Expanding Your Reach: How Websites and Social Media Can Help Artists

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Leverage Your Online Presence to Maximise Art Sales

Are you looking to put your artwork up for sale online? It can be daunting trying to decide between setting up a shop, creating portfolio pages, or posting images on large art websites. Luckily, there are plenty of options available for selling your work digitally and I'm here to help you make the best decision!

Nowadays, crafting an effective online persona is a must for artists. Whenever someone stumbles across your work, whether at physical exhibitions or through the web, they'll likely look you up, and this could lead them to either your website or social media pages. That's why it's so critical that these pages are consistent with one another and accurately depict both yourself as an artist and the significance of your artwork!

For artists, the prospect of selling art online can feel like a Catch-22. In pre-social media days, one primary way individuals located your website was by searching for it using search engines such as Google and then clicking on the results page to visit it. But that only worked if they already knew your name; there wasn't much hope for those who weren't familiar with you or your work through chance searches matching text descriptions on site pages; these leads generally navigated away from the website before getting an opportunity to view any artwork, let alone make a purchase. Thankfully, there are tried-and-true methods to retain accidental visitors on your website—but more about that soon!

Establishing galleries, pages, or stores on artist websites can be a waste of money if you're required to pay for them. Additionally, some sites may charge an intimidating percentage from the sale of your art—roughly as much as physical galleries in certain cases. Although there are countless group art websites available with dozens up to hundreds (and more) artists that guarantee immense success potential; it's not always worth the risk associated with taking advantage of these options. Sadly, these promises of fame and fortune often go unfulfilled on larger art sites. Just because you add your artwork to a gallery does not mean it will be seen by anyone. Unless the website features or promotes your pieces, chances are slim that people will happen upon them randomly in an environment where thousands or even hundreds of thousands of other works exist too—akin to entering into a group show with no guaranteed results for finding success!

When social media was not as prevalent, joining large art and artist websites had a much more significant value than it does now. It offered an opportunity for artists to promote themselves and introduce their artwork while being discovered by those who didn't recognise their names. Also, virtually handling sales &; payments were simple through these sites, with no involvement of any third parties. Nowadays, however, we can do all this ourselves! With services like Venmo or Square becoming increasingly popular, the ability to sell directly without intermediaries has never been simpler; likewise goes for making sure people are aware of your work!

Social media has revolutionised how artists can display and promote their art. Platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook, with their massive user bases, allow far greater freedom in terms of showcasing one's work than specialised art websites. Unburdened by the plethora of regulations imposed by these sites, creators can now present themselves on their own terms while simultaneously cultivating an audience they can sell to directly, without any intermediaries or search engine limitations!

Entrepreneurial creatives consistently manage to capture hundreds, thousands, and even tens of thousands of followers on their social media channels. To be successful in this endeavour, artists must post regularly with a captivating story that not only contains information about the art itself but also delves into the artist's life for a more personal touch. Additionally, engaging fans is key to having an interactive relationship that can result in lasting success! Nevertheless, the most essential aspect will always be art. Proficient artists are prolific and devoted to producing quality work and ensuring that their digital presence is current and captivating. Skilfully conveying, even through the sheer quantity of output, that they take this craft seriously and intend to remain in it for some time.

An array of artists now depend on social media as the primary way to promote their art, gain recognition from buyers and collectors, generate sales, and secure exhibition opportunities. Certainly, a lot of artwork is selling this approach, with more added every day; nevertheless, depending exclusively on large artist/art websites or social media portals involves certain risks. These platforms possess ultimate control over your content—not you!—so there's no absolute guarantee that whatever you post today will be around tomorrow. It is possible that the website or platform where you maintain a page could go through dramatic changes such as being acquired by different owners, shifting its original purpose, implementing more stringent rules for posting content, becoming outdated due to user-abandonment in favour of newer sites, and worst of all - completely vanishing off the web.



To safeguard yourself from the irritations of working with other people's sites, you must create your own website where you are at the helm. This means that your site needs to be wholly dedicated to showcasing and presenting your work; it is and will always remain an essential component for any artist looking to make a name for themselves online. While social media continues to grow in popularity, having a personal website gives you more control over how you present your art portfolio. Whether you have an existing website or not, there are several drag-and-drop template sites such as Square Space, Wix, and Weebly that enable you to build a site specifically tailored to your needs. I personally use Shopify and it's been great! If you don't feel comfortable creating your own website, you might consider exploring alternatives like 99Designers. This platform offers a seamless connection between designers and clients worldwide, catering to custom website needs. Whether you opt to hire a skilled designer directly or initiate a design contest, 99Designs provides transparent pricing options to facilitate your project smoothly.

Don't just create a website and expect people to come without any effort on your part. Similarly, don't be tempted by the 'excitement' of social media platforms and forget about updating your website regularly; even though you may not frequently update it, visitors will still check in from time to time - if they see that nothing has changed for months or years. It won’t reflect well on you as an artist! By combining both aspects of webpages with innovative usage of social media tactics, we can maximise our traffic significantly, so let's get started now! If you want to get even more exposure for your art and website, there are traditional approaches such as participating in galleries, getting involved with the local art community, and entering juried or non-juried shows. Of course, make sure you don't breach any agreements with those who already represent you.

To truly spruce up your online presence, though, here's what we suggest:

For aspiring artists without an online presence, register a domain name such as www.yourname.com or www.yournameartist.com and hire a hosting service offering quality art/artist templates suitable for drag-and-drop systems; however, you should be the one performing updates on your website rather than relying on third parties to do so since it comes with several drawbacks like limited availability, extra fees charged for updating services, changes in personnel working at the tech support team, etcetera.

Free websites are not a smart decision when it comes to showcasing your art. They tend to provide restricted templates and can damage the presentation of your work by featuring advertisements or links that could lead users away from your page, which is highly disadvantageous. Additionally, certain free sites may even end up competing with yours on search engine results pages; for instance, you do NOT want to be searching for yourself online only to find a service provider's website that competes directly with yours! Furthermore, if your website has advertising or unrelated links, it will lower its ranking on search engines. Additionally, opting for a free site gives off the perception that you lack commitment to your art due to not investing in a website. For these reasons and more, having an investment in quality hosting is essential for any modern artist.

After you've obtained your domain name, make sure that your website is entirely about YOUR ART. Customize it to create an atmosphere, like a visual representation of a gallery for all the world to see. Selling artwork on the computer differs from selling in real life; thus, you should present your art in its most excellent state possible! Make sure everything is branded and personalised so visitors feel welcomed into their virtual gallery experience!

Reaching beyond the small circle of galleries and industry professionals, your portfolio website must be appealing to anyone with a love for art - even those who may not have in-depth knowledge or understanding. Captivating viewers and sparking their curiosity is essential if you want to draw in everyday people. A classic portfolio site might suffice when catering exclusively to established figures within the trade; however, ensure that it also speaks directly to individuals who enjoy looking at art just because they find it visually attractive or emotionally stirring. Your gallery page should still remain suitable for artistic professionals; they recognise precisely where to go and what they are viewing. Yet, the online experience you assemble needs to be welcoming and comprehensible for any individual who visits your website, regardless of how or why they arrive there or their knowledge about art.

My art is a reflection of my innermost emotions and thoughts, which I want to express to the world. As an artist, it's ultimately important for me to be accessible so that people can connect with my artwork on a personal level. I believe that conversations are essential in order to make others understand why I create what I do - whether it’s through stories about how each piece was made or simply explaining why this particular style resonates within me. That way, viewers have access not only to the physical work itself but also gain insight into its creation process and the purpose behind all of these elements combined together. If you talk about your identity and what matters to you, visitors will feel like they are familiarising themselves with the artist. It's not just a business transaction or another impersonal commodity; it's an opportunity for customers to connect with something real. That connection is essential: if people can relate to the art above all else, they're that much more likely to make a purchase!

Artists, if you are someone who doesn't enjoy writing much, it is important to remember that search engines cannot detect websites with limited or no text. The fewer words your website has, the harder it becomes for people to find you through online searches. This does not mean overwhelming your page with unnecessary information only to be more visible; instead, ensure that all of the facts and details about yourself and your art are included on your site for others' understanding and appreciation.

Make sure to leverage social media channels when driving traffic to your website, whether it's an invitation for people to see your new work, a series you're offering, or something else. Instead of just uploading images and mentioning them in posts, add the website links as well. The image will appear on the post like usual, but now those who click it can go directly to your site instead of scrolling through a photo album on Facebook! Doing this allows them to stay focused on the task instead of being overwhelmed by Facebook's never-ending distractions and temptations. Picture yourself as the curator of a museum when organising your website; guide visitors through it with ease. Guide your visitors with clear and concise organisation so that they can quickly get their bearings on the website. Keep in mind that your guests may not have any knowledge about art or yourself as an artist. Therefore, you should create a simple yet descriptive beginning which explains what you do, step-by-step; it will then be easier to move them onto image pages seamlessly and effortlessly. Above all, use language that is clear and accessible to everyone. While those who already know you or are familiar with the art will likely omit the basics, you want to permit others to wrap their head around what they're perusing. If visitors struggle to understand your content and product offering, they'll walk away; there's no doubt about it! For anyone wanting more information on your business or products/services offered, provide them with an easily identifiable method of contact for support in comprehending further.

To reiterate, make sure to keep your website up-to-date. It makes no sense to use social media as a channel of promotion for a site that remains static. Every time you direct people towards your page, give them something new or send them where they have never been before - an inactive website isn't attractive at all!

If you opt to include a links page, restrict it to a few essential ones that are relevant to your art. Don't be tempted by the urge of adding fun and interesting unrelated links as they can draw attention away from your website—and even worse, make visitors forget about returning! Thus, only include pertinent connections such as galleries that show your work, blog interviews featuring yourself or reviews on your artwork. Ensure that the links you provide connect directly to pages about YOU and your artwork; not simply other homepages or nonessential webpages on those websites. Quality link-based pages can elevate your esteem among guests, plus could eventually bring more visitors to your website. Unfortunately, bad connection-filled pages have the opposite effect!

Crafting appropriate "title lines" and text on your website is vital. Keywords can play an essential role in expanding your visibility on search engines, enabling those who don't know you to easily locate you. Title lines should be used like hashtags are utilised on social media - carefully! For instance, well-selected keywords serve as a magnet for individuals that purchase the art pieces you create but do not yet recognise your name. If you sculpt wildlife, be sure to utilise keywords that will attract fans of sculpture, wildlife art collectors and the like. It is also critical not to forget your own name, as well as what type of artwork you make. If required, hire someone who can suggest keyword techniques based on your particular craft. You should avoid going overboard with too many different keywords though; instead, solely use those which are connected precisely to yourself and your art form.

Refrain from displaying each and every work of art that you have produced in one gallery. Instead, ensure the large majority of your artwork is up-to-date and available for purchase. Make sure to organise your gallery section clearly so visitors can easily find what they like. You may also include some examples of sold or older works, but keep them separated from your current pieces. If you showcase too many pieces of sold work, visitors to your site may feel like they are simply picking from what's left over. Therefore, it is wise to limit the overall selection offered on your website to around 50 items or so. Too much work - or a variety of different types of projects - can be overwhelming for viewers and reduce their chances of buying something from you. If someone wants to take a peek at more than what's already featured online, all they need do is ask!

To ensure your success, keep the following tips in mind:
  • Your art deserves the highest quality representation, so make sure to utilise crisp and vivid images that quickly load for your viewers.
  • If you plan to sell any pieces of art, ensure that each item is labelled with its price. Many people do not like asking about the cost and simply go away instead; this way, they won't be overwhelmed by constant dollar symbols while admiring your artwork. As an alternative approach, just as galleries do - consider having a separate section on your website called "Inquire", "Purchase" or even "Buy", where customers can find pricing information for all items available.
  • Make sure to include plenty of contact information and invite people with questions to reach out. Reply quickly and diligently to each inquiry you receive for maximum effectiveness.
  • Show your customers explicitly how they can buy your art, as well as the secure methods which you will use to pack and send it.
  • To maximise your sales, make it effortless for potential customers to purchase and pay for your art. By accepting credit cards as well as signing up with payment services like PayPal, Venmo, or Square you will be giving them the convenience they need while boosting profit on both ends. The more methods of payment available, the greater chance that people will buy from you!
  • Give your customers a week to a ten-day window of approval so that they can feel confident in sending their purchase back if it doesn't meet their expectations. Rest easy - I know quite a few people who've used this return process with no issues whatsoever!


To ensure success as an artist, make sure to create a professional online presence that showcases your best work and offers easy payment options. Keep the number of items in your gallery manageable so viewers don’t become overwhelmed by too many choices. Utilise keywords strategically to help more people discover you on search engines. Finally, include contact information and be available for inquiries from potential buyers. With these tips in mind, you will be able to increase sales of your artwork with greater ease!

Join me in spreading the word! I'm sharing this inspiring article on Pinterest and invite you to do the same. Let's make sure everyone has access to great ideas, insights and knowledge - our way of helping each other grow! Click the below image and help share these ideas now – let’s make sure no one misses out! ↓

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1 comment

Fabulous amount of info you’ve shared, thank you so much. I am guilty of neglecting my website and this has given me the kick up the bum I needed!

Sally Ellis

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