There are many ways an artist can sell art online. You can build an online art gallery, sell your art on Third-Party websites or auction your art with sites like eBay. If you are new to online sales you might want to consider learning how to sell art on Etsy before you think about designing a website.
How to Sell Art on Etsy
I didn’t know anything about online sales when I started selling art online in the early 2000’s.
I noticed artists were auctioning their original art on eBay.
I decided to give it a try.
I enjoyed the challenge of learning how to sell and market art online and knew at that time it would be the most cost efficient way for me to make a career with my art.
I spent every day since then learning about online art marketing and still keep up with all the changes for digital marketing.
Throughout the years, I have experimented with multiple Third-Party platforms, eBay, Etsy and built my own sites.
With everything I have learned over the past fifteen years, I still believe it is an excellent idea to start selling art with platforms like Etsy or eBay. You will be able to have a place where you can sell your art while you are learning the science of online marketing.
After you have built a following it will be more cost efficient for you to own your own website. But first, learn everything you can about selling art online.
Before you can learn how to sell art on Etsy, you will need to set up an Etsy shop.
This step will be the easiest step for you to take. You can have an Etsy shop up and running in less than twenty minutes and it is free. You will just have to pay a small fee for listing an item and a small fee when it sells.
I have developed a video tutorial that will show you step by step everything you will need to do for you to have your first piece of art available for sale on your new Etsy Shop.
Build an Audience
After you have your listings live on Etsy, you will have to spend some time letting people know you have art available for sale. You can do this by telling everyone you know and developing an art marketing plan.
Etsy's top sellers understand the importance of marketing and promoting their products. No matter how good your art is, if you want to sell on Etsy, you will need to drive traffic to your listings. Art does not sell itself.
Here are some tips to help you start building brand awareness.
The quality of your images will determine if you land a sale or not. They represent the quality of your work.
Keep in mind when you are uploading an image, the viewer cannot see or touch your art in person.
Invest in a good camera and learn some basics about photography.
Scott Kelby’s Digital Photography Boxed Set, Volumes 1,2 and 3 (Amazon Affiliate Link) is a great collection for you to learn how to capture beautiful images.
You might want to consider hiring or asking someone to help you if you struggle taking photographs.
How to Sell Art on Etsy - Space Your Listings
One way to have your listing seen is by spacing the time you list your products.
When you post a new item on Etsy it will be shown at the top Etsy's search for a brief period.
You can increase the chance of having your art seen if you list them at various times throughout the week.
Don't get too excited and list all of your products at once. You will see better results listing an item once a day or once a week.
Tags are like keywords. They are frequently used words people use to find items in Etsy's search.
Take advantage of Etsy’s recommended tags. Etsy has been around for a long time and understand what people are searching for. You do not have to reinvent the wheel. Use their advice.
For example, if you sell horse paintings use the suggestions that best match your art.
Instead of using “Horse Watercolor Art”, you might do better with “Horse Painting.”
Before you list a product, do a search for something that is similar to what you will be selling. Use the tags that closely represent your item.
The next step is to write about the art you have listed for sale.
What inspired you to create the art you are showcasing?
What is the story behind your art?
Where did you create it?
When did you create it?
You want people to have a connection to your art. If you can do this you will increase the odds of landing a sale.
Blogging might be one of the best SEO tips for Etsy you can implement. Your blog posts will still be relevant even if you decide to branch out and build your own website in the future. After you have your items listed for sale, your job is to make it easy for people to find you. This is done by writing great content about you as an artist and your art.
One writing tip I want to share with you is to keep it simple. Make your stories entertaining and easy to understand. Most people just skim through articles. If you make the content hard to digest, your reader will just leave the post.
You will want to develop a social media marketing plan. Social media is a great tool for artists to build brand awareness.
There are some good practices you will want to become familiar with.
Many artists make the same mistakes over and over again. They only try to sell on social media networks. They spend no time socializing with their audience. This will get you nowhere.
Social networks are for socializing not selling.
You will see better results if you use social media to build relationships with your followers. Take the time to get to know your audience, and let them get to know you as an artist.
A person will be more willing to purchase from you after you have built their trust.
Use social media to keep your audience up-to-date with your blog, art, and events. Include links to your posts so it will be easy for your audience to learn more about what you are sharing.
Do not just post when you have a new item for sale. That is a sure way to lose your audience quickly.
Pricing Your Etsy Handmade Crafts
For you to make a profit selling your work on Etsy, you will need to know how much it costs to create your artwork or crafts.
Calculate the cost of all the supplies associated with the piece you are selling.
You will need to make that amount just to break even.
You will also want to add in the cost of your time. This is where it can become difficult.
If you are new to selling, you will want to take some time researching your competitors. Find out how much artists are selling their art that is like yours.
After you have the cost of creating your art and an average price of similar art, you will have an idea of what people will be willing to spend.
The value of your art will increase over time. As you become known online for your art you will be able to slowly increase your prices.
Now you know how to sell art on Etsy.
All you have to do now is set up your Etsy shop and list your art for sale.
After you have your listings live, promote, promote and promote some more. Tell the world you are an artist and you have art for sale.
If you have not already done so, sign up for my weekly newsletter so you can learn everything you need to know about selling your art online.
You might also be interested in:
- How You Can Make Money Being an Artist
- 6 Productivity Killers Artists Should Stay Away From
- How to Write a Content Marketing Plan That Increases Art Sales
- Sell Art Online - Call-to-Action Strategy that Generates Sales
- Sell Art Online Startup Plan
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Graphite Art by Dave Nevue