How to Start an Online Business Selling Artwork

Hey guys and gals,

This post is geared towards artists. You need to be marketers too so people can find and buy your work.

If you’re an artist you can make money online. Many artists hold on to the myth that the only way to be successful is to have your artwork in a gallery. This just isn’t true. You can create your own online business and have your artwork represented in online galleries all around the world. In fact, your online art business may help you gain the notoriety you’ve been looking for. Here’s how to start an online business selling artwork.

#1 Create a website to display your artwork

There are a number of website templates designed specifically to highlight artwork. You can create a website to simply display your artwork, or you can install a shopping cart and let people buy right from your website. If you create a display website, be sure to include a contact number or email address and form so potential customers can contact you. If you produce commissioned works you will also want to include an order form or contact information.

In addition to basic website templates there are also blog templates that are designed for artists. Spend some time browsing websites belonging to other artists. If you find a site you like, take a look at the bottom of the page. Sometimes the designer or template is listed. You can also hire a website designer to create a custom website for you.

#2 Build a store at Etsy and/or eBay

Etsy and eBay are online marketplaces. Etsy specifically caters to the artist community. You can build a store directly on the site and sell your art to interested buyers. EBay is an auction site; however, you can build a store there as well and sell your art with a ‘buy it now’ option if you don’t want to auction them off.

#3 Network online

One of the best ways to generate free interest in your art is to get online ad network. MySpace specifically offers profiles for artists. This is a great place to start. However, it’s also important to network where your audience hangs out. For example if your artwork is primarily landscapes or extreme sporting photos or paintings, then consider participating in online forums and blogs dedicated to the topic. You’re sure to sell your art to those interested in the out of doors or extreme sports.

Finally, specialization is a great way to really carve a niche for yourself. It’s much easier to become the artist to go to for paintings of dogs or handmade gemstone rings than it is to appeal to a broad market. If you have a number of passions and artistic interests and skills, create a website devoted to each of them. Identify your audience and market specifically to them.

With modern technology, art is available to everyone. You don’t have to sell only in a gallery. You can sell to people all around the world. Let the internet be your gallery and make money from your art.