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Posts Tagged ‘illustration’

How long should a Blog Post be?

Hello, I’m back with more thoughts about the old blogging business. I am finding that the more I do, the more I want to find out about the best most effective way to blog, if there is such a thing.

I was discussing with a friend at Portfolio-Oomph, how long we should make our blog posts. I have been going for short and sweet as my own attention span has massively decreased since I became a Mum. Any longer and I think my head might explode, or I will go into a panic thinking that I haven’t done the other 500 things I still have to do that day!

Plus, if I can’t focus on something for too long, I can’t expect someone else to sit down and read my rants for ages! I suppose that is how I like people to talk too, my family are not the biggest talkers so I find it quite difficult to listen to anyone who takes ages to tell you something, or get to the point. (Disclaimer here, my daughter is not in the quiet or get to the point category, but she is funny and cute so I don’t mind her going on!!)

Also sometimes I realise I can get to the point a bit too quickly and have said something I probably shouldn’t have! Anyway I realise I am going on a bit myself so will get to the point now.

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A standard recommendation I have found on a few blogs seems to be that a good post should be about 600 words, enough time to engage your audience but not too long to lose their interest. I find this quite a manageable length as I feel I can say what I want to, and then go back to illustrating and the rest of my life!

However, I have found lots of differing advice to this, and I found some particularly interesting advice from Joe Bunting. He gives a great breakdown of how the different length of posts affect your SEO. He explains that the shorter ones tend to get more comments, but the longer ones can get more shares and ranking on search engines. The highest ranking being the ones with 2,450 words…maybe that is not for me…yet!

Do take a look at what he says about blog post length as I found it gave me a lot to consider.

All this has also made me think about the whole blogging phenomenon. When I decided to start blogging regularly it was because I wanted to share things about my art and my life, but now I am spending more time considering how blogs work and how best to develop mine. Basically blogging about blogging! There does seem to be a huge amount of people out there doing this, at a much more impressive and qualified level than me but they are blogging about blogging!

I am hoping that the things I am learning as a beginner will be useful and interesting for other bloggers who are just starting out, and once I find my own way I do plan for the focus to definitely return to my art. But for now I am kind of enjoying the whole learning experience as it feels like a whole new world is opening up.

Right now though it’s back to the drawing board – literally. I am off to finish a couple of commissions and do my daily drawing for my 365 Days Project. Have a great day.

I would love to know any of your thoughts on anything I have written or anything really!

Look forward to hearing from you, Sam X

 

 

 


Positive Reactions!

I am soooo pleased that I have started my 365 Days Project, it has really motivated me as I know that whatever else I am doing each day, I HAVE to fit in a drawing. I have been super-efficient getting all the rest of my orders and commissions done as quick as I can, so I can do this. It kind of feels like saving the best bit of food till last each day, so it’s like having a lovely chocolate cake but without the guilt!

The only thing that has suffered so far in this whirl of activity is my housework, today was the first time EVER that I haven’t had a clean school top for my daughter to wear. I did manage to cover up my rubbishness by putting her in an old PE top, which she thought was great as she will already be half ready for PE which is this afternoon! Genius!

It has also increased my confidence, as I am usually a bit cautious and worried whenever I send out a commission to someone, until they get back to me. I know this is silly as I have not had a bad comment so far but I can’t help it. But now I am putting new work out daily so just have to do it, so far I have had a great response to everything, so – so far so good. I have also had some brilliant people to draw already and was very pleased that Magazine Entrepreneur Mike Soutar, (who you might have seen on the Aprentice), has let me draw him and shared my pic.

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I have also stepped inside a gorgeous shop and managed to speak, and now have another stockist Cloudberry Gifts, to sell my wares, so I am now getting their order ready.

I have also been reading a few blogs with advice about how to develop your own blog which I plan to write about next time to show what I have learnt so far. I would love to get any tips or comments you have for me. Good or bad criticism accepted…honest!

I hope it is going to be a great 365 Days this year for all of us!

Please do lso get in touch if you would like to be part of my 365 Days Project project, or if you would like to commission a piece of work for your home or business, I’d love to hear from you X

 

 

 


Drawing People – is it ok?

Hi again, I’ve come into a bit of a dilemma a few times since starting this project and wondered what your opinions are.

My 365 Days Project is a challenge I’ve set myself, to draw a new person every single day for a year, so far I am into my third week and loving it! However most of the people I am doing I have asked their permission and either taken a photo or been given one to use, and it’s all been very straight-forward.

However a couple of times I have drawn people without them knowing. Incluidng this Colourful Mystery girl. I did bump into her afterwards and she seemed quite flattered, and was very happy for me to use the picture, but did not want her photograph to be online.

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I have also drawn a lady I know, with every intention of telling her, but with the speed of the internet, someone else showed her the picture first! Again she was pleased, but with hindsight I think I should have shown her first but was excited to get it out there!

Also I am doing a few celebrities and some have agreed for me to go ahead and draw them which is great, but for others again I have the dilemma. Should I wait and ask them first and maybe never get a reply, or go ahead and tell them afterwards? And if it is a drawing and they didn’t like it what then?

I have every intention of telling people if I have drawn them but is it ok to do this without asking first?

Because it is not a photograph I am taking, it is an illustration I am having a little battle with myself. I am very careful to protect the privacy of someone, and would never take a photo showing their faces without their knowledge , but is an illustration the same?

Just getting myself in an ethical twist and wonderd what you guys thought? I would love to get your opinions as basically I am a worrier and would like to know if I should be worried about this or not!!

Remember I have 365 Days to do, so if you want to be involved and are happy for me to use you and a photograph do get in touch, email pics to sam@sammiller.co.uk Thanks X


Celebrity Endorsements and Nerves!

Hi Everyone, I’m very pleased to tell you I’ve had my first celebrity endorsements this week for my 365 Days project! Poppy Lee Friar who plays Eve, AND the writer and creator of the series Emma Reeves both said they loved my picture, which has made my day and week, and also gained me a big hug from my daughter telling me I was great! My favourite reward.

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It is always lovely to get feedback from people, (celebrities or not), and I am always thrilled to hear from people and companies who are pleased with the items I have made for them. The biggest compliment I find is when people come back again, and sometimes again and again…. I do put a lot of effort into making sure every product I send out or illustration I do for someone is exactly what they want, as I would hate to give someone a portrait that was just ‘ok’, or ‘almost right’, instead of perfect.

It is always a bit nervewracking sending a commission to someone to see what they think, and despite having a totally positive success rate, and numerous repeat orders from shops, individulas and companies, I am a complete scaredy cat! I still find it terrifying visiting a new possible stockist, just in case they say ‘no’. It’s silly really as the worst that can happen is I blush a bit and scurry out of the shop, never to darken it’s door again, but I wouldn’t actually be any worse off than before I went in.

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For that reason I am determined this year to face my fears and walk right through the door, armed with my Wee Man bestsellers for back-up! Alternatively any stockists out there who would like some lovely original products that I promise sell really well, please just get in touch!

Let me know if there is anything you avoid doing, or that makes you nervous. Also please let me know any tips you have for conquering the butterflies!

Look forward to hearing from you X