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Selling Your Digital Art Online: Tips to Set up Shop and Find Customers to Sell Digital Art Online

Are you an aspiring digital artist looking to showcase and sell your artwork online? With the increasing popularity of digital art, there has never been a better time to start selling your digital creations. Whether you’re an established artist or just starting out, this article will guide you through the process of setting up an online store and finding customers for your digital art. Read on to learn valuable tips and strategies on how to sell your digital art online. 

The internet has opened up a whole new world for artists to sell their work directly to customers online. Digital art in particular can be easily uploaded and sold on a variety of ecommerce platforms.

Etsy has become one of the most popular online marketplaces for independent artists and crafters to open up their own digital shops. The site provides an built-in audience of buyers looking for unique handmade and vintage items. Etsy attracts over 60 million active buyers each year, giving artists a tremendous opportunity to get their digital artworks in front of potential customers.

But simply uploading your artwork to Etsy alone won’t guarantee sales. You need to research your niche, carefully brand your shop, and use smart marketing tactics to bring in targeted traffic. This guide will walk you through the entire process of setting up a successful Etsy shop to sell your digital art prints and merchandise.

Choosing Your Niche

The first step is determining what type of digital art you want to focus on selling. While Etsy has a wide range of products, honing in on a specific niche will help your shop stand out in the crowded marketplace.

Consider your own artistic style and strengths when picking a niche. The digital art niches that tend to sell particularly well on Etsy include:

  • Digital wall art prints (scenic landscapes, animals, abstract art, etc)
  • Digital planner/bullet journal kits
  • Graphics for apparel and home decor (pillows, phone cases, tote bags, mugs, etc)
  • Papercut lightboxes
  • Pop culture fan art
  • Coloring books and sheets
  • Typography and lettering
  • Maps

Do some keyword research to get a better sense of the demand for these different niches and how much competition there is. EtsyRank’s free keyword tool is extremely helpful for researching key terminology buyers are searching for.

Aim to focus your shop on a specific niche or esthetic style to develop a cohesive brand identity. You can always branch out later once your shop gains traction.

How to Sell Your Digital Art Online

Before you start selling your digital art online, there are a few key steps you need to follow. First and foremost, you need to choose the right online marketplace to showcase and sell your artwork. There are several popular online platforms specifically designed for artists to sell their digital art, such as Etsy, Society6, and Redbubble. Each platform has its own unique features and audience, so it’s important to do some research and select the one that aligns with your goals and target market.

Once you’ve chosen the right online marketplace, the next step is to create high-quality digital artwork. Invest in the right tools and software to ensure that your artwork is visually appealing and of professional quality. Consider the specific requirements of the online marketplace you’ve chosen, such as file format and resolution, and optimize your artwork accordingly.

Setting the right price for your art is another crucial aspect of selling your digital art online. Conduct market research to get an idea of the pricing trends in the digital art industry. Take into account factors such as the complexity of your artwork, your experience as an artist, and the uniqueness of your style. Pricing your artwork too low may undervalue your talent, while pricing it too high may deter potential buyers. Strike a balance that reflects the value of your art and is competitive in the market.

Setting up an Online Store for Your Art

While selling your digital art on established online marketplaces is a great way to start, creating your own professional online store gives you more control over your brand and sales process. Before setting up your online store, decide what type of digital art you want to sell. Are you specializing in illustrations, paintings, or graphic design? Understanding your niche will help you attract the right audience and differentiate yourself from the competition.

When creating your online store, invest time in ensuring that the design and layout are visually appealing and user-friendly. Use high-quality images of your artwork and provide detailed descriptions to engage potential buyers. Choose a reliable e-commerce platform that offers secure payment options and integrates with other essential tools, such as inventory management and shipping solutions.

Promotion plays a crucial role in driving traffic to your online store. Utilize various marketing channels, such as social media, email newsletters, and online advertising, to reach a wider audience. Collaborate with other artists or influencers in your niche to expand your reach and gain new customers. Remember, building an online presence takes time and effort, so be consistent with your promotional activities and engage with your followers to build a loyal customer base.

Where to Sell Your Digital Art

Aside from creating your own online store, there are other platforms and channels where you can sell your digital art. Online marketplaces for digital art, such as Minted and DigitalArt.io, provide exposure to a broader audience and often have built-in marketing tools to promote your art. Social media platforms, especially visual-centric ones like Instagram and Pinterest, can also serve as excellent platforms for artists to showcase and sell their artwork. Building your own website to sell art gives you full control over your brand and customer experience, but it requires additional efforts in terms of website development and marketing.

Tips for Marketing and Selling Your Digital Art

Successfully selling your digital art goes beyond just setting up an online store. Here are some additional tips to help you market and sell your digital art effectively:

Build your brand as a digital artist by establishing a consistent and unique art style. This will help you stand out in a crowded market and attract loyal customers who appreciate your distinctive style.

Engage with your online audience by regularly sharing updates, behind-the-scenes glimpses of your creative process, and stories behind your artwork. Showcasing the human side of your artistry helps build connections and fosters a sense of community with your followers.

Collaborate with other artists to expand your network and reach new audiences. Joint art projects, collaborations, and cross-promotions can help expose your art to a wider audience and bring in new customers.

Selling Art Prints and Physical Art Online

While digital downloads are popular in the digital art world, offering art prints and physical artworks can also be a lucrative avenue for artists. Print-on-demand services, such as Printful and Fine Art America, allow you to offer art prints without the hassle of printing and shipping yourself. Selling original physical artworks can be done through your online store or art marketplaces that cater to physical art.

When selling physical art, pay attention to packaging and shipping. Use protective packaging materials to ensure that your artwork arrives in perfect condition. Research shipping options and choose a reliable shipping provider to deliver the artwork safely to your customers.

In conclusion, selling your digital art online requires careful planning, attention to detail, and consistent marketing efforts. Choose the right online marketplace or create your own online store to showcase and sell your digital art. Use various marketing channels to promote your art and engage with your audience. Consider offering art prints and physical artworks to cater to a wider range of customers. By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to building a successful online art business and reaching art collectors around the world.

Setting Up Your Etsy Shop

Now it’s time to set up your Etsy shop and make sure all your business operations are in order. Here are the key steps to take:

Choose Your Etsy Shop Name

Your shop name is crucial for conveying your brand identity. Pick a name that fits with the niche you are pursuing. Short but memorable names tend to work best. You’ll want a name that is:

  • Short and catchy
  • Evokes your style or niche
  • Easy to remember
  • Available as a .com domain name

Check Etsy’s Shop Name Generator tool if you need inspiration. Just enter keywords related to your niche and it will generate possibilities.

Create Listings for Your Digital Products

Now it’s time to start creating product listings showcasing your artwork. On Etsy, each product requires its own listing with photos, descriptions, tagging, etc.

To begin selling digital files like art prints, planner stickers, or coloring pages, you first need to activate your Etsy digital products capabilities. This allows you to upload digital files to sell along with setting digital licensing policies.

Follow best practices when formatting your listings for maximum visibility:

  • High resolution photos showing your artwork on mockups
  • Short, clear title summing up product
  • Detailed product description conveying what’s included plus key benefits
  • Relevant 13 tags using keyword phrases buyers search
  • Digital file setups for instant delivery
  • Variations for print size options
  • Clear digital licensing terms

Set Your Shop Policies

Etsy requires setting 4 shop policies to help buyers understand how you do business. You’ll need to establish:

  • Pricing – Consider production costs and competitive rates, offer sales/bundles
  • Shipping – For digital files, this is n/a. But have a policy for any physical products.
  • Payment methods – Etsy payments options include credit cards, Etsy gift cards, and PayPal
  • Returns/exchanges – Determine if you allow returns or exchanges on digital products

Setting clear policies from the start prevents issues down the road. Display them visibly in your Etsy shop settings and listings.

Complete Your Etsy Shop Profile

Filling out your Etsy shop profile fully is key for an established look. Your Etsy shop profile lets buyers know who you are as an artist. Be sure to include:

  • Shop banner – This top banner visually brands your shop. Display your logo or relevant imagery.
  • Shop icon – Choose an avatar style icon to represent your brand.
  • Shop announcement – Feature announcements about new items, sales, etc.
  • About section – Share your artistic background and story. Help connect personally with buyers.
  • Contact info – Your email, business website, social media pages, etc. Make it easy for customers to find you.
  • Shop location – Your city and state. This helps local buyers find you.
  • Return policy – Explain your policies on returns/exchanges for clarity.
  • FAQ section – Preemptively answer any frequent buyer questions.

Handle Legal Business Requirements

Take care of business licensing requirements based on your location. Most Etsy sellers need:

  • Business license – Registers your business locally, required in most states
  • Seller’s permit / tax ID – For collecting sales tax on orders to your state
  • EIN – Obtain an Employer Identification Number if formally setting up a business entity

Also ensure you have the proper licenses to legally sell your digital artwork. Creative Commons has helpful licensing guides.

Building Your Brand Identity

You’ll need to define your brand’s identity to convey to buyers what you’re all about. This includes your:

  • Brand name – Your Etsy shop name
  • Logo – A signature logo or emblem representing your brand
  • Brand voice – The style, tone, and language used in your branding and product descriptions
  • Brand style – Cohesive visual elements like color scheme, fonts, and imagery
  • Brand story – Share your artistic background, vision, and passion

Make sure all aspects of your Etsy shop align with the brand identity you want to project. This helps form an emotional connection with your target audience.

Capturing Quality Product Photos

Visually showcasing your digital artwork in your Etsy listings is critical for making sales. Shoppers will judge a listing within seconds based on the photos.

Follow these tips for creating quality product photos:

  • Display art in context – Photograph your digital art on mockups showing real world use like prints, apparel, mugs, etc.
  • Shoot in natural light – Use soft, natural lighting for best color accuracy. Avoid harsh direct flash.
  • Minimal props – Keep props and backgrounds simple to avoid distracting from the art itself.
  • Avoid busy backgrounds – A solid white, gray, or colored backdrop draws focus to your product.
  • High resolution – Use the largest resolution setting on your camera for crisp details.
  • Creative compositions – Photograph products from multiple angles and include close ups.
  • Edit carefully – Use photo editing tools like Photoshop to color correct, adjust brightness/contrast, crop, etc.

If possible, invest in props like poster mockups, apparel, blank notebooks, wall displays, etc to showcase your designs attractively.

Pricing Your Digital Goods

Determining how to price your digital art products on Etsy takes some strategy. You’ll need to find the optimal balance between earning a profit while still remaining competitive within your niche.

When pricing items in your Etsy shop, take into account:

  • Production costs – Include the costs to create the digital files, like Adobe software subscriptions, computer equipment, etc. Calculate your hourly rate.
  • Etsy listing fees – Etsy charges $0.20 to list an item plus 3.5% of the sale price when it sells.
  • Competing item prices – Research the pricing of top sellers creating similar products to determine competitive pricing in your niche.
  • Item uniqueness – More complex designs or custom artwork may warrant higher pricing than simpler graphics.
  • Licensing rights – Offering extended licensing raises the value compared to only selling Basic Personal Use rights.
  • Sales and promotions – Offering bundle deals, sales, or limited edition products help provide perceived value to justify pricing.

Some common pricing strategies used by successful Etsy sellers include:

  • Tiered pricing – Offering the same designs on different products at different price points like prints vs mugs.
  • Bundles/Packages – Bundling several designs or products together at a discounted bundle rate.
  • Memberships – Offering subscriptions for monthly exclusive designs and perks.
  • Limited editions – Creating special limited edition works priced higher due to scarcity.
  • Sales – Running periodic sales, clearance sections, or sitewide discounts to promote purchasing.

Continue monitoring your profit margins and sales as you fine tune your pricing strategy. Offering some free designs can help gain initial traction and reviews.

Keywords, Tags, and SEO

Keyword optimization is crucial for getting your Etsy listings found. You want your items to appear when buyers search terms relevant to your products.

Follow these tips for keywords and SEO:

  • Relevant keywords – Include keywords shoppers actually use when searching for your type of art. Research keywords using Etsy’s search bar and tools like ERank.
  • ** Keyword placement** – Work top keywords into your titles, tags, product descriptions, and shop name.
  • Competitor research – See what keywords competitors rank highly for and their keyword strategies.
  • Long tail keywords – Incorporate longer keyword phrases like “watercolor flower wreath clipart” not just general words.
  • Consistency – Use the same key terms across your shop and listings.
  • Keyword density – Aim for a 2-5% keyword density in your listings text. Higher comes off as spammy.

Proper keyword tagging is also crucial. Use all 13 tag slots available for each listing:

  • Start with most detailed, targeted phrases
  • Include related general words
  • Separate keyword phrases into separate tags, don’t lump together
  • Use hyphens for multi-word phrases
  • Research best performing tags competitors use
  • Reuse top performing tags across listings
  • Refresh tags periodically based on search term data

Social Media Marketing

Running social media accounts for your Etsy shop provides a valuable marketing channel. Social platforms like Instagram and Pinterest allow you to organically reach potential new customers.

Grow your audience and promote your Etsy shop using these social media tips:

Instagram

  • Showcase new products
  • Post works in progress and art process videos
  • Share your artistic story and personality
  • Use relevant hashtags and tag other artists/shops
  • Run occasional sales and giveaways
  • Link to your Etsy shop in bio

Pinterest

  • Create eye catching product pin images
  • Organize themed idea boards for your niche
  • Cross promote boards and pin content regularly
  • Write detailed descriptions with keywords
  • Link back to relevant Etsy listings

Facebook

  • Share Etsy product images and listings
  • Create Facebook ads targeting buyers likely to purchase your art
  • Join and share in niche interest groups and forums
  • Promote sales and offers to current followers

Twitter

  • Share bite-sized updates on new works and Etsy listings
  • Retweet and interact with those in your niche community
  • Use relevant hashtags to get discovered
  • Monitor art conversations for opportunities to get involved

YouTube

  • Post tutorials showing your artistic process and techniques
  • Share speed edits showing how you create different artworks
  • Give shop updates, announcements, and calls to purchase
  • Link to your Etsy shop in description

Building Shop Reviews

Positive shop reviews and 5-star seller ratings are absolutely vital for driving sales. Reviews social proof your shop’s credibility and trustworthiness.

New Etsy shops face a Catch-22 – you need sales to earn reviews, but need reviews to drive sales. Here are some strategies for kickstarting the review process:

  • Offer freebies – Gift a few items to friends willing to provide honest reviews. Check Etsy’s rules first.
  • Discount for reviews – Run contests offering a discount code in exchange for a review.
  • Direct request – Many buyers are willing to leave a review when politely asked after purchase.
  • Follow up – Send a quick thank you message after delivery asking if they’re satisfied.
  • Address issues – If any less than 5-star review, publicly respond fixing the issue to show great service.

Continue providing excellent customer service and value to maintain your hard-earned seller rating long-term.

Analyzing Shop Stats

Pay close attention to the stats available in your Etsy shop manager dashboard. This data offers valuable insights into how your shop is performing.

Key metrics to analyze regularly:

  • Listings viewed – How many times prospective buyers viewed your listings, indicates interest.
  • Favorites – The number of times a listing has been favorited, a signal shoppers are interested.
  • Conversion rate – Percentage of listings viewed that resulted in a sale. Look to improve this.
  • Traffic sources – Where your visits originate like Etsy search, Google, social media, etc. See what channels work.
  • Searches – Top search terms customers used to find your listings indicating demand.
  • Shop followers – Followers will see your new products and sales in their feeds.

Reviewing these metrics helps identify what’s working so you can capitalize on it. It also shows areas needing improvement.

Improving Your Shop Over Time

Don’t get complacent once your Etsy shop is up and running. Consistently look for ways to optimize and level up your shop over time.

Add New Products

Add fresh designs and products frequently to give buyers a reason to come back. Etsy’s algorithm favors shops that continuously add new items and remain active.

Run Sales and Offers

Promotions like free shipping, percentage sales, BOGO deals, bundles, and coupons encourage buyers to take action. Send shop updates to drive traffic to your promotions.

Refresh SEO and Keywords

Update tags and SEO details regularly to target new trends and optimize search visibility.

Send Email Newsletters

Collect buyer emails and send periodic newsletters with new releases, specials, and updates. Keep your brand top of mind.

Request Product Reviews

Politely ask happy customers to leave an honest review. Reviews boost your credibility with new buyers.

Analyze Performance

Keep a close eye on your shop data and analytics to inform your efforts going forward. Adapt to what works.

Diversifying Beyond Etsy

While Etsy is fantastic for launching a digital art shop, it’s smart to diversify where you sell your art over time.

Consider setting up your own art shop website using platforms like Wix, Shopify, or WooCommerce. This lets you control your brand and customer data completely.

You can also look into selling on additional third party online art marketplaces like:

  • FineArtAmerica
  • Redbubble
  • Society6
  • Artfire
  • Zazzle

Or explore locally selling your art in coffee shops, stores, fairs, and galleries.

The more touchpoints you have to reach potential customers, the more sales opportunities you create. Just ensure your branding remains consistent across channels.

Final Tips for Etsy Art Shop Success

Selling digital art can become a truly fulfilling and profitable venture by effectively leveraging Etsy’s built-in audience. Apply the strategies in this guide to set up an eye-catching shop, wow customers with your artwork, and grow your business over time.

Here are a few final tips for achieving long term success on Etsy:

  • Stay true to your artistic style and vision. Don’t just chase trends.
  • Foster personal connections with customers by sharing your artistic journey.
  • Go above and beyond providing excellent customer service to stand out.
  • Reinvest profits into improving your shop, skills, and equipment.
  • Stay passionate, determined, and patient through ups and downs.

Let your unique creative gifts shine. With consistent effort and refinement, your Etsy art shop can gain momentum to make an impact doing what you love!

 

By Dani Davis

Dani Davis is the pen name of the writer of this blog with more 15 years of constant experience in Content marketing and informatics product, e-commerce niche.

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