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!