I recently learned about Google Alerts and thought I’d share.

My client /now friend who wrote the “Fred the Fish and the Sqaush that goes Squish” book that I illustrated turned me onto Google Alerts.  His company, Brainfood Garden, is a publisher and re-seller of nutrition related books.  They primarily sell to schools but are extending into other distribution methods as well.  He was telling me how he set up a Google Alert for “nutrition” and “nutrition in schools”.

Each day, he will receive an email from Google with anything possibly related to his keywords.  All he has to do is scan, click and he’ll be taken to the content.  He has discovered schools receiving grant money to approach, nutrition education standard changes and more.

So how can you use this concept with your art business?

I set up Google Alerts for “art licensing” and “Tara Reed Designs”.

You can have your alerts come in 3 different ways:

  1. As-it-happens (so anytime Google finds a web post it will tell you immediately)
  2. Once a Day
  3. Once a Week

I get my alerts once a day.  They don’t come every day, just when Google thinks there is something relevant.

When you get an alert, it can be divided into 2 sections — “News Alerts” and “Blog Alerts” — this quickly shows you if it is a website or news mention or that someone is blogging.

“Why do I want to do this Tara? What will I learn?” you ask?  Here is a real life example:

On November 17th, I got the following alert:

picture-6I was intrigued by the first entry – the “Artist to Artist Interview” by artist Diane Knott.  So I clicked on the link and was very happy to learn all about Diane and Beth Yarbrough.  So happy in fact, that I then did a quick blog entry telling you  what I had found.

Look what showed up in my alert the next day…

picture-8See the last entry?  That is a link to my blog about Diane’s blog… talk about viral marketing!

I set up “art licensing” to see what is going on in my main industry and “Tara Reed Designs” to see if anyone is mentioning me or my products online.

Sometimes the alerts are irrelevant — like the time I learned that a woman with the first name of “Tara” in Arkansas filed bankruptcy.  Thankfully that didn’t have anything to do with me or my business!  My heart went out to her and I moved on with my day.  But other times you discover some cool things you may have missed.

So… think about key words you would Google and set up an alert or two.  You just might discover something that will help you in your life or your business!

Here’s the place to get started:  http://www.google.com/alerts

Have a great day!

~ Tara