I think my last post may have come across as a tad negative about selling through print-on-demand websites. I wanted to forewarn anyone thinking of selling their art online, that it may not be quite as simple as you may have been led to believe. However, I do think it’s worth a bit of hassle at the beginning and I’ve thought of a handful of tips that might smooth your path if you are even newer to online selling than I am -
- There are at least half a dozen print-on-demand websites you can use to sell your art and design. Be aware that they all differ slightly in their modus operandi so, unless you are very computer-savvy and have a pretty clear head, don’t sign up for all of them at once.
- Read the websites’ forums, even if they don’t seem to apply to you at the moment – they may do later on! Importantly, don’t be afraid to ask questions on the forums – other members and the website’s staff can be tremendously helpful. Some experienced ‘sellers’ will even volunteer to showcase your work on their blogs and lenses and you don’t want to miss out on an opportunity like that!
- Don’t think that once you have uploaded your artwork you can just sit back and wait for the money to roll in. Expect to spend time promoting your online ‘stores’. Someone advised me that you need to spend 80% of your time and effort on marketing and 20% on creating! Yes, these websites offer you a world-wide market but the other side of the coin is that the competition is global too. There are a lot of artists out there wanting to sell their work so it’s essential to find ways to make sure that yours gets seen. If, like me, you are the kind of person who mainly uses the internet for email and surfing the net, this could take up quite a lot of your time.
- Scour the internet to find helpful tips and advice – there are a great many really useful ‘How to’ articles, blogs and lenses, available to you at the click of a button, such as this one: http://www.makebigart.com/2009/06/do-i-need-a-facebook-fan-page/ This one has so many useful links within it that it took me a whole afternoon to follow them up – you have been warned! http://emptyeasel.com/2007/07/02/9-reasons-why-every-artist-should-have-their-own-art-blog/
- Above all, if at times you feel you are drowning in ‘tags’ and ‘keywords’ , ‘widgets’, ‘gadgets’ and ‘applications’, DON’T PANIC - you are not alone!
Picasso said ‘I’m always doing things I can’t do, that’s how I get to do them’.
And now I’m planning to reward myself for all the ‘computer-work’ I’ve ploughed through recently and take a bit of time out to enjoy myself making art – results, hopefully, in a day or two....