Nick Schnitzer is a Membership Clerk at Do Space
Profiting off digital art can be a dream come true, but it can also be an absolute nightmare. My name is Nick, and I’ve worked in the ring of digital art for a little while now. Making a profit off of artwork is tough, but having a place to start things is certainly a great help.
Selling artwork online certainly isn’t a new concept, and it’s not going away anytime soon. There are scores of different websites empower artists to upload designs onto products, and sell them in a print-on-demand style. This is great for those who don’t want to over invest in a product that no one may be interested in. However, these websites will be taking a cut of the profits for shipping and manufacturing, so don’t expect huge profits from every sale. Nonetheless, here is a list of great places to start turning a passion into a profit.
Society6 is an online marketplace that allows artists to upload designs onto products that can be purchased. Selling accounts can be made for a one-time $1 fee, and have full access to all the various products your designs can be applied to. Society6 also allows those selling products to group similar ones together in what’s referred to as a “collection”. This is helpful for customers looking for things that share similarities like themes or product types.
Redbubble is one of the most popular print-on-demand websites to date, with over 4 million active users. Having this many users is great for traffic, but beware that it also makes Redbubble a crowded marketplace. A unique feature of Red Bubble is custom pricing for individual listings, allowing more profit per sale. Redbubble also features a useful analytics system that helps with finding which products and designs were more effective on the market place.
Teespring is a website that’s great because it allows you to create your own separate webpage for your products. This is in addition to having your uploads posted in conjunction with other posted content. Another unique feature to Teespring is the ability to launch limited time merchandise in conjunction with products that are always available. It’s a common misconception that products can only be uploaded for a limited amount of time, but Teespring has ensured that sellers can keep their products on their store pages indefinitely.
Zazzle is a unique market place as it allows the customer to customize their orders to their desires. Of course not all of the products sold on the website are customizable, but it certainly makes for a unique and adaptive way to keep customers interested. Artist’s can also use the Zazzle design tool to create designs for products with pre-loaded graphics. Not to mention the enormous roster of products for these designs to be applied to.
Threadless is another unique market for artist’s to profit from their work. Threadless engages the artist community by offering challenges for artists to submit artwork that has the chance to be featured on the main page. Additionally, users can also host their own works on a webpage for themselves, but the drawback is that it’s up to the artist to share and spread their work. That said, your works can be found in the discover section of the website, but the traffic for these areas is rather slim.
Don’t forget to share!
Unfortunately in most cases, simply uploading products to a site won’t be enough. It’s important to share your work with others via social media and in-person. Don’t be afraid to sell to a niche. Certain people like certain styles, so make sure the right people are exposed to your arsenal of products.
It’s also a good idea to host your work on multiple websites if able. Most print-on-demand websites let the artist retain their ownership of their work, but it’s good to verify that this doesn’t violate any terms of service before uploading the designs somewhere else.
While there are still a good number of other websites that can be used to market artistic creations, these are a good place to start from. Once you’re more familiar with marketing your creations, you’ll have more experience with what kinds of products sell. Then moving on to another platform like Amazon, or even Printful may be the next big step. For now, the best thing to do is start slow, do marketing research, and most of all– be patient.