If you spend much time on the internet, you will discover that selling your art is not the only way to make money online. You will see advertisements for all types of products wherever you go to on the web. These advertisements generally fall into two main categories: direct promotions from the internet companies and affiliate advertising.
Affiliate marketing is the topic we are discussing, and is a way for artists to diversify their income. Nearly every type of product online has an affiliate program. These are free (if the affiliate program has a fee, avoid it!) and anyone can apply and begin promoting a product right away.
You have probably heard the terms make money while you sleep or make money with your computer at home. With affiliate marketing, this is actually possible, though the amount of money you make is often dependant on consistent, focussed efforts (ie lots of hard work!).
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This is part one of a series of posts on Making Money Online with Artist Affiliate Programs. These posts are not intended to sell you on the idea of affiliate marketing – but is intended to be informational. We see many artists advertising affiliate opportunities, and we do it here at Artpromotivate. These articles will help you decide if promoting products for art companies is right for you, will help you get started in affiliate artist advertising, and will explain how to promote them. We will also be recommending some of the best opportunities for artists to signup for and promote.
How Affiliate Programs Work
Most artist affiliate programs work in this way:
- Apply and get accepted
- Promote a specific affiliate link. (The best affiliate programs have a secure page where you can check stats, get banners and other promotional tools.)
- Receive a commission (percentage) when someone clicks the link, then purchases the product.
- Get paid once a month on a specific date when your affiliate earnings reach a certain threshold. Payments are most often via Paypal or bank transfer.
Some of the products promoted at Artpromotivate are from artist affiliate programs, and are specially selected based on integrity, usefulness and reputation.
As an online artist, it may be very difficult, especially at the outset, to sell art. I know some artists who spend countless hours online, and actually gather large followings, but still have difficulty selling their artworks. The main complaint I hear is that most people visiting portfolio sites are artists themselves, and are less likely to buy art. I often reply that having artist followers is beneficial anyway, since they may refer your artworks to their own fans, some of who may be art collectors.
Another way to benefit from artist followers is to advertise to them, so that you can occasionally make some money from the products they buy. The money made may even be enough to offset website hosting and art supply costs. Advertising affiliate products is a way to supplement your artist income, and make money (percentage) from visiting artists and others who purchase these.
Will you be taking advantage of artists by trying to sell to them?
We have had this said to us just once, which is enough for us to take offence – that we are making money off artists, in effect saying that we are taking advantage of artists. Nothing could be further from the truth! We list and review products which are reputable and trusted, which we have experienced ourselves. These products are genuinely helpful. There is no sort of trickery to coax people into buying. Artists are smart enough to decide for themselves if its something they need – and what will be helpful for them.
Affiliate marketing is really no different than what any clerk at an art related business (ie art suppliers) does – or even an art gallery. You just help the company sell their products, and receive a commission for doing so.
Don’t expect to get rich from it either – though there are rare cases of people who do get rich from selling certain affiliate products - mostly people who have a large email list or money to spend on advertising.
Goals for Affiliate Marketing
The best way to approach affiliate promotions is to make specific earning goals. First, have the goal of it paying for any online bills, including website hosting, online art training, art books you buy and review, internet bills, etc. Next, make a goal of buying all your art supplies from your online earnings. When you have reached this goal, I think you will realize that these efforts are definitely worth it. Next comes the goal of a sustainable part-time income, followed by a full-time income. We should say that although these goals are realistic, they will require great effort and time commitment on your part, especially for the last two steps.
In the next posts in this series, we will go in depth how artists can make money online with things besides their art, but have the emphasis on blogging. We will basically be explaining the things we do at Artpromotivate to earn money, so that you can copy it. Our hope is that this will help our artist friends in a more tangible way – to help you develop a side income to go along with your art income. If this is a topic you are interested in, you should consider subscribing.