Tips for Making Money with Your Artwork

Marketing and selling your art online has never been easier, and there are several ways to go about it. Some artists sell directly to clients via their own websites, or online markets such as Storenvy, Redbubble, Etsy, and more. Other artists choose to license their art for personal and/ or commercial use. Here are some ideas of how to successfully market and sell art over the internet.

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First and foremost, any artist, no matter the medium, fame or goal, should have a personalized website for potential buyers to find when the artist’s name is run through a search engine. A personal domain, i.e. ExampleArtistName.com, is the best and most marketable way to achieve this. It is surprisingly easy, and not terribly expensive, to purchase a domain name, which can then be used as a redirect to a simple website using WordPress or GoDaddy site creators. These site creators often have shopping cart plugins or storefront options, so that a client can purchase straight from the website rather than through a third party.

Blogs are a popular, lower-effort option for artists who will be posting frequent small updates, such as progress photos via Instagram or Tumblr, and the About page can be tailored to reveal as much or little information about the artist as is needed, although there is no e-commerce option with those sites. Whichever format works best for the particular needs of the artist, it should still always contain basic information such as email address for inquiries, where to purchase or order, and copyright information.

In addition to, or instead of, a personal website, many artists use various existing platforms to sell their work, which can be beneficial but also have some drawbacks. Selling through a third party means giving up a percentage of the price as a commission or hosting fee, and some sites charge more for the privilege of hosting other people’s work than is acceptable to many artisans.

However, if listing fees and commissions are not insurmountable obstacles, there are major benefits of using these sites, such as increased exposure, higher SEO ratings, and seller cooperation. For example, Etsy is a popular online marketplace for handmade and vintage goods, on which users can see a range of curated collections, featured items, or search for specific or personalized crafts. Storenvy has a similar setup, with fewer fees, and eBay is the old classic for selling anything under the sun (with much less exposure for individual sellers). All of these websites offer review or feedback pages for each seller, so that a potential buyer will know the quality of the item or the trustworthiness of the seller before purchasing.

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The sites mentioned thus far are direct-to-client, meaning the artist physically creates a product which is then shipped to a purchaser. For illustrators and graphic designers, there are many websites that print tee shirts, mugs, posters, and more using images provided by the artists, which are created on demand when ordered. Zazzle, Redbubble, Spreadshirt, and CafePress are all easy to use platforms for any artist to utilize without having to actually produce items like prints, cards, hoodies and notebooks themselves. With these sites, the artist retains all rights to their images while still giving the vendor the right to reproduce certain files. Photographers also love Art.com and IcanvasArt.com for prints, posters, and even print to canvas, with an easy to use platform. On FineArtAmerica.com an artist can even choose to specialize in selling direct to client, or to galleries.

Quick and to-the-point posts on sites like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are easy to publicize using hashtags, which then enable more people to find the posts and become followers, and recommend those posts to their own friends and followers, etc. This type of marketing, especially giveaways and follow-back promotions, is extremely effective and low-cost, or even free if the artist has the time to handle social networking duties personally.

With countless online marketplaces and customizeable blogs and personal domains, it has never been easier to market and sell art online. Whether via the artist’s own website, or a platform like Etsy, or even through Facebook, it is quick and simple to post an image and begin selling to a wide variety of customers from all around the world.