How to Monetize an Artist’s Site

14 Ways to Monetize an Artist’s Website

Are you an artist? Are you wondering how you can use your art as a means to make money online? If so, this is the website for you. We’ll give you some ideas for how to monetize an artist’s website. You’ll also find bunches of ideas for transforming your art from hobby into career (if you’re a hobbyist,) or expanding your art career to make it more lucrative than it is now (if you’re already a professional artist.)

The Power of an Artist’s Website

Art is a rewarding pastime. For an artist who owns his or her own website, it’s a potentially lucrative market niche as well. If you’re thinking of starting an artist’s website, or you already own one, we invite you to consider these ideas for how to monetize it.

Important Note: This article barely scratches the surface of all the possibilities. We’ll be exploring these ideas in-depth, and revealing the insider’s how-to-do-it secrets in our upcoming online class called “How to Monetize an Artist’s Website.” If you would like to be notified when this class becomes available, please sign up for our e-mail list.

1. Sell Your Own Art

If you’re an artist, selling your original artwork is one of the most obvious and straightforward ways to make money from your website.

2. Sell Art Prints

You can reproduce your original art, and sell the reproductions. This works especially well if you paint, draw, or collage, but it’s also worth pursuing if you’re a sculptor, minature artist, textile artist, or installation artist — because you can photograph three-dimensional art and sell the photographs.

3. Sell Clip Art Collections or Infographics

If you’re an artist who creates drawings and graphics that are well-suited for clip art, you can sell clip art collections for others to use in their media, presentations, newsletters, websites, etc.

Infographics are also a hot trend worth exploring.

You can sell these products as digital downloads right from your website. You can also sell clip art CDs if you prefer.

4. Sell Collage Sheets to Other Artists

As the copyright owner of your art, you are entitled to sell reproductions of it for any purpose. Did it ever occur to you that other artists might like to incorporate your work into theirs? This works better with some types of art than it does with others. For example, if you paint pictures of gorgeous flowers, beautiful children, or interesting animals, collage artists and mixed media artists would likely be drawn to your work for inclusion in their collages. This is also true if you are a calligrapher, or if you create interesting backgrounds.

5. Sell Your Art Book

Have you authored or published an art book? If so, your website is the ideal venue for selling it.

6. Sell Your Art E-Book

E-books offer you a lucrative way to monetize your artist’s website. E-books can be sold as digital downloads, and the up-front costs are low compared to the probable rewards.

7. Sell Ad Space on Your Website

If you have a popular website with significant traffic, you can monetize it by selling ad space.

8. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the ultimate ways to monetize an artist’s website. While some people think that affiliate marketing has kind of a shady reputation, there are significant numbers of legitimate and worthwhile opportunities for artists to make money with it. For starters, there are bunches of reputable art supply merchants who will pay you commissions if you are able to bring them sales. It works sort of like a commissioned sales job, but with some major differences. The most important difference: unlike with a sales job, you would not actually be an employee of that merchant. Otherwise, it’s roughly the same idea: you close a sale through your website, and you earn a commission on the sale.

If you’re a talented art instructor, this is a particularly rewarding opportunity. You can post drawing, painting or collage tutorials on your website, and then include affiliate links leading your visitors to the supplies you’ve used. If anyone clicks through your links and makes an art supplies purchase based on your recommendation, you’ll earn a commission on the sale.

However, you don’t have to be an art instructor to take advantage of this sort of setup. It can be as simple as posting a picture of one of your completed art pieces, then making a supply list of all the elements you used to create that piece. For each item on your supply list, you can post a link to an art supplies merchant that maintains an affiliate program. If another artist gets inspired to try the supplies you’ve used, and they make a purchase through your affiliate links, you could earn commissions on the sales.

Coding affiliate links is a time-consuming task, and the links also need to be tested and maintained. If you’d rather not spend time on things like this, there’s an easier way to approach affiliate marketing — assuming you are using WordPress software as your website content management system or blogging platform. Simply enable the Easy Monetizer plugin on your website, and let the plugin choose relevant affiliate products and build all your affiliate links for you. It’s really easy to implement, and it’s a helpful time-saver. This is the solution we recommend if you’d rather spend time creating art and working on your marketing, rather than coding affiliate links.

9. Dropship Art Supplies

If you have an in with some reputable suppliers of artists’ materials, and you’re good at negotiating, you could set up a dropship site where your visitors can purchase art supplies through your website. You, in turn, pass the orders to your suppliers, and they fulfill the orders.

10. Sell Used Art Supplies

My husband likes to grumble that I have enough supplies to start an art store. He’s correct.

I acquired most of my art supplies in surprisingly cheap box lots on ebay. For example, I would buy large lots of name-brand artists’ paint tubes because I needed several of the colors that were included in the lot, and the whole lot was cheaper than it would have been to buy the colors individually at my local art store.

As you can imagine, this method of shopping resulted in me owning bunches of extra art supplies.

There was a time when I would sell my extra supplies on ebay, but I would no longer recommend using ebay for anyone to sell anything.

If you have a regular and consistent need to sell unused supplies (or enough free time to search for resale-worthy box lots on ebay and at garage sales and thrift stores,) then it would be worthwhile to build a section of your website dedicated to selling used art supplies. This could be another excellent and viable way to monetize your artist’s website.

11. Teach Art Lessons

If you’ve mastered a particular aspect of the artist’s experience, and you’re patient enough to teach others what you have learned, you could teach art lessons. Your website could be one avenue you use to advertise this service, but your website could do even more than that for you. There’s software you can use for actually making appointments, setting up bookings, and billing your customers. This alone could be a viable business for a talented artist, or it could be a valuable add-on to other aspects of your art career.

12. Portraits or Commissions

A Portrait Painting Called

Along the same lines, you can book appointments for clients to come and sit for portraits, bring their pets to your art studio to pose for pet portraits, or book other similar appointments for commissioned artwork.

13. Art Membership Site

Perhaps you like the idea of teaching painting or drawing to others, but you don’t want to have to deal with them face-to-face. In that case, you could create, post and teach online classes on a membership site via the Internet. This also works for just about any art or craft technique you could think of. If you’re a collage artists, you can teach mixed media classes, art journaling classes, or whatever other classes you might like to explore.

There are other uses for membership sites as well. For example, you could make prints-of-the-month or other digital artwork available for download through a pay-for-membership site.

14. Rent Out Your Art Studio Part Time

An Artist's Studio -- Oil Painting by John Ferguson Weir Circa 1864. Image Courtesy of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

If you maintain ample or extra studio space, you might use your website as a way to promote it for short-term rent to other artists — perhaps by the hour or by the day. That way, if other artists in your area need space for doing portraits or commissions, they’ll be able to get started without making the commitment to sign an entire lease. It could be win-win for both of you, providing you find other trustworthy and reputable artists to work with in this capacity.

This could also be a great opportunity to connect with traveling artists who might like to explore your area on a temporary basis.