How to Make Money as an Artist in 4 Steps

How to Make Money as an Artist in 4 Steps

Did you know that worldwide online art sales increased by 74% between 2013 and 2017? There’s good money to be made in this industry, but sometimes it’s all too easy to feel like you’ve fallen into the “starving artist” category. To help you make more sales of your custom made wall art, personalized wall decor, and other products, try the following tips for boosting your sales as a visual artist.

1. Create Good Art

Being a “good” artist isn’t about being the best in your field or genre. It’s about having your own style and brand, owning it, and promoting yourself effectively. Thousands of musicians, photographers, and designers have large fan bases and make good money with their art, not because they have technical skills which set them apart, but because they’re doing something unique. We’ve all heard horrible music on the radio and wondered how the artist can possibly survive. That should tell us that, aside from critics, no one really cares how “good” something is -- they care about how the brand makes them feel. In order to build a thriving business around your custom made wall art, you should work on finding the ideal balance between familiarity and originality. People often say they want to see new ideas and new art, but what they actually want is something that seems new and feels familiar. Try to find where that place is for your art and brand. Then once you’ve found your niche, make it yours. Own it. It’s a good idea to strengthen your skill as an artist with additional training and study. After all, it’s hard to argue with quality, whether you sell custom made wall art, personalized wall hangings, or custom canvas wall art. But it’s even more important to know how to craft a brand around what you’re doing that really resonates with people.

2. Leverage Social Media

This tends to be the obvious first choice for artists and entrepreneurs alike, and while you’ve got to use it right to be most effective, people who master social media marketing can build massive movements and create sales without even spending money on advertising. Facebook is a good platform to use, but it isn’t the only one out there, and you shouldn’t assume it’s the best platform for you. Explore your options -- look into different social networks, and find out what audiences they appeal to most. Look for alignment between a platform’s users and your target audience. Don’t go overboard with this. Beginners often set up profiles on every social network, but it’s far better to focus on just two different networks and learn to master those.

3. Launch a Niche Blog

A blog is for more than showing off your custom made wall art to buyers. It’s a way to position yourself as an expert in your field -- a way to give yourself a voice and a platform that you control. With well-crafted content and the right systems in place, you can dramatically grow your audience, impact, and sales as an artist. However, lots of people start blogs, and most of them don’t know what they’re doing. Blogging can be easy once you get into it, but it’s not enough to throw up half-decent articles and expect the world to come running. Blogging is a craft, but it’s one you can learn quickly with the right help. Check out content from bloggers like Jon Morrow and Jeff Goins to learn how to blog effectively.  

4. Invest in Your Art

We can talk endlessly about growth hacks and tricks for social media marketing. But there are a lot more marketing opportunities available to people willing to spend a little money on their craft. By investing in yourself and your art, you could reserve a table at your local art fair. You could run Google or Facebook ads to enlarge your audience. You could pay to have a professional website set up for displaying your artwork and effectively building an email list. It is possible to build a career using Etsy and free Facebook marketing, but you’ll go farther faster when you invest in your brand.  


From custom wall hangings to indie music, anyone can be a professional artist. It’s just a matter of wanting to and then doing the work.
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