We know many artists who experiment with their artwork and try new things. This is the perfect opportunity to share what you’ve learned and your personal tips and tricks.

Are you encouraging?

So many people have a fear of simply getting started whether it be starting their own business or just beginning an art project. There is no greater feeling that being able to help change someone’s life by giving them the encouragement they need to start. Positive and uplifting blog posts have a greater impact on others than you may think. They actually have a huge impact on you as well! It’s great to be informative but we also suggest throwing in a little motivation as well. These posts don’t have to be long, just make sure they come from the heart.

Not sure if this type of post is for you? We’ve actually been sending out encouraging emails every Monday morning and have received an incredible amount of positive feedback. Sometimes what’s on your heart is exactly what someone else needs to hear at that very moment. You can sign up to receive our encouraging emails here.

What are you most passionate about?

One way to never run out of blogging ideas is to blog about the thing you’re most passionate about. What’s one thing you can’t stop thinking about? What to you talk most about to other people? What keeps you up at night? What excites you? Once you figure out exactly what you’re passionate about, the ideas will start to flow and you won’t run into trouble thinking up blog ideas. They’ll just come naturally. Sometimes your passions change and that’s totally fine. Just go with the flow and share what’s currently inspiring you.

What is your unique twist?

We mentioned the importance of being yourself but is there other ways you can stand out in the crowd? Maybe you’re better on video in which case you can turn your blog into a vlog (or video blog). Do you interview local artists? Maybe do some sort of fun post on Friday’s. You could even have wild card blogs where you throw in some of your favorite recipes among your art posts. You can showcase other artists on your blog or have a critique day. Another fun idea would be product reviews. The options are endless so get a little creative and do something totally unique!

What are some of your favorite blogs?

What made you subscribe to your favorite blogs? What do you like about them? Let these blogs be your inspiration but don’t copy them! Look at what topics interest you, the length of the blogs you like to read, and the structure of the blogs.

There seems to be a lot to think about when starting up a new blog but don’t let that overwhelm you. Don’t let this be the reason you never get started. When you find yourself completely lost, always go with your heart. What do you love to talk about? What are you passionate about? What do you have to share with the world? Be unique and be yourself – you do not have to be perfect! Choosing a blog topic that speaks to you should come easily if you keep these things in mind.

Have a blog already set up? Share a link with us in the comments below! We can’t wait to see what you’ve been blogging about!

How To Start Your Own Blog In 6 Simple Steps

By Nicole Tinkham

How to start your own blog in 6 simple steps

We’ve talked with many artists who would love to start blogging, but have two key things that are holding them back. For one, they don’t know how to get started. And secondly, even if they did have a blog set up, they say they wouldn’t know what to write about. We personally speak with these artists every single day on our Facebook page. They share with us what projects they’re currently working on, art tips and techniques that they’ve been experimenting with, and photos of their incredible artwork. The thought of these talented artists not sharing these things with the world through a blog because they don’t know how to, just kills us. Especially since we know how simple it really is to do. If you’ve been bouncing the idea of a blog around, it’s time to get started now! Here’s how to set up your own blog in 6 simple steps.

1.    Choose your platform

The very first thing you need to do is choose a platform. This is the website that will host your blog. There are many options out there but WordPress is by far the most popular and the one we highly recommend as that’s where we started with this blog. There are two versions of WordPress available, a free version and a paid (or self hosted) version. For now we’ll be focused on the free version. This one is much easier to set up and get started right away.

A few things to keep in mind about the free version…

You don’t own your blog. Technically it’s not yours and can be taken down. But we wouldn’t worry about that. Also, there are only so many “extras” you can add to your free blog. You can do the basics but for extra plugins, you’ll have to upgrade. Another thing to be aware of is your blog web address. Our new paid (future) WordPress site is www. mykeetons.com. Our existing free blog however, is http://www.keetonsonline.wordpress.com. See the difference there?  The free version has the word “wordpress” in the middle and you can’t change that part of it.

When you set up your free WordPress site, it will ask you a series of questions (easy ones, we promise!) including a layout and theme but you can always change this later on.

2.    Design and theme

Here’s where you can have a lot of fun with your blog! You can choose a theme, or essentially layout, for your blog. Some of these themes are paid but there are many of really good ones which are free. To choose a theme for your blog, complete the following steps:

•    Click on “My Sites” in the upper left of your screen.

•    Next click “Themes” in the left-hand column.

•    Click on a theme to preview it and choose to use that theme if you like it.

•    You can also further customize your chosen theme by clicking “Customize” next to “Themes” in the left-hand column. This will give you options to choose colors, fonts, a background, and more.

Remember that you can always go back and change the look of your blog. Don’t be scared to try some different things until you find one that you want to stick with! The nice thing about the free version of WordPress is that all the website coding is already done for you. You have options when it comes to design but you don’t have to be an expert in this area. WordPress pretty much takes all the guesswork out for you.

3.    Choose your niche

As mentioned earlier in this post, the second biggest blogging struggle many artists face is not knowing what to write about. Your first couple posts may be difficult but once you get going, the ideas will start to flow and you’ll be hooked. We suggest considering what you’re most passionate about. What are you really good at? What do people ask you for advice on most often? What do you do on a daily basis? We know you have some talents so share that with the world! Take pictures of your artwork and talk about them. Share things you’ve learned throughout your journey. What can you teach others? What techniques have you picked up through experimenting with different medium and tools? Maybe you’re also passionate about cooking. Feel free to share some of your favorite recipes!

When in doubt, share something about yourself! What struggles have you overcome? What life experiences have you lived? It’s great to share who you are with your audience to build a relationship with them.

4.    Make a schedule

A set blogging schedule may not seem very important in the beginning but once you build a following, being consistent is key to success! If someone subscribes to your blog they will be notified whenever a new blog is published. If they like your posts, they’ll be eagerly awaiting the next one. It doesn’t matter how often you publish a new post as long as you’re consistent. We like to publish our posts every Monday and Thursday morning. These days seem to work best for us but pick a system that works for you.

Note: you can write your blogs in advance and schedule them to be published on a certain day. When you’re writing a new post in WordPress, click the calendar icon next to “publish” and select the day and time you want the post to go out.

5.    Write your first post

When you sit down to write your very first post, take some time to brainstorm what you’ll write about. Grab a pen and notebook and begin to jot down every topic idea that comes to mind. Don’t think too hard about it. Just get the ideas down on paper! Now select a topic you’d like to start with. We like to create an outline before we actually begin writing. To do this, just jot down some key points you don’t want to forget and use this as your guide. Here are some additional tips to keep in mind as you’re putting together your blog post.

•    Include an image! This will draw people in to read your post and catches the eye when posting on social media sites.

•    Include tags in your post. Tags will help people find your blog when doing a Google search. To add tags, you’ll find a “Tags” section in the left column when you’re writing a new post. Type in a word that describes what your blog is about. It might be “art” or “oil painting”. You can add several tags, hitting the enter key after each one.

•    You can also organize your blogs into categories. This way, your readers can find exactly what they’re looking for. You’ll find a “category” section right by the “tag” section we mentioned above.

•    Include links to your previous blog posts. We love linking back to old posts because it gets more eyes on our content. Be sure whatever it is you’re talking about relates to the post you’re linking to. You can select the word or words you’d like to link and click the hyperlink button (above where you type in the contents of the post) and insert the URL of the page you want to link to.

6.    Share it!

Once your blog is written you want others to read it, right? Share a link to your blog with friends and family. You can either email it over to them or post it on Facebook or any other social media platform you’re using. We recommend sharing each new blog you publish on Facebook. Also be sure to check out other blogs in your niche and comment on them. This will help build relationships and get new people over to your blog.

These 6 steps to starting your own blog may seem detailed but they aren’t difficult to do. And you don’t have to do them all in one day. It’s perfectly ok to start small. For today, just decide what blogging platform you want to use and move onto the next step tomorrow. It does take time to build your blog so be patient. In the beginning, we had very little blog views and hardly ever got any comments but over the past few years it has grown well beyond what we thought it would. Hang in there blogger, you will get there!

Tell us, do you have a blog?? Once you get yours up and running be sure to COMMENT your link in the comments below so we can check it out!

5 minute art projects for when you’re short on time

By Nicole Tinkham

5 minute art projects for when you don't have much time
We hear it all the time. You want to get more art time into your daily life but your schedule is so packed that you simply can’t make it happen. It’s unfortunate because this is how you grow as an artist. To get better at anything, you must practice consistently. If you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel at the moment, let us introduce our favorite 5 minute art projects for when you’re short on time.

1.    Zentangle
Zentangle is basically organized doodling. It allows you to clear your mind and completely relax. When you only have 5 minutes, work on a smaller scale. You can use 3”x3” cards and do quick little zentangle designs. It’s super easy to get lost in a zentangle project so you may want to set a timer if you have other things on your agenda.

Learn more about zentangle and how to get started here.

2.    Stamping
Next time you’re in the art supply store, grab a few stamps that jump out to you and ink pads in your favorite colors. When you have a few extra minutes, play around with them. We love making our own greeting cards. It doesn’t take up much of your time and there’s so much to experiment with (like embossing powder). Let your imagination run wild!

3.    Sketching
We encourage ALL ARTISTS to carry around a small sketchbook with them wherever they go. You never know when you’ll gain pockets of time throughout the day when you could be practicing your art. If you’re at work, take a 5 minute break to sketch and clear your mind. Sketch on your morning commute (as long as you’re not the one driving) or 5 minutes before you leave the house in the morning. Once you start actively looking for these segments of time, you’ll realize there are more opportunities than you thought.

4.    Writing
Writing can sometimes seem unrelated to the art we’re normally familiar with but what’s more creative than telling a story? Remember that there are many ways to use your creative mind that don’t involve drawing or painting. If you don’t have a sketchbook (or even if you do), carry around a journal to jot down inspiring thoughts for the day, a story, or some poetry.

5.    Coloring
Have you heard about adult coloring books yet?? They seem to THE hobby to get into these days. We love them because it requires some creativity but you don’t have to put yourself entirely out there if you don’t feel comfortable with your artwork yet. There’s no pressure to finish the page you’re coloring right away if you don’t have time and it’s a great way to escape for a little while.

We only put our artwork on the back burner because we THINK we don’t have time for it. If you’re serious about working on your art every single day, here’s what we want you to do. Write down every single thing you do in a day and how long it takes you to do it. This will open your eyes to where you have some extra time and what you should stop doing or cut back on doing so you can focus on what really matters, your ART!

Tell us, how do you get just a little more art in your daily routine? Let us know in the comments below.

How to write the perfect artist statement in 4 easy steps

By Nicole Tinkham

How to write the perfect artist statement in 4 easy steps

For most artists, writing an artist statement is their least favorite part about completing a piece of artwork. It’s like that annoying friend that always tries to one-up you every time you tell a really great story; a sometimes frustrating part of the process. Many artists believe that the whole artist statement thing is pointless. They express themselves through the art itself, so why do they need to write about it too? They have a point. Art is (for the most part) visual, but most people are familiar with communicating through words. An artist statement helps viewers understand the work and in turn, they are able to gain more insight into the piece. That’s your main goal as an artist, isn’t it? If you’re going to put forth effort to write an artist statement it might as well be a GOOD artist statement. Here’s how to get it done in 4 easy steps.
But first! Let’s talk about what an artist statement is and what it’s not.

Artist statement defined: An artist statement is a basic introduction to your artwork. It doesn’t tell the viewer what to get out of the experience and it also doesn’t tell them how to think or feel about the piece. It in no way takes away from the artwork, only adds to it. The whole point of an artist statement is to answer any questions the viewer may have when you aren’t present. Here are four steps to writing your own.

Step #1: Be unique
You’ll typically see artist statements start off with “In my work…” or “My work is…” but there’s not any kind of rule book saying this is how all artist statements must start. Be unique with your opener to catch the viewer’s attention so they read the entire statement and get the full experience of your piece.

Step #2: Don’t think, just write
Don’t worry about it being perfect on your first draft. The important thing is that you turn your thoughts into words and get them down on paper. Think about your emotions when starting the piece, what it means to you, what your personal artistic style is, and your goal with that particular piece. It can be sloppy because trust us, you’ll be doing some serious editing in the next step.  For now, just focus on getting your ideas down.

Step #3: Edit
Once you’re on a roll, you’ll find it easy to fill up an entire notebook page (or a few), but the goal isn’t to write a novel so you’ll have to cut it down. A good artist statement is only 6 sentences long. Did your jaw just drop? Six sentences isn’t much which means you’ll have to make the most of each and every one of them. Combine sentences, discard sentences, and make sure each one has powerful meaning. Be bold, creative, and make the viewer think. Make them examine the artwork again after reading the artist statement. Those 6 sentences need to be POWERFUL.

Go through your artist statement with a thesaurus and choose the best possible words for the piece. Your artist statement should match the artwork itself so keep that in mind when choosing the perfect words. Consider whether the piece is calming, violent, uplifting, or emotional and choose words that fall into that category.

Step #4: Ask a friend
It never hurts to have a friend look over your writing before you expose it to the world. When you’re working so closely on any type of project, you tend to overlook even the simplest mistakes. Just because your artist statement makes perfect sense to you, doesn’t mean it’s clear to others. Having a fresh pair of eyes on the work will clear up any confusion.

The dreaded artist statement doesn’t sound too bad now, does it? You don’t have to be an expert writer to get the job done. Just remember to portray your message clearly and be yourself. Artist statements are an important component to your artwork. Before dismissing them altogether, consider the value they offer. We know how difficult writing can be when you don’t naturally have a way with words so feel free to ask any questions that come up in your process in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.

6 Tricks for Lefties

By Nicole Tinkham

Did you know that only 12% of all people are left-handed? That means the majority of the population has no idea the struggles that come with being a leftie. For starters, pen ink easily smears on the side of your hand, using scissors is a struggle, and elbow bumping at the dinner table is just straight up annoying. And not all lefties are the same. You have over-writers who position their hand above the line they’re writing on and the under-writers who do the exact opposite. So in honor of all left-handed writers, we put together a list of tips & tricks (as well as products) that will make your life easier.

1. Notebooks
Flip your spiral bound notebook/sketchbook upside down and work from the back of the book. This way the spiral binding edge won’t get in your way.

2. Pens
Look for pens that are smear proof. Ballpoint pens have quick-drying ink which will prevent smearing. Here are a few we recommend.

Paper Mate® Ballpoint Retractable Design Pen

Paper Mate® Profile Ballpoint Pens

Papermate Pen2

Dr. Grip FullBlack Advanced Ink Retractable Ball Point Pen


3. Pencils
For lefties who prefer writing with a pencil, there’s a solution for you as well. We recommend pencils with a hard lead as they’re less likely to smudge. Check out this helpful blog to determine the best lead for your needs.

4. Computer mouse
Most computer mice are geared toward right-handed people, having grooves and buttons on the left side (accessible to the thumb). Grr! However, there are mice that suit both types of people. Hint: make sure to check the description before purchasing a new mouse!

Logitech® Anywhere Mouse MX, Wireless

Kensington® Mouse for Life Wireless Three- Button Mouse


Kensington® Mouse for Life Wired Three- Button Mouse, Left/ Right, Black

5. Scissors
If you’re left-handed, you know this struggle all too well. There are scissors available that are (supposed to be) comfortable for both right and left handed users. Here’s a list of some you may want to look into: Right/Left Handed Scissors

6. Padfolios
Here’s an example of an item right-handed people would have never guessed to cause issues to lefties. Most padfolios come with the pad on the right side, making it easy to jot down notes for the majority of people (except left-handed writers, or course). Look for a pad holder with the writing pad on the left side like the one pictured below.

Universal® Zip- Around Padfolio

We’ve learned a lot about the left-handed writer just by putting this blog together but now we want to hear from YOU! Did we talk about anything you had never thought of before? Did we leave anything out? Be sure to let us know about them on our Facebook page and help your fellow lefties out.