Artists Online: How to Market Yourself on the Internet

Marketing is a huge concern for any artist who hopes to make a living (or even recoup the cost of supplies) from being an artist. The internet has made reaching huge numbers of people faster and cheaper but also a lot more complicated. Many artists feel lost in a sea of websites, feeling like trying to figure it all out would leave no time for actually making art and that is a little true. This post will cover a few of the basics about online marketing, and hopefully help you figure out what’s worth your time and what isn’t.

1. Social Media: There are three major social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) that you should use to target the largest number of people. For the best results, you should post 1-3 times every day. Yes every day. Hootsuite and Social Oomph are two of the many free services you can use to manage social media.

2. Website: A website is a great way for people to see and even buy your art online. Having your own site says “I am a serious professional” but it also costs money to create and maintain. There are websites that allow artists to set up profile pages with pictures of artwork and information about the artist (Phoenix Art Space is a great place for Arizona artists to do this). Setting up one of these profiles is a great way to get started; it teaches you how to use a website without costing any money. At some point you’ll start to resent the limitations of the profile and that’s how you know you’re ready to build your own website. At that point you’ll have a much better idea of what you want and don’t want in a site. 

3. Blog: A blog can be a great way to build a following online and it lets you share what you’re doing in more depth than social media. Before starting a blog ask yourself the journalist’s question: what’s the angle? You want people to read the blog, and to do that you have to be interesting. Talking only about your life and your art is not interesting.  Find something to talk about that relates to your art, but also to broader themes. Do you make found object art? Tell stories about where your materials come from. Do you like history? Write about the history of your artform.Wordpress and Blogspot are two of the major blog-hosting sites.

We’ll cover actually selling your art online and the copyright issues behind posting artwork to the internet in future posts.