Making a Living and a very special promotion!

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Henge Under The Super Moon available at a special price for the next 3 days!

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Sunset Shoreline also on a limited promotion!

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Blue Mist Rising available at a very special price and in limited quantities over the next few days.

 

Making a living through Print on Demand.

Can you make a living by creating art and selling through Print on Demand services such as Fine Art America and Zazzle.

There is no easy answer. It depends to a large extent just how much time you are willing to put in. In my experience, along with designing the actual art to sell, you need to spend much more time being creative in social media.

I have written at length about my initial experiences with Print on Demand. The question I am regularly asked is, but can you make a living? I guess one answer is yes, but with a million buts straight after. What is a living? If you need a million dollars a year to live, then I have no idea where you would even start.

If you are talking about replacing a job that you dislike, and it only pays a minimum wage, then yes. But, there are still buts. You really need to understand that for the most part the Print on Demand services will not promote you. They probably don’t even realise you are a member. Your few pieces of art will be lost in the millions of pieces that are uploaded by the many people who have had the same idea to make a living from their art.

The only way to answer the but, is to keep promoting. Use every available social media platform and keep plugging at it until you start making a few sales. Oh, and then you’ll need to plug some more. It really never ends. At the moment I am spending 90% of my spare time outside of my day job using social media to promote my work.

The other 10% of my spare time is used to create new pieces. Now I am hoping at some point the tables will turn and I will spend 20% of my spare time using social media, and 80% of my spare time actually doing the thing I love. Creating!

Thankfully I have a small base of collectors who do seem to buy most of my works at one point in time or another, but even this isn’t guaranteed. It’s not like I am Warhol, so the collector market is made up from a demographic of people who actually enjoy the way I create. Generally they will be landscape collectors, seascape collectors or abstract collectors. Rarely do I see a collector that is so into me that he or she buys or even likes everything I create

As I said earlier, it also depends on your definition of living. My definition would be earning a full-time income from selling your work. And by selling your work I mean, you then don’t need any other job or income to pay the bills. There are people who do make a nice living through Print on Demand sites, but when I start looking through social media platforms, even they are constantly promoting.

So I thought I would create another top five, but this time about using social media. Here goes!

1. Join up to as many social media channels as you can realistically handle. You can always reduce the number when you find which ones are working for you and which ones are not.

2. Keep your initial posts to social media as short as possible. Just like you and me, people have so many other stories appearing in their feeds, it is always a relief when someone posts something that is snappy!

3. Make sure you respond to messages and replies. You need to show people that you are not some bot twittering, facebooking, or pinning! You need to show them that you are human!

4. Use hash tags appropriately, and make the relevant to your post. Posting a photo of a beach and then using #myfavouritesoccerteam isn’t appropriate. These are seen as spam tags, although I think everyone will at some point try to see something else in their post and add it as an hash tag! Facebook and some others are pretty switched on to spam tags, so if you use them, be warned. The post might not get that many views.

5. Try and post at the same time each day. To do this you will need to be great at following routines. The issue is that you also need to find out when you are likely to reach your target audience. This is some kind of magical knowledge that no one can really hand to you, you need to experiment at different times of the day, and you need to make sure you have some kind of analytics running against your social media feed.

Some analytics programs and web sites are better than others. There is no clear winner, I have personally tried around a dozen or more of them over the years. Now I tend to stick with Facebooks insights, although I have become more impressed with Google Analytics over the years, but that isn’t going to be at all helpful for Facebook.

So there are my five top tips for using social media to sell your art. If you have any more tips leave a comment and as ever I will feature the best ones on this blog!

 

 

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