In order sell art online, artists should start by writing a well thought out plan. Get organized, and jot down the steps you will be taking. The steps include building an artist website and art blog, creating an email list, and attracting followers by participating in online art communities and social media.
My advice is to take things one step at a time. When you create a website, keep learning and applying new ways to make it better. The same goes for newsletters – find unique methods of attracting subscribers. Before long, you will find promoting your art on the web is much easier than you ever imagined.
10 Things Needed to Sell Art on the Internet.
Find the right audience
The right audience will depend entirely on the style, medium, and subject of your artwork. Depending on your art, it may take awhile to determine your audience. They are the visitors to your art website, your newsletter subscribers, and the buyers of your artwork.
If you are a technical person, consider creating a chart or spreadsheet of all people who buy your art. Write down their names on one side. Along the top, create headings for male or female, occupation, estimated annual income, purpose of the purchase, etc.
By doing this, you may be able to determine general trends in the people who buy your artwork, and narrow down where to place your focus. If you have many clients, art tracking software may make this process much easier. For more advice on finding an audience for your art, please visit this post: How to Find an Art Audience
A detailed planBegin planning your course of action. This post should help you do that. Writing a plan will help you stay on track. We all know how easy it is to be distracted on the internet, especially with social media websites. Write a long term plan including all the things you need to do, and the things you need. To be more productive, you should list them out in order of priority. Follow the rest of this post for a general list that may help you start.
Please visit this post for a list of things you should do to prepare your art for portfolio display: Preparing Art for the Web
An art website
Every artist should have a website, even if they do not plan on selling art directly from it. If anyone wants to see your artwork, all you have to do is direct them to your website.
Art websites should have an image gallery, be organized with good navigation, and have your art as the primary focus.
If the website is being used to sell your art, create a shopping cart so all paintings can be purchased directly from the site.
For those not technically inclined, consider hiring a designer for this purpose.
There are many free or low cost solutions for artist websites on the web. See many of those reviewed at Artpromotivate!
Here is an article to help get you started: How to Learn Portfolio Design by Looking at Other Websites
A good camera
Try to get the best camera you can for photographing your art. The digital SLR cameras work perfect for this purpose. If you cannot get your hands on one, use a combination of photography and image editing to make the image look as best as you possibly can for the web.
I have a general guide for inexperienced photographers to assist in getting started: How to Photograph Art for the Web
Image editing programGet a good image editing program such as Photoshop, or a free software like Gimp. Especially make use of the cropping and image resize features. Please follow along with our tutorials for Photoshop here: Photoshop Fix Images The same can also be done with Gimp or software bundled with your digital camera.
Email list and Newsletter
The sooner artists start building an email list, the sooner they will have success at selling art online! An email list will help you keep in contact with followers and art buyers, so that they will always know what you are up to. People do not normally buy from artists they do not know. This is by far the best way for others to get to know you personally.
For much more about newsletters and email lists, please visit these posts:
What to Write About in an Art Newsletter
Why Artists Should Create a Newsletter
How to Build an Email List with MailChimp
Social media followersJoin the main social networks, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest and Google Plus. Create a profile at each one and begin building your network. Networking at these places do not take as much time as you may think. Post once a day at each place, and only login when replying to posts and adding friends. Facebook is by far the most effective of these, so a Facebook page is a must for artists.
Be sure to read our detailed post here to learn how to get social media followers quickly and efficiently: Promoting Art Links With Social Networks
Online artist communitiesThere are many artist communities on the internet. Facebook and Linkedin have specific groups for artists. Participate in art forums, at least for awhile, as this can take a huge time toll if you are not careful. Be sure to include your website link in the signature at artist forums. Commenting on other art blogs is also a great way to build links to your website. Ensure your comments are relevant and helpful though.
An art blog, along with a newsletter and website, are the best ways to build a list of online followers. Not only is blogging great for updating contacts about new events and what you are currently working on, but they are also perfect for helping your website rank higher. With consistently updated content, you will undoubtedly receive more visitors to a blog than a website. But these visitors can easily be lead to visit your actual portfolio with an obvious link at the top, such as “Visit my Portfolio!”
Please visit our previous articles concerning art blogs to learn much more:
Learn to write
Artists do not have to be expert writers to write blog posts and image descriptions. But, some writing skills do help. My advice for those who are not familiar with writing is to visit and read many of the popular art blogs. Don’t worry about perfect blog posts for now, but just write. With practice, your writing will get better! Included here are some simple tips for writing about art.
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Do you have any advice for online art selling to add?