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How to Sell Art Online & Make Money: Complete Guide

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Every artist wants to be admired for their work, but it can also be really nice to make money from your art.

The problem is, you have been told all of your life that it is almost impossible for an artist to make a living. While there is no doubt that it is challenging these days for an artist to get rich off of his or her creations, is actually quite easy to make a little money by selling your art online.

Of course, you have to know where to look and become familiar with the platforms that you use, and most of all, you have to build a following before you will see real results, but it is actually quite easy to make a little extra money by selling your art.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can do that.

What exactly is Saleable Artwork?

So, what can you actually sell online these days? The thing that you have to remember about artwork online is that it can be used in a variety of mediums – sometimes dozens of them.

For example, in the past, painters only had a canvas or a wall to paint their art on. Unless someone it hired you to paint on the wall, you are completely restricted to the canvas if you want to sell your artwork.

When it came to more eclectic items like jewelry, pins, sewn creations, or other craft items, the response is usually pretty poor because you didn’t have a large enough audience to get the kind of sales that you wanted.

But the Internet has changed all of that. In our modern world, you can reach as many people as you want with the Internet. That means that even if only one out of every hundred people want to buy your bracelet supporting some cause dear to your heart, you can reach enough people where you actually might make some sales.

So, the bottom line is that saleable artwork is pretty much any artwork that you do these days. As long as you can take a picture of it, listed on the Internet and ship it to someone, then it has a chance of being sold online.

Using the Art Platforms

There are a number of Art platforms out there that you can use to sell your artwork.

These are websites that specifically cater to those who are looking for artwork for sale. Some of them are looking for specific types of artwork, and you will have to take a look at each website and see what is offered before you can make a decision as to whether you want to list your items there or somewhere else.

Let’s take a look at each of them in turn.

  • Etsy – Etsy is one of the biggest art websites out there. Lots of people have been able to make a full-time living from there are business due to Etsy. Many more simply make some much-needed extra cash. There’s a lot of competition on this website, and they do charge listing fees, but they are one of the biggest websites out there for just about any kind of art.
  • ArtFire – ArtFire is a really inexpensive solution for selling your artwork online with a ready-made audience. For one thing, a cost is five bucks to get started with the website. From there you will just pay five dollars per month as well as a listing fee of less than $.25. There are some advanced features a cost more, but you can sell without them.
  • Big Cartel – Big Cartel is one of the websites out there that you could technically use for free and still sell your artwork. They do have pricing models the range all the way up to about 30 bucks a month, but the great thing is that you don’t have to pay them a commission on the items that you sell. You just pay them the flat monthly fee of whichever plan you’ve chosen and you get to keep all the profits from your artwork.
  • Storeenvy – You definitely should consider Storeenvy because it is one of the best ways to connect with other people that like art – either artist or customers. This is also another website where you can sell your art for free. If you are technologically challenged, and you are intimidated by some of the other websites on this list, then you definitely want to consider Storeenvy because it is absolutely simple to set up and use.
  • ArtPal – ArtPal is a great website for paintings and other similar artwork specifically. They have a very low commission rate of 5% and a ready-made audience. All you do is list your paintings or other artwork on the site and wait for sales to roll in.
  • Zibbet – Zibbet is basically a website design service that is cured toward artist. You can get your own custom art website and access to their marketplace. They don’t charge you any listing fees, so you can make all the money you want from your art, and their plans are super affordable starting at about four dollars a month.

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Using Social Media

You might also want to think about using social media in order to promote and sell your art.

There are a lot of social media sites out there, but there are only a couple that you should concentrate on.

Let’s take a closer look at social media and see where you should be spending your time.

  • Twitter – Twitter is not nearly as effective as Facebook and Instagram when it comes to promoting artwork or anything else that you have to sell. Twitter simply is not set up that way. However, it can be useful to the out links once a while to your store and you may get some sales from that. But it should not be your primary focus.
  • Facebook – However, Facebook is designed with selling things in mind. Their program set up where you can advertise your own followers as well as advertised to strangers with pictures, video and more. Advertising on Facebook is actually pretty cost-effective too, and if you can draw people in with your artwork or jump on an existing trend, you can make a great deal of money.
  • Instagram – Instagram is also one of the best social media sites out there when it comes to selling your artwork. If you have followers that fall you specifically to see what you will create next, then you have a ready-made customer base. Some of those followers are going to want to purchase the artwork that they admire so much.

Setting up a Patreon

You could also set up a Patreon so that your fans can support you with a small donation each month. These donations can be as little as a dollar or they can be as high as you want to list the rewards for.

Each month, your fans will make a small donation that will result in an income for use of that you can continue making artwork. As a reward for their donation, they get access to exclusives that you will set up beforehand.

This service is relatively new, but it is being used widely among you tubers, artists and anyone else who has a following online. Many people are able to make a little extra supplement their other income streams.

Accepting Donations

You might also list your artwork on your personal website and have a donation button. This will go directly to your PayPal account or whatever online account you want to set up, and it allows users to make a donation even if they don’t necessarily want to buy any of your artwork.

For example, someone might not be able to afford $50 for one of your paintings, but they would love to see you keep going and keep painting, so they are willing to make a five dollar donation.

These little donations can add up to quite a bit over time.

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Other Tips for Selling Art Online

Here are a few other tips that you should keep in mind when it comes to selling your art online.

These are just a few things that you want to keep in mind when it comes to building a following and keeping those followers so that they will be your customer base.

There may be additional tips out there from others who are selling artwork online, but these are enough to get you started.

  • Use Hashtags – Hashtags can help you make money with your art – especially on Instagram. That’s because hashtags are like a map of that website. They are how people find you on Instagram. When you choose the right hashtags, which are the ones relevant to your art and the ones that are getting a great deal of traffic, then you bring in an influx of potential customers.
  • Upload High Quality Images – You always want to make sure that you post the highest-quality images possible. You want to use the same attention to detail that you use on your artwork itself on your posts. Your account shows exactly who you are creatively and posting the highest-quality images possible shows that you are a high quality artist. When it comes to taking pictures of your artwork, natural light is best and you always want to use a clean, neutral background. Make sure that your phone or camera set to the highest resolution and the you allow focus to finish before you take the picture.
  • Create Great Captions – Creating terrific captions is exactly how you’re going to capture people’s attention and get them to buy your artwork if they do not know you. Telling people what inspired you to paint a particular picture or something else into minute about a piece of art that you have created helps them share something special with you and makes them much more motivated to buy. Let people into the story as much as possible.
  • Tell People about Yourself – You also want to make sure that you set up a bio about yourself. You know the old saying that people don’t buy door-to-door products they buy into the salesman that is selling them? The same goes for your artwork. If people like you, they are going to want to buy from you. The more of your story that you can tell them in your short bio, the more they will want to check out your artwork and have a piece of it for themselves.
  • Post Regularly – In addition, make sure that you are posting regularly. If you do not post regularly, people are going to forget about you. All the experts agree that the key to social media followers is posting regularly. If you do not post regularly, you are going to lose the followers that you have and not gain any. You do not necessarily have to post every day, although if you can it is a good idea, but you should post at least a few times a week.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that there are plenty of places online that you can sell your artwork and make money.

In our modern world with the Internet reaching all over the globe, anyone can make money online and artwork sells just like anything else.

Of course, you do have to pick the right platform and you have to know how to leverage social media or your presence on those platforms in order to attract customers and get them to buy your work.

Using a platform like Etsy in combination with your own social media efforts is the best way that you can find success selling your art online.

It doesn’t matter if you do jewelry, paintings or macaroni dioramas, there is always going to be a buyer out there for a piece that you have created.

You just have to reach out over the global network that is the digital world we live in today and connect with them.

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Oliver Dale is Editor-in-Chief of MoneyCheck and founder of Kooc Media Ltd, A UK-Based Online Publishing company. A Technology Entrepreneur with over 15 years of professional experience in Investing and UK Business.His writing has been quoted by Nasdaq, Dow Jones, Investopedia, The New Yorker, Forbes, Techcrunch & More.He built Money Check to bring the highest level of education about personal finance to the general public with clear and unbiased reporting.oliver@moneycheck.com


Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank or credit card issuer and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.


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