Selling Fine Art Online? The Most Common Mistakes I See From New Artists

Hello art friends,

As you may know I talk to a lot of new artists about growing their art businesses online and as I look through their current online presence, I see people making the same mistakes over and over again. Today I want to go over the top three mistakes with you so you can correct them in your own business and get on track for success.

Mistake #1: Not having really great photos of their art.

I think we can all agree that it's easier to get a sense of a piece of art in person. Not only can the customer see the true textures and colors, but they know what they’re seeing is accurate because it's right there in front of them. But whether it's on your website or on social media, the only way a person can interact with your art online is via photo or video. And of course video is great, but first you really need to master the skill of photographing your art well. 

The good news is you can get away with very minimal equipment: a newer phone (iPhone, Samsung, Pixel, whatever your preference is) with a great camera and some good natural light will do. You need to learn how to line up the edges so your photo is square and how to light things evenly. Clear away the clutter and let the beauty of your art take center stage. This is a skill that can take some time to really develop, but I promise you it is worth it. Even the most beautiful art in the world can look dark and dull if photographed poorly. But a well-taken photograph can help elevate your art and help it to sell.

Mistake #2: Websites that are really confusing to navigate.

The next mistake I see new artists make is with their websites. We live in a time when most people are comfortable shopping online, even for art. That’s great news for us! But as I’ve been going through the sites of the artists I talk to, I see a lot of websites that are really difficult to navigate. When you go to the home page, there are no good photos of their art. It’s not clear which paintings are for sale and which paintings are not. The prices aren’t clear. There might be a for-sale section and a portfolio section and it isn’t really clear which is which.

The point here is that people don’t like confusion. If you have a website for your art, you need to make it very clear, very easy to understand what you do, what’s for sale, how much it is, and how to buy it. If its not clear, your customer will most likely leave.

Mistake #3: Spending a LOT of time creating content for Instagram that is not helping them build their audience.

Let me be clear, you CAN still build an audience of raving fans on social media. I still see it happening. But, if you’re spending hours a day creating Reels, posting stories and you’re not getting traction AND you don’t enjoy doing it, then you should be spending your time building your audience in other ways. My favorite way to build an audience is by leveraging OPA’s, and is a strategy that I go into thoroughly in my free download.

But really, this idea that there is one way to build an art business—and that one way is to build a huge Instagram following—is just not true. If ever you are investing a lot of time and energy into a part of your business that you dislike or just isn’t worth the effort, in my experience, there is almost always another way to accomplish what you’re setting out to do in the first place.

To review, make sure your art is well photographed, your website is clear and easy to navigate, and you’re not putting all your eggs in the Instagram basket if it isn’t working for you. If you do those three things you’ll be off to a great start.

Thanks and have a great day!

All my best,


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

You may also like

View all
Example blog post
Example blog post
Example blog post