Selling prints online is the aspiration of many a photographer and artist. Placing their prints on the web opens them up to buyers all over the world. Depending on what image hosting service you work with, there may be very little work involved on the artist's part, or there can be a lot of work. Selling prints online can be a very rewarding way to earn some extra money, but there is still work involved.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Digital images of works
- Internet connection
- Image hosting service
Decide who is going to be your target market. You don't need to limit yourself to one market, but knowing who your target market is will determine the images you select and how you present them. Your subject matter also influences your selection of the prints you sell online, price setting and comparing similar work, and determining your best target.
Search through your images and select ones that match your target market(s). Use the highest resolution that you have available to allow for making larger prints. Note, the selected images may not be "technically" the best but should be the ones that will best appeal to your target market.
Some sites allow the selling of the digital image for downloading by the buyer and others offer full order fulfilment of the print order. Some even include optional frames for the prints that they sell. The photographer or artist makes a small portion of the sale of the frame, but it's a nice upsell to have available.
Edit the selected images to the correct aspect ratio for the desired print sizes you plan to make available. This will allow you as the artist to determine the crop rather than an arbitrary computer-selected cropping, which may not be optimum for the image. Some sites may allow you to do this after the image is uploaded and made available in the different sizes. The biggest difference in cropping will arise when going between the typical rectangle print and a square print.
Select a hosting service to make the images of the prints available online. This can be your own created website or an existing image-hosting site. Creating your own site, if necessary along with a web designer, involves a large amount of work, but gives you the most control over the entire process. Using an existing hosting service will reduce much of the detail and allow you, as the photographer, to focus on creating images.
Sites like Zazzle and ImageKind are established sites that provide much in the way of image hosting that is dedicated to selling prints online.
Upload your selected images to the desired hosting service. Make sure to describe and keyword the images as accurately as possible. These are the best ways to get information about the image available to Internet search engines.
Market your prints to your target market. Once you have the images available online you need to get the word out to your market. Some hosting sites provide marketing and search engine services through being linked to similar sites, galleries and industry-related businesses.
Tips and warnings
- You may wish to order a couple prints from the site, initially, to make sure you are happy with the prints that the site provides.
- Use only images for which you own the copyright.
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