How to get your art published in Blogs and Magazines – Part II
In the first part we went thru the benefits of getting your work published in online magazines and blogs, as a quick recap, even getting featured on smaller blogs can drastically increase your own personal audience, since most of these blog readers are completely unfamiliar with your work and a greater audience can lead to countless opportunities as sales and exhibitions.
As mentioned beforehand, magazine features are a basic equation: Quality content, delivered correctly to the right magazine equals audience growth, now let’s dive into each of these elements and how to optimize them in order to achieve better results.
Preparing a media kit for the magazines to publish.
The first step towards getting magazines features is the foundation of your overall press efforts, the hard work here will help you develop a professional and compelling MEDIA KIT, a digital portfolio that will allow magazines to have an efficient first look into your artwork and get a precise idea of your profile. This is not an in-depth look at your art practice, but a quick breeze to your best and most relevant pieces.
The media kit should be compromised of:
10–15 Images of your work
Make sure that these are high-quality images, no backgrounds of surfaces. Just images of the artworks themselves. Pay special attention to lighting, make sure that it’s uniform and does not distort the colours.
It’s also useful to include pictures of the artworks hanging in-situ, decorating a nice looking living room helping a more precise idea of sizing and proportions.
While each magazine might have different specifications towards size of the images, it’s ideal to send them on a web resolution for optimized load time — 72dpi — 2000px wide — 1-1.5 MB each
We will make a separate article talking specifically about art photography.
Artists Press text
Introduce yourself to the internet.
Even if you are a visual artist, sometimes images are not enough and ‘an image is worth 1000 words’ does not apply towards press efforts. Magazines will need to to know a little bit more about your background and what lead you to create the artworks that you are looking to get published.
Mind that this must be an easy and pleasurable read, don’t go too much into deep details and stray away from art-talk, keep the language simple and approachable.
Use this opportunity to talk about your background, inspiration, previous, current and future work as well as your most important achievements and exhibitions. Again, this is a press text, not your cv, so avoid a large list with all of your exhibitions. Keep it short and snappy, let your images do the talking.
The ideal length of an artist press kit should be around 300–500 words and cover key aspects of your artist persona: Who, what, why, when, how.
This text should be delivered in an editable format (NOT PDF) and include contact information and social media links.
The correct way to prepare your media kit in order to optimize delivery.
As we covered on the first part, magazines have a real need for quality content. With the overflow of information that we are managing nowadays, it’s very hard for magazine staff to stay up to date with all the new art, so helping them and providing them with quality content is a great way to go get published out there.
On the other hand, these magazines are bombarded with material sent by artists, so if you don’t deliver the materials in an optimal manner, chances are that they will completely ignore your work, no matter how good it is. Sometimes the sheer work of starting a back and forward email chain is too much and they will discard your work and publish someone who sent the work in the correct and editable format.
It’s simple, the easier your work is to publish, the most likely it is to get published.
The idea is to have all your files easily editable, while a fancy looking pdf portfolio might look nice, it’s a real headache to publish. Send your works as individual JPG’s (as mentioned in step.1) and your text in an editable doc, without formatting.
Once you have the material from step 1, place these contents into an online folder in services such as GOOGLE DRIVE or DROPBOX, be sure to set the privacy setting of this folder to PUBLIC and copy the share link to this folder.
That is the link that you will be sending to the magazines, it allows them to access the works and text and browse freely without the need of downloading anything.
While file transfer sites are very useful, they are not ideal in this case. The links they provide usually have an expiry date and sometimes your email can be in the magazine’s inbox for some weeks before they actually publish it.
Recap: Create a GOOGLE DRIVE folder, place your images and artist press text inside, set permissions to public and copy the share link.
Analyzing the right magazines for your work and how to approach them.
Now that you’ve completed steps one and two, you have your material prepared and ready to spam every single art magazine out there, right?
This step should actually be split into two parts: Research and delivery.
While there are a senselessly infinite number of art magazines out there, only a limited number of them actually fit with your art practice. If a magazine focuses on black and white photography, sending your tropical, colourful sculptures for featuring is a waste of yours and the magazines time.
Research is important because it will help target your efforts towards sending your material to magazines where you actually have a chance of getting published. Also, sending your material to a magazine that obviously doesn’t match your artworks makes you seem really unprofessional.
Once you start doing the research, add the information on a spreadsheet alongside with important information such as email, social media links and latest articles, all these might come in handy later, and it’s always valuable to create your own database of media outlets.
When considering magazines it’s also of value to make a list of the writers that are actively publishing content, magazines can have a huge team of contributors and it’s really more efficient if you contact one of them personally than the magazine’s direct contact e-mail.
Once you discovered the magazines and its writing contributors involved it’s time to establish a genuine relationship. Search there latest articles and evaluate if they are the ideal fit for being contacted, upon assessing that it’s a good fit, look for their email or twitter and start a conversation. It’s more likely that a writer who has heard of you before will publish you, than the one you contact out of the blue.
Note that all contacts with writers and magazines should be done personalized, sending bulk emails will not bring any results.
Once you’ve prepared the list and established a first contact with the reporters it’s time to subtly send your material for publication. Write a short and direct email telling a little bit about the project that you want to get published and why you think it’s a good fit for the publication, along with the e-mail send a link to the google drive folder where they will be able to download the photos and texts and you should be good to go.
Once the publication is up and running be sure to share thru your social media channels and groups, in order to obtain maximum visibility.
As you can note, press can be a great channel to grow your following and gain some visibility. If done correctly it’s an easy and efficient method that be scaled with time. Once you get published by a certain number of small blogs you can present those articles as social validation when approaching medium and large blogs.