Monday, April 13, 2015

Cost of Being Social

A sketch from my studio sketchbook - working on a painting of it!
I just finished my taxes; and by that I mean that I just finished adding up piles of crumpled receipts, sifting through years of bills and doing more math than I do any other month. Then I hand the mess over to my mom who tries to make sense of my confusing 'self employed' tax situation. (Why didn't they teach me how to do this in school?)
Robert - Just hanging out :)
The great thing about doing my taxes like this is that I get a close look at my yearly expenditures. The amount I spend on gas is always a shocker (over $2,000) but the other surprising number was that I spent $250 on facebook ads. The majority of my audience gets to this blog via my facebook page. When I initially set it up facebook was still a free and open marketplace. Then they introduced ads. Over the next year I saw my posts reach fewer and fewer of the people who had gone out of their way to 'Like' my page. So I started running small ad campaigns. Now every time I post something I have to set up an individual advertisement so that a portion of my audience will actually see my art. I generally only pay $1 or $2 to 'promote' each individual post, and clearly that ads up quickly! For $2 the potential for my post is about 400 - 700 views. I would have to pay at least $5 for my whole audience to see it. The difficult thing is that facebook is still the easiest way to reach people. It would be great if all those fans could subscribe to my blog but I read all sorts of artists blogs and are subscribed to none of them. I don't need more email clutter in my life and I bet you don't either. So I continue to pay to use facebook (the service that will always be free) to reach the wonderful people who take time out of their day to look at the art I work so hard at. I don't like the idea of giving facebook hundreds of dollars each year and if I am trying to make money from art I can't really afford it. If you use other social media sites I invite you to follow me and my artwork! 
I have a twitter account, instagram, Ello  (a new social media site still in the beta stages) as well as this blog and my website!

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