Are you an artist wanting to make money from your collection? Selling your pieces online could be your best bet.
While you may be able to make some money by hanging your artwork in a gallery, more and more people are shopping online, and your masterpieces could be just what they’re looking for.
And what's even better, setting everything up is actually very easy.
In this article, I’m going to tell you how to sell art online. During this step-by-step guide, I’ve used Wix because the setup process is extremely quick and simple. You also have the choice to create a fully personalized site or you can use Wix ADI to make the process easier.
However, the process could be easily suited for any website builder of your choice - read our post on best website builders for artists to pick the one that suits you.
These are all the things you need to sell art online:
- 1. Choose the collections you want to add to your online store
- 2. Take professional photographs of your artwork
- 3. Choose an online platform and create an account
- 4. Select a website design for your art store
- 5. List your products - and make it beautiful
- 6. Be transparent with your pricing
- 7. Create categories and upsell your artwork
- 8. Assign a domain name to your site
1. Choose the Collections You Want to Add to Your Online Store
The majority of artists create individual collections, some of which they do for their own personal amusement and others because they believe others will enjoy them too. These come in sets of two or more and often include pieces that flow together.
Before you can learn how to sell art online and make money, you have to decide which collections you’d like to add to your store.
Go through all of your art and put aside the ones you believe people will be interested in.
2. Take Professional Photographs of Your Artwork
If you're a photographer, this part is going to be hilariously easy. But if not, remember - online sales are all about visuals. The things that look good, sell well.
Once you’ve chosen your collection, you need to take professional photographs of each piece you want to add to your site.
If you have the budget, I recommend you hire a professional photographer.
If we're talking about paintings, I suggest you hang them against a white wall or a fitting kind of background.
For example, artwork with a white background would look great against a black wall. Either way, the key is to create enough contrast so that your art stands out, or to make the background so fitting, it works together with your piece.
3. Choose an Online Platform and Create an Account
The key to selling art online with the best sites is to choose one that comes with the individual features you need.
In other words, make sure that the platform you go for allows you to design a store that aligns with your goals. This should include everything from adding product descriptions to creating a blog in order to improve SEO.
4. Select a Website Design for Your Art Store
Once you sign up for an account with your preferred online store builder, you need to choose a theme. This theme should align with your branding while also giving you all the functionalities you need.
For example, it should allow you to add plenty of images, galleries, as well as a blog. You should also be able to list your art for sale and take orders and payments from it.
Additionally, if you go for an open source web builder like WordPress, you can choose from thousands of different themes.
5. List Your Products - And Make It Beautiful
Now that you have your images and you've chosen a website builder and theme, it's time to start uploading your content. The key to creating a successful business selling art online is to make your pieces come alive.
With this in mind, it's important that you describe every creation you upload.
Simply put, you need to tell potential buyers the story behind your art. However, remember that while beautifying your descriptions may engage your visitors, you must maintain a high level of honesty and transparency.
Buyers want to know all the details. This includes the dimensions of your pieces, the materials you used, as well as the delivery and packaging options.
6. Be Transparent With Your Pricing
Pricing your art can be challenging, especially if you're not used to selling online. While many believe it's just about charging what you think is fair, there are some considerations you need to make. Aside from your experience, you should look at other artists who work in similar styles.
If you have a previous sales history, you should also keep this in mind. Moreover, make sure to factor in the hours it took you to create your work as well as the cost of materials. Benchmark your art compared to the rest of the market and think about who your clientele is.
Aside from helping you price your pieces, this will give you more vision for the design side of your website. To remain transparent, make sure that your pricing is clear on your website. It shouldn't include any hidden costs.
7. Create Categories and Upsell Your Artwork
The best online art galleries are intuitive and easy to navigate around. With this in mind, you must organize your artwork in a way that makes it easy for potential buyers to find the pieces they truly want.
Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, and WordPress allow you to categorize and tag your art. They also allow you to create a 'Featured Collection' on your homepage that displays your best or more recent work.
You could categorize your art by style, materials, theme, or collection, for example. Additionally, consider using an eCommerce platform if you have variations of your pieces.
This is because platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, and Volusion allow you to add variants to individual products. Instead of re-uploading a variation of each one of your pieces, you can create one listing for all of them.
8. Assign a Domain Name to Your Site
However, with Wix, hover over “Site” on the top right-hand corner of your page. Then, click on “Connect Domain”.
From there, you can choose a new domain or connect one you already own.
While creating an account with Wix is free, you have to upgrade to Wix Premium to assign a domain to your site.
Plans start at $20 a month but I highly recommend you subscribe to a paid plan, as they allow you to sell your art commission free.
The most affordable plan comes with 20GB of storage space, unlimited bandwidth, Google Analytics, and $300 worth of ad vouchers.
Additional Steps on How to Sell Art Online
If you want to give your website a boost from the get-go, I recommend you attach a blog to your site and add social media buttons to it. To do this with Wix, download the blog and Instagram feed app to your store.
This will allow you to expand your reach, thus helping you make more sales in the future. You can do this by:
- Clicking on “Manage Apps”
- Selecting “All Apps”
- Hovering over “Blog” and clicking “Add”
- Going to “Manage Apps” and selecting “All Apps” again
- Hovering over “Instagram Feed” and clicking “Add”
- Selecting the page you’d like your Instagram feed to appear on
Once both of these apps are installed on your site, you can navigate to each of them to edit the settings based on your personal preferences.
In the meantime, do you have more tips on how to sell art online? If so, share them in the comments below.