Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Sell Fine Art Online - Part 12: Social Networking

Social networking has a lot of the same benefits to selling fine art as blogging does. Just like blogging, social networks allow you to quickly and easily add fresh new text, links, images and other media without any coding experience. The major advantage social networks have over blogs are their over all popularity and visitor loyalty.

While blogs are great marketing tools, they tend to lack the visitor loyalty that the social networks have. Take Facebook for example. People who use Facebook tend to check it everyday and sometimes every 5 minutes.

If you decided to use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus, or a number of other networks, I would recommend creating a business page or account for marketing your work. Stay away from using your personal accounts

Just like blogging, use your social networks to announce new releases, news, events, upcoming shows and so on. Your posts, tweets, and whatever else do not have to be 3 pages long, they can be simple 2 to 3 sentences long. As always, include links back to your actual fine art website. If it's a new release, link it back to that specific piece of artwork. If it's an upcoming event, link it back to that event.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sell Fine Art Online - Part 11: Google Adwords

Google AdWords are an excellent choice for driving potential collectors to your website. AdWord campaigns allow you to create online ads based on keywords and other criteria.

AdWord campaigns work on a cost per click (CPC) system. This means that when someone clicks on a Google AdWord link, they are taken to your website, and you are charged whatever the CPC for that keyword is. The cost is determined by the word's popularity. The more people that want to be found for that word, the more expensive the word becomes.

Fortunately Google allows you bid for words and set a daily budget for how much you are willing to spend. This keeps the cost more affordable and less risky. Plus Google gives you some amazing statistics and feedback for how well your campaigns are doing. Then you can make adjustments to help improve your campaigns.

Learn more about Google AdWords.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sell Fine Art Online - Part 10: Blogging

Fine Art Websites
Blogging is a great way to help promote and sell your artwork online. Unfortunately, most artists I talk to about blogging absolutely despise the idea. They perceive blogging as a venue for angry teenagers. The truth is, while angry teens may use blogs for venting, blogs are a very useful marketing tool and here's why:
  1. Search engines love blogs.
  2. Blogs are easy to setup and easy to manage.
  3. Some art collectors actually enjoy reading blogs, plus they can subscribe to blogs.
  4. Blogs are FREE!
Search engines love blogs because blogs typically provide fresh and relevant content. Every time you create a post on your blog, you can include some kind of a link back to your artist website. Back links are great for search engine optimization. Everything time you link from your already SEO friendly blog back to your website, you're actually helping your website get indexed by search engines.

You want to be careful not to over do it. If you intentionally flood your blog and website with links you can actually hurt your SEO results. Simply add a link when it's relevant and you should be fine. If you're posting about a new piece of artwork you just released, add a link from your blog to that piece of artwork on your website.

In this day and age, blogs are really simple to set up and easy-to-manage. This blog is actually powered by a Google blogging platform called Blogger. I prefer Blogger for most of my blogs, but Tumblr is another excellent choice as well.

Some people actually enjoy reading a blog over visiting a normal website. Just like search engines, people want to read the latest and greatest news. Normally the most currently information is right there at the top of the homepage.

For those people who enjoy reading blogs, they can actually subscribe to your blog. Depending on your settings and the settings of their subscription, every time you create a new post, they will be notified. This keeps people coming back for more which is huge.

Finally, it's free! Should I explain how this is a good thing? Well I'm not going to.

When it comes to blogging, especially for those who aren't overly exciting about the idea, treat your blog like a news post.
  • If you have a new release, post a picture of the image with a brief description. Be sure to include links to your actual website where they can learn more about the piece and even purchase if they want to.
  • If you have an upcoming art show, create a post that lets people know about it. Once again, include a link back to your website — preferably to a news page or events page. Then when the show is over, create a new post on your blog that talks about home much of a success the show was, how fun it was. Include pictures from the show.
  • If your artwork gets accepted into a museum or show of some sort, blog about it. Include relevant links and pictures.
Blog posts don't have to be long, maybe just a few sentences to a couple paragraphs.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sell Fine Art Online - Part 9: Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is such a big part of selling fine art online. How else will people find your artwork online? Search Engine Optimization refers to the act of designing or changing a website in such a way so that the website is more likely to be indexed or found by search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and so on.

SEO usually refers to the how well the text, links, and code are written and formatted on a given website. When someone does a search on a particular subject or "keyword", search engines want to return with the most relevant web results possible. Search engines use links and "back links" to validate the worth of a given webpage. Google also considers a websites code— is the code up to date and how well does the website load?

When it comes to text, it's better to just to be honest and thorough with your content. Think about the perception of your site visitors — search engines do. If you are an artist who paints realistic oil paintings of Colorado landscapes,,, where is the text that talks about it. While image examples of your work are great and search engines do pick up on images, you should still have some textual content that goes into the details of your work.

Be very specific and detailed with how you write. If you're writing your biography, write it in the 3rd person. Writing in the 3rd person does 2 things:
  1. It sounds much more professional.
  2. Your name is more likely to be indexed by search engines. How is a search engine going to pick up on your name if you're constantly using the word "I".
Fresh content is really important too. Search engines like to give users the newest and most up-to-date information possible. That's why events pages, news pages, and blogs are so valuable.

Links and back links are very important. Search engines like to see that other webpages are linking to you. They also rank the value of the links that are linking to your website. The more relevant and popular a website is that links to your website the better.

Search engines consider code carefully. They don't want to send users to a website that takes forever to load or has a bunch of page errors. Broken links or links that take users to non-existent pages are also bad.

Finally, there is no such thing as instant gratification when it comes to SEO. If someone is promising you fast results they are lying. Long lasting results take time and persistence. It usually takes a few months or more to get to the top and it's usually pretty bumpy in the beginning. In the first couple of months you'll probably see some ups and downs. Good seo requires constant updates and new back links to valuable sites.

Interested in a search engine friendly artist website? Learn about our artist memberships.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sell Fine Art Online - Part 8: Online Marketing

Online marketing is an important part of selling fine art online. Simply having a well-designed artist website or gallery website doesn't guarantee success. Fine art websites provide artists with an online venue for selling fine art, but the trick is how to drive traffic to those websites.

There are several ways of marketing art online or driving traffic to your fine art website:
  • Search Engine Optimization - SEO
  • Google Adwords?
  • Pay Per Click Advertising
  • Yelp, Google Places
  • Blogging
  • Social Networking 
  • Email Marketing
All of the items listed above are all about trying to drive "interested" traffic to your website to buy artwork. I say "interested", because there is no reason to drive "uninterested" traffic to your website. This may seem like an obvious statement, but this is something way too many artists people don't understand or just simply miss.

People will often throw tons of money into pay per click campaigns and they think the more money they spend the better their results will be. This is not the case. Successful campaigns are not just about spending money. They require a lot of thought and planning. Heavy traffic from uninterested visitors will get you nowhere.

You have to put yourself in the mind of your ideal collector. How does a collector go about finding your type of artwork online? Google, Art Related Websites, Blogs, Yelp? If they're going to Google, what keywords are they looking for?

"Snow Creek" by Quang Ho
Don't market for every type of art. Market by media, subject, and style. If you're a oil painter who paints landscapes, why would you market to collectors interested in abstract charcoal drawings of kittens? Don't waste money on collectors who don't collect your type of artwork.

As a landscape oil painter, look for online venues that are about landscapes, oil paintings or both. If you're an abstract artist, look for those venues. There are so free online venues, blogs, and social networks out there. Take advantage of them.

I'm not suggesting that you neglect online venues that cater to all artwork types. Some collectors may not know what kind of artwork they're looking for. In those cases, they may seek out fine art websites with more variety.

      Wednesday, March 28, 2012

      Sell Fine Art Online - Part 7: Image Capture

      While image capture should be one of the easiest and most obvious things an artist or gallery has to do in order to sell fine art online, it is often the last thing to be considered. How do you sell a piece of artwork online without a digital image of your artwork? Chances are, you can't. People want to see the product they are about to spend money on before they spend their money.

      There are 2 primary ways to digitally capture your artwork for online sells and marketing:
      1. Digital Camera
      2. Scanner
      Large format scanning is going to be your best option. The one to one technology you get from a scanner is unmatched. As with anything technology, the quality of the scan can only be as good as the scanner being used and the person operating the scanner. This means that not just any scanner will do, and whoever is operating the scanner should be a professional.

      While a flatbed scanner is ideal, we don't want to knock digital photography. It's still a great choice, but requires a lot of work for high quality results. Like the scanner, the image capture from a digital camera is going to be limited by the quality of the camera, lens, lighting, and the person using it.

      Once the image has been scanned or photographed, you need someone who is good at digital imaging and color correction. The raw image will need some cleanup and color correction to be great.

      Even though having high-quality digital images of your artwork is important, simply getting your artwork online in a timely manner is just as important. One really big issue we see is that an artist either can't afford proper scanning or digital photography or they don't have time. So then the artist or gallery waits to upload their artwork to their website and looses potential sales from visitors who couldn't see their work.

      If you can't afford high quality images or if the timing is bad, just take the best digital photo with the best digital camera you have and upload your artwork. You can always go back later and replace the image with a high quality image. Collectors need to be able to see your artwork and sometimes you just need to get it out there.

      There are a lot of great fine art reproduction companies out there who can provide high-quality images of your artwork. We recommend Van Gogh Again, a proud partner of Fine Art World. We recommend Fine Art World for all of your fine art needs including artist websites and gallery websites.

          Wednesday, March 21, 2012

          Sell Fine Art Online - Part 6: E-Commerce Integration

          E-commerce Fine Art Websites - Powered by PayPal
          When selling fine art online through a website or some other online venue, the e-commerce tools you choose are very important. Three considerations come to mind when choosing an e-commerce company or processor:
          1. Security
          2. Ease of Use for the Seller
          3. Ease of Use for the Buyer
          With any online transaction or exchange of personal information, security is king. Online security has two sides to it. One, the website, programming and processes should actually be secure. Two, the reputation of that company's security may be just as important. You don't want a customer wavering on a decision because they don't know or maybe don't trust the company.

          The seller, or in our case, the artist or gallery, should be able to manage their e-commerce tools quickly and easily. This means if there is a change in the product information or pricing, they should be able to make the changes themselves. If the seller wants to upload a new product, it should be easy to do. The seller has enough to worry about with keeping the books, managing the prices, managing the inventory, and in the case of the artist, maybe even doing some artwork. They shouldn't have to worry about, "How do I do this again?" It should just be easy. The ease of use is directly related to the content management system or CMS as mentioned in last week's blog post.

          Finally, online purchases should be easy for the buyer. Don't allow a poor interface or hard-to-use e-commerce tools stand in the way of a sell. Purchasing artwork should be easy.

          Fine Art World is an excellent choice for a fine art e-commerce website. FAW provides artists and galleries with two online venues:
          1. Independent Website ( A personal stand-alone website for self-promotion. )
          2. Community Website ( A fine website located directly on with plenty of exposure to art collectors and potential clients. )
          Fine Art World's artist websites and gallery websites are seamlessly integrated with easy-to-use  e-commerce tools powered by PayPal — a secure, trusted, and convenient e-commerce company.

              Thursday, March 15, 2012

              Sell Fine Art Online - Part 5: Content Management Systems

              Easy Content Management Systems for Artist Websites
              In this current series "Selling Fine Art Online" we've been talking about how to sell fine art online via fine art websites and other online venues. Last week in our series, we took a look at the importance of web design and things to consider when selecting a web designer. This week is about Content Management Systems.

              The importance of a Content Management System is going to depend on the kind of website you have. When it comes to fine art websites or artist websites, a good content management system is vital. It's important to note that I said a "good" content management system is vital, because there are a lot of bad ones out there.

              Why do artists need a content management system for their artist website?
              For some websites a content management system may not be as important, but when it comes to fine art, it's essential. The purpose of a fine art website is to display and sell fine art online. Artists are constantly creating new art. An artist should be able to take a snapshot of their work and instantly put the image online with sizing and pricing. A good content management system allows an artist to do this quickly and easily.

              When you don't have a content management system built into your website, you typically have to pay a web designer to upload the content for you. This means time and money.

              What makes a Content Management System "Good"?
              A good content management system is designed to be easy for anyone to use, not just a web designer. It should use terminology that makes since to the average person. The CMS should also help, not hurt your SEO standings.

              A Warning
              Having a Content Management System doesn't mean you need to constantly make changes to your website. If you have a new piece of artwork or if the prices of your artwork change then sure,,, make the needed changes. But some content is better left alone. Search engines look for well written content that pertains to what their visitors are looking for. So unless the information is out-dated or wrong, you might consider keeping it.

              Fine Art World makes selling art easy because their content management system is easy. Whether an artist is loading new artwork, changing prices on old artwork, or updating a biography, almost any update takes a few seconds. As easy as their control panel is, if you still have troubles, Fine Art World has amazing customer service.

              Sign up for an Artist Membership today.

              Read what artists are saying in the Fine Art World testimonials.

                  Wednesday, March 7, 2012

                  Sell Fine Art - Part 4: - Web Design, Customization, & Templates

                  Artist Website - Timothy W. Jahn
                  Our next step in selling fine art online is the design of your fine art website. This pertains to the look and fell of the website. The cost of web design can range from several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.

                  It's important not to underestimate the value of web design in this process. If you know where to look, you shouldn't have to spend a ton of money. Here are some things to consider:
                  1. Web design should complement your artwork, not distract from it.
                  2. The design of your fine art website can make it easy or hard for collectors to browse and navigate through your artwork.
                  3. Does the website design make purchasing artwork easy? We're selling artwork,,, it should be easy!
                  4. A professional look and feel is very important in selling art. The style is up to you, but it should be professional.

                  When deciding on who to go with for web design, be sure to do your research. There are a lot of good and bad design companies out there. One of the most important things to look for in a web design company is "fine art website" experience. They should be able to show you examples of their work. Browse their websites.
                  1. Are they easy to navigate?
                  2. Is it clear how to purchase artwork?
                  3. Are they professional?
                  4. Can you manage the artwork on your own (CMS)?
                  You should consider contacting the artists directly and ask them about their experience with the web firm. Are they happy?

         is a good place to start when shopping for fine art websites. They have a wide variety of website templates and their websites start as low as $10 a month with NO setup fee.

                      Thursday, February 23, 2012

                      Sell Fine Art Online - Part 3: Web Hosting

                        Web Hosting for Fine Art Websites
                        Last week we talked about domain names and the role they play in selling fine art. This week is about web hosting for a fine art website.

                        Web hosting refers to a physical server that all of the text, images, and any other content on your website is stored. If the domain name were the address of your home, the web hosting would be the actual lot of land that your home sits on. In this metaphor, you might say your home is the website.

                        Web hosting is an essential part of any stand-alone website. Web hosting goes hand in hand with your domain name. If you're selling your art through a community based website like Amazon or eBay, hosting and domain names generally do not apply.

                        The cost of hosting is all across the board, but on average you are probably looking at about $100 for your web hosting, $12 for your domain name, and anywhere from $2,000 - $10,000 for web design and development. This might not even include a content management system which means you would have to pay and wait for changes to your website.

                        Fine Art World is an excellent alternative to traditional web development. Fine Art World provides the web address, web hosting, web design, and web development for 1 low cost monthly membership fee. Depending on your membership, Fine Art World provides you with both an Independent Website (Stand-Alone website) and a Community Website for additional exposure to art collectors, interior designers, and galleries.

                        Monday, February 13, 2012

                        Sell Fine Art Online - Part 2: Domain Name

                        Last week we started part 1 of a series called "Sell Fine Art Online" where we talked about selecting an online venue. We broke it down into 2 main types of venues: community websites and independent websites. We also mentioned that Fine Art World provides both types of fine art websites in one easy-to-use control panel or content management system. This week we are discussing domain names.

                        Domain names are basically the web address of your website. Fine Art World's domain name is and it's web address would technically be When artists and/or galleries register for certain Fine Art World memberships, they receive 2 web addresses through Fine Art World:
                        The Community web address normally means nothing to the artist or gallery because the artist isn't going to hand this web address out. Most people are going to find an artist's community website through or a Google search. However, the artist or gallery will hand out their Independent web address because their Independent Website is all about them and there is no fear of competition.

                        Fine Art World normally recommends that artists and galleries register a domain name with a domain registrar and "domain forward" that domain name to their Independent Website. This allows artists and galleries to have a more personal web address.

                        Take Sophy Brown for example. Sophy is a Fine Art World Premium Artist Member. This means she has both a Community Website ( ) and an Independent Website ( ). When Sophy wants to send people to her website to see her artwork, she's not going to send them to her Community Website where there are thousands of other artists to compete with. Instead she will send them to her Fine Art World Independent website where it's all about her

                        Sophy registered the domain " ", and domain forwards that domain name to her Independent Website " ". On business cards she just puts as her web address. When someone types in that web address it domain forwards them to her Independent Website.

                        Are you interested in fine art? Visit Fine Art World today!

                            Tuesday, February 7, 2012

                            Sell Fine Art Online - Part 1: Online Venue

                            Sell Fine Art Online - Primary Arrangement by Quang Ho
                            Whether you're an artist or a gallery, selling your artwork online is essential to succeed in the art world. Even if the final transaction occurs in person, so many leads and sells are generated online. A large number of art collectors choose to browse artwork online before stepping foot into a gallery, and in many cases, they complete the entire transaction online.

                            There are wide variety of things to consider when selling fine art online:
                            • Online Venue - "Stand Alone" Business Website or a Community Website (eBay, Amazon, ect?
                            • Domain Name
                            • Website Hosting
                            • Customization & Templates
                            • Content Management System
                            • E-Commerce Integration
                            • Image Capture
                            • Online Marketing
                            • Search Engine Optimized - SEO
                            • Blogging
                            • Google Adwords?
                            • Social Networking
                            One of the first things to decide when selling fine art online is selecting an Online Venue. In this case, the question is whether you plan on selling the artwork through a custom-built website with a domain name you've chosen or some kind of a community based website like eBay, Amazon, or Craigslist.

                            Stand Alone Websites ( )
                            A stand-alone website gives the artist or gallery their own private venue for marketing and selling artwork.

                            The major advantages:
                            1. Customization - Stand-alone websites generally are not tied to a pre-built system which makes the code more flexible — which makes it easier to customize and tailor to your own personal preferences. This also makes it easier to brand your website.
                            2. Less Internal Competition - There is less competition because a stand-alone website is all about you. Community websites normally have hundreds or thousands of artists and galleries which means more competition.
                            The major disadvantages:
                            1. Expensive - While stand-alone websites are more custom, that customization normally comes at a higher price than community sites.
                            2. Less Exposure - A stand-alone website can be a lonely website. Even though competition can be bad, it can also be good. Art collectors like to browse fine art from a wide variety of artists and galleries. Community websites provide that and normally receive higher rankings in search engines because of their numbers. Getting found can add to the overall cost of your stand-alone website.

                            Community Websites (, Amazon, eBay, Craigslist, ect )
                            Community websites provide the power of numbers and lower costs.

                            The Major Advantages:
                            1. More Exposure with Little Effort - A Community Websites with hundreds or thousands of artists and galleries normally receive more attention from collectors and search engines. Simply having your artwork on a community website may give you leads with no real effort.
                            2. Lower Costs - Community websites normally come at little or no cost. The website is able to generate income from a larger number of clients at lower prices without sacrificing profit. Community Site members reap the resources and lower costs of a community website.
                            The Major Disadvantages:
                            1.  Competition - As mentioned above, being a part of a Community Website means that you will have to compete with other artists and galleries.
                            2. Less Customization and Flexibility - Community Websites are normally setup with pre-built templates that aren't easy to customize.

                            Stand-alone websites and community websites have their advantages and disadvantages. While choosing your online venue may be difficult, there's no reason you can't have both. Fine Art World provides artists and galleries with both Community Websites and Independent Websites (Stand-Alone Websites). Learn more about fine art websites.

                            Wednesday, February 1, 2012

                            Fine Art Websites: Edward Aldrich (January Artist of th Month)

                            Fine art wildlife painter and artist Edward Aldrich is Fine Art World's January Artist of the Month. Fine Art World provides a wide variety of artists and galleries with fine art websites. Since Edward is being featured as Artist of the Month, we figured now would be a good time to spotlight his Fine Art World websites.

                            Edward Aldrich is a Premium Artist Member, so he technically receives 2 websites through Fine Art World. He receives a "stand-alone" website called an Independent Website, and he receives a second website located directly on Fine Art World called a Community Website.

                            Edward Aldrich Independent Website - Fine Art World
                            Edward Aldrich's Independent Website
                            Edward's Independent Website has it's own web address ( ) that is completely separate from This website comes with its own custom template and is designed to give artists their own website for marketing and selling their artwork. Artists can send clients and potential customers there without competition from other artists. The Independent Websites are all about the individual artist.

                            Edward Aldrich Community Website - Fine Art World
                            Edward Aldrich's Community Website
                            Edward's Community Website is located directly on These websites are great for gaining additional exposure from visitors you wouldn't ordinarily get. There is power in numbers, plus the artists receive the benefits of Fine Art World's marketing campaigns.

                            Are you an Artist or Gallery in need of a fine art website for selling and displaying artwork online? Visit Fine Art World to learn more about our fine art memberships and websites. Or contact us directly through the website.