Succeed at Selling your Art Online
Selling your art online starts with creating a website. Fortunately, this is easier and cheaper than ever. Even if you have no experience programming, you can set up an account with a web hosting service like HostGator, DreamHost, or GoDaddy and use the tools that come with your account to create a site that is unique, beautiful, and that gives the “look and feel” you want for selling your art. Most artists choose their professional name as their domain name. Any web hosting provider will be able to determine if the domain name you want is already taken.
If you don’t feel like you have the time or skill to create your own site, you can register your domain and hire a professional to create the site for you. This can be a fairly significant capital investment, but there are many people who consider it a good investment. You can get set up to take credit cards and PayPal on your site with readily available shopping cart programs that are easy to install.
Your website should have a section devoted to artwork you have sold along with selling prices. Your home page should be absolutely up to date with your contact details and details and dates about exhibitions. If a visitor comes to your home page and finds information that is a couple of years old, they will assume that you’re no longer selling art.
One of the hottest ways to promote a website today is by using social media. Facebook and Twitter are the hottest social media sites in 2010, and look to continue their meteoric rise on in to 2011. You can “tweet” discount codes for certain pieces, news of exhibitions, or notifications about new blog entries (if you keep a blog).
Facebook is a great way to leverage social contacts and get them to spread the word about your artwork. With both Facebook and Twitter, it is important that you update regularly – daily or more often if possible. Abandoned Facebook pages tend to look like abandoned storefronts: sad.
On your Facebook Fan Page, regularly upload images of your work to your image gallery, and set up events based on your work. You can use Facebook to announce sales, and to interact with fans. When you get comments, you should comment back. Keeping the conversation going really helps build loyalty.
You should also consider paid advertising. You can buy Facebook Ads, which are highly targeted and inexpensive. With many of the most popular web hosting services, you’ll get a free introductory Google Adwords package worth about $100 in advertising, and you should definitely take advantage, even if you don’t continue to buy Adwords ads after you use up your free trial.
Creating your website to sell your art online is exciting, but the daily maintenance, updates, and social interaction can become tedious at times. Persistence is extremely important, however, and it pays off over the long term. Selling your art online is a business, and requires dedication and hard work, but when you make those sales, it’s well worth the effort.