How to Sell Art Online in 8 Easy Steps

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Learn how to sell artwork online.

Great idea! It’s a great way to make money doing something you love, and selling art is a fantastic way to do it. The global art market is worth approximately $50 billion and has people all over the globe willing to pay for creative art prints.

With all the tools available, it is possible to set up an online store for your artwork and accept payments from all corners of the globe. Although a gallery show is still a great way of promoting your work, the internet market offers a vast opportunity to reach a wider audience.

This guide will show you how to sell your artwork online, no matter if you are a novice artist or a seasoned professional.

How to sell art online: 8 steps to success

1. Original or reproductions? Choose Your Choice

When selling art online, one of the most important decisions you will need to make is where to focus your business. You may sell prints, curated pieces from other artists, or originals as an artist.

To appeal to a larger audience, some entrepreneurs offer a mix of art forms. There are many options:

Original works: Original drawings, paintings and other artworks created by you. These artworks can also be sold as prints or reproductions.

Prints limited-edition: To generate more interest, you might sell a limited number of prints.

Custom art: This is artwork that you create after a client orders it. You might draw a portrait of someone’s best friend or dog. These drawings are often unique.

Merchandise – With print-on-demand companies it is easy to have your design printed on a variety of t-shirts and enamel pins.

Licensing is the ability to license certain works to other companies.

Digital downloads: These include desktop wallpapers, templates, artworks, and other digital downloads that are very popular and easy to sell.

2. Make your Prints

You will need to know the best way to make your prints if you want to create original artwork and print them. There are many options. You can make DIY prints with high-quality inks on beautiful paper if you have the right printer at home.

If you are a beginner artist and don’t want to spend too much, DIY printing is a great way to make profits. You can use a local printing company every time someone places an order if you don’t have the funds to print professionally. You can also consider ordering printing services online to produce your work in larger quantities as order volumes increase.

Print-on-demand can be another way to keep costs down. Print-on-demand offers many options for printing. Print-on-demand companies offer the ability to print your work on metal, canvases, and accessories like bags and mugs.

3. Digitizing Your Work: Photography vs Scanning

It can be difficult to digitize your artwork for online sales. It can be difficult to show all details in your work by simply taking a picture of it. Photos can shine or make colors appear different in real life. Your lighting and camera choices can impact the quality of your photographs.

Here are some tips for scanning and photographing your art.

Multiple photos: Take clear pictures from multiple angles. Zoomed-in photographs can show texture and detail. Lifestyle photos, such as the artwork you have on your bedroom wall, are great for creating an emotional impact on your audience.

After the image has been digitized, adjust the contrast, brightness, or other settings to bring it back to life. Customers shouldn’t be unsure of what they’ll get if you use filters or other features.

Crop images: If you are providing context shots, remove unnecessary background and edges. Extra props and hands should not be visible as they could distract from the piece.

Also, ensure that images are saved in the correct format. Images in PNG often retain higher resolution and clarity than JPEG files.

Pro tip: Scan flat images or 2D images using scanning. The scanner can examine each image and then upload it pixel by pixel.

4. Make sure you get the pricing right

Pricing is the most difficult part of starting a business. You risk losing customers if you set a price that is too high. If you price something too low, your customers will think they aren’t getting the best quality. It’s a delicate balance.

It can be difficult to price original art because it is hard to value your skills. You might start simple pricing if you are just starting out and don’t have many fans or followers. You can combine labor and time costs with materials costs and expenses. To make a profit, add a small markup to the final price. After you’ve developed a following and a better understanding of the demand for your art, you can start charging a premium. Consider your competition and what they are charging. Are your fees lower or higher than others?

Pricing is easier if you sell curated art or prints. You simply need to take the printing cost and add the sales and marketing fees. Limited edition prints may be charged a little more.

You can find out what prices customers respond to by looking at your competitors and the marketplace. Do not underestimate yourself in order to attract more customers. You must make a profit to make this venture worthwhile. These pricing strategies will help you determine how much to charge your merchandise or art prints.

5. Your Online Store

Now is the time to launch and create your online store.

Shopify is a platform that allows you to create a store within 30 minutes. Shopify is an ecommerce website-building platform that includes everything you need to show your artwork and make money. You can create a theme that suits your brand, set up a checkout page and add apps to help sell your artwork.

Shopify’s app marketplace is packed with tools that make it easier for creative professionals. There are:

Email marketing tools: These tools are great for keeping customers informed about your latest products, creating hype about new collections, or providing information about clients’ previous orders.

SEO apps: These apps can help you track keywords and increase your online visibility. SEO is essential if you want customers to be able to find your art by searching certain terms on Google.

Print-on demand apps: If your business sells art merchandise and you want to collaborate with another printing company to print your products, then print-on–demand services are a blessing. You want to make sure that you only choose a trusted POD service that will produce high-quality products.

Shopify offers a variety of free apps, including countdown timers. These are great for creating urgency and convincing people to buy. Shopify App Store has everything you need to boost your online store.

6. Check out these additional platforms for online selling

You will need to sell more than your website if you want to increase your sales chances. You can find potential buyers by using the many art-focused online marketplaces that already have customers. There are many options:

Etsy: This is the most well-known website for crafting and artistic creations. Etsy allows you to list your artwork alongside other creators worldwide.

CafePress: CafePress is a solution to turning your art into unique products or collectibles. Your pieces can be featured before a large audience.

ArtFire: Artfire is similar to Etsy. It’s a marketplace for crafters and makers around the globe. Artfire allows you to capture the attention of your target audience with podcasts, articles and other media.

eBay: This is a great place to sell unique creations. The world’s largest online auction site where buyers can bid as much or little as they like on your item.

Artfinder: Artfinder, a marketplace dedicated to curated artwork. If you wish to be featured, you will need to apply to the website. There are many seller plans and many commission options.

UGallery: UGallery aims to democratize art sales by connecting artists with collectors. If you are selling unique pieces, this is a great site to look at. There is an application process that ensures all art sold through this website meets a high standard.

You might also be able to sell directly via social media channels such as Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram. You can also look into wholesale websites like Handshake to buy photos and prints in bulk.

7. Protect your work

Protecting yourself from people trying to steal your talents is one of the most difficult parts of building a brand as an artist. People claim that they created a design or reproduced an artwork to sell on various marketplaces and websites. It can be costly and time-consuming to hire a legal team. Therefore, it is best to take action and start defending yourself.

Copyright your most important pieces as soon as possible. Keep an eye out for others who may be trying to copy your design. When distributing art online, it is important to partner with trusted marketplaces and third-party vendors.

You can trust the right print-on demand companies, marketplaces and curators to help you protect your artwork and inform you if others attempt to claim it as theirs.

8. Marketing Your Art Brand

You’re now ready to go out and create buzz for your art brand.

There are many great ways to get attention for your website and your creations. You could create a social media account where you share short excerpts of your latest work. This is possible with Pinterest and Instagram. You can also try these other options:

With PPC, you can run paid ads campaigns on Facebook or Google

Engaging competitions and events via social media can help you invest in word-of mouth marketing.

  • Reach out to industry influencers and get in touch with the media
  • Learn more about SEO to improve your rank on sites such as Google naturally
  • Content marketing is a great way to increase organic traffic to your site.

You should also consider offline marketing options such as participating in art shows or working with galleries to reach new audiences.

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