Selling your art online is a great way to increase your exposure and sales in an easy and accessible way. It allows you to reach a wide audience of buyers and industry professionals without the restriction of location and makes it easy to share information about yourself and the work you do. Even better, it can all be done from the comfort of your home or studio - so updating your information and portfolio will be easier than ever.
So how do you actually do this? How do you sell art online?
As well as providing a platform for buyers to view and purchase your work, an artist website can give you other benefits too. It allows you to communicate your personal brand, increases your visibility and increases the professionalism of your appearance as an artist.
Having a website will allow you to achieve all of these things and keep your information, news, portfolio, sales and mailing database (more on this later) in the one place, making it super easy to manage - and as the website is entirely your own, you have full creative licence over it’s layout, appearance and content. This means you can make your website look however you want, without the restrictions of other platforms.
Here is how you can make your own artist website.
Use a website builder:
There are many website builders available to you. For example, Udo have a dedicated easy-to-use art product specially design to show and sell your art online plus they offer affordable artist website packages, Wix and Squarespace are also popular web platforms used. All these platforms offer customisable themes and drag-and-drop editors, making it easy to create a professional-looking website, even if you have little or no coding experience.
Use a blogging platform:
Platforms like WordPress and Tumblr offer customisable templates and a range of features that can be used to create an artist website. However, you may need a web developer to help get you online.
Hire a web designer:
If you have the budget, you can hire a professional web designer to create a custom website for you. This is a good option if you want a highly specific or unique design, or if you have complex requirements for your website. Udo offers affordable website packages for artists to help get you online quickly.
If you're interested, you can read more about the benefits of having an artist website here.
A mailing list might be the most important part of your marketing strategy as it targets people who already know and love your work without costing you heaps, making it super cost-effective. Having a mailing list means you can quickly communicate directly with a group of people who love your work. Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as it seems! Mailing databases can be easily created through your website. As part of it’s website packages, Udo offers this powerful marketing feature.
When selling art online, a mailing list is an extremely valuable tool to you and will mean that fans of your work will stay up to date with your news and be aware of what artworks that are available for them to buy!
You could use a mailing list to create and send out regular newsletters sharing all your news such as upcoming in-person (or virtual!) exhibitions, work for sale, projects currently in progress, information and fun facts about your art-making process and inspiration and other updates!
Social media can be used to increase your audience and market your work. On these platforms (instagram, facebook etc.) you can promote your work through engaging posts and stories and build a community of people who love your work. Social media platforms are great for this as they allow people to like, comment and share your posts and also get in touch with you!
Social media has a lot of fun features that can get people engaged and interested in you as an artist. For example, instagram stories allows you to set up polls and gives people a chance to ask you questions that you can easily answer for everyone. You can also use hashtags to increase your visibility so more people can find your work!
If you have a website, you can use direct product feeds from your website to display your work on your chosen social media platforms. This means that potential customers and industry professionals can find you and your work while they’re scrolling through their social media, and easily be able to access your website to see even more of what you have to offer!
On platforms some social media platforms, you can actually sell your work directly through their app. This isn’t the best way to sell your art online, as you have limited discoverability and less flexibility with how you want to sell your work. Because of this, it’s important to have other methods of selling your work too!
There are many online platforms aimed specifically at artists to sell their work and increase their visibility. Using these platforms allows you to broaden your online presence and increase your discoverability so when people search for you, there is much to be found.
On artsphere, and other free portfolio sites, you can easily create a free artist profile that allows you to connect with other artists, view each other’s work and gives you another platform to showcase your work, increasing your online presence! And yes, it’s completely free!
Other platforms, such as Bluethumb, Art Lovers Australia, or even the art gallery that represents you may have a website to help sell your art, much like on a website. Many of these are paid or take a commission for each sale. These commissions are often around 30-40%, so if you want to sell your work on one of these platforms, be sure to take the cost of the platform or the commission for the sale into account when deciding on your pricing.
Using other art platforms is a great way to reach a wider audience, however might not be for you if you want your website or selling platform to be easily customisable and flexible to you, and have added features such as a mailing database.
Whatever combination of platforms and methods you use, make sure to link them all together and make it easy for potential buyers to view your other pages! If you decide to use social media or create a free artist profile on artsphere as well as a website, make sure to provide the link to your website so people can easily find it when they decide they want to find out a bit more about your work and how they can purchase it.