2 minutes to read Posted on Wednesday September 7, 2022

Updated on Wednesday September 7, 2022

portrait of Kate Wojtczak

Kate Wojtczak

Editor-in-Chief , DailyArt Magazine

How to write appealing art history stories - insights from DailyArt Magazine

DailyArt Magazine is one of the most well-known online magazines to go to for a daily fix of art history, culture and stories. Editor-in-Chief Kate Wojtczak shares the magazine’s approach to digital storytelling - and some top tips - to engage readers with heritage online. 

Picture of a red-haired young woman sewing, flowers on the table - oil painting.
Title:
Detail from Feleségem varrogat
Creator:
Kunffy Lajos
Institution:
Rippl-Rónai Megyei Hatókörű Városi Múzeum - Kaposvár
Country:
Hungary

We started our adventure with art history stories ten years ago with the DailyArt app, which gives people a daily dose of art by sharing one artwork and a brief accompanying story through their phone or tablet. The app stories are very short and at some point, we felt a need to tell more complex longer stories. That is how DailyArt Magazine was born in 2016. 

With the Magazine, we have managed to create a very unique place on the Internet. It is the biggest online magazine popularising art history and architecture, and we now attract quite a wide audience. We reached 1.5 million page views and almost 800,000 readers in the first quarter of 2022 and we are constantly growing.

We have been developing since the very beginning by increasing the amount and also the style of published stories. The new website, launched in autumn 2021, contains several sections to help our readers find what they love.

Screenshot of the DailyArt Magazine homepage, showing the stories aesthetics of totalitarian states' architecture; Appropriation: did you steal my work?; Arts and Crafts Principles in Interior Design: The Original Minimalists.
Title:
Long reads section on the DailyArt Magazine’s homepage on August 23 2022
Screenshot of the DailyArt Magazine homepage, showing the stories aesthetics of totalitarian states' architecture; Appropriation: did you steal my work?; Arts and Crafts Principles in Interior Design: The Original Minimalists.

What we know about our audience is that they often use DailyArt Magazine for work and for school but also for enriching their lives with something beautiful and meaningful. The ratio of our returning users exceeds 16%, which means that many people keep coming back to DailyArt Magazine, and we are very proud of this.  But what techniques do we use to encourage readers to regularly come back for more stories on art?

Featured stories for fresh content

We feature a new story on our main page every single day. It might be about the Islamic Art Treasures to celebrate the beginning of Ramadan. Sometimes it contains a funny art and pop culture mix like Star Wars for May the Fourth Be with You!. On other days, you can read articles on Female Surrealists and Their Great Imagination or learn All You Need to Know on Italian Renaissance. For every topical story in focus, we feature a few articles.

A screenshot of DailyArt Magazine's homepage, which features the text ''would you live there? iconic houses''. The main article is ''Masterpiece story: Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Title:
Iconic houses, articles featured in the daily story in focus on the DailyArt Magazine’s homepage on August 2, 2022.
A screenshot of DailyArt Magazine's homepage, which features the text ''would you live there? iconic houses''. The main article is ''Masterpiece story: Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Specialised themes to inspire, engage and amuse

We have two signature themes of areas we specialise in. The first is women artists. A few years ago, when creating content both for the app and magazine, we realised how little information there is on female artists on the internet. And we wanted to change that. Since then, a large amount of DailyArt Magazine’s content focuses on women’s art. Every day we discover new female artists from the past and we happily present their stories to our readers.

Article on Alexandra Exter Multi-talented Cubo-Futurist in Paris from DailyArt Magazine.
Title:
Article on Alexandra Exter from DailyArt Magazine
Article on Alexandra Exter Multi-talented Cubo-Futurist in Paris from DailyArt Magazine.

The other signature section we call, perversely, ‘WTF Art History’. It is the place where you will find many surprising, funny, and appealing stories based on art history: from cats and Medieval memes, to Andy Warhol eating a hamburger, to bad art conservation examples or the weirdest museums in the world.

Article on the Museum of Bad Art titled What I found in the Museum of Bad Art from DailyArt Magazine.
Title:
Article on the Museum of Bad Art from DailyArt Magazine.
Article on the Museum of Bad Art titled What I found in the Museum of Bad Art from DailyArt Magazine.

Reacting to current events

Even though we are not a newspaper, we try to react to what is going on in the world - current trends, holidays, special days, openings of exhibitions, new books and more. Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, every day we have been featuring a special article on Ukrainian art. 

We also review art shows, events, exhibitions, books, and films about art. We have partnered with several prestigious institutions, such as the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, San Diego Museum of Art, New York’s Frick Collection, and our friends from Europeana to create special content, often making unique lists of insider recommendations from museum workers we've asked about their favourite works of art.

Article on the unbelievable story of killer rabbits in medieval manuscrips from DailyArt Magazine
Title:
Article on killer rabbits from DailyArt Magazine.
Article on the unbelievable story of killer rabbits in medieval manuscrips from DailyArt Magazine

When creating content, our secret weapon is very simple - we tell accessible stories about sometimes uneasy themes. Talking about art history in a compelling and fun way is our mission. It is all about shaping the subject. For example, if you want to share stories about still lives from the Dutch Golden Age, give readers recipes based on the products from the paintings. When exploring Impressionists, make it a soap opera and share all the gossip. Show men in high heels from Louis XIV to Johnny Cash, and never forget about nudes. Add to this lots of high-quality well chosen beautiful pictures and you have it!

Article on family treasures - world’s most beautiful tiaras from DailyArt Magazine.
Title:
Article on world’s most beautiful tiaras from DailyArt Magazine.
Article on family treasures - world’s most beautiful tiaras from DailyArt Magazine.

Our experience shows that telling stories about art and cultural heritage in a compelling and fun way is quite an effective method for engaging the potential audience. Besides taking care of positioning in browsers, we promote our articles via social media and link them to the app stories. The crucial points are a lovable or disturbing cover picture and intriguing title, as well as linking other related stories both via highlighted links in the text and recommended articles.

Among our most popular articles ever, you will find an amazing story about Van Gogh’s sister-in-law, medieval killer rabbits, the world's most beautiful tiaras, Victorian erotica, badass women in Greek mythology, and male nudes.

Find out more

To find more striking examples of art history stories, visit dailyartmagazine.com. If you would like to contribute to the magazine, check the possibilities here. If you are interested in partnering with DailyArt, please contact us.

If you are interested in finding out more about digital storytelling, also make sure that you register for Europeana 2022 - making digital culture count - where the second day of the conference is devoted to digital storytelling! Register now

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