As some of you know, in addition to my art career, I work part-time for Wells Fargo (the 4th largest bank in the US). Since I can’t support myself with art alone (I tried for 3 years and almost starved πŸ˜‰ I may as well do something I enjoy. At a company the size of Wells, that’s either a) Art Director or b) Blogger. I’m a B, Blogger. I manage a team there developing blogs for different parts of the company, the first of which was Guided by History, the first blog by a US bank.

What’s nice about this other job is the research and other information I get working for a large company. That info has helped re-enforce why I blog, but in the end, you have to a) have a passion, and b) have decent writing skills. I have to admit–for me–it didn’t start out that way. It all started with “Google Juice“. As I said, I was trying to make a living, with good months and bad, and was looking for some way to get “discovered” beyond my local galleries, shows, etc. My web site did make a dent. Somehow, one of my seascapes got added to a library of backgrounds for a popular blogging network, and I get a TON of traffic from that. If you “Google” the phrase plein air seascape (please don’t sue me, neighbor Google) I show up on the first page of links. I’ve made progress from that, one new gallery and a number of sales.

But to get more “Google Juice”, I thought I’d try blogging. So yes, dear reader, I first started my blog for the money. In the end, I do (over a year later now) for the passion. The fact is, in order to write something worth reading nearly daily, you have to have the passion. Sure, there are bloggers who write daily for the money (they used to call them journalists), but that’s not my story. If you’re a lurker and considering blogging, consider this:

  • Where are consumers? 4X more people read blogs today than did 9 months ago (40% of the US population). That’s self-reported reading a blog. Many presumably come across blogs and don’t realize their blogs, and therefore don’t report so.
  • Bloggers have Disproportionate Voice. Bloggers enjoy roughly 9X the voice of other web sites. Eg., 3% of the US population blogs, yet bloggers (for any brand) account for rough 25% of Google search result links. The very nature of blogging (heaving inter-linking, trackbacks, frequent updates) plays right into Google’s algorithms for sites that rise quickly on their search result listings.
  • Consumer Adoption. The size of the “blogosphere” is doubling every 5.5 months. This is a cultural phenomena that apparently has some legs. According to BusinessWeek, the adoption of blogs to communicate rivals that of email in the 1990’s.
  • Passion = Blogging. The best bloggers have passion, they really care about they write about and it shows. As a communication medium, blogging is a unique combination of:

So, should you blog? Check the list of sites on “Community Minded” above to see more examples and if you remain a lurker, that’s okay too. We all need readers, as well as writers.

If you’re a blogger or a reader, let me know what you think. That’s what blogging’s about.

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