How to Sell Art Online: 13 Best Ways to Get Your Art Out There
Here is a list of the best ways to sell art online that I have learned from studying other successful artists and what I have experienced personally as an artist myself. I hope this helps any new artists find the best platform to sell and promote their own art and start living their dream life - Because being an artist isn't as hard as people used to make it out to be. Trust me, it does take a lot of hard work and dedication, but just because you want to be an artist, doesn't mean that you'll end up starving ;P I promise, there are so many artists out there doing what they love with people supporting them from all corners of the world; Because the world is changing - and now is the best time to go after that dream of yours.
Anyways, here we go without further ado. I hope you enjoy.
*Disclaimer: This post does contain Affiliate Links. This means that at no extra cost to you, if you decide to purchase a product or service through the links I provide, I get a small commission. This helps support me and this blog, so I can write and create everything I love. I deeply appreciate anyone who just comes by and reads the blog post, so thank you!
Build Your Own Artist Website
Before I went and discussed other art-selling platforms to you, I wanted to stress to you the importance of having your own artist website. Art is an expensive investment; And before anyone goes and purchases a work of art, most art buyers will do a quick google search of your name in search of your main website.
Having a website shows that you take your profession as an artist very seriously. It is a place that anyone can visit to get important information about your work to those interested in what you do.
A basic artist website will have a bio page about yourself (the artist), a portfolio of previous works you have created, any past galleries or shows you have been a part of, and contact information. This is mostly the bare minimum of what any artist should have on their website, but I recommend that you give your website visitors ways to stay connected with you - Whether it be an email list opt-in, a direct link to your shop or any suppliers or your art, social media links, or a blog to follow and read. It's important that your website not be a dead end for your visitors. Reflect who you are as an artist in it and engage with those who happen to stumble upon your site.
There are several different options for building your website, and there are plenty of ways to keep the cost at a bare minimum.
I personally use Squarespace to build my website: I like how simple, user-friendly, and beautiful their interface is, and if I want to use code, I can easily do so (with my very limited knowledge of it, of course). Squarespace is a bit more expensive than the other website-building platforms, but you don't have to pay for a separate self-hosting platform, add-on features, themes, etc. They include it all in the package. Below I have included the Pricing Chart for Squarespace (Which can also be found here).
Saatchi Art is an extremely popular online art gallery, both for art buyers and artists, themselves. What I find so great about this website for selling art is that you can have the confidence of posting your art on here and selling it for the price you think it is worth. The problem you might come across on other sites is that you are faced with customers who aren't specifically art collectors and will sometimes ask for a discount or a lower price for your original art. I know that this may sadden or discourage some artists out there so if you're looking for those specific art collectors, this may be your go to place. Plus, Saatchi does a lot of promoting on behalf of their artists through their email program, Art Advisories for clients, and Artist Feature Section on their website.
Etsy is the place for handmade goods: Whether you are buying or selling. This is where I love to sell my art because so many people use this site all in support of independent makers all over the world. What I like about Etsy in particular is that there is already a huge amount of traffic through Etsy, you can promote your products through their ad services, and they have great SEO built into their site already. Also, I do quite a bit of shopping and browsing on Etsy, and being a seller on there just seemed like a great way of finishing that circle of makers supporting other makers.
Ebay is a huge marketplace for selling and buying just about anything from anyone. There are quite a few artists who like using Ebay to sell their artwork, so I decided to include this to the list. Depending on what you are selling, I think you may even get more buyers through Ebay than perhaps any of the other sites I mention here. Do some research on other artists who are selling similar items to what you are making, and see how their sales are going on Ebay. Who knows, perhaps you'll find that this is in-fact the right platform for you.
I also know some artists who sell their artwork through Craigslist, especially to potential buyers who are local to them. This will depend mainly on your location, so opportunities may be limited. If you have services you can offer to your community, Craigslist is also a great place to advertise it as well (Painting murals, creating custom artwork, etc)
Sell Printable Art
Selling Printable Artwork is a great way to make passive income for artists. So many people are looking online for designers to create wedding invitations, baby shower signs, posters with their favorite quotes on them, etc. It's very easy to also get inquiries and custom orders this way as well.
If you are interested in selling printable artwork, try opening an Etsy shop.
If the creation process plays a huge part in your art form, this is where Youtube may lend a huge hand in sharing that part to your audience and potential art buyers. There are so many people browsing Youtube and the act of sharing a video really invests the viewers on a whole new personal level. Try sharing videos online and building a following of devoted art lovers this way. I find that Youtube builds a level of trust that is otherwise so difficult to earn compared to other social media platforms. Of course, there is a learning curve and new equipment needed to post a fairly high quality video on Youtube, plus hours and hours of time to devote, but if you can stick with it and start building that following, I think it's one of those platforms that can pay off and lead to an infinite amount of new opportunities for new artists that wouldn't be possible otherwise.
Here are a few artists on Youtube that I love to watch, sharing their own insights on being artists on Youtube.
Selling Art on Instagram
There are many artists promoting their art mainly through Instagram and selling it that way as well.
They will oftentimes include in the caption of each post the price, size, and materials of the artwork and that the first to comment SOLD is who the art piece will go to. The rest of the transaction is done in Instagram messages and payment is processed through sites like Paypal before the piece is shipped out.
If you are interested in this way of selling your artwork, you have to make sure you are active on Instagram and make your art as transparent as possible, with several angle shots, closeups, and process photos.
Learn how to grow your Instagram along the way, and who knows... your perfect audience might just be on Instagram looking for art like yours.
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Patreon is becoming extremely popular amongst artists these days for good reason. It is a crowdfunding site where creators are able to earn income doing what they love by providing reward tiers for their fans (Patrons), who pledge a certain amount of money each month in order to receive these rewards. Both you, as the creator, and your Patrons work together to further your career and bring better content and creations for your fans.
If you are interested, take a look at Happy D's Patreon Page as an example.
Have Your Own Online Shop
Using your own website to host a shop makes it really easy to dictate the options you give your customers. Plus, you don't have other shops and items to distract potential buyers, as in online marketplaces (Etsy, Ebay, Amazon, etc). Many website-building platforms include a Commerce plan if you are interested in opening up an online shop with your website.
One of the most popular and fastest growing eCommerce platforms is Shopify: It boasts a user-friendly interface that makes designing a beautiful website/shop super easy.
Try Shopify for FREE now for 14 days, no credit card required; Although here are the prices of the plans below in case you are interested:
Sell Digital Artwork
If you're great at graphic design, this may be the route for you to make steady income between big projects.
Fiverr is a great place to offer your graphic design services, although prices do start out a little on the cheap end.
CreativeMarket is another amazing marketplace to sell your digital works, specifically to small groups and individuals running their own online-businesses. CreativeMarket is getting popular really fast, mainly because of their amazing promotion services, it makes it so easy for others to share your shop and products on their social media. Thus, there is an ever-increasing stream of traffic coming into CreativeMarket with interested buyers, plus people who are looking to help support independent makers.
Powered by Creative Market
Some popular products to sell are WordPress Themes, Logos, Fonts, Graphic Bundles, Illustrations, Patterns, Business Card Templates, etc.
Use Print-On-Demand Services
A great way to make steady income from your artwork is to get a printing company to create Giclee Prints for you, as well as drop-ship them directly to your customers. Giclee prints are high quality, inkjet, fine-art grade prints, printed specifically with color-depth and longevity in mind.
Some artists like to create prints themselves (And that's just perfectly fine); But I know there are some artists who would rather spend their time creating their next original artwork instead of creating the prints and shipping them out. If you are one of those people, I highly recommend trying out Print-On-Demand Services. It will save you time, and these companies have access to the highest-quality papers, printers, and inks in the business.
Here are some popular POD Services to consider:
Create Art Books
Another great way of earning passive income through your art is to create books showcasing a range of your pieces.
One way of going about doing this is through self-publishing, especially with Amazon. From personal experience, I believe that Amazon makes it the easiest to get your books out there, plus it offers its own amazing traffic so that art lovers have a chance of stumbling upon your book and learning more about your work organically.
If going the traditional or self-published route of creating hardcopy books is a little to expensive and risky in the beginning, try creating a Zine of your art. Zines are a inexpensive way of creating simple "books/magazines" and you have the freedom of creating your own design and seeing it printed yourself (Using whatever copier or printer of your choosing).
There are countless of ways to start making a living as an artist; However, don't start falling into the hole of trying everything and anything you find. Try to limit yourself at first to one or two ways that interest you the most. Once you have yourself going, you can start branching out to other income sources to sustain yourself.
It'll take a lot of research and time investment to get going, but I assure you, once you find your success, it'll all be worth it. I hope you found something that sparked your interest in their blog post - And leave a comment! I love to hear from my readers.
Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful day my lovelies <3