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Old 05-04-2012, 02:22 PM
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New to selling.

I have been on fineartamerica for a few months and no buys and only a few views. I have been learning A lot from browsing this forum and set up a new website design with weebly. I want to get my work out there and be seen, but I don't like to go out so I am stuck with Internet sales. I am wondering if any of you think it is possible to make an art career entirely through the Internet. I am also wondering if you all think it is a good idea to put your work in many sites for pod. I want to branch out from just fineartamerica and sell at other places. I am aware of the fact that it will take time and perseverance. I'm in it for the long haul. I just am hoping to make some sales. I get anywhere from 50 to 100 views on my blog, but no one buys. I don't know if maybe my work isn't good enough or is too different for anyone to want. I have been doing a lot of abstracts lately and that is mostly what is in my FAA account. I am recently done with school after years and years of difficulty and frustration with it. I learned a lot, but came away feeling like I would have learned more and had a better time on my own from books. So now I just want to do my own work and finally be a " pro"

Please any advice would be appreciated.

Tim.
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:59 AM
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Re: New to selling.

Hi, Tim,

First I'll say -- go through the thread topics in this and the 'General Art Business' forum, and read everything that seems relevant to you. The potential for learning there is invaluable!

I'll respond to a few of your questions, based purely on my own experience:

I have been on fineartamerica for a few months and no buys and only a few views.

I'm an FAA member, too. You can increase views and comments by submitting your work to appropriate groups, contributing to group discussions and main forum discussions, and by submitting your images and FAA links to sites like Google+, Twitter, Facebook, your blog, or other social sites where you may be a member.

Be aware, though, that views don't necessarily = sales. It only takes one viewer -- the right viewer -- to make a sale.

Also, be sure to use FAA's marketing tools to the max, whenever possible. There are also some FAA groups devoted to beefing up your marketing skills and sharing ideas.

I am wondering if any of you think it is possible to make an art career entirely through the Internet.

Hmmm, I'm not sure I could do so, though I'm sure that it's theoretically possible. I've always shown and sold my work in the 'real world', as well as online. It's been my experience that 'real world' exposure is one of the fastest ways to grow an online business, and is the most likely way to be remembered by buyers.

I am also wondering if you all think it is a good idea to put your work in many sites for pod.

Absolutely! I've been with a number of sites through the years, and believe diversity of venues is key to online exposure and sales. Right now, I'm with FAA, Zazzle and RedBubble, but I intend to double that number during this year. I've also made sales from my blog and through contacts made via my YouTube video channel.

Not every site is a good match for every artist. But, as many of these sites are free (or very low cost, like FAA) to start, it's certainly worth a bit of trial and error to find venues that work for you. Diversify, diversify, diversify!

If possible, order a sample or two from every site. For me, it's really important that I'm comfortable with the quality of product and shopping experience that my potential buyers will receive.

I get anywhere from 50 to 100 views on my blog, but no one buys.

Tim, I'd suggest taking a good, long look at your blog and deciding exactly what you want to get out of it. For instance, I just visited your blog, through the link in your WC sig, and was met with a huge block of technical-sounding text.

A paragraph or two about your work and/or process is one thing, but most potential buyers will run from a blog post full of technical jargon. And, there are no images in that first post. I truly believe that an art blog should show art -- front and center!

Looking further, I see that none of the images you've posted throughout your blog link back to a website, like FAA, where they might be purchased. I see no prices or PayPal buttons to accept payment. Also, a lot of your images are more like personal snapshots and are, I assume, not offered for sale.

In other words, your blog is not set up for doing business and/or presenting you as a professional artist, and you're not encouraging visitors to buy.

I think, if you're trying to generate sales with your blog, you might consider having two of them: one for your business, and a second for your snapshots and tech-talk. They can overlap a bit, but potential buyers need a bit more direction if you're trying to convince them to buy.

Someone who contacts me through my blog, about purchasing work, has already learned a few things:

1. Who am I and what kind of art do I create?

They've learned this by reading my profile, and by the anecdotes and other bits of personality-based info that are easily gleaned from my blog. (I'm a photographer and digital artist. I'm also a writer, which is handy when things like blogs come into play. )

2. Where can they view a larger image, learn more about the image, purchase the image -- right this very minute?

Every image on my blog is linked back to a point-of-purchase, whether FAA, Zazzle, or somewhere else. Every blog post mentions 'purchasing' the image. You want to make the idea of buying as convenient and appealing as possible.

3. What else and where else can my work be seen online?

My links are in the sidebar, along with 'widgets' highlighting my work as offered on various sites.

There's also a convenient set of buttons, so blog visitors can instantly share my post with a friend . . . or 100 friends.

I spent several weeks reading and studying countless art blogs and tutorials, before I ever wrote my first post. That was years ago, but my blog is still a viable marketing tool -- even though I sometimes neglect it for stretches of time. It showed the best results when I was posting several times a week, every week.

I hope some of this is helpful, Tim. Like I said, it's all based on my own experience. Other artists' opinions may (most certainly will!) vary.

Congratulations on finishing school, and best of luck to you!
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:22 AM
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Re: New to selling.

Thank you so much eye spy for such a thorough and well thought out reply. . I have been putting links up for FAA. Maybe you missed them. I did also notice that i get more views when I post those texts posts as I guess my viewers are users of digital art tools. I guess I could post some photos to go along with them though. They are few and far between at least they used to be. I post those because I can't produce work fast enough to keep viewers interested. I notice without a doubt that there are more viewers the more I post, no matter if it is a personal photo or a piece of art. I also notice that there are a ton more views with the dynamic view vs the traditional view. I don't know how to put up PayPal buttons anywhere, especially on a blog. I guess I will cut back on the personal photos and all, I just like to think that it adds to the appeal of the blog by letting people into a part of my life and so forming a sort of bond with the viewer. Any tips on making these PayPal buttons? Again, thank you thank you. Thank you.
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Old 05-10-2012, 03:29 PM
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Re: New to selling.

Hi Tim,

I'm not going to beat about the bush.

a) "but I don't like to go out so I am stuck with Internet sales"
You better start liking it.

b) your work has quality (in my opinion). You need to find your niche.

c) the number of views on your blog (50-100) is per day ?

There are so many online galleries and people selling that you mustbe really really good in at least one of these things - both is better, of course:

1) your work must be better than the majority of others who work in the same theme/style

2) you must be able to convince people that they won't be happy if they don't buy your work :-)

José
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Old 05-10-2012, 04:26 PM
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Re: New to selling.

Thanks Jose. I appreciate the input. Yes 50-100 per day. I'm going to be posting on red bubble and possibly on zazzle too. I didn't like zazzle too much because there are too many options for me. It didn't work the way I wanted it to when I tried it before. I may try yessy too but don't know much about that one. Any other sites I can try? It gets a bit daunting to keep up with posting to all of these sites and making the art fast enough. Is there any way anyone knows of to post on multiple sites at once?
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Old 05-10-2012, 04:54 PM
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Re: New to selling.

"Is there any way anyone knows of to post on multiple sites at once ?"

Don't do this, especially with the new Google Penguin update (refer to my thread about it on this same forum).
If I understood things well enough, repeated content is being quite penalized by Google.
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Old 05-10-2012, 06:25 PM
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Re: New to selling.

Thanks. Good to know. Is it still acceptable to post the same thing on more than one site at different times then? I imagine that would be fine.
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Old 05-10-2012, 06:35 PM
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Re: New to selling.

Seems like its ok since my name is on the first page of search results for both my blog and FAA
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:07 PM
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Re: New to selling.

I work part time in art (by choice) and get all my sales through the internet. It's very doable, but it's not easy.

If that is the way you want to go, you absolutely must bite the bullet and become computer savvy. It's easy to put a paypal button on your site, but you'll need to go to paypal and follow the directions. For instance.

You need, as Jose hinted, to learn search engine optimization so where ever you have your art, it can be found.

I sell on etsy and like it, I've sold on ebay and like it, they are different animals and require a different skill set to learn to maximize your exposure.

Social networking gets me lots of my sales.

It's doable, there are people who do it, but in addition to art, you must get comfy with the technical and social side of it.
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:37 PM
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Re: New to selling.

Thanks robin. I am pretty good With computers, just never bothered to learn some things. I make digital art so I have to know it good enough to do that. I am also on the Internet almost non stop anymore. Thanks for the advice and vote of confidence. I will have to check out PayPal and figure it out. I do have an account with them, and I have been thinking of figuring it out for a while. I guess I am just not too keen on HTML. I was able to program a clock onto an old style computer back in high school but that was more than a dozen years ago. Thanks.
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Old 05-13-2012, 10:38 AM
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Re: New to selling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bringer
"Is there any way anyone knows of to post on multiple sites at once ?"

Don't do this, especially with the new Google Penguin update (refer to my thread about it on this same forum).
If I understood things well enough, repeated content is being quite penalized by Google.


I understand what you are saying, but my question now is is it possible to upload to different pod sites at once? I wouldn't post to my website or blog at the same time, but it would save a lot of time to be able to upload to zazzle and fine art America and red bubble etc at the same time. I don't think anything like this exists and I don't know that these different companies would allow it, but it would be nice.
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Old 05-13-2012, 02:51 PM
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Re: New to selling.

Then you are ahead of the game as far as many of us are concerned. Good luck!!
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Old 05-18-2012, 06:51 PM
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Re: New to selling.

Thanks. !
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Old 05-18-2012, 07:30 PM
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Re: New to selling.

I did get one zazzle sale after posting my work there then posting the link on Facebook, but it was my stepmother who bought it. She used my referral code link so I got an additional payment. I am so hoping that more people will buy. It feels like a huge mountain to climb sometimes.
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Old 05-21-2012, 08:04 AM
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Re: New to selling.

Hi, Tim -- congrats on your Zazzle sale!

Reading your news reminded me that I've never sold anything to a friend or family member. Apparently, my work is just not their cup of tea. Or, as my sister once said, "Someone bought that? It looks like throw-up!"

Anyway . . . Zazzle benefits from enormous international traffic, so the potential for sales is always there. In five years of having storefronts there, it has grown to be my most productive Internet sales site. I can make more per sale at FAA, but sell many more items at Zazzle.

Which is why I always encourage artists to cast a wide net and market themselves through more than one site.

Oh, and as far as I know, there's no program/app that allows you to simultaneously post across several sites. I'd think the interfaces and restrictions are all too different to allow that. It would save me a TON of time if such a thing existed.
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