Selling Art Online: Why SELLING ART ON Pinterest Is The Best Way To Go
Are you an artist interested in selling art online? Selling art on Pinterest is a secret weapon for traffic. I am an artist selling t-shirts and art prints doing this with the help of Pinterest as well as my art blog, you can too!
In The following post I will be sharing the ways I've been able to sell my artwork online through the use of Pinterest more than any other social network platform I've used in the past. Yes, you are reading correctly Pinterest.
I've used Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and tried blogging on my own website for years; I had very little to no success until I took this Pinterest course for entrepreneurs. Be open minded to the possibility of what you can do with Pinterest. It's not just for a bunch of stay at home moms or women who love crafts and fashion. lol.
You can jump straight to the Pinterest course
It's A $397 Investment In Yourself. Key word here is"investment" to learn how to use Pinterest effectively for more traffic
However, I do recommend going through this entire post if you are seriously looking for a way to drive consistent traffic to your website with no advertising budget. Also, if by the end you are not convinced... Well, there's nothing else I can do for you.
I recommend reading the entire post, it's worth it.
However, some may want to skim through the post to the areas they are looking for specifically. Below is a table of contents navigation to help you.
Quick Intro To Me: Kenal Louis | Who I Am
My name is Kenal Louis and I am a visual artist who practice both traditional forms of art like drawing and painting as well as digital arts. I've had a passion for art since I was a child. Yep, that photo is the little version of me.
I've been blogging since 2011 with little to no success until I took this course and combined with with my passion to create art to share with the world.
You can see a lot of my work on Instagram, the only other visual social network I live on other than Pinterest... But my results and engagement is far greater on Pinterest, will explain later in this post. At some point I've do a blog on using Instagram to promote your art, but right now it's all about the pinning baby.
Examples My Artworks
Why Should You Take 5 Minutes and Read This Entire Post
I've failed at selling art or making money online trying to sell art so many ways over the years. I'm also very good as what I do as an artist and believe I have something to offer as well as share with the world. We are also in a digital era and have been for a little while now, but moving forward things are only going to get more digital and difficult. Sorry, but it's the truth. You need to get on board or get left behind.
Traditional art galleries aren't necessarily cutting it for the majority of artists. I'll also write about why I say this in another post.
The Starving Artist Myth and Broke Artist Perception
As an artist you are a business. You are a brand, whether you choose to believe it or not. You have something also to offer and no artist really create art just to store in a storage or basement for no one to see. We may be reserved, shy, introverted in person and some of us may be fearful of others stealing our art and creative ideas online.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news. There is nothing new underneath the sun. There is no pure original ideas/thoughts any more, just innovation. Okay, maybe somewhere someone is coming up with some fantastic artwork no one has EVER seen before... Really, how abstract can abstract art get? How minimal can minimal art get. Think about it.
As artists we take ideas and make them our own, we creative purely from our own point of view. That is the only pure/originality there is left in creating art. People will pay you for your point of view visually and because they just love how you interpret subjects/ideas in through your artwork.
Okay, I just had to share these thoughts with you to help you see things a little bit the way I see them. Let's start diving into the good part. You are here to learn and see how you can use a platform like Pinterest to sell your art. So here we go!
What This Post Is Not.
Through this in-depth and 5,000 word article I am going to share creative ways I've been able to use Pinterest to sell art prints and t-shirts over the past few months without paying for ads, but putting in the time and effort to learn how to best use the platform.
Pure Value From A Creative and Passionate Artist
Art is an expression of human imagination derived from the inner workings of a creative mind – the artist. People make art for various reasons, and while some of them are out of nothing but pure passion, others are not at all against making money while doing it.
How To Sell Art Online
Artists over time have been able to amass a fortune overselling their art. It would seem almost as if with each passing moment, the art market grows so big and downright lucrative, that it has now begun to spread massively even catching up to the digital/online hemisphere. And this begs the question; ‘’How do I sell art online?’’
Create And Use A Digital Portfolio
People want to see what you have to offer, after all, what’s a job interview without a CV. Your digital portfolio is all the credential needed to lure clients to your work. A site like Pinterest has a uniquely incredible way of displaying the portfolio of artists.
Let Them Into Your Creative Space
People especially prospective clients can become a real curious bunch. You would do well to quench their hunger to know what goes on behind the scenes, by organizing and releasing sneak peeks from time to time concerning your work.
Join A Community By Sharing Other People’s Art
If you’re on a site like Pinterest, sharing the artwork of other artists will put you in their radar. It’s a vice-versa sort of thing and if you’re sharing their work, be rest assured that they’d be sharing yours too. Make references or referrals, and other artists would usually do the same.
Selling Art Online Best Sites
The following are my top 10 recommended routes to go to sell your original art online as well as digital art prints through the use of print on demand. There are at least 20-50 sites out there that are good, but these are the cream of the crop in my opinion.
After you've gone though the list I will mention, which ones I use and why I chose to stick with those ones. You don't have to choose the same exact model I use or stores I use, but they are pretty good and I've used them for years, that's why I'm sharing them.
Pinterest is the best visual platform to use to re-direct targeted traffic to your site
Specially designed to display and market art and visual ideas expertly. Although a lot of people use it for hobby ideas, fun activity ideas, fashion style inspiration and so on. You can use Pinterest to expose your work and target a specific audience who will love your work. If you own a website, etsy, shopify, or some other form of store where you want to showcase original work to sell directly to a person who is interest Pinterest is the way to go for automatic flowing traffic.
Selling Art Online Best Sites To Consider Checking Out
Top 5 Sources To Sell Original Art | Sites For Artists
After all is said and done, selling art online involves the use of authentic websites or applications that can be trusted. Some of them are free, and others are paid sites, and they include;
There may be no need to own a website with ArtFire involved. The site is very similar to Etsy in a way to where you can sell original art or handmade creative goods. The cost per listing as of this post is $.23¢ each or they offer bulk listing for a certain price.
If you have not heard of Etsy, you've been living under a rock for the past 10+ years. Popular with crafts, original art and even art prints. They allow your to list your work also for a few cents as well.
The big e-commerce giant has a reputation for selling art big time. Amazon is dominating retail in every way, you can become a premium seller on their site and sell original work when as person goes through your Amazon store to purchase your work. The benefit of using amazon to sell original artwork is the name, but you would still need traffic, which is where pinterest marketing comes in. Don't let the term "marketing" scare you.
Possesses the largest art sales database and that is no small feat.
Artworks can be sold as prints, and the ball game becomes slightly different in this aspect. Here listed are a few tips for selling art prints. The cost is a bit more on the high end, expensive to list your work, but they can help you get more exposure on their site for a price.
This site is free to setup and register similar to amazon. You only pay them a small fee when you actually sell your work, which is cool. Free is always nice and the site promotes quality original art creators doing well on there.
Selling Art Online Does Require Creative Brand Development
Selling prints is a lot more hands-on in some way, and so there’s a need to build a brand presence to go along with your work of art. No matter what the merchandise is going to be, you must create a brand identity and engage in brand awareness. This goes for both selling art prints and original art. You don't need a million or a hundred thousand subscribers, just need loyal patrons who dig your style.
Do not be carefree when putting together your orders yourself if you are willing to work with a local printer to print your work so you can ship them to your buyers. The packaging material is what the client sees first before the print, so be cautious and do not to disregard it. If you would like to go the drop-ship route, which I also recommend for the sake of time you can go with the following top 5 art print store companies.
Top 5 Art Print Stores Online.
Art prints can also be sold online and some of the top sites to enlist your work on include;
RedBubble. (I Currently use Redbubble to sell prints)
With an average sales margin of 17%, it is sure a good fit for selling art prints.
Employs a large variety of products and is quite easy to use.
Fine Art America. (I also use Fine Art America to sell art prints)
Allows you register and grow your sales independently. I've been a member of the Fine Art America since 2012 and also use this site to list and sell art prints. The listing is free up to 25 artworks, but they charge a commission on each sale. You also have the option to not get charge commission if you page a small annual fee $30/Year.
You can also choose to sell original art on there as well.
Let’s you incorporate its unique design into your own website, the print and ship the merchandise for your. The nice thing about this is you can use your own domain and design your site custom to your liking and your have FULL control over your website content as well as art listings.
Teepublic ( I'm loving them right now. Selling tees with my art)
It is easily one of the top dogs in the business of art prints.
My Results Selling Art Online So Far
I've sold 41 prints on Fine Art America and counting; Also sold 26 T-shirts with my work on Teepublic in the past 9 months prior to this post. In 6 more months I will update the stats.
The Difference Between Selling Original Art And Selling Art Prints
While original art is most certainly and totally created by the hand of the artist, on the other hand, art print is created by a machine with perhaps only a portion of it actually designed by hand. There are obvious and not-so-obvious advantages and disadvantages with both kinds of art, including specific benefits to both.
Advantages of Selling Original Art
There are certain advantages that come with selling original art and they include;
Better Profit Margin For Original Art
Original art is definitely more unique than a work gotten from an art print. The authentic emotion of the artist is fully expressed, and this intensity is clearly depicted on the artwork, and hence it can be sold at a much higher price than a print.
It Is Inexpensive to Sell Prints.
An artist requires only very little to put his art in the front row for the world to see. This inexpensive nature of selling art online does wonders, and like we mentioned earlier. Either way you choose to go, you don't have to worry about a gallery taking some large commission from your work if you sell your art online. You can really do it yourself, not to mention some galleries are extremely difficult to deal with.
Benefits To Selling Original Art Online
Below are the pros and cons to selling prints vs selling original artworks online.
There’s always the upside of having your portfolio online at all times. This makes for easy referral and helps to always keep your work on display which will be quite profitable in the long run.
Disadvantages of Selling Original Art
There are also disadvantages that come with selling your original art online and these include;
The number of artists looking to sell their art is outrageous. From the top shots to the upcoming artists, it’s a serious struggle for recognition and eventually sales. Your work is good, but you’re not alone, and that artist with the brilliant piece just came across another artist with a piece just as brilliant. It’s a highly saturated market out there and the struggle to shine is herculean, to say the least.
Fees and Other Financial Implications
Depending on the site, of course, to have your artwork listed may require certain fees. Again, depending on the site, it can range from nothing to a long road from that. There may be fees for registration, and sometimes there’s a monthly or annual subscription.
Advantages of Selling Art Prints
Some of the pros involved in selling art print include;
While original art prides itself with being scarce and slightly costlier. Art prints can be far more widespread and apart from the upside of getting your art in more place than one and to more people, you also get to maximize your sales over and over again.
With your designs, your prints being able to be reproduced, the first set of people to buy them will consciously and unconsciously brandish your art. In so doing an automatic referral and subtle art print promotion will be well underway. In the end, everything boils down to maximizing profits.
Disadvantages of Selling Art Prints
There are also disadvantages to selling art print, and they include;
A lot of times, the average online store takes a huge chunk out of the earnings of the artists selling his or her work. Consider it the cost of doing business, but it can be quite dissatisfying.
Selling art prints is a logistical nightmare. Since the orders can come from all sides and at all times, in small quantities or in bulk, it can be pretty draining.
My Top Selling Art and T-shirts
Alternative Ways To Sell Your Art
There is no one way to sell art, and before the advent of the internet and all the websites and resources highlighted in this article, there were alternatives. Some more alternatives even arose after the arrival of the internet. So, apart from selling your art online, there are other ways you can successfully market and sell your art.
Some of these alternatives require you to think outside the box and may need you to be extra creative. As an artist, your mind is already programmed to do unique things, and right now, it’s time to put that mind to good use in the area of selling your art using unconventional methods. They include;
Frequently Visited Locations
Forget about trying to drag people online to find your work for a minute, how about coffee shops, restaurants, libraries and so on. Frequently visited places where your art can be face-to-face with prospective buyers.
The more you put your art in places where people get to sit for long periods of times, the higher the possibility of your art pieces holding them spell-bound. Make sure to leave a clear message that the art is for sale and in no time, people would begin to pay attention to your art. You do this well, and you would’ve created a longing for your art whereby people would come into the various locations where your art is on display, seeking to see what next you come up with.
Movie And Stage Drama Props
Let your art hang in the backdrop of a stage play or on set in the background of an independent movie. Give your art brand visibility by inserting it into film productions whether small or big. People are big on visual content, and so for things like movies and plays, they will notice your art. It’s left to you to put forth art that will provoke the right emotions from an unassuming spectator. Provoking the right emotions is almost synonymous with provoking sales. So be strategic and be intentional in your dealings.
There’s the internet, websites and all of that. But then there’s selling your art as merchandise. We’re talking anything from home décor, t-shirts, face caps, jackets, scarfs, hoodies, and even shoes can come into play. You must utilize the power of branding and merchandise to your advantage.
Selling your art as merchandise is quite ingenious as it will foster a large spread of your work. Selling your art isn’t reserved for any one way and depending on your style of marketing, you stand a chance of getting your art to those around you and in diaspora.
These alternative methods to selling your art can be just as effective as selling them online. You can always incorporate both approaches to your grand plan or strategy. Employing alternatives to selling your art often requires alternative marketing parameters.
You must be ready and capable of changing into the dynamics of it all. Your tactics for selling online especially via websites are not the same ones you are going to need here. You need to switch it up, as this is more hands-on and requires serious strategy and commitment.
Selling Art Though T-shirts
Again, you can sell prints, original art, or merchandise like this. Or you can do it all, if you can balance as well as manage it all.
The Pinterest Course: A 6 week Pinterest Marketing Course
Price: $327 to start learning how to guide targeted traffic to your site from Pinterest.
Rachel Ngom is the creator of Pin Win Purpose, the Pinterest marketing course that you need to understand and master Pinterest lead generation to get more exposure and sell your work. She also provides one on one coaching, which I also went through with help AFTER completing the course.
Everything you need is in the course to succeed and start gaining traction on Pinterest and direct hundreds to thousands of targeted visitors to your site, in order to convert more sales for your art.
Do you believe in your work? Do you believe if more people can see it, it will speak for itself?
If your answer to these two questions is yes, go to the Pinterest course page for more details regarding what's included. You will also see my testimonials on her page and a other online entrepreneurs who have taken her course.
The Benefit To Creating Your Own Website As An Artist
Every commercial entity needs a website; if what you do is considered a business, then this should be a no-brainer. Not only does a website add a certain level of legitimacy to your craft, it also aids you in the area of selling your art. You are able to dictate how you want to run your affairs more precisely, as instituting one will automatically cause you to devise a clear-cut routine on how to handle the business of selling art online. Some of the benefits of an artist owning their website include;
Boost Brand Recognition.
As an artist, you must understand that you and especially your work is a brand, and therefore, you should, as a matter of fact, treat it as one. Owning your website is one of the major ways to stamp your brand authority. It will allow you express yourself fully and afford you the opportunity to control the conversation and brand language around your art.
NOTE: Since start using Pinterest more people have been searching my name or art on Google. People are typing keyphrases like "Kenal Louis", "Kenal Louis Artist Biography" and "Kenal Louis Art".
Build An Art Brand With Pinterest Traffic
Over 200 people EVERY month are googling for info on me and my art.
Perhaps your art is in a lot of other places, and you’ve been able to amass a fan base that is scattered across various websites online, you can bring them all home using your website. You can disseminate information, make discounts and maximize profits when you can, by driving your fans to one central location – your website. Here you can proceed to build your fan base, and as they grow, it is directly proportional to your popularity, which in turn is directly proportional to your income.
Your own website means you can now afford to be exclusive. No third-party websites, no percentage sharing with your profits being split unfavorably or even at all. You can communicate directly with your buyers and give them personal assurances. Now that you’re in control, there are guarantees you can give especially in the absence of any or all unreliable intermediaries. This will help you increase the trust between you and your clients and also help to provide a healthy business relationship.
Challenges With Owning Your Artist Website
It is not all rosy to own your own website as it can be a bit challenging. Some of the stressful implications of owning your website include;
Driving Traffic To The Website
Now that you own your website, you become officially responsible for driving traffic to the site. Because you own a website doesn’t mean people or prospective clients are going to stumble on it by chance. You would need to device a means to drive traffic to your site.
The Task Of Innovation
It is not enough to own your own website alone as you must now strive to introduce innovative ideas into it from time to time. You have to stay productive both online and offline for the good of the website and your business in general.
Balancing Selling Art And Running The Business
It is usually an uphill task to balance selling art and managing your website at the same time. It can be quite demanding and puts the artist at a risk of losing focus on the business of making art.
Pintest Traffic Is A Niche Specific And Amazing For It
Why Pinterest Is The Best Social Network To Sell Art Online
Pinterest, a website created to aid artists, art lovers and art related individuals in getting the best art, was instituted in 2010. And for the past 8 years that it has been in existence, it is unarguably one of the best if not the best website for artworks. It is also, more importantly, a marketing tool for artists.
The art display and sales champions took over the market since their arrival on the scene. They are pretty much famed for sporadically popping up every time you search for an image on the internet. If perhaps you can’t find any reason whatsoever to choose Pinterest, for the mere fact that its SEO is the one of the best anyone has ever seen, you should, by all means, surrender to this logic.
As an artist, it is without a doubt, a social network that will push and promote the sale of your art through laid down precepts which have been deeply inculcated into the Pinterest system. Theirs is a method that works and more importantly a series of calculated procedures that serve as a link-bridge between artists and art lovers.
Some of the reasons why Pinterest is the best website to sell your art includes;
Pinterest Is Really Easy To Use
The level of accessibility of the Pinterest website is quite gratifying. Uploading your art for sale on Pinterest is inviting because of this simple fact. It’s so easy to use and set-up, that it explains why it is so successful. Pinterest boasts of a lot of users, and now we know why. Because for both artists and art lover, it is a one-stop-shop.
Popular Image Bank
You’re an artist uploading your cherished art to a website well-known for being one of the top three (3) major image sources in the world. Virtually everybody comes to Pinterest to search for one image or the other. So imagine putting your art up for sale on a website with an audience so large, a reasonable amount of people are bound to come across your art with each passing day.
Automatic Promotion And Increased Reach.
Pinterest has an average of 10 million unique monthly visitors each month. The number of possible hits on your art or images is simply unbelievable. When you enlist your art on Pinterest, you get automatic promotion with such visitor stats already in place. It’s safe to say that your reach is greatly elevated when you sign up on their website.
Huge Network Of Artists And Creatives
Just as a serious number of art-loving visitors come knocking on the door of Pinterest monthly, there are also a sizable number of artists available on the platform. So take this opportunity and network with your fellow creators, artists and even art lovers alike. Pinterest is one big globe of artistic display.
They Make It Easy To Organize Pins
The website and all its precepts and procedures for uploading, sharing and promoting images is unique, but also very organized. They have simple, easy-to-understand guidelines that come in handy.
Selling your art online is here to stay. It allows artists from all over the world to sell their art or prints to people in nations they might have never even heard of (thanks to shipping). It breaks all manner of barriers and pulls down the borders that have hindered cultural exchange through art. It has proven to be profitable to the artist and the third party websites that stand in the gap between artist and art lover.
Traditional Artist/Digital Illustrator
Ink Drawing | Digital Painting
You Made It To The End!!
Alright! You made it to the end of the post, pat yourself on the back. You just got a load of insightful information and a few tips on how you can sell more of your own art online. You also now know that I am using Pinterest as my primary source to drive targeted traffic to my site.
Remember you are a business and you are a brand as an artist.
If you aren't willing to invest in yourself... then it's going to be a longer and tougher journey to get to where you can generate a consistent source of additional income though your art. If you are serious and were looking to learn something that will help you; this course will truly help, if you take it and apply what you learn from it.
If you take the course and the coaching, let Rachel know Kenal sent you. Best wishes!!
What are you waiting for? Head to the course information to start learning the what you need to utilize Pinterest the best way possible for your art business.