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Fri, Oct 12 2012 4:24:31 UTC

How to make your art go viral

Most content creators, whether they be writers, bloggers or artists, want to have their work seen. When you post something to a blog, or an online gallery, it's always nice to have people go to it, see and even comment on it. After all, many of us entered the art business not for the financial gains, but as a way to express ourselves. So how can you make sure your art, or your expression, gets seen as much as possible? How can you make your post go viral?

Going 'viral' means that the views of a particular piece suddenly go through the roof, because people keep sharing your link to their friends. Being a good artist doesn't necessarily make you a good marketer, and the first thing to realize is that your success as an artist is highly dependent not only on your art skills, but on your marketing skills as well. There are a lot of people spending all their days trying to figure out how to make things go viral, and there are many varying theories about why a certain YouTube video, article, or image gets millions of views, and another which may look on the surface to be just as good, gets almost no attention.

There are many books on the topic, and you could quickly get lost trying to find all the information on Internet marketing, but I'll give you the basic principles, and what anyone can do to maximize the chance of being seen. These are things anyone can do, and which won't cost you much other than time.

First, make sure to have a good web site. A lot of people use online galleries like DeviantART or Renderosity to post their images, and you certainly should do that. But your main home on the web should be your own web site, for many reasons. First, you can customize your site to be unique, and to look good. Even if some online galleries allow you some customization, they are always limited in some ways. Also, you never know when a site will close down, and if your gallery is over there, and your signature always points people there, it's a major problem if that goes away. With your own domain name, you are always in control, and you can get your own site at a very low cost these days, often just $5 a month.

Once your content is online, both on your own site and spread around on other gallery sites, as appropriate for your type of content, then it's time to spread the word on social networks. You may use Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, or you may not. But you have to realize that many people use these sites. Every time you post some new content, you should let others know by posting on these social sites as well. Also, you should actually go to the sites and post links to your content directly. It's a little known fact that content posted on Facebook through a social plugin gets a lower precedence than something posted directly on your Facebook wall.

So posting your content on the web, and then spreading the word on social sites, really is the most basic thing everyone should do. The fact is, no one knows for sure whether something will go viral or not. Studies have shown that quite often, things that marketers plan to go viral flop, and other content which isn't seen as potential viral material ends up being the talk of the day. A firm recently did an experiment on how photos posted on Facebook go viral, and while it's entertaining to watch the resulting graph, it also shows how chaotic it is. With that said however, there are still things you can keep in mind to help the process along, and increase your chances.

The time of day you post your content is an important factor on how many people will see it. Surveys show that there's three times of the day when people tend to look at Internet content, especially their Facebook walls or other recreational content. There's early in the morning, around noon, and around 6PM. The reason is simple, most people work in 9 to 5 jobs. That means they get a lunch break in the middle, and they are also tempted to browse the web before and after work. So posting your content just before those times will actually increase your viewer count.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that each viewer has a very different value in terms of how likely they will help get your content to go viral. There's no question that if a popular figure, someone who has millions of Twitter or Facebook followers, sees your content and then shares it, then you will get a big influx of viewers. That's why many marketers go out of their ways to share content directly with influential figures. Of course you can't start spamming people because that's a quick way to be ignored. But if you think about it, most real world galleries invite influential personalities all the time, for openings or other events, and these people help tremendously with sales. The same thing is true online, and sending a personalized email to someone you know might be interested in the kind of work you do can go a long way.

A very important thing to keep in mind is that what works for one person may not work for someone else. You need to keep experimenting with Internet marketing, just like you may already be experimenting with art styles. You most likely won't find the perfect method right away, and if you don't iterate quickly and try other things, you may not get the results you need. Most of us have to pay our bills and while making art can be a passion, it also often has to be financially worth it as well. So by becoming a good marketer, and finding out what works for you in order to get views, it will help you keep that passion going.

Finally, when all is said and done, the most important criteria as to whether or not your content will go viral is the quality. Having good content is the number one way for it to go viral. It's no guarantee, of course, and it might be disheartening to see other people produce what some may consider lesser content and get a lot more viewers, but in the long run, producing high quality content is the most likely way to win.

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© 2007-2019 Patrick Lambert - All resources on this site are provided under the MIT License - You can contact me at: contact@dendory.net