How to sell art online

Selling art is a business just like any other. In this article I talk about the steps I took to start selling my art online without social media or being famous online.

As an artist, you know that selling your work can be a challenge.

But with the right tools and advice, you can make it happen.

This article provides a checklist of things to do when selling art online.

Follow these tips, and you'll be on your way to more art sales online.

Technology has changed the way we live and work, including how to sell art online.

In the past, if you wanted to sell your art online, you generally had two options: sell through a brick-and-mortar gallery or at an art fair.

But times have changed, and there are now more ways to sell art than ever before—including through your website. 

If you're like most artists, you probably spend a lot of time on social media, promoting your work and building your brand.

And while there's nothing wrong with that, you may be wondering if it's the best use of your time.

Also check out my tutorial on how to make a business plan for artists.

Own your platform

After all, social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook are great for reaching new audiences, but they're also crowded places where it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd.

The best way to sell art online is through relationships you build throught your website.

Here's why:

You're in control

When you sell through your website, you're in control of the entire sales process from start to finish.

You set your prices, create your payment options, and manage your inventory.

And when a sale is made, you keep 100% of the profits. 

You can build relationships with collectors.

When someone buys art from your website, they're not just buying a piece of art—they're buying into your story as an artist.

And that personal connection can be powerful.

By selling artwork on your website, you have the opportunity to develop long-term relationships with the people who buy your work. 

You can reach a global audience.

Selling artwork through brick-and-mortar galleries or at art fairs limits you to selling locally or regionally.

But when you sell through your website, you can reach collectors all over the world—expanding your audience (and your potential sales) exponentially. 

By selling through your site, you're in control of the entire sales process from start to finish—including pricing, payments, and inventory management—and you get to keep 100% of the profits.

You don't need to be famous or even have a social media account to sell your art online. 

The best way?

Follow this simple checklist and you'll find yourself well on the road toward success.

1. Make great art consistently

Making great art is a process that requires time and effort. 

Here are some tips on how to make great art consistently:

Draw and paint every day

This may sound like a no-brainer, but it's important to set aside time every day to work on your art.

The more you practice, the better you'll become at it.

If you can only find 30 minutes a day to draw, that's fine.

Just be sure to be consistent with your practice.

Set goals for producing art

When you have specific goals in mind, it's easier to stay motivated and focused.

For example, if your goal is to sell your art online, then you'll need to be sure that you're creating quality pieces that people will want to buy. 

Get feedback from others

It's helpful to get feedback from other artists or even friends and family members who aren't familiar with the world of art.

Their input can help you see your work from a different perspective and make necessary improvements. 

Making great art consistently is possible with some dedication and effort. 

2. Build a simple and effective website for your art

When you're first starting as an artist, it can be tough to know where to begin when it comes to promoting your work online.

Having a strong website is essential if you want to get your name out there and start attracting buyers, but building a complicated, flashy site with all the bells and whistles is neither necessary nor advisable when you're just starting. 

What you need to get started with your art website

The good news is that you don't need much in the way of materials or equipment to get started building your art website.

All you need is a domain name (which can be easily purchased through a site like GoDaddy or Namecheap), 12-20 images of your art in a gallery format, 5-10 foundational blog posts (more on that below), a way to process payments (PayPal or Stripe are both good options), and your About and Contact pages. 

Putting it all together

Now that we've gone over what you need to get started, let's talk about how to put it all together.

If you're not familiar with coding or web design, the simplest way to build your site is to use WordPress.

WordPress makes it easy to create a professional-looking website without any prior experience or design knowledge. 

Once you've chosen a platform and signed up for an account, the next step is to select a template for your site.

There are many different options to choose from, so take some time to browse through them and find one that best suits the aesthetic of your work.

Once you've found a template you like, it's time to start adding content. 

Start by creating galleries for each series or body of work you want to showcase.

Then, add blog posts about your process, inspirations, recent shows or exhibitions, etc. 

Be sure to include high-quality photos or videos along with your text so that visitors to your site have something interesting and visual to look at.

Your images should be 1200px wide exactly. The file size of each image should be 150-200kb max.

And finally, don't forget those About and Contact pages.

Tell visitors who you are, what kind of art you make, and how they can get in touch with you if they're interested in purchasing some of your work. 

Check out my guide on examples of artist statements. 

Creating a simple but effective art website doesn't have to be complicated or expensive—all you need is a domain name, 12-20 images of your artwork, 5-10 blog posts, and a way to process payments. 

Check out my guide on SEO for artists websties.

3. Start your email list for your art business

As an artist, you know the importance of building a strong online presence.

A key part of that is having an email list. 

An email list allows you to stay in touch with your fans, announce upcoming events or exhibitions, and share new work. 

Why you need an email list to sell your art online

Before we get into how to start an email list, let's talk about why you need one in the first place. 

As an artist, it's important to have multiple channels through which you can reach your fans and followers. 

Social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook are great for sharing your work, but they're not the only way to do it. 

An email list gives you a direct line of communication with the people who are interested in your work. 

In addition to staying in touch with your fans, an email list also allows you to announce upcoming events or exhibitions, share new work, and promote any other news or updates about your art business. 

Essentially, an email list provides you with another way to connect with those interested in your art.

How to start an email list for your art business

Now that we've talked about why you need an email list, let's get into how to start one for your art business.

The first step is to choose an email service provider (ESP).

I use ConvertKit, but you can also use MailChimp.

Once you've chosen an ESP, the next step is to create a sign-up form. 

This is where people will enter their email addresses to subscribe to your newsletter.

When creating a sign-up form, be sure to keep it simple. The fewer fields there are, the more likely people are to fill it out. 

The final step is to add a sign-up form to your website or blog.

This can usually be done by adding a widget or plugin provided by your ESP.

Once you've done that, you're ready to start growing your email list! 

An email list is a key part of building a strong online presence as an artist.

It allows you to stay in touch with your fans, announce upcoming events or exhibitions, and share new work. 

4. Create a lead magnet to get people on your email list

One of the best ways to grow your art business is to build an email list of potential customers.

A great way to get people to sign up for your email list is by offering a lead magnet.

A lead magnet is a freebie or discount that you offer in exchange for someone's email address.

Let me show you how to create a lead magnet that will grow your email list quickly:

Figure out what your potential art collectors want

The first step in creating a lead magnet is to figure out what your target audience wants.

What kinds of problems are they trying to solve?

What information are they looking for?

You can do some research by talking to your customers, reading online forums, or surveying your social media followers.

Once you know what they want, you can create a lead magnet that provides them with the information they're looking for.

Make your lead magnet relevant to your art

Your lead magnet should be relevant to the products or services that you sell.

For example, if you sell handmade jewelry, your lead magnet could be a guide to picking the perfect piece of jewelry for any outfit.

If you sell paintings, your lead magnet could be a downloadable PDF of your latest collection.

Relevance is key because you want people who sign up for your lead magnet to be potential customers.

Prominently display your lead magnet on your website 

Now that you've created an amazing lead magnet, it's time to let the world know about it.

Prominently display it on your website so that visitors can see it and sign up for your email list.

You can also promote it on social media or in other marketing materials (like business cards or flyers).

The more places you promote it, the more email addresses you'll collect.

5. Write your automated Welcome email sequence

As an artist, you want to make sure you're doing everything you can to create a great first impression with your new subscribers.

That's why automating a welcome email sequence is a must.

In your newsletter software, you should be able to create an automated sequence for new subscribers.

Schedule it so that your first email goes out shortly after someone signs up for your list.

The second email goes out on the second day.

The third email goes out on day three, and so forth.

Your First Email: The Why and the How

The first email in your sequence should be all about why someone should subscribe to your list in the first place.

What value are you offering?

What kind of content will they receive?

How often will they hear from you?

This is your chance to set expectations and give a brief overview of what someone can expect by subscribing to your list.

Include a link to a recent blog post or piece of art so they can get a taste of your style right away.

Your Second Email: The Personal Touch

The second email is where you start to get personal.

Introduce yourself and tell your story.

Why did you become an artist?

What inspires you?

Share some behind-the-scenes photos or videos so they can get to know the person behind the art.

This is also a great opportunity to start building rapport and creating a connection with your new subscribers.

Your Third Email: The Call to Action

The third email in your sequence should have a strong call to action (CTA).

What do you want your new subscribers to do next? Visit your website?

Follow you on social media?

Download a freebie?

Whatever it is, make sure it's something that's in line with their interests and that will move them further down the funnel toward becoming a paying customer.

By automating a welcome email sequence for your new subscribers, you can ensure that they're getting the best possible introduction to your creative world.

Start by telling them why they should subscribe, then introduce yourself and tell your story, and finally include a strong call to action.

By following these steps, you'll be giving your new subscribers everything they need to get excited about being on your list.

6. Document your process on your blog and newsletter

If you're an artist, then chances are you've been asked at least once how you create your art.

Whether it's a friend, family member, or stranger, people are interested in knowing what goes into making the art that you make.

And while it's totally up to you whether or not you want to share the process behind your work, we think there are some pretty compelling reasons why you should document your process on your blog (or whichever content platform you prefer). 

Here's why:

It builds trust with your audience 

When people can see how you create your art, they'll be able to see that you're transparent and honest about your work.

This will help build trust between you and your audience, which is essential if you want to turn them into lifelong fans.

It helps people understand your art better

By documenting your process, you're essentially giving people a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into making your art.

This can help them appreciate and understand your art on a deeper level.

It's a great marketing tool

Let's face it: most people love learning about other people's creative processes.

By documenting yours, you're giving people content that they're interested in—which makes it a great marketing tool for attracting new fans and followers.

It can inspire others to start creating art themselves 

By sharing your process with the world, you may just inspire someone else to start creating art of their own.

Documenting your artistic process can be a great way to build trust with your audience, help people understand and appreciate your art, and attract new fans and followers.

So next time someone asks how you made that painting/sculpture/photo/etc., consider sharing your process with them—you never know what might come of it.

7. Grow your email list

So you've set up the foundation for your email list, which is a lead magnet and automated Welcome emails.

You've also been documenting your work once a week on your blog.

Now it's time to get more traffic to your site so you can start getting more newsletter subscribers.

As an artist, one of the best things you can do is grow your email list. 


Because it allows you to cultivate a group of people who are interested in what you do and are more likely to buy your products or services. 

Plus, an email list gives you a direct line of communication with your potential collectors, so you can let them know about new products, exhibitions, and events.

Growing your email list doesn't have to be difficult or time-consuming.

With a little effort and some creative thinking, you can easily add 250, 500, 1000, or more new subscribers in no time.

Reach out to other artists and creatives

One of the best ways to grow your email list is to reach out to other artists and creatives who have a similar audience as you.

Ask if they're interested in doing a cross-promotion, where each of you promotes the other's work to your respective audiences.

This is a great way to reach new people who are already interested in what you do.

Collaborate with non-competing businesses 

Another great way to grow your email list is to collaborate with non-competing businesses that serve the same target market as you.

For example, if you're a jewelry designer, you could partner with a clothing store that stocks your pieces.

Then, each of you could promote the other's business to your email list subscribers.

This is an effective way to reach new people who are likely to be interested in what you do.

Run a contest or giveaway

Contests and giveaways are always popular, so they're a great way to attract new email subscribers.

To make sure your contest or giveaway is successful, be sure to promote it heavily on social media and give away something valuable and relevant to your target market.

For example, if you're an artist specializing in pet portraits, you could give away a free pet portrait session or a discount on commissioned pieces.

Leverage your existing network 

Don't forget about the people who already know and support you!

Talk to your friends, family members, and fellow creatives about joining your email list.

These are the people who are most likely to be interested in hearing from you regularly, so they're an excellent source of new subscribers.

Also, don't forget to promote your email list on your own social media channels—you never know who might be interested in joining. 

Get interviewed or write guest posts

One of the best ways to increase traffic is by doing guest posts and interviews.

Where you're connecting with other websites in your art niche to be featured, interviewed, or to write a guest post.

This is a great way to get in front of an already established audience and introduce them to your art.

But how do you know which websites to reach out to? 

And how do you go about doing it? 

The first step in conducting successful outreach is identifying which websites you should reach out to.

You'll want to base this on things like your inspirations, the subject matter of your work, parallel interests aligned with your art, and the values you live by.

Ask yourself: which websites does my target audience visit?

Once you've identified some potential websites, it's time for some light research.

Do a quick Google search of the website you're interested in and see if they've ever featured artists like you before.

If they have, that's a good sign that they might be open to featuring you as well.

If everything looks good so far, it's time to reach out!

Start by finding the contact information for the website you want to pitch to.

This is usually listed on their Contact page or at the bottom of their website.

Once you have the contact information, send them a short and friendly email asking if they're interested in featuring your work.

Make sure to include a link to your website so they can see examples of your art.

Finally, don't forget to follow up if you haven't heard back from them after a week or so!

By following these simple tips, you'll be on your way to increasing traffic (and sales!) in no time.

There are many benefits to growing your email list as an artist—it allows you to stay connected with your fans, sell more products, and promote your exhibitions and events more effectively—so it's worth putting some time and effort into it.

9. Consistently email your newsletter once a week

As an artist, you’re always looking for new ways to reach potential collectors and turn them into buyers. 

You want to build a rapport with them and let them get to know you and your work. 

And one of the best ways to do that is by emailing them a weekly newsletter.

When you’re consistent in your weekly emails, your subscribers will start to become familiar with you and your art. 

This familiarity will eventually turn into trust, and when they trust you, they’ll be more interested in buying your artwork. 

So if you’re looking to make more art sales, make sure you’re emailing your newsletter regularly. 

One of the best ways to ensure consistency is to set up a schedule and stick to it. 

Decide which day or days of the week you want to send out your newsletter and then make sure you stick to that schedule. 

Another way to be consistent is by batching your content. 

This means creating all of your content for the month in one sitting and then scheduling it so that it goes out automatically each week. 

This can be a great time-saver and will help take some of the pressure off of having to come up with new content each week. 

10. Make art sales by launching your art

A launch is when you release a limited number of products for a limited time.

This can be an effective way to increase sales because it creates a sense of urgency and community around your art. 

The Power of Urgency

One of the reasons why launches are so effective is because they create a sense of urgency.

When people know that they only have a limited time to purchase something, they are more likely to act quickly.

This is especially true if the product is in high demand or if it's something that they've been wanting for a while.

Launching your art can help you take advantage of this by creating excitement and anticipation around your work. 

The Power of Scarcity

Scarcity is another reason why launching your art can be so effective.

When you release a limited number of products, it makes them more valuable in people's eyes.

They will feel like they need to act fast before they miss their chance to own one of your pieces.

This can be a great way to sell more art and get people talking about your work. 

The Power of Community 

Finally, launching your art can also help build a community around your work.

When people purchase your art during a launch, they will feel like they are part of something special.

This sense of community can be beneficial for artists because it can help create loyalty and repeat customers. 

If you're thinking about releasing new art for sale, then you should consider using a launch strategy.

Launches are an effective way to sell more art because they create urgency, scarcity, and community around your work.

These are all powerful psychological factors that can help increase sales and get people to talk about your art.

So if you're ready to take your art business to the next level, consider using a launch strategy the next time you release new work!

11. Scale your art sales

If you're an artist who is looking for ways to sell more art, then you'll want to check out this blog post. 

You should think about scaling your art sales using advanced strategies such as creating a separate collectors-only email list, quarterly launches with scarcity, and building automated email funnels. 

By implementing these strategies, you can sell your art passively in the background and make more sales than ever before!

Creating a Separate Collectors-Only Email List 

One of the best ways to sell more art is to create a separate email list for collectors only.

Use this list to cultivate relationships with your top collectors and build loyalty over time.

To get started, simply segment your current email list by those who have purchased art from you in the past.

Then, start sending them special offers and updates regularly.

Quarterly Launches with Scarcity 

Another great way to scale your art sales is by doing quarterly launches with scarcity.

This means that you'll release a certain number of pieces for sale each quarter, but only for a limited time.

This will create a sense of urgency and encourage people to buy sooner rather than later.

Plus, it's a great way to stagger your income so that you're not relying on one big launch per year.

Simply set up a schedule of 4 quarterly launches and promote each one accordingly.

Building Automated Email Funnels 

Finally, one of the best ways to sell more art passively is by building automated email funnels.

This means creating a series of emails that will be sent out automatically after someone purchases (or doesn't purchase) your art.

For example, you could set up an abandoned cart email sequence for people who add items to their cart but don't complete the purchase.

Or, you could create a post-purchase follow-up series to thank customers and upsell them on additional products.

Automated email funnels are a great way to increase sales without lifting a finger!

There are many different ways to scale your art sales, but some methods are more effective than others. 

By implementing advanced strategies such as creating a separate collectors-only email list, quarterly launches with scarcity, and building automated email funnels, you can sell more art passively in the background