How to Sell Your Paintings Online

How to Sell Your Paintings Online

Selling your art online can be a great way to get exposure and make money as an artist. With the right strategies, you can effectively promote your work on social media, set up an online shop, connect with potential buyers, and grow your customer base. This comprehensive guide covers critical tips for successfully selling your paintings online.

Set Up Accounts on Key Social Platforms 

Social media platforms provide free tools to showcase your artwork to a broad audience. Set up profiles on the top sites where you can share posts showing your latest creations.

Facebook 

  • Create a Facebook Page for your art business
  • Design an eye-catching profile and cover photo representing your style
  • Share posts showcasing new paintings 2-3 times per week
  • Engage with followers by responding to comments and messages
  • Run occasional promotions offering prints or commissions

Instagram 

  • Post high-quality photos of your best or newest artwork
  • Use relevant hashtags so people can discover your posts
  • Share work-in-progress pictures and videos to engage your audience
  • Partner with similar accounts to do reposts or shoutouts
  • Leverage Instagram Stories to give behind-the-scenes peeks at your painting process

YouTube 

  • Upload timelapse videos documenting your painting process from start to finish.
  • Share vlogs discussing your inspirations, materials, methods, and other painting topics
  • Respond to viewers’ comments and questions to form connections
  • Collaborate with other artist channels to cross-promote content

Create an Online Shop 

An e-commerce store allows you to sell your art directly 24/7. Popular options include Shopify, Wix, and Squarespace for setting up a professional online storefront.

Choose a Platform 

Evaluate features, prices, and ease-of-use for platforms like:

  • Shopify: Customizable stores, marketing tools, and integrated payment processing
  • Wix: Intuitive drag-and-drop site builder with built-in SEO
  • Squarespace: Stylish designs, excellent templates, and good functionality

Design Your Store 

  • Pick an easy-to-navigate theme and layout
  • Display high-quality images of your latest works
  • Add an About page sharing your artistic background
  • Include transparent pricing and purchasing options for art
  • Provide multiple payment methods at checkout

List Paintings for Sale 

  • Upload images of art available for purchase
  • Include titles, medium, dimensions, and pricing
  • Write descriptions highlighting materials used and inspiration
  • For custom or commissioned pieces, provide details on ordering
  • Keep your online portfolio updated with new pieces

Promote Your Art on Forums 

Active art communities exist across various platforms. Introduce yourself and share your paintings to reach enthusiastic art buyers.

Facebook Groups 

  • Join groups related to painting styles you work in (ex., acrylic, watercolor, abstract)
  • Comment on others’ posts to build connections in the community
  • Occasionally share your website or online shop and invite critique
  • Post new painting images 2-3 times a month to get valuable feedback
  • Participate in group challenges or collaborative projects

Artist Forums 

  • Register at forums like Artists Network, Wet Canvas, and ConceptArt
  • Add a profile showcasing your background and portfolio works
  • Share works in progress and take part in creative exercises or studies
  • Exchange critiques and commentary with fellow artists
  • For-sale posts are permitted – follow each site’s advertising guidelines

Reddit Art Subreddits 

  • Post your best paintings on relevant subreddits like r/art, r/painting, r/artstore
  • Engage with Redditors by responding to questions or comments
  • Review community rules before sharing store links or selling
  • Suggest or provide constructive criticism on others’ works
  • To reach more Redditors, post new works at different times of day

Connect at Local Galleries 

Contact galleries near your home to inquire about representation, sales events, and group or solo shows.

Research Area Galleries 

  • Search online directories and local event listings
  • Visit open gallery nights or receptions to network
  • Ask fellow artists which venues they recommend approaching

Identify if the gallery represents your:

  • Painting medium (oil, acrylic, watercolor, mixed media)
  • Style and subjects (portraiture, landscape, abstract, etc.)
  • Experience level (emerging vs established artists)

Prepare a Portfolio 

Before meeting gallery owners, prepare professional materials:

  • Physical portfolio – 10-15 high-res printed photos of quality paintings showcasing your style and range
  • Digital portfolio – Organized collection of painting images sized for web, social media, or email
  • Bio – Short artist statement summarizing your background, CV listing exhibits/education, artist philosophy

Arrange an Introduction 

  • Politely introduce yourself and your artistic interests via email or phone
  • Offer to provide the prepared materials to give them a sense of your work
  • Suggest meeting in person to show your portfolio and discuss representation
  • Ask about open calls for group exhibits or their submission guidelines
  • If the timing feels right, inquire about the potential for displaying some pieces on consignment

Put your best foot forward at meetings to start building a professional relationship. Be persistent yet patient – the process typically involves showing at smaller local events before solo shows.

Leverage Email Marketing 

Building an email subscriber list lets you promote new art directly to fans and potential buyers. Offer tempting freebies in exchange for emails.

Offer a Lead Magnet 

Create something of value to entice email signups. Useful examples include:

  • eBook or guide – “10 Acrylic Painting Tips” or mini online painting course
  • Printable artwork – High-res digital download of an unsold painting
  • Discount code – 15% off first order from your online shop
  • Sneak peeks – Share works in progress only with subscribers

Promote Signup Form 

Embed signup forms across your online platforms:

  • Website popup or footer signup box
  • Links in social media bios or posts
  • YouTube descriptions and end screens
  • Forum signatures with a call to join your mailing list

Send occasional newsletters with the following:

  • New painting reveals and availability notifications
  • Upcoming local exhibits or events
  • Polls asking for input on new series or themes
  • Behind-the-scenes content on your process
  • Special promos only for email subscribers

Guest Post for Backlinks 

Reaching out to art blogs can help drive visitors back to your site through guest contributions and backlinks, which aid with SEO and search traffic.

Identify Blog Targets 

Search for independent art blogs accepting contributor posts on themes like:

  • Specific painting styles and techniques
  • Interesting artist interviews or features
  • Roundups showcasing great works from around the web
  • Calls for art submissions for events or news coverage

Narrow down blogs relevant to your work where guest posts could offer mutual value.

Craft Guest Posts 

Approach editors with unique article ideas tailored to their blog, such as:

  • Walkthroughs of your painting process from concept to completion
  • Interviews discussing the business side of art and selling work
  • Listicles like “7 Watercolor Artists You Need to Know”
  • Showcases of exceptional or jaw-dropping paintings

When published, your posts should include 1-2 links to your website or online shop.

Advertise Selectively on Social 

Targeted social media ads allow you to get your paintings in front of specific art appreciators. Leverage platforms’ detailed targeting capabilities.

Facebook & Instagram 

Run ads promoting:

  • A new series launch or solo exhibit
  • Specific rare or high-value paintings
  • Commission sale promotions

Target by:

  • Detailed demographics like age, income level, home ownership
  • Locale to reach nearby art buyers
  • Interests like interior design, fine art, or decor
  • Connections to relevant artists, museums, or brands

Measure clicks, get, and conversions across different iterations to see what message/targeting combos perform best.

Pinterest 

Pin visually striking paintings optimized with:

  • Descriptive titles and keywords in descriptions
  • Logical board categorization
  • Linkbacks to your online shop product pages

See which pieces drive the most repins, site clicks, and Etsy/Shopify referrals in Google Analytics.

Guest Post for Backlinks 

Reaching out to art blogs can help drive visitors back to your site through guest contributions and backlinks, which aid with SEO and search traffic.

Identify Blog Targets 

Search for independent art blogs accepting contributor posts on themes like:

  • Specific painting styles and techniques
  • Interesting artist interviews or features
  • Roundups showcasing great works from around the web
  • Calls for art submissions for events or news coverage

Narrow down blogs relevant to your work where guest posts could offer mutual value.

Craft Guest Posts 

Approach editors with unique article ideas tailored to their blog, such as:

  • Walkthroughs of your painting process from concept to completion
  • Interviews discussing the business side of art and selling work
  • Listicles like “7 Watercolor Artists You Need to Know”
  • Showcases of exceptional or jaw-dropping paintings

When published, your posts should include 1-2 links to your website or online shop.

Conclusion 

Selling paintings online requires an active effort across multiple channels but brings tremendous opportunities to profit from your passion. Set up social profiles and an online store to establish your web presence. Engage in art communities to get valuable connections and feedback. Work on partnerships with local galleries for exhibitions and placement opportunities as you expand your reach and reputation.

Experiment with promoted posts targeted ads, and backlinked guest posts to drive buyers to your store. Use email marketing to build lasting relationships with collectors of your work. Stay focused on creating great art, capturing it beautifully in photography, and telling your story. You can successfully turn your art into a thriving business by diligently following this roadmap for selling paintings online.

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Mandy B

Founder | Owner | CEO | Creative director | Writer

A dutch entrepreneur

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