The web is one of your best players in spreading your work and message.

Selling artwork online gives you the chance to reach fans anywhere in the world at any time. But, like many artists, the same common mistakes can keep you from profiting through online artwork sales.

You might already know that selling your artwork online has huge potential, but if you aren’t seeing the return you are hoping for, you could be making one of these five common mistakes.

1. Your Portfolio Lacks Focus

Increasing artwork sales online depends a lot on having a recognizable image. Try to envision your work online like a catalog—the pieces should fit together into a styled collection. Character designer and teacher, Chris Oatley, has some great advice on finding your focus.

He suggests that by creating a focused style around your pieces, the shopping experience will be more enjoyable and buyers will better understand you as an artist.

As an artist, you will probably want to explore new styles at some point and that is fine! Just make sure you create a new theme corresponding to that style on your website to match.

For more portfolio tips, check out "5 Portfolio Blunders That Make You Look Like an Amateur."


2. Devaluing Your Artwork Online

Many artists turn to selling their artwork on websites like eBay and Etsy which might actually devalue your work in the long run. It surprises many artists that these sites can come off unprofessional or like your pieces are a bargain if you primarily sell on these websites. Buyers on these websites are generally not art collectors, they are looking for a good deal.

You also don't want your fine art next to vintage clothing, crafts or other objects that take away from the value of your original artwork. 

There are great low cost and easy-to-use options out there to help you create a great website if you need one. Squarespace, WordPress, and Weebly are websites that will help you design your own professional-looking website with web hosting and e-commerce options. Artwork Archive also offers a public profile that allows artists to publish directly from their inventory onto a professional and clean online portfolio—no web development skills necessary. 

The internet is full of artists who are practically giving their work away,” says artist and author Gary Bolyer. Establish yourself as a professional by using sites that reflect your credibility and avoid sites that could compromise the value of your brand.


3. Buyers Don’t Know Where or How to Find You

Unless buyers know to search your name online, chances are, they won’t find you. Being active on social media is key to getting people to actually find you online. Use your time wisely on social media. Find art groups that would be interested in your work and draw them to your website. Social networking will help buyers find you and share your works with others online.


4. You’re Disorganized

Maybe you are lost on which pieces you have available and where they are or you might not even have the works displayed properly online. Perhaps you don’t have high-quality images or any pictures at all of your best pieces.

"The time you spend to inventory your pieces, take high-quality photographs and get them online will pay off in future sales." 

 Tweet: Inventorying your artwork, taking pro photos, & getting them online will generate future sales.  via @ArtworkArchive

Choosing a program like Artwork Archive that gives you the tools to keep track of your work and organize your art business helps you run your career as a professional artist.


5. Not Following Up With Interested Buyers

As a professional artist you are busy wearing a lot of different hats, but try to keep up with people who reach out to you online and follow up with them. If someone shows interest in your work personally, invite them to an upcoming open studio event or show that you might have. Always get a business card or email from potential collectors and send a personal invite for them to subscribe to your email list.

The internet should be one of your top tools for gaining fans and increasing sales. By avoiding these common mistakes you will have what you need to increase your sales.


Get your artwork in front of collectors and make more sales with Artwork Archive. Try it free for 30 days.