I am Hayley from The Character Consultancy, and I am part-way through learning how to make it on various social media web sites.
How Can You Find an Audience for Your Artwork or Stories?
Tried to make it on several web sites but had no luck? This should help!
Have you ever found that no matter where you post your artwork or stories, you don't seem to get much of an audience? Almost as if the days of "if you post it, they will come" are over? It's a shame, but that's how it is these days for online artists and writers.
Don't fret, though. The problem isn't with the web sites, and the online world is still a fantastic place to get an audience. You just need to have a bit more of a strategy in place and that means knowing to engage with each web site.
The following isn't an exhaustive list of every art and writing site on the Internet, but these should help get you started. Here are my experiences with developing a following on each.
When I signed up on Artstation, I was expecting a more interactive experience than I got. Being a writer who pairs well with visual artists, I made an effort to network with other individuals there. The people I spoke to were friendly and polite, but disinterested in small talk.
Overall, people are on Artstation to get noticed by companies, and there isn't a forum or other social hub. Commenting on and Liking artworks is possible, but it's not an integral part of the way people interact there like it is on your average social media platform. You may not find it a good place to really connect with people or find an audience of casual art or story fans, but you also won't get spammed or trolled there.
If you want to learn the names of a lot of companies that may want to use your service, it's a good platform to be on. They also have a weekly newsletter. The web site doesn't seem to have great web authority though: if you do a Google search of your username, your Artstation profile probably won't rank that high. With that said, Artstation's a great choice for posting your work online in a way that looks professional. Personally I'd rather direct commercial potential clients to my Artstation than to my Deviantart or even Instagram.
Deviantart is a notoriously huge art-based social media site. This was the first place I came to, and the place I got the most disillusioned with. The same rules apply to this site as to the others: make lots of content and add to your journal if you can, but don't forget that the users here are largely casual. Use the forums to add to your client base.
The trick to Instagram is to make as many artworks as you can. This can make Instagram a bit tricky if you're an artist, as every piece of art you make takes you a lot of time and effort, so how on earth do you make enough content?
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For me, I've found a solution in blogging. Blogging can be a great way to give yourself lots of content to post by making images out of your own blog quotes. This is how I do it. Some of those quotes aren't even from blog entries, but pulled from my more substantial responses in comment sections or to forum threads. Just do whatever works for you and keep in mind that the trick is to have a big stack of images to upload, for as little effort as possible (because that's still going to add up to a lot of work. Making 30 images took me one working day, including posting them up and making sure they were credited properly).
Instagram only allows you to upload via your phone, and this is a deal-breaker for some people. Want to know how to bypass that? This article should help you out!
Don't forget to add plenty of hashtags, and throw in offbeat ones once in a while. Your phone should start to predict the ones you have used before.
I've only just started giving Pinterest a try. Like Instagram, having a lot of things to upload helps, and you can do it from your computer without using the above trick! Be warned that some Deviantart artists dislike having their art on Pinterest as Pinterest does not make crediting easy.
I hate to be too negative, but I always found Tumblr hard to work with. It's next to impossible to tell who is popular and who isn't, and getting noticed purely within the site is hard. (Generally, you need to find an audience outside of Tumblr and direct them there, but why would they bother if your art is already on the web site they found you on?)
Tumblr also has a reputation for being a haunt for teenagers, so if your work isn't ideal for teens or you're looking for paying clients, tumblr may not be ideal for you.
Some people find writing PR content easier than others. Believe it or not, I've always struggled to know what to write in a blog and have only found my sea legs relatively recently. If you don't have the blogging bug either, then creating a lot of written content can be a daunting task.
However, Twitter may be helpful to you in dipping your toes in the water. Twitter has been called a "microblogging" site, and that may be all you need to start posting on it. For a long time, I had difficulty with Twitter because I saw it as a social media site (which it is) and I'm an introvert. The place drained my energy very quickly. Therefore, perhaps a bit of reframing is in order: if you can see it as a place to do teeny, tiny little blog entries rather than as a place to network with casual fans, you may be able to overcome your reluctance to post there.
That's what I'm trying, at least.
Perhaps you could even find that the reverse works for you: if you can microblog on Twitter, you might start to get inspiration to write bigger blog entries for other sites, and that, in turn, will give you more material to post to Instagram and Pinterest.