How to Sell your Artwork and Photography Online

February 19, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

How to Sell your Artwork and Photography Online

I would really like some group discussion on this topic whether you are a buyer or seller.


Selling of our artwork and photography. Hmmm.  This is such a complex topic.  Many many different (and not so easy) variables to selling artwork online.  Most are seen and never purchased.  More often than not, NOT SEEN AT ALL.

I am not talking about how to sell when clients come to us to have portraits made.  I am talking about creating static pieces of art in your valued time and selling it as a piece.  A portrait is art as well, but it is created after a contract is made and not before. 

It has been my recent conclusion that many people LOVE to LOOK AT and maybe even digitally save (which is wrong by the way unless my watermarks are still there HOWEVER, feel free to share my work BUT not alter my work... rant over) our artwork (meaning any subject matter-not just one genre) but when it comes to buying... buying is such a different story. Especially, when our art is sold online and people can get it anytime they want.


  • There is no rush to buy.
  • There is no limited quantity.
  • No immediate sense of need, such as an impulse buy.
  • No immediate "in your hands" experience.  You have to wait for shipping.  (even though ALL MY shipping is sent by "Next Business Day Air)

So, how do we change this? The art market is such a strange culture in itself.  Most of my sales come from clients who hire me to do a specific job for them. Not just picking out some artwork for their walls. I'm still researching and trying very hard to get into selling art in the online art market. This is not so easy to do.

Facebook:  Facebook has been disgusting me a lot lately.  I have not figured out much on how they do things and how the algorithms work (because they seem to change every week) but I do know that my hard earned money spent on Facebook Ads hasn't increased my sales at all.  I do know that it has decreased my checkbook balance.  I have noticed that the posts on my pages are not being seen by many.  They tell you how many have viewed the post and in relation to my little following, it wasn't that many.  I have gained a few new people who "liked" my pages but not near enough as I had planned on or spent the money for.

Twitter:  Currently, and recently, Twitter has been the way I have been going.  I've been trying to network, gather a following, get noticed.  So far, it is working here.  Old 81 Studios has over 700 followers now (which is still not great) and I've just added Old 81 Pinups on Twitter and in about a month's time gained over 1,000 followers.  I have spent over 40 hours just on Twitter alone, making links and corresponding with other photographers, artists, fans, and potential clients.  This networking and tweeting is starting to pay off... maybe.  I have seen a result in the work and effort that I have been putting in.  Have the results been in sales?  Unfortunately, no.  I have seen a tremendous increase in traffic to VIEW my work on which is just one online community that I have sold some artwork recently.  I haven't sold any artwork since this increase in traffic and I'm not sure why.  I have nice work.  I have good prices.  I have great shipping prices.  This answer is so confusing to me.

  • On Twitter, I use hashtags (#) like they are going out of style.  I have read that we should only use one or two along with our text so people can read along and not get confused with the story.  My main focus in tweeting photos and links back to my websites to where consumers can buy.  So, I use as many different and relevant hashtags as I can in that tweet.  I don't need to tell a story in text, I tell that story with the photo that is shown.  My thoughts anyhow.
  • Example of one of my tweets:

    #Art #ArtPrint #Bridge #TableRockLake #ShellKnob #BestSeller #Topseller #fineart #bw #photo @OLD81STUDIOS  via @Etsy

Etsy: This is a nice site and community where artists can sell their work.

Here's the data for my shop on Etsy

  • In December 2013, I had 12 shop views and 142 listing views (which I thought was good since I had 3 sales orders for having ONLY that many "lookers")
  • In January 2014, (because of Twitter) I had increased my shop views to 164 and my listing views to 728.  I thought surely I would have some sales from all of these "lookers" but I only had one sale.  That sale was to a client who had purchased the month before, getting another same exact print.  Of course, those sales in December were for Christmas gifts I'm sure.  January is usually a recovery month for most consumers.  I was okay with this but still confused why I didn't make any sales off of the vast amount of people viewing my artwork.  I also started "following" other Etsy art sellers and "favoriting" their shops (which I didn't have much time for in the next month and you will see the results to reflect that)
  • In February 2014, My shop views were only 70 (since I didn't do much "networking" on Etsy) but since I kept up my campaign on Twitter, my listing views kept rising and skyrocketed to 1297!  February isn't even over yet.  HOWEVER, I haven't had any sales on Esty this month what-so-ever.  So what is up with that???


to be continued.





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