Would you like to sell your paintings online without a gallery representation?
Selling fine art in galleries does provide a sense of approval, but what if you do not live near a gallery or are just interested in being control of your destiny?
Selling paintings online has never been more accessible and more affordable. And best of all, you will not have to pay a commission to a gallery when you sell your artwork.
When I started selling art online over 15 years ago, I had a website designer build a website for my art business. The website cost me almost $5,000, and I could not change things unless I paid them to revise the site.
Over the past 7 years, I have changed my niche, and I discovered that I could quickly build a WordPress site with BlueHost for $3.95 a month. You can have a new WordPress site up in a couple of clicks of a button.
After you have your site up, visit Art Business – Art Marketing Resource, and scroll down to WordPress Tutorials to learn everything you need to know about your new artist website.
Building an online store for your art business has never been easier or more affordable. However, to sell your paintings online will take a great deal of work and dedication.
If you are willing to put in the work required to get your artwork noticed online, you can build a thriving art business that generates endless art sales.
Here is a complete guide on how to sell your paintings online:
Sell Your Paintings By Building Your Brand
Are you just getting started and do not know what the best selling platform is for your business goals?
I do recommend owning your online gallery with WordPress if you are planning on selling fine art online or at craft fairs. WordPress is an e-commerce platform and a blogging platform all in one. Your artist blog is a tool that will drive free organic traffic from search to your paintings so you can sell them.
For more information visit Why Artist Websites Should Be Built On WordPress.
Below are some posts that cover different e-commerce options if you do not want to operate a WordPress site.
How To Sell Art Online And Make Money
Now that you have high-quality images of your art uploaded to your artist website for the art world to see let’s go over what you will need to do to get your art seen by potential buyers.
- How do you sell your first painting?
- How do you take your art business to the next level?
- How can you separate yourself from all of the artists selling art online?
- How can you build a loyal following?
- How can you drive traffic to your artist website?
A couple of minutes is all it takes to realize that there are millions of paintings for sale online. Just do a search for horse paintings and you will see thousands of artists showcasing their artwork online.
Why is it so enticing for artists to sell art online?
One reason is that it is very cost-effective for artists of all levels to sell paintings, drawings, and handmade crafts online.
There are many ways you can sell your art online for free.
Let me clarify that in most cases there will be selling costs associated with operating an online art business.
PayPal transaction fee, Etsy selling fees, Third-party platform selling fees, hosting fees, domain name fees are just a few examples of some of the costs.
But what is free is the ability to build an online presence.
The internet has leveled the playing field for businesses of all sizes. You no longer have to compete against companies with large marketing budgets.
So how do you build an online presence with all of the artwork for sale online?
To start you have to stop thinking like and artist and start thinking like a business owner.
You are not just an artist creating artwork. You are an artistic entrepreneur and your artwork is your moneymaker.
As CEO, it is time to start building a brand identity that will have people recognize your art as your art.
Below are some strategies that will help you to do just that.
Write Your Artist Statement
What is an artist’s statement?
Your artist’s statement is a detailed paragraph or two that describes what style of art you create and why you create the work.
An artist’s statement is not only for galleries and museums. Display your statement on your artist website where people around the world can read and get to know you as an artist and learn more about your artwork.
Below are some questions that should be answered for a well-written artist’s statement.
- Who are you as an artist?
- What message are you trying to get across with your artwork?
- What are your core values?
- What makes your art different from all of the other artists creating similar art?
- What is your mission?
Once you have a clear vision of who you are as an artist you can start sharing your core values with people around the world.
This will help people to connect to your artwork on a more personal level.
The more you connect the message behind your art with collectors and buyers, the more likely they will want to purchase from you.
A great example of a company that built a successful brand is Apple.
Steve Jobs gives an inspirational speech about build a brand everyone will remember.
Building your business brand starts with your artist statement and having a clear vision of your core values.
Your artist statement will help you to create more effective marketing strategies.
Would you like an easy way to write your artist statement?
The Artist Statement Workbook – Write the Perfect Artist Statement is designed for artists like you who are interested in taking their art business to the next level.
Building Your Business Brand
Creating a personal brand starts with having a clear image of what you are trying to accomplish.
What would you like to achieve with your brand as an artist?
Are you trying to build an online presence?
Do you want to grow your following?
Do you want to start selling your art part-time or would you like to turn your art into a full-time career?
Answer the questions above so you can start writing attainable goals.
The goals you set for yourself will guide you to your destination.
It does not matter if you would like to sell your art part-time or full-time.
Your unique goals will help you to develop a game plan that will have you win.
Would you like an easy way to write actionable goals that are attainable?
The How to Write Goals You Can Achieve Workbook was created to do just that.
- Know What You Want
- S.M.A.R.T. Goals
- Long-term Goals
- Mid-term Goals
- Short-term Goals
- Document Your Goals
- Start Your Day with Your Goals
- Review Your Goals Weekly
How To Brand Your WordPress Website
There are thousands of free and premium themes available for WordPress. WordPress themes allow you to modify the appearance and display of your WordPress website.
After you have your business goals documented, you will want to brand your website so you can start to separate yourself from all of the other artists selling art online.
StudioPress Themes are premium themes that I use and are secure, safe, SEO optimized, and allows you to brand your site precisely the way you envision.
The goal is to design your site in a way that makes you, your website, and your art easily identifiable online.
How To Sell Your Artwork By Connecting With Others
Building an online presence starts with people who already know you.
The people who are closest to you will help you to spread your message by sharing your content and artwork on their personal social media platforms.
Networking is a way to build relationships with other artists and help each other to expand your art business and find new art collectors.
Keep your eyes open for any opportunities to collaborate on local art projects.
Another strategy you will want to consider doing is to network with artists who live in your town or local area.
Reach out to the makers of your favorite supplies. Partnering with them is a win-win situation for both you and the companies who create the products you use to create your artwork.
For example, I use Liquitex Professional Heavy Body Acrylics for my acrylic paintings.
Liquitex Professional Heavy Body Acrylics are made to have an exceptionally smooth, thick, buttery consistency, ideal for traditional art techniques that employ brushes and painting knives, as well as experimental, mixed media, collage, and printmaking applications.
When I am talking or writing about my artistic techniques I will always share what materials I use.
Art suppliers are always searching for new artists like you to evolve and help support their products.
The opportunities are endless.
Most companies offer affiliate programs so you can make a commission from sales generated from links you provide.
They might even highlight your art in some content they publish.
Make It Easy For People To Connect With You
Sell your paintings by building your brand can only be accomplished by making it easy for people to connect with you.
To build a strong online presence you will have to make sure you are accessible both online and online.
Keep in mind that the people you talk to face-to-face also go online. If you can make a lasting impression with someone face-to-face they will visit and support you online.
You can only sell original art online if people know you are an artist and you have artwork for sale.
How can you build your brand when you are first starting?
An easy way to get started is by taking advantage of social media networks that are available online.
Social media has made it convenient for people to stay connected with their friends and family.
Businesses have also benefited by providing up-to-date news about their products and services.
If you have not already, take some time to create some accounts on the major social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Below are some posts to help get you started:
Social media will not give you instant results, and in my opinion, many artists use social media the wrong way.
Social media platforms were created for people to meet new people and socialize.
I see so many artists just trying to sell, sell, sell, and in a short amount of time, they become incredibly frustrated because nobody is purchasing their paintings.
If you want to grow a following on social media, you will have to provide valuable content that your target audience is interested in reading.
Marketers have discovered that an 80/20 rule works best on social media.
The 80/20 rule means that 80% of the content that you publish on social media should be entertaining and valuable content that helps to solve a reader’s problem. The other 20% is to promote the products you are selling.
It takes a lot of work to build a following on social media, and I recommend starting with just one or two platforms. When you have reached your goals on those platforms, then you might want to consider trying a different social media network.
The two social media powerhouses for artists are Facebook and Instagram.
If you are new to Instagram visit How To Get Your Art Noticed On Instagram By Art Collectors.
Start An Artist Blog
This marketing strategy is often overlooked and put on the back-burner by so many artists.
We are living in a fast-paced world and we want everything now.
Social media provides instant gratification but as soon as a post goes live it will be gone.
For long-term growth, you will need to develop a content marketing strategy (blogging).
Here is a quick overview of how it works.
You publish a blog post that is valuable to your target audience (people who are interested in your artistic style and products).
It takes several months for search engines to rank the post.
During that time you promote the post on your social media platforms. (lifespan for a social media post is less than 3 hours)
The people you reach on social media will share your post with their friends and family.
Repeat the steps above for as long as you own your art business.
Within a few months, your site will be seen as an authority in your niche and will start to rank higher in the search results.
When the blog posts rank high in the search results you will receive eve organic search traffic. In time this is where the majority of your traffic will come from.
The lifespan of a blog post is forever or for as long as you have it live.
Here are some examples of blog posts I have written over a year ago and still drive thousands of page views every month.
- Art That Sells – What Artists Need to Know
- How to Sell Drawings Online and Make Money
- How To Sell Paintings And Make Money
- How to Price Art Ultimate Art Pricing Guide
- Sell Art Online The Ultimate Online Art Marketing Course
If you are new to blogging visit Blogging Tips. Here you will find hundreds of articles to help you build an art blog that will drive a tremendous amount of traffic to your artist website.
Branding Strategy 101
It does not matter if you would like to learn how to sell your art locally or learn to sell original art online, consistency is what will win the race.
There will be times when you feel like nothing is working.
You have to remind yourself that the strategies you are implementing today will take time to evolve.
Everything you do today will get you that much closer tomorrow.
Stay consistent and believe in your marketing strategies.
Over time your art business will become larger than you could have ever imagined.
Successful Art Branding Example
James Reynolds is an amazing ‘Plein air’ landscape oil painter, focused in Cape Cod and Vermont.
He has built a successful art business by spending many hours developing a unique artistic style that separates his work from other artists who paint similar subjects.
He has also worked hard creating his artist brand on Facebook and his artist website.
Take some time to visit James’s website NewEnglandPainter.com.
You can also follow him on his Facebook Business Page James Reynolds Fine Art.
You can also see his art at True Grit Art Gallery 38 Centre Street, Middleborough, MA 02346.
Build An Email List
One benefit of owning a WordPress website is that you will be able to collect emails from your fans.
It is easier to sell to people who are on your email list than to try to get a new customer.
People who join your email list do so because they have already purchased from you, or they have a passion for what you create.
You can manage your email list with MailChimp for free for up to 2,000 users.
Here are some helpful articles to help you get started with your email list:
- Best Art Newsletter Topics To Write About
- How To Build An Email List From Scratch Fast
- Best Email Opt-in Plugins For Artist WordPress Websites
Pricing Strategy For Selling Artwork
Many artists struggle when it comes time to price their artwork.
The price you set for your paintings could be one of the reasons your artwork sells or doesn’t sell.
There are a few things you will want to consider before setting a price for your art:
- Market Value
- How well you are known
- Size of the painting
- Cost of materials
- How long it took you to create the piece
For more information on pricing art visit 10 Tips For Pricing Art
Manage Your Time
The last thing I would like to talk about is the importance of managing your time.
As you can see, there is a lot that is involved with operating an art business.
You no longer have just to create art, but you also have to run a business, and if you are not careful, you could easily find yourself forgetting to do specific tasks that can help you to sell your art.
Time management is a skill that you will learn along the way, but I do have a few tips that will help you to be more productive with your time:
- Schedule your days by blocking off time for specific tasks
- Stay away from distractions
- Work on one project at a time
- Use a calendar
- Take advantage of Social media scheduling tools like Tailwind
Sell Your Paintings Overview:
Starting a business takes planning and dedication.
Have a clear vision of what you want in your life and go get it.
Don’t give up until you accomplish your goals.
Does it really matter if it takes a year, two years or three years to reach your goals?
How happy will you be when that day arrives?
Emerging artists can now build a thriving business as the online marketplace continue to grow.
Set your business goals, brand your website, so it is easy for people to recognize, share your art on social media, collect email addresses, and set prices that will inspire people to make a purchase.
Sell Your Paintings By Building Your Brand Overview:
- Top 17 Websites To Sell Art Online
- How To Sell Art Online And Make Money
- Write Your Artist Statement
- Building Your Business Brand
- Building Your Personal Brand By Connecting With Others
- Make It Easy For People To Connect With You
- Start An Artist Blog
- Branding Strategy 101
- Successful art branding example
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