Selling artwork, also called print on demand (POD), is a widely used term for all artists who sell their artwork online. There are many companies that offer the possibility to join artist communities to show their work in personal galleries and interact with other artists to vote and comment on the work.
All these communities offer to sell artwork in various sizes and finishes and even in different formats, and control the production and delivery of orders to customers. Just upload your illustrations and digital art to the right portals.
Making money on the internet has been a challenge for many people looking for an alternative way to work online, and there are several platforms and websites to sell artwork online, to sell your photographs if you work as a photographer, or your Design and Illustration projects if you are a graphic designer.
You can sign up to some of these sites, to sell your artwork online and make a profit in this market or earn a passive income online. Being on these sites is usually free on most of them, although they charge a percentage if a sale is made.
Before sending your material, any digital goods, digital items or digital files read carefully the conditions and advantages that each of them offers.
It is relevant, on the other hand, that you have a blog or your own work/gallery (store) where you can display your work online.
On an art portal, and the more relevant it is, the more your work is diluted among the hundreds of artists who exhibit their works.
Yes. It is entirely possible to earn passive income with art-based products. In other words, it is possible for you to make money with your digital art.
The Internet has created a network that facilitates communication between artists and their customers. Through social media platforms and online marketplaces you can build a reputation, be an authority in your industry, showcase your most interesting work, and earn a good passive income online.
How to sell digital art online?
Let us show you some ways you can excel in communication and sales over the Internet:
1. Build your portfolio
No matter what you do as an artist: the first step is always to have a portfolio to show what you do. Put your best work in it, always thinking about the kind of project you want to be asked to do. Your portfolio doesn’t need to contain all your art, so it’s best that you are selective and put only the pieces that show the best of your talent and study, that are strategic to captivate the public you want to reach, and that are the most important for your career.
This portfolio can be made in several ways. A personal website about your work, pdf file in case you need to send it by email, or even use special online platforms for posting your work, such as Behance, DeviantArt, Flickr, 500px (specific for photography).
Creating a website and organizing the information
Create your own website, because this way you will have all the prominence and you will be creating a solid artist brand image.
Having an online store that does not charge a fee/commission per sale allows you the opportunity to put a good price on your photos and attract many customers.
On your own shop or website you can make a portfolio for clients or people interested exclusively in your work.
You need to have a website that presents your works, biography and resume in an organized and transparent way. It should function as a “Landing Page” so that people coming from other channels (social media and marketplaces) can get to know your work in more depth. We will see this better below.
Making a web page today is much easier. There are great free platforms like WordPress.org that provide all the tips on how to start this process.
You will need to create an address to put on your site, your DNS. To do this, go to a domain registrar or web host, sign up, and find an address that is available and easy to read and remember.
Very complicated addresses can hinder you when you go to tell people about it. Use for example: www.YOUR NAME.art.com
Your art needs to be on social media. Several art projects are gaining prominence on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and other platforms. Using these media to publicize your work and gain visibility will bring you contacts with potential clients for illustrations, crafting, photography work, and various other artistic segments. The network also allows you to contact other artists and conduct research to inspire your creations.
However, to position yourself well on social networks you need strategy. For this reason, it is important to have a minimum amount of knowledge about how these platforms work in order to stand out in your publications.
Once you have created your website, you should create social media accounts.
We suggest Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. You probably already have them. But the tip stands: create new accounts, don’t mix your personal profile with your business one.
Social networks are going to be the easiest way to publicize your works. The possibilities of sharing and boosting (paid publishing) increase the reach of your work too much. People seeing your works and becoming interested will be able to analyze them more thoroughly on your website.
In addition, in the past, for an artist to be recognized he had to be represented by a gallery, something very difficult to achieve. Today, social networks allow much greater independence. Many achieve success with just a well-organized Instagram. Digital platforms have become a great way for artists to do business.
1) Make sure people can find you. Use your artist name as your username, not nicknames that only your inner circle knows or names you’ve created that have nothing to do with your real name.
2) Link your social networks to your website and vice versa.
3) Post good, relevant content regularly. It is very important that you take building your image to the public seriously.
4) When posting a work, post at least some information such as: technique, title and values. The other information the person will find on your site.
5) Organize your works with custom hashtags (Instagram) and keywords (Pinterest). That way, someone who likes a certain subject, type or series of your work can see all the similar works at once, without having to go through all your posts to find them.
6) Don’t use extremely common hashtags and keywords, like those that have 1 million images, like: #art, #artist, #painting, and so on. Your images disappear almost instantly into this vast sea. They just take up space and don’t lead anywhere.
7) When appropriate, post images of buyers satisfied with their newly purchased or installed purchases and displayed in their homes or businesses. People like to see that their art is selling. If other people are buying, it also makes it more acceptable for them to buy.
8) It is important to know what time the audience that follows you is usually most present on social media, what days of the week, what type of publication they like most, etc. Having this information, you can schedule posts for the most convenient time.
9) Don’t worry about the copyright of your images circulating on the internet. It is possible to watermark your photos with text adding applications such as Quick.
3. Selling art online
Social networks also enable you to sell digital art. In addition, you can set up your own store or use ready-made platforms to sell your digital products.
We don’t always have the technical knowledge to make our own website. We may also not have the inclination to manage social networks. If you fit these profiles, we suggest you pay someone else to do it.
By far the most capable for this are the art marketplaces. They are platforms responsible for exposing and promoting artists/collections.
What are the advantages of the marketplace?
1) Your work will certainly be seen more, because the marketplaces already have a visiting public. In a simple analogy, it would be as if you put your product in a mall instead of the living room of your house. The chances of a buyer entering the living room of your house are much smaller.
2) You don’t need to understand programming or SEO (search engine optimization tool that improves your ranking in google) to get started. Even so, we advise you to do some research on this topic, it will help a lot in structuring your site.
3) Many buyers feel more comfortable buying from a site that offers them protection. Not to mention that the organization and presentation of the works, profile and exhibits on the marketplaces is usually very efficient.
4) Platforms can run more aggressive email marketing and social media marketing campaigns, monitoring potential customers who appreciate your work.
5) Before signing up on any site, read the terms and conditions very carefully. Know what commission or percentage each site charges, understand what protections they offer, what users look for within the platform, see the sales made by the site, know everything you can that is relevant to your sales.
Also Check: Best free stock photo sites in 2021
The 10 top online marketplaces to sell digital art
As a talented artist, you can sell your design work online to make more money this year. Whether you are a graphic designer, illustrator, photographer, art director, or 3D artist, there is a market for high quality designs and different ways to sell your digital art directly to the public. Now it is simpler than ever to sell online, whether it is books, prints, t-shirts, 3D assets, any original artwork, you also have the option to sell digital files and other physical products.
Selling artwork online no longer requires a large investment of time and money to build your own online store, as there are many e-commerce sites that allow you to reach a wider online market. Some art marketplaces have created a complete and robust system, and have incorporated essential tools and features such as different forms of logins, alternative payment methods, file delivery, and even have marketing tools that help you list and advertise your products.
These are the 10 choices of sites to sell digital products, whether you are a professional or an amateur, you can make enough money from your projects to pay your bills, or even make a living as an artist.
One online marketplace where you can profit from your art work are image banks. Adobe Stock is a service that provides access to millions of photos, videos, illustrations, graphic design, digital illustration, and vector graphics, 3D assets. Here you can upload your photos, videos, vectors, and illustrations to Adobe Stock directly from Adobe Lightroom CC, Adobe Bridge CC, or over the Web.
You can receive the best royalties for your creative contributions.
If you are looking to sell your work to an image site, Alamy is a great choice. Alamy uses images from graphic designers all over the world, as well as from photographers, reporters, and editors.
Through this site, you will have access to over 100,000 registered buyers. The site also includes about 50,000 contributing artists.
So there are many sales going on every day through this site.
You can make good money using Alamy. In addition, this company offers 50% royalties for contributing artists.
The Envato marketplace is a marketplace with a multitude of graphic resources for digital downloads.
The online marketplace includes several other sites, including 3D Ocean for 3D templates, ThemeForest for website templates, and GraphicRiver for vectors and graphics.
Programmers can use the CodeCanyon site through the marketplace as well, while audio artists can use AudioJungle and photographers can use PhotoDune the VideoHive offers a library of unlimited premium movies and video effects.
Some companies and people are making money there. There are over one and a half million members across the Envato network, so a large consumer audience is waiting for you.
To start selling your artwork, you need to become an “author”.and sign up → Become an Author. From there, you will have access to your dashboard, where you can make customizations, turning the page into a selling point for your portfolio.
CanStockPhoto is an image bank provider that licenses royalty-free images, photos, digital illustrations, photo clips, and footage files on behalf of photographers, illustrators, and cinematographers.
You can upload your artwork on the site to sell the images. First you need to create an account and provide three images for approval.
Once approved, you can sell your images and earn money based on the payment schedule .
Custom licenses receive a 50% payment, while prints and posters receive a 20% payment.
One of the most popular online art marketplaces is Saatchi Art. This gallery goes further in terms of the type of art it displays. This is not just a place where you sell art prints or paintings, Saatchi Art also displays sculptures. You will find an audience specifically interested in buying any art, from photography, drawing, sculpture and physical print, and more and more art of different types and sizes.
The price range for the pieces is from $500 to over $10,000, and they can be limited edition or open edition, from artists from virtually all over the world.
To learn more about using this site to sell your art, be sure to check out the “Why Sell?” section.
This area of the site will provide you with lots of information, such as a guide to design pricing, image resolution, and shipping details.
You should consider: the site charges a small percentage of 30% for each of your sales, but will take care of the shipping processes.
In this online store you can upload your designs, photographs, and illustrations, and your customers can choose what kind of products they want to buy: cell phone covers, home decor patterns, pillows, quilts, cups, furniture, and other products. You do not have to take care of the shipping. There is a base commission of 10%, except for physical printing, where you set the price.
This is the place par excellence for handmade artists, handmade objects and materials for their production. It has several digital resources to optimize sales from your personal page, and has already established itself as a place for lovers of unique and personalized objects.
The Etsy store offers numerous options for people to sell any digital product. However if you have an Etsy account, you can sell digital downloads and build a good source of passive income online, as well as selling digital prints or you can sell paintings and make more money.
You have to consider: You will compete with over a million users, so your prices must be very competitive. You will need to be careful with your prices, shipping policies and refunds to stand out from the rest and have a good profit margin.
deviantART is one of the largest online social networks for artists and art lovers, with over 30 million registered members on the platform. As an open community, deviantART is a platform that allows emerging and established artists to exhibit, promote and share their work in a community dedicated solely to the arts. The social network receives more than 160,000 daily files of original artwork, ranging from traditional media such as painting and sculpture, to digital art, pixel art, film, and anime.
Flickr is an artists’ network and a virtual image gallery where you can share your photos and get the most out of them. You can organize them in collections, join groups with the same interests.
On this platform users can make their own designs with simple online design tools, and then buy, share or sell them in their own online stores. It is the site where everyone comes back for unique products that express what people love most (on average, about 130,000 new designs are added every week). From the latest pop culture freaks, hobbies, activities, causes and favorite interests, it’s easy to find unique designs and products on CafePress.com.
Can I sell digital art on Instagram?
Instagram some time ago made available a platform, still simple, but effective to encourage purchases on the social network. Through this feature it is possible to price products, make a sales catalog and add a button for the purchase, which directs the customer directly to the sales page.
Instagram does not sell within the social network, so if you want to sell your artwork using Instagram Shop, you must have some basic requirements, such as an account associated with a Facebook page and also Facebook Business.
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