How to Start an Online Art Gallery: Tips and Tricks for Success

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Written By Sam Davis Ph.D.

Sticker Crypt is the internet's premier source of free advice for artists and small business owners! 

Are you an artist looking for a way to showcase your work to the world? Or are you a business owner who is looking for a new way to sell art online? If so, then starting an online art gallery may be the perfect solution for you! In this blog post, we will discuss some tips and tricks for starting and running a successful online art gallery. So whether you are just getting started or you are looking for ways to improve your existing gallery, read on for some helpful advice!

Exhibit painting display

Why might one want to open an online art gallery?

Art lovers everywhere can attest to the fact that there's nothing quite like stumbling upon a new favorite artist. Whether it's in a local gallery or online, there's a certain thrill to discovering someone new whose work speaks to you. But for artists, getting their work in front of potential fans can be a challenge. That's where opening an online art gallery comes in.

By creating a space specifically for showcasing artwork, artists can reach a far wider audience than they would be able to otherwise. And with the added convenience of being able to purchase artworks online, it's easier than ever for interested buyers to support the artists they love. Whether you're an artist yourself or simply an admirer of good art, opening an online gallery is a great way to connect with the art world at large.

Is selling art the only purpose of an online gallery?

There are a number of different types of online galleries. Some are designed exclusively for the sale of art, while others focus on providing information about artists and their work. Still others seek to promote a dialogue about art, offering forums for discussion and exchange.

While selling art may be the primary purpose of some online galleries, it is certainly not the only purpose. Indeed, the range and variety of online galleries reflects the many different ways in which art can be experienced and appreciated. Whether one is looking to buy or simply to learn, there is an online gallery out there that can suit one’s needs.

How can I start selling art online?

There are a number of ways to start selling art online. Perhaps the simplest way is to create a website or blog and post your artwork there. You can also create an online gallery on a site like Etsy or Fineart America. In addition, many artists sell their work through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The key is to make sure that you are reaching a wide audience and promoting your work effectively. The best way to do this is to create high-quality content, share it regularly, and interact with potential customers. With a little effort, you can build a loyal following and start selling art online.

Do I need my own website to enter the online art market?

No, you don't need your own website to enter the online art market. However, having a website can give you a significant advantage over other artists who are trying to sell their work online. A website provides you with a platform to showcase your work, share your story, and connect with potential customers from around the world.

It also gives you greater control over the sales process, and allows you to set your own prices and terms. In addition, a website can help you build a following of loyal fans and collectors, which can provide a stead income stream for years to come. So while you don't need your own site to sell your art online, it's certainly worth considering if you're serious about making a career out of your craft.

Since this article is really about starting your own art gallery, let's assume that you've decided that a website is what you want!

What webhost should I use for my own online art gallery?

When choosing a web host for your online art gallery, there are several things you should keep in mind. First, you'll need to decide whether you want a shared, cloud-based, or dedicated server. Shared servers are the most affordable option, but they also come with some risks; if another website on the same server experiences heavy traffic, your site may suffer as a result.

Cloud-based servers are a good middle ground, offering more flexibility and scalability than shared servers, but without the high price tag of dedicated servers. Finally, dedicated servers offer the best performance and security, but they are also the most expensive option. Once you've decided on the type of server you need, you'll need to choose a web host that offers reliable uptime and customer support.

I'll cut right to the chase on this one. If you're looking to just operate 1-3 websites, then you'll want to go with EasyWP/NameCheap. If you're likely to operate more than three websites, I recommend Cloudways, which is a cloud-based server.

For your content management system, I recommend WordPress. You can use any number of free templates, you can pay for a template through Envato, or you can build your own from the ground up using Oxygen Builder – which is what I do!

Do I need to open up physical art galleries along side online art galleries?

There's no question that the internet has changed the way we buy and sell art. We now have a global market for art, and many artists are choosing to sell their work online instead of through physical galleries. However, there are still some benefits to having a physical gallery space. First, it provides a place for potential customers to see your work in person.

They can get a sense of the scale and texture of your work, and they can see how it looks in different lighting conditions. Second, a physical gallery can serve as a gathering space for artists and art lovers. It can be a place to host events and workshops, and it can be a hub for the local art community.

Finally, a physical gallery can be a great marketing tool. It can help you reach new audiences, and it can give you a chance to build relationships with potential customers. There's no right or wrong answer when it comes to whether or not you should have a physical gallery space. Ultimately, it's up to you to decide what's best for your business.

All that being said, if you're just starting out: an online art gallery is a low cost way to get into the business. Even if you're just showcasing your own art.

What platform should I use to sell art prints?

Art prints are a popular way for people to enjoy art without breaking the bank. But if you're an artist looking to sell art prints, you may be wondering what platform is the best fit for you. There are a few things to consider when choosing a platform for selling art prints. First, think about the type of art you make.

If you like to DIY, and are even making your own prints, just use WordPress / WooCommerce to get it done. If you prefer someone else making your prints, Redbubble or Society6 might be better options since they allow you to upload high-quality images of your work.

Next, consider your audience. Are you selling to collectors, or are you trying to reach a wider market? Platforms like Etsy and Amazon cater to a wide range of buyers, while Fine Art America focuses on selling originals and limited edition prints to collectors. Finally, think about your price point.

If you're selling lower-priced prints, platforms like Society6 or Redbubble may be a good fit since they offer affordable options for buyers. But if you're aiming for a higher price point, Fine Art America or Saatchi Art might be better options since they offer premium printing and framing options.

Is running my own online store for art buyers safe?

When it comes to buying and selling artwork online, there can be a lot of questions about the safety and security of doing so. After all, with so many scam artists out there who are looking to target unsuspecting buyers, it can be challenging to feel safe using your credit card to make digital purchases. However, running an online store for art buyers is actually quite safe if you take the necessary precautions.

For one thing, you should only work with reputable merchants and choose payment methods that process payments in a secure way. Additionally, you should keep all sensitive information protected by using strong passwords and using encryption technology when sending or storing financial data online. Overall, while there will always be risks associated with transacting business online, if you approach running a virtual store / art gallery with the right mindset and follow best practices for safety, then there is no reason why you can't succeed as an art buyer.

If I run an art business online, should I still do local art fairs?

It's a common question for artists who operate their business online: should you still do local art fairs? The short answer is, it depends on your goals and your target audience. If you're primarily focused on selling your work, then art fairs can be a great way to connect with potential buyers. You'll have the opportunity to meet people in person, build relationships, and gain valuable feedback about your work.

However, if you're more interested in building your brand and connecting with other artists, then online platforms may be a better fit for you. With social media and other digital tools, it's easier than ever to reach a wide audience and create a community around your work. Ultimately, the decision of whether to participate in art fairs or not is up to you. But by considering your goals and target audience, you can make the best decision for your business.

Want even more intel?

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