How do I build a community that loves my work?


Artist Maxx Phoenix is the best community builder I know.   In about three months Maxx went from zero followers to over 12,000.    You may want to follow him on Google+ and learn from the master himself.  Maxx and I both belong to a private artist mastermind community.  I know he decided to close his facebook account and start from scratch on google plus.

Given a limited amount of time to devote to marketing, Maxx decided that Google was the best place to build a community.  I feel the same way due to Google’s supremacy in search.

I have two suggestions from Maxx on community building:

  • 1.  Be Sociable
  • 2.  Identify and Separate the people who like your work


Again and again,  I hear there is no secret to building a following on social media.   The foundation of building a community is simply to be friendly and be a friend to others.   Being friendly means commenting on other people’s posts and pressing the like button.  When you find a post, a piece of art, a video, a quote you like re-share.


The simplest way to identify and connect with the people who like your work on google+ is to follow them and to organize them into groups.   If you are new to google plus, know that you can “follow” anyone.  It is not necessary for them to accept you as a “friend” or follow you back.    I am following Maxx’s lead by “following” the people who have “+” or commented on my work.   By identifying these people, it makes it easy for me to spend more time with them.     I also want to know just how much they generally like my work.  Do they +, comment, or go the extra mile and share my work with others.

Google Plus allows you to create categories to organize the people you follow.  They call these categories circles.   I have created circles with the following tags

  • + My Art
  • + Commented on my Art
  • shared my Art

When I post a piece of art, if someone +,comments, or shares it I immediately follow them and check off the appropriate circles.


Community can be built on any network.  The key to success is to be consistent.   It’s better to focus on one and be engaged on one network rather than to do a little here and there on multiple networks.   Like Maxx, I am personally choosing to start with Google Plus, but the popular networks each have millions of subscribers. Choose the one that appeals to you most.

Marketing experts with hundreds of thousands of suscribers teach to “be everywhere”.     Some people prefer video so they are on you tube, others like podcasts, while others like to read.    Unless you have an abundance of time or marketing help, pick one main network to  focus on and as time allows add secondary places.












Best Free Spam Filters for WordPress

Spam on your website or blog comes in 2 forms,  computer spam and people spam.   You need to protect against both so you are going to need 2 plug ins.   Computer generated spam comes from automated programs that troll the web.  People spam is generated by humans.  Spammy sites use cheap labor to manually leave messages where bots fail.

After trying several spam filters which were advertised as “free” I was notified the “free” license expired and began looking for a truly free solution.


ReCAPTCHA protects against computer spam.  ReCAPTCHA originated at Carnegie Mellon University and was later acquired by Google.  Popular sites such as Facebook and Twitter use it.   reCAPTCHA works by creating images it the distorts so they can be read by a human but not easily by a computer program or by optical recognition programs.

BEST FREE SPAM FILTER:  Cookies for Comments

Cookies for Comments is designed to help protect your site against human spam mills.   Since there are spam filters that identify and block known spam mills, spammers are now setting up sites that do not accept cookies.  Cookies for Comments creates cookies that follow the person that is leaving a comment.

How Do I bulk delete spam in Word Press?

WordPress does not have an easy way to select multiple comments.  Each comment needs to be dealt with on a one on one basis.  If your spam has built up this could mean having to clean up hundreds if not thousands of spam comments.   I used plug in “Delete Pending Comments”.    Unless you want to take the time to make a decision on each individual comment, Delete Pending comments will clear out all of your comments so you can have a fresh start.

Holiday Sales for Artists

Ok Artists.  I know we’re not used to thinking like big box stores, but our beautiful art is going to get lost in the holiday hustle bustle if we don’t get out there.  Check out the influence of social media on holiday shopping on the infographic put together by offerpop.


16.3% of shoppers looked for deals in social media before Black Friday.

47.2% of shoppers made purchases from home.

Retailers saw 240% increase in referrals from Facebook.

Social Media Holiday Sales Info Graphc