Selling prints of your original artwork can be a great way to generate extra income. There are many POD websites available for artists to sell prints such as Zazzle, Fine Art America, and RedBubble. If you are using these sites, you might have found that selling prints of your work might not be as easy as you have wished. In this article, I will share with you how to increase art sales using POD websites.
How to Increase Art Sales on POD Websites
Wouldn’t you like to make extra income from art that has been sold years ago?
Artists have been supplementing their income by selling prints of their work for many years.
Just like the internet has made it possible for artists to sell their art to people around the world, companies are allowing artists to sell prints of their original art with no upfront costs.
Can you imagine making money with no risks?
Before POD websites existed, artists would have to purchase large quantities of prints from local printers. They could only hope their investment was a good idea. If they didn’t sell the art prints, they would be out of the money they spent and a lifetime of presents for their friends and family.
Today there is no risks. You might not produce the same profit margin, but it sure beats losing money.
What is POD?
POD stands for Print On Demand. POD websites like the ones listed above will take the order from a customer, print your artwork on merchandise, and ship it to the buyer. You will make a percentage of the sale. The profit line is not high, but it does add up. The positive is that it does not cost you money in advance. If you were selling prints on your own, you would have to purchase prints and hope that they would sell. With POD sites, you just have to wait for the sale and collect your percent.
POD websites like the ones listed above will take the order from a customer, print your artwork on merchandise, and ship it to the buyer. You will make a percentage of the sale. The profit line is not high, but it does add up. The positive is that it does not cost you money in advance. If you were selling prints on your own, you would have to purchase prints and hope that they would sell. With POD websites, you just have to wait for the sale and collect your money.
Most artists fail and get discouraged with POD websites because they think that once they have listed an item they will start seeing sales roll in. To be successful, you will need to market your art prints just like you do for your original art. The artists that are successful with these sites are the ones putting in the hard work and time.
Marketing Tips for Selling Art Prints
First, you will need to decide on what POD website you will be using.
They all have similar features and the commissioned earn is relatively equal for each site.
However, I always recommend you to read the terms and conditions prior to using any POD website’s services.
Here is a list of some popular POD websites. (This is a small list but it will get you started.)
- Fine Art America
There are some POD websites that sell merchandise with art prints, like coffee mugs, T-shirts, calendars and hundreds of other products.
The most popular are RedBubble, CafePress, Zazzle, and Society6.com.
Fine Art America has also been introducing a line of merchandise such as smartphone covers, mugs and more.
Let’s talk about promoting your art prints. Do not be fooled by sites that claim they have a ton of traffic. Traffic is only good if the traffic is directed to your art listings. If a POD website generates a lot of traffic, it shows that the site is reputable and you should feel secure with the quality of their products and services. But if you want to sell art prints online you are going to have to put in the work.
Selling art online is becoming more difficult with the amount of artists and photographers on the internet. For you to sell your art, your art must be seen.
Blogging is an excellent way to showcase your work and generate traffic to your POD Sites.
Blogging is not an “instant” sale technique. It takes hard work and dedication for this to work. It is a long-term project that will build your business and increase art sales.
Having a plan for your blog will help you build your audience quicker.
Here are a couple of in-depth articles that will get you blogging like a pro.
- Best Content Marketing Strategy for Visual Artists
- WordPress SEO: Optimize Your Artist Website for Search Engines
Do you have a hard time sticking to a writing schedule? If you want to sell art online you are going to have to write a ton of content if you want to be noticed.
I am going to make it easy for you. I have done half of the work. I wrote The 28 Day Blogging Challenge for Visual Artists. This eBook that is a step-by-step strategy that is designed to help you grow your art blog. All you have to do is follow the steps and write. No time spent on planning or researching what works. That work is already done for you.
With the fast pace lifestyle that we live in and the over saturated content on the Internet, headlines are often passed by in a blink of an eye. It has been said that only two people out of ten will open a post after reading a headline. That is if the headline caught their attention in the first place.
Use relevant keywords that describe your content and your artwork. Keep it interesting and do not make it too broad. If you painted an apple, the title of your artwork should not be “Apple” if you would like it to be found.
Take time to create the headline and description of your artwork. For a more in-depth article on how to write headlines visit How to Create Headlines That Attract Buyers.
To market your art to the right audience, you will need to find your niche and create a brand for your business.
Knowing who is interested in the artwork that you create is important for your marketing efforts. You will save time and money if you do some research first.
By creating a brand, you will build brand awareness on your blog, social network sites, website, and POD sites.
Try not to be too broad. That will make it more difficult for people to find you.
For example, my niche is commissioned dog drawings. However; I do provide other commissioned work, but my main business is drawing dogs with graphite. I now know whom I need to market too. If I just branded myself as a commissioned artist, I would get lost in the crowd. My marketing efforts would be a waste of time and money.
For an in-depth article about branding visit Art Branding Basics Increase Your Art Sales.
Most artists that I meet do not feel comfortable promoting their artwork. They feel that they are being conceded or pushy. There are many ways that you can and should promote your work that will not by pushy or make you sound like you are tooting your horn. Promoting your artwork is a must if you want to increase art sales.
When you are promoting your work, you are just creating brand awareness for a product that you create.
Start by showing your work to people who are close to you. They will be your best advocates. Your friends and family want you to succeed. They will be more than happy to tell their closest friends about your artwork. The more that you share your work with your friends the easier it will become to show your artwork to strangers.
Share your artwork on social media sites with a link to where they can purchase the prints.
Put the URL on your business cards and post cards.
Promote your art to your email list.
Are you growing your email list?
Your email list will be your biggest asset. You will often hear artists saying, “I wish I started building my email list sooner.” Do not become one of them, artists.
Start building you list today. The people who sign up for your email list will be the easiest people to sell your work to. They are already interested in what you create. All you have to do is promote the new art prints you have available and a link to the POD website where they can purchase it.
Here are some articles that will help you to build your email list:
- Ultimate Email Marketing Guide for Selling Art Online
- 4 Email Opt-in Plugins for WordPress
- Best Places to Add an Email Opt-in on Your WordPress Blog
- Email List Building Basics
Selling original artwork or prints takes much energy. You will need to have a marketing strategy for your original artwork as well as your prints. The effort you put in could be financially rewarding.
If you sell an original for $1,000.00, your profit is $1,000.00 minus costs to create, market, and ship.
If you sell prints of the original, your profit margin will continue to increase with each sale for that one original that you have created. In time, this could become very rewarding.
Successful people are driven and patient. Stick to these tips and you will start to see that your following will grow.
- Have a content plan checklist for your blog.
- Write eye-catching titles that will make people want to read more.
- Create a unique brand for your art business.
- Promote your work to everyone.
What are your thoughts about selling prints of your original artwork? Do you think it is worth the energy to increase art sales? Are you using any POD websites? If so which ones are you using and what are your thoughts?
You might also be interested in:
- How to Sell Art Prints Online and Make Money
- Fine Art Giclee Printing – What Artists Need to Know
- 5 Content Marketing Benefits for Artists
- How An Artist Can Supplement Their Income
- How to Promote Your Blog Post
Graphite drawings by Dave Nevue
Click to Purchase Prints.