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You only ask this question if you’re one of three people. You’re either an artist, professional art agent, or you’re an affiliate marketer who’s looking for ways to make money online.
And regardless of the category you fall under, the answer to the opening question is the same:
Probably the easiest way to sell artwork online is through a profitable affiliate program that simplifies the whole selling process for you.
In most cases, to generate sales as an affiliate member, all you have to do is share links to the artwork you want to sell. It’s so easy, even a child can do it.
Of course, affiliate programs aren’t going to do all of the work for you. That’s why in this post, you’re going to learn exactly how to attract art lovers and specifically art buyers using the most popular social media channels:
If you’re an artist or art agent, promoting art and making an income this way feels awesome. If you’re not a regular Picasso—but you’re a seasoned affiliate marketer or you’re just now dipping your toes into affiliate marketing—you can do it, too.
In fact, once you find the right social media channel to use for art promotions, you’ll laugh at how easy it is to earn a generous side income from selling art online.
Art promotion is key to making sales
As mentioned, joining an affiliate program is only part of the solution to making money online from selling artwork. The next big step is to decide which social media platforms you can use to successfully promote the art you want to sell.
Because let’s get real. . .
If people can’t see what you’re selling them, you won’t make any sales. Period.
So to help you decide which social media platforms work best for art promotions, you should consider at least three things:
1. Which social media channel currently gains you the most followers?
2. Which ones makes it easy to share links and maximize an artwork’s exposure?
3. Which social networks are appropriate for the theme(s) of artwork you’ll promote?
Answering those basic questions will help you begin to figure out which social media channels will serve your best interests, so you can make the most affiliate sales and money online.
Is it Facebook or Instagram? Pinterest or Twitter?
How about Twitch?
Whichever one(s) you choose, you’ll want to choose carefully. The reality is that while some social networks can make you hundreds or thousands of dollars from selling artwork, others might only make you pennies.
So do your homework.
Trust me, selecting the right social channel(s) is undoubtedly one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make when it comes to selling artwork online and building your side hustle.
After you conclude which social media channels you should be using for art promotions, you can then begin posting and sharing links to the artwork you want to sell.
That’s the basics of it. Now, let’s go over some specific strategies for promoting and selling artwork online using the most popular social media channels today:
How to sell art on Facebook
If you want to sell artwork on Facebook (the largest social media network) simply begin posting one or two affiliate links to your page everyday. Make sure the affiliate links you’re sharing are for different products, too, in order to keep your posts looking fresh and always appealing.
To maximize your success, you can pay a little bit of money to boost your posts or use paid ads for more exposure, but it’s not absolutely necessary.
But do make sure to join Facebook groups!
The best idea (which is completely free) is for you to join a few Facebook groups related to the artwork you want to promote and sell online. This is a good strategy because Facebook groups are online communities which consist of people who are typically interested in one specific thing.
So if the artwork you want to sell also features this one specific thing, then you just might hit the jackpot and sell a ton of art online.
For example, if you want to sell artwork that features a specific type of bird, like flamingos, then you should join a Facebook group about flamingos.
To further illustrate my point, this Facebook group alone is already home to around 4,000 people who are major flamingo enthusiasts.
Because they’re already huge fans of the pretty pink bird, this specific Facebook group page would be the perfect place to promote your flamingo themed artwork to generate affiliate sales.
And it doesn’t end there! The good news is there’s a Facebook group for just about anything—which means you can promote and sell just about any artwork you want to online.
Hopefully you’re beginning to see your potential for selling artwork online. Because yes, making money with art on Facebook is as easy as posting a link, and having someone purchase after clicking on it.
You just have think outside the box and know where to look to find the right audience of buyers.
Although Facebook might be the biggest social network, there’s quite a few more that’ll help you sell artwork online, too, like Facebook’s popular sibling—Instagram. In fact, you can and should use them together to maximize your affiliate sales.
Chances are high that the artwork(s) you successfully sell on Facebook will probably sell on Instagram, too.
How to sell art on Instagram
Selling artwork on Instagram can be done, but it requires a different approach compared to your strategy for Facebook. The reason? Instagram allows only one link on your bio page.
This causes many people to believe that they can only promote and monetize one piece of art at a time. But it’s just not true.
Shhh… I’m going to let you in on a secret Instagram sales hack:
Use multiple links to multiply your sales
Your single bio link can actually be converted into multiple links using free versions of services like Linktree as a workaround. This means you can promote and sell multiple artworks on Instagram at the same time, so contrary to popular belief, Instagram won’t limit your earnings.
Want another good tip for selling artwork on the image-based social media network?
Build your followers list by following others
Before you can make affiliated sales on Instagram, you need to build a list of 1,000 to 10,000 followers. Why?
Because you won’t sell art (or anything) on Instagram unless you have thousands of people checking out your channel and viewing your IG posts in their newsfeed. It’s a numbers game, and you need a lot of followers to make it work.
But don’t worry—it doesn’t take a long time to gain this big list of followers. In fact, you may be able to build your own following on Instagram a lot quicker than you realize!
To get started, you just need to find other Instagram channels that are somehow related to the artwork you want to promote. (See how this is similar to Facebook groups?)
After you find these related Instagram channels, simply begin following that channel’s list of followers.
When you do, some of the people will follow you back and become interested in buying the artwork you feature on your Instagram channel.
Here’s a good example of how this strategy works:
Let’s say that you’re affiliated with a company like Displate and you want to promote their DC Comics themed artwork, but you don’t have any DC Comics fans who follow your IG channel—yet.
You can find buyers rather quickly by searching for something related to DC Comics (like “Superman” as an example) under the “people” category using Instagram search.
Once you find an appropriate channel about Superman, as mentioned before, you’ll click to view that channel’s “Followers” and start following those people one by one. Some of them will notice you followed them, so they’ll check out your Instagram page.
When they see that your Instagram channel is also about Superman, a superhero character they already adore, they’ll want to follow you back.
Just like that, you’ll start building your own list of Instagram followers who love Superman and the DC Comics themed artwork you cleverly promote on your Instagram channel as affiliate products.
To recap, if you want to sell art on Instagram, you must follow lots of people who are already following channels related to the one you want to create for yourself. Over time, you’ll have plenty of Instagram followers who will be interested in buying artwork from you.
You’ll need to be consistent, too. But luckily that’s not too hard. If you follow at least 100 new people every day using this strategy, then selling artwork on Instagram should be a breeze.
How to sell art on Pinterest
Selling artwork on Pinterest isn’t all that difficult either, if you know what you’re doing. Even with just basic knowledge, you can turn a profit from Pinterest.
But here’s the thing (and you’re going to sense a theme in a minute). . .
Just like how you use other social networks, when you create your Pinterest page, you’re going to want to attract a specific type of people.
In fact, you only want to attract people who will be interested in the artwork you want to promote. Why? Because Pinterest is essentially a search engine, and their update in 2018 changed how other people discover the content you share.
Moving forward, it’s assumed that the level of engagement your Pinterest followers have with your pins will influence how visible your pins are to other Pinterest users.
Does that make sense? Pinterest is trying to make sure that people really want to see what you’re pinning. If that’s the case, then Pinterest will do the networking and relationship building for you, by showing your pins to other people too.
What does this mean for artists selling art on Pinterest? Well, it means you need to do at least three things.
Choose a single theme of artwork you want to promote
The artwork featured on your Pinterest page should revolve around one main topic or theme. Accordingly, each image you pin will always reflect this topic or theme.
Perhaps your artwork images will be about technology, geek culture, or astronomy. Or possibly they’ll be memes, or comic art. Whatever the case may be, you need to decide the right theme of your page so the right audience of Pinterest users can find your page and follow it.
This is crucial because it will help give your Pinterest page an identity of its own. People will be able to easily categorize your page in their minds, making your page more memorable. That will lead to more of the right people following your page, which will help your images to be more pinnable, too.
Create appropriate Pinterest boards and pins
The first Pinterest board you create on your page should be titled “Art For Sale.” This board will contain every single piece of artwork you want to sell online.
This allows people who view your Pinterest page to immediately understand which board to click on in order to browse artwork they can also purchase.
The pins located in the “Art For Sale” board, as hinted earlier, should reflect your page’s theme. But the remaining boards and pins will also need to match the theme of your Pinterest page.
To do this, think of just 5 subcategories of art that are related to your overall theme.
For example, if your Pinterest page’s theme is Sports Cars, then your 5 subcategories (and the names of your remaining boards) could be titled Corvettes, Ferraris, Mustangs, Porches, and BMWs.
Over time, of course, you’ll fill those unique boards with images (pins) of those particular types of cars. And, strategically placed, some of those pins should also be images of the artwork you’re trying to sell online.
This means no matter which board someone clicks on, your artwork for sale will be seen. Maybe it’s a sneaky way to use art promotions on Pinterest, but it works!
However, to increase the exposure of the art you’re selling online, you need to do one more very important thing. . . and in fact, this third step is what you should spend most of your time on if you’re using Pinterest to sell artwork (or anything!).
Write keyword friendly titles and descriptions
Accurately naming your boards and pins will give you a huge advantage when people search for specific images on Pinterest. If you don’t know how to write a good title that’s optimized for Pinterest’s algorithm, don’t worry, it’s actually simple:
Create a title which includes one or two specific keywords that describe the contents of your boards and pins. When you write a pin’s description, you can use the same words plus a few more related keywords.
However, because you want people to share your boards and pins, you should also describe why you were inspired to share or repin the image of the artwork. Ideally the words you use to describe the art should evoke certain emotions when people read them. Making that emotional connection will always help your pins get repinned and clicked on.
Lastly, thanks to Pinterest’s recent update, you can now use words in a totally different way, but one that you’re probably used to. . .
Bonus: You can now use hashtags on Pinterest
Hashtags are fairly new to Pinterest, but like the other social networks that use them, hashtags can give your page and the artwork you sell online some quick exposure.
To use hashtags effectively on Pinterest, you should only add them to pins of artwork that are related to seasonal or current events. If you can somehow connect your artwork for sale with these ongoing, trending events, hashtags could be your big ticket to selling art online, and lots of it.
But just remember, to see any success with hashtags on Pinterest, you must use them in a timely manner while the current event is still hot news and capturing people’s interest.
How to sell art on Twitter
Twitter is a hub for staying current on nearly everything, and for that reason alone, it’s probably the most brilliant social network ever invented to date.
It also works very differently than the other social networks do, so if you want to sell artwork on Twitter, you need to understand one very important concept:
Whereas other social networks are centered around past events (Facebook) or future events (Pinterest), Twitter is a platform for discovering what’s happening right now.
Logically, since millions upon millions of things happen every second in the present, people always have something to post or tweet about. It’s truly incredible how much content is on this one single platform.
In fact, statistics show that about 6,000 tweets are sent out every single second, which amounts to an amazing 500 million tweets per day!
When you take this astronomical number of new tweets into account, you quickly realize just how crazy-busy the Twitter-sphere actually is. Unfortunately, this can easily cause the majority of your tweets to be ignored, overlooked, buried, and quickly forgotten about.
In the blink of an eye, they will disappear from the spotlight. Needless to say, selling artwork on Twitter is still a big challenge.
But not all hope is lost!
Tweet all day, every day
To be successful on this social network, you’ll need to publish tweets with images of the artwork you want to sell nonstop—all day, every day. A good rule of thumb is to tweet the artwork you want to sell once every 30 to 45 minutes.
Obviously, this is not doable for 99% of most people, as it would take you way too much time and energy to publish all those posts. Thankfully, there’s plenty of Twitter automation software tools available to help you do this.
These are tools that give you the ability to manage, schedule, and maximize the number of tweets you send on a daily basis—saving you a ton of time (do a quick Google search and you’ll find many more).
Even better, some Twitter automation tools will collect valuable data from your tweets and show you how well each one performs.
If you’re a savvy marketer, having access to this data will allow you to make any necessary adjustments to your tweets so you can improve the presentation of the artwork and increase your sales numbers.
Use hashtags on Twitter
Of course, when you post artwork for sale on Twitter, you should use as many hashtags as possible.This will ensure the artwork you want to sell becomes visible to hundreds or thousands of Twitter users on a weekly basis.
If you use them strategically, the right hashtags will also ensure the artwork is seen by the right audience, i.e., the people who will actually buy from you.
How to sell art on YouTube
If you want to sell artwork using a video platform like YouTube, you have a few extra tools at your disposal.
Specifically, you can use annotations, cards, and end screens to encourage viewers to take further action, like clicking a button to view the artwork you have for sale on another website.
However, due to YouTube’s terms, this strategy only works if you have your own website setup and you’re willing to cloak your affiliate links using a tool like ThirstyAffiliates, as explained here.
If you don’t have your own website though, don’t panic.
You can still promote and sell artwork on YouTube simply by adding an affiliate link to your video’s description. Just don’t forget to tell your viewers (during your video) that if they’re interested in buying the artwork you’re promoting, they can “find the link in the description below.”
Anyone can do this, so if you’re completely new to creating YouTube videos, try this method first!
Now, whether you’re new to making YouTube videos or not, there’s one more strategy you should strongly consider:
Copy what other people on YouTube are doing already
You need to find a few good influencers on YouTube who already successfully know how to promote artwork in their videos. Simply watch some of their videos on YouTube and try to model what they’re already doing.
It’s really easy!
To help you get started, I just searched on YouTube for metal wall posters and found perfect examples of people selling art. You can easily pick up a few pointers by viewing what type of art they promote, how they promote it, and what specific words they use to compel people to buy.
Trust me, their success on YouTube can be your success, too.
How to sell art on Twitch
If you want to sell artwork on Twitch, you need to be entertaining, a great video game player, or both. If you can’t do at least one of those things, then Twitch won’t work out for you.
However, if you’re a real people-person and you want to promote artwork for sale in a fun game-playing atmosphere using livestream videos, then Twitch is the perfect social network for you.
Your walls are where the money’s at
It sounds insane, but it’s true. . . To start making money on Twitch from selling artwork, all you have to do is hang some of your art to a wall that everyone can see in the background of your livestream videos.
By using the wall behind you like a billboard advertisement, people will eventually take notice and ask you “where did you buy the artwork?” At that point, you can help them find the artwork by telling them to click the affiliate link on your Twitch channel page at Twitch.tv.
You can also try an advanced tactic with screen overlays to advertise the artwork you have for sale using StreamElements’ software.
Of course, you should probably try to connect the artwork you’re promoting with the video game you’re playing, but it’s not mandatory. In fact, most of the time, as long as you’re entertaining and people enjoy watching your videos, some viewers will buy any type of artwork from you just to be nice and help support your Twitch channel.
Overall, Twitch has a great community of people and is considered one of the best social media channels for making money online if you’re selling artwork or anything creative.
# Final Words
There are a lot of social media networks available to help you sell artwork online, and some will work better for you than others. The only way to find out which one will make you the most money is to try them out yourself.
But regardless of which social media channel you end up using to promote and sell art, the best time to get started selling is right now.
Special thanks to Displate for sharing this post! If you want to team up with Displate to sell your art, or use their high-paying affiliate program to make money helping other artist’s sell, make sure to visit their website today!