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The primary focus of an artist is on the production of original work. On the other hand, one objective may be financial success. The traditional methods of selling artwork one by one, hoping to get found, and securing a gallery exhibition are still practised. However, there is now a more efficient means of doing so. Making money online through selling downloadable files of digital art prints is a viable option. So, where do you even begin?
What are digital art prints?
There are a variety of possible explanations. It might be digital artwork done in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, a scan of your hand-drawn artwork, or a snapshot of your painted canvas. The most common extensions for these files are jpg, tiff, and pdf. The file’s buyer may quickly print it out or save it to any number of different formats.
When someone purchases your digital file listing, you may easily provide them with a download link. If you sell a digital print of your artwork, the buyer gets your express permission to make as many copies of the file in any format they choose for their own non-commercial use. You do not provide them a commercial licence, which would allow them to sell the file or copies of it to third parties.
Why sell your artwork as digital art?
Selling digital downloads of your artwork has numerous advantages, and many individuals are missing out because they don’t realise this.
- If you go through your back catalogue, you may easily find a new target market. People who cannot or do not choose to invest in original works of art may be able to buy digital downloads and have prints made at home.
- Increase the size of your fan base. Who knows, maybe some of these new people who have seen your art may eventually buy an original or print.
- The overall procedure is relatively simple.
- Last but not least, it’s a way to earn money while you sleep. No more printing, packaging, or mailing prints or waiting for the post office to deliver your online orders. While you’re free to carry on as normal, you might want to consider taking advantage of a no-cost, low-effort alternative to increase art sales.
Turning your artwork into a digital form
You can use various methods to digitize your artwork. Here are some of the main options you may use.
It is easy to scan artwork that is 8.5 inches wide by 11 inches tall or less using a high-quality scanner that connects to your computer through a USB cable. Simply lay your work on the panel, press the scan button, and your artwork will be digitised!
Instead of shoving the artwork aggressively through a business-style scanner, you should go for one that allows you to lay it flat and maintain control over it. A file with a maximum resolution of 4800 by 4800 dots per inch can be generated and sent on to potential customers. The first feature to look for in a scanner is the ability to produce photo quality files.
You should visit a local print shop to get it scanned if your artwork is bigger than letter size. Get a flash drive ready to have them transfer the file to, or inquire about getting the file sent to you.
At long last, you can have a high-resolution image of your artwork taken. A single-lens reflex camera, or DSLR, is required for this, not your iPhone! The quality of your phone’s camera is irrelevant; don’t rely on it to create the digital file. The resolution of the digital display on your mobile phone camera is typically 72 dpi (dots per inch), making for a rather limited viewable area. A file with a least of 300 dpi for a home printer is required when supplying a customer with an image in the hope that they would be able to print it at a bigger size without losing quality.
How to sell your artwork as digital prints
Let’s speak about selling strategies now that you have a file to sell.
Using social media
Putting up a photo of your digital art print on social media with a link to a PayPal payment and then emailing the file to the client would be the very simplest way to sell it. This may cause some confusion and be difficult to keep track of, but it is feasible, so if that’s all you can manage right now, that’s where to begin.
Selling on Etsy
When it comes to selling digital art prints, Etsy is a real user-friendly option. Logins, payments, and file delivery are all taken care of, and there are built-in advertising options for spreading the word about your wares. Etsy is a great place to begin if you have even a basic understanding of how to operate a computer. They have experience with creative types, so you can count on them for helpful advice on opening a business. The fact that there are so many other vendors on Etsy is the site’s main downside. It’s a plus since many purchasers already know they can get high-quality digital artwork for download on Etsy.
Sell on your own website
Last but not least, you may sell your digital art prints online via a Shopify store or your own domain. This will be the most challenging and time-consuming part of your selling journey.
Setting up your own website (or Shopify) is a great option however you must consider the following options:
- There are no “built in shoppers,” so you have to bring in every customer yourself.
- You need to build an email marketing strategy yourself. E-commerce companies like Etsy send out daily emails to customers asking them to come back and make a purchase.
- You need to setup all of your website functionalities on your own.
Building your own store may be the best option when you have a large and engaged online audience and do not wish to share sales proceeds with any third parties.
Licensing your work
As an artist, you get to choose how your digital creations are distributed to others. Depending on the situation, you can sell the customer either one print copy or the permission to print an endless number. If you’re interested in doing so, you may also upsell them to a commercial licence arrangement. However, in the beginning, it is sufficient to stick with the basics and have your listing up for sale.
Keep in mind that the majority of individuals who purchase digital art prints are perfectly nice people who simply want to print it off and hang it up in their homes or workplaces. Don’t let the few bad apples discourage you from putting your work up for digital sale.
Sending a Word document with the licence agreement and a page that they can take to Kinkos or Office Depot granting the permission to print the file in the manner you specify is one approach to safeguard your artwork.
By obtaining the artist’s permission before having artwork printed, you may avoid panicked phone calls from your customers. Things to know when selling online.
What size artwork should you sell
The size of the artwork we create is frequently not the size of frames that people would want to print it in, which is something to keep in mind when starting to sell art online. Make sure your digital files are formatted properly for printing in 5×7 or 8×10 (or other common size) frames if you want satisfied consumers. You can resize
How to make money with digital art
The question is how much money can be made from selling digital art prints online? The unsatisfying response is “it depends.” This can vary a lot from artist to artist. It depends on various factors like how much followers you have and what type of digital art print you are selling. Among the things that truly matter are…
- You may simply generate your own traffic if you have a large Instagram following, which is essential if you’re attempting to develop your own website from scratch on the internet.
- Sales will be lot more successful if you already have a fan base, so getting your work out there on social media platforms like Instagram right away is a great idea.
- How much are you asking for it? It’s difficult to put a value on digital artwork. If it’s priced too low, it won’t be profitable, but if it’s priced too high, nobody would want to buy it.
Don’t allow the seemingly endless list of potential considerations prevent you from launching an internet store. It’s well worth your time to figure it out. Take a short amount of time to learn the ins and outs of selling digital files online, whether you want to sell wall art or something else entirely.
Now that you have your downloadable digital art for sale online, what do you do with it? In what ways might you launch an advertising campaign to generate sales?
Promoting your digital downloads
The next stage, after putting up your artwork for sale, is to attract customers to your website to view it.
What do the buyers want?
The first step is to consider WHY someone would want to buy your artwork.
- They are shopping around for the right-sized item to fit their peculiar frame.
- They are Looking for a last-minute present for a friends baby room.
- They are Being extremely frugal and desiring to fit their home design.
- They are Looking for something fun and cute which they will not keep forever
It’s important to keep in mind the diverse needs of your customers while crafting product names and descriptions.
Presenting your artwork
Customers who purchase digital download prints need to have a clear mental image of how it will appear once they get it printed and hung in their house.
The best approach, in my opinion, would be to have every single one of your photos printed up, framed, and displayed in a beautifully decorated room with just the right lighting and ambiance.
Most creative people, however, are best at creating art, not photographing products. Because of this, you may take use of a “mockup” templates. These mockups contain an image of a room with empty places where you can place your artwork. This helps buyers view how the product looks like before buying. You can see an example mockup in the following image.
Social media is a great place to start promoting your prints. Your first stops should be photo-sharing and pin-collecting sites like Instagram and Pinterest.
First and foremost, keep in mind that Instagram only allows one website link in the Profile section. Make sure the destination of the link is your online shop. Then you should choose a permanent home for your artwork. You can post how the artwork looks like in a specific home setting like kids room. Then, include hashtags like #kidsrooms or #nurserydecor in your post so that others searching for those topics may see the post.
Pinterest, on the other hand, stands apart from Instagram in that it is mostly an aspirational shopping platform. Large pin boards of potential materials for the next DIY project are being created and saved for further consideration by its creators, who are overwhelmingly female.
Upload a pin of your mockup to Pinterest (ideally via the “Pinterest link” on your shop), and then be sure to include those terms in the pin’s description. Using a service like Etsy will turn your pin into a “Buyable Pin,” where users can see the item’s pricing and learn more about purchasing it.
If you have a large Facebook following, you should definitely announce your new digital art prints for sale to your fans. However, Facebook is not the best place to sell your art as a first step into the world of social media sales. Now, if you want your commercial postings (such those advertising artwork for sale), which are subject to a new paywall, to reach as many users as they once did, you may have to shell out a significant sum of money.
The possibility of virality exists, but if Facebook is the only social media platform you’re utilising, you’re missing out on Instagram and Pinterest, two of the most popular and influential platforms. As a helpful hint, you may have your Instagram posts automatically shared on your Facebook profile.
Create a subscribers list
If you are not tech-savvy and can’t think of anything to put in an email newsletter, you should put this off until later. Sending out a regular email newsletter is a simple way to keep in touch with potential consumers on a weekly or monthly basis, which may lead to a noticeable uptick
One of the most common excuses we hear from creatives for not sending out newsletters is that they don’t want to “bother” their audience. If people really like you or your artwork they will not be bothered by email received from you. You could use one of the following ideas when sending emails:
- Images of your unfinished creations (which you might try to sell).
- Photographs your friends and family have sent you of your artwork displayed at their homes and places of business.
- The reasoning behind your work.
- Discounts and vouchers.
- In order to get a feel for the competition, have them choose their top five favourite musicians.
- Get them input on the next thing you should create.
How to get subscribers to join?
Having a website makes it simple to recruit new subscribers. Create a little pop-up and offer them a discount of 10% on their first purchase. Using a platform like Etsy makes things more challenging (but not impossible).
Your store’s header can still provide a link to your newsletter registration page. Customers will just have to copy and paste the address into their browser’s address bar. The same applies to the confirmation email you send out.
In addition, you may include a “start here” file with your digital download fulfilments. This will direct them to your email signup page and provide instructions for downloading and printing your content.
Use Etsy’s shop promotion feature
To attract more buyers to your Etsy store, use the “Shop Promotions” feature. When you begin start around $1 or $2 every day on your promotions. Since your products are digital and have no packaging and transport you can just leave it and let it sell automatically.
In case of marketing these are three most important steps to take first.
- Find a marketing platform you enjoy using. This could be Instagram or Pinterest, and commit to utilising it to promote your art.
- Develop your skills in creating engaging mockups that demonstrate the functionality of your digital goods.
- You can get your items seen by more people by learning how to use Pinterest product descriptions and Instagram hashtags.
To learn more tips in detail please read the following article.
The cliché of the hungry artist is something you’ve probably heard about. And I’ll tell you why: because it is a myth in todays world. You can make a steady living as an artist nowadays without, literally, starving because of the internet. Keep reading if you’re an artist, designer, or creative…
Further reading on the topic
This amazing book talks about how to skip the gallery system, focus on the right market and find customers directly. Galleries have always been the way for artist to sell their artwork. However the internet is connecting artists and buyers helping them make profits that didn’t exist before.
How to Sell Your Art Online is the guide for artist to make a successful living. Cory Huff debunks the starving artist myth and describes strategies essential for artist creations to sell. He focuses on topics like niche, website elements, email marketing, social media, paid advertising and how to tie all of this with offline success.
He also digs into topics like what artists face when self marketing and shares secrets on how to overcome related challenges. This best seller book on Amazon will help you find your way through the various challenges a single artist will face when selling art online.