Some of the resources listed in this post are FREE, however, the post also contains some affiliate links. That means that I may earn a commission if you make a purchase through one of these links.
I’ve been marketing my own art online since early 2013, and have sold just over 100 original paintings online since I started.
I’ve tried a variety of different methods of marketing my art over the past seven and a half years, some worked for a while and stopped, other methods and platforms have emerged that have worked consistently well.
The secret to online marketing is definitely consistency, which is sometimes difficult to achieve when life pulls at you from lots of different directions, but there are tools that can help you achieve consistency with a little more ease.
These are my favourite tools that work consistently well for me, and help reduce the load of things to do.
I have used Dreamhost to host my websites from the start of my website building experience and have been consistently impressed with their reliability, support and reasonable prices.
I recommend them because:
- they are about as green as a hosting company can be and consider the environment in their business decisions
- they offer very good value for money
- they have a 100% uptime record
- they are easy to use and offer a 1-click install for WordPress
- they give you a FREE .com domain for your first year of hosting
Their shared hosting starts from US$2.59 a month, which works out at about ZAR39.00, if you pay upfront for a year.
If you want to host more than one website, or need more than one email address, their unlimited shared hosting, starting at US$4.95 a month is a better option.
Content Management System
A content management system is software created to help you create, manage and modify a website. It is basically a tool that helps you create a website without having to know how to code. It is the infrastructure that you build you website within.
The CMS that I recommend is WordPress. It is free and open source.
There are other content management systems out there, but I would always choose WordPress because, unlike Wix, Shopify and Squarespace, there are no monthly charges, and, because it is extremely popular, there are many free (and some paid) third party plugins that you can use to customise and extend its functions.
Did you know that 30% of all websites are built with WordPress?
If you are a complete beginner and need step by step instructions to set up a WordPress website, this series of WordPress tutorials from WPBeginner are FREE.
I’ve tried a lot of themes over the years. I now use a paid theme called Divi for my website for the simple reason that I can customise it to suit my needs exactly.
It’s not necessary to buy a theme to get started though, and there are some very good themes available for free.
My favourite free themes
When using a free WordPress theme for your website, using a page builder will help you customise it. Before I started using Divi builder, I used the free version of Elementor and found it to be pretty easy to use. You can download it from within your WordPress dashboard in Plugins.
If you are looking for something that is completely customisable, you will need a premium theme, and the best of the bunch, in my opinion, is Divi.
Divi gives you full control over every element of your site, and its built-in page builder makes it very simple to use.
Some of the benefits of the Divi theme include:
- it allows you to build your website visually with its powerful Divi builder
- you can build reusable templates to use on other parts of your website
- it’s fully responsive, so your website will look great on all devices
- the support is excellent, so if get stuck, there will be someone to help you
- there are a multitude of tutorials available online to help you build your site
If you work with me to design your website, I include Divi theme in the package with lifetime updates. (Value of US$89 a year – approximately ZAR1300 a year.)
Online marketing tools
The no.1 marketing tool I use for selling art online is my email list. It enables me to speak directly to my fans, collectors and clients directly in their email inbox. You don’t get much better than that.
For mailing list I use Mailchimp, which is free to use for up to 2000 subscribers.
Social media can be fun, but it can also be very distracting. I try to use it strategically to direct traffic to my website and use a prominent call to action with a lead magnet on my site to encourage visitors to sign up to my email list.
Scheduling social media posts ahead of time is the only way that I can stop it from taking up too much time on a daily basis.
I schedule Facebook posts within Facebook in the publishing tools option in the navigation menu of my page.
For Instagram I use a free tool called Later to schedule posts up to a month ahead. Another benefits of using Later is that I can save groups of hashtags for different categories of post to use again without having to type them all in, and I can set up your Instagram posts on your PC.
Later also has a free phone app, which is convenient for uploading images from my phone once I have edited them in Snapseed (another very useful app).
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Tracy Algar is a visual artist, web designer and online marketing specialist who has been selling her work online since 2013. For more tips on marketing your art online subscribe below.