Sell Your Art Online: 20+ Sales Platforms | Olga Sh | Skillshare

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Sell Your Art Online: 20+ Sales Platforms

teacher avatar Olga Sh, food illustrator | graphic designer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Short Overview


    • 3.

      Traditional Stocks


    • 4.

      Fancy Shop Platforms


    • 5.



    • 6.

      Your Own Website


    • 7.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Nowadays our world is constantly in progress and we couldn’t imagine our live without internet. We communicate, learn, work and even find love here! And you know what? That’s a cool fact! You can start making money via online sales of your art. And it’s a great opportunity for designers, photographers, illustrators, or just drawing lovers to start making profits of what they love to do.

This class is about more than 20 services where you can sell your artwork online. You’ll get an extended glance on major selling sites, with details that you may see as pros or cons, differences between similar ones, and so on.

All this class is based on my own and my fellow designers’ experience. 

I hope it will help you to advance your artworks media coverage.


And if you aren’t a premium member here, on Skillshare, I prepared for you 25 free enrollment links . Hope you’ll enjoy this class. And if you like my class, I’d really appreciate your positive review and feedback.

And, as usual,  I'm always here to help you)


Meet Your Teacher

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Olga Sh

food illustrator | graphic designer

Top Teacher

My name is Olga. I'm a food illustrator, graphic designer, educator, content creator, and busy mom. For now, alcohol-based markers are my favorite tools. I believe that everyone can draw. My mission is to show that everyone can learn anything. The main thing is courage and desire. I'm proud to be Skillshare's Top Teacher. Top Teachers are high-quality teachers on Skillshare. I love step-by-step tutorials. In them, you can see everything from start to finish, and you can repeat the whole process. This is exactly how I made my classes on so that you will succeed too. And I hope my classes on Skillshare help my students to try out something new, overcome their doubts, learn something new, believe that everything is possib... See full profile

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1. Trailer: Modern world is constantly in progress. In 25 years back, no one could even imagine that communicating, loaning, walking, and selling over the Internet from around the world will be that easy, fast, and natural. Indeed, that's a cool fact. If you're a designer, photographer, illustrator, or maybe you just draw for fun, you can start making penny, dollar, or even a fortune via online sales of your art. I've made some research and I want to share with you more than 20 services where you can sell your art. In this class, you'll get an [inaudible] on major selling sites. If we use details that you may see as pros or cons, differences between similar ones and so on. All this class is based on my own and my fellow designers experience, and it would be very cool if you share with us your own experience, your own tips, and tricks maybe. By doing so, we can consolidate and extend our experience. Hence, everyone can find something after one's heart and start making profits of what they love to do. So welcome to the class. 2. Short Overview: Welcome back. In this part, we'll discuss the ways you can sell your artworks online. I've made a handy made map for your convenience and divided all platforms into four major categories. First, we'll talk about traditional stocks. We can highlight five major and well-known stocks. Shutterstock, istock, Dreamstime, Fotolia and GraphicRiver. Then talk a bit about some details you will encounter working with them. Next, we will discuss fancy hipster and community driven shop platforms. We'll talk about two more significant, our favorite Creative Market and Esty. [inaudible] will be the big one. Print shops. We'll take a look at big ones like Society6, Redbubble, Zazzle, Spoonflower, Casetify and other less popular print shops. Finally, we will discuss your very own online shop. Now, we have more declared look in each group. See you in the next part. 3. Traditional Stocks : The third group is the traditional stocks. Stocks are places on the web where you can submit your work for sale and then get fixed rate percent of every item sold. Buyers are mostly designers, design communication, advertising agencies, but there are a lot of enterprise customers as well. Marketing department employee of some corporations, some news website elements, just to name a couple. Therefore, the content should be mostly generic. The biggest and the most popular stock is Shutterstock. Here you can sell photos, vector and raster illustrations, icons, artwork, sediments, and so on, footage and music. Let's talk about the key features you will encounter as a seller. First, you will need to register there and pass an exam. You just submit 10 of your works for exam raster or vector. I can say there are any super aesthetic criteria if they check your work, but they do check. After you pass the test, you can submit your works for sale. As far as I remember, if you are a video maker, you don't even have to pass this test. But if you fail, there is some cool down before you can try your luck again. All of your works go through pre-moderation before being published and can be rejected by the inspector for any reason. Moreover, they can be accepted next time with no changes made. I've been through this couple of times. You don't set any price on your product, Shutterstock does. It depends on the type of purchase license and customers subscription plan. You will get from 25 cents per image and this amount increases with your lifetime [inaudible] there up to maximum 120 bucks. The only exclusion is footage, you get 30 percent of total price on every purchase. Yes, it depends on terms of service too. Who knows? Maybe in a couple of months, Shutterstock will decide to pay more or less. It really matters on Shutterstock how many works you have uploaded and how often you upload. Generally, more you upload, more money you get. But we shouldn't forget about quality because nobody will pay for low quality artwork. Shutterstock doesn't force the exclusiveness of works, so you can upload your works from shutter to another stock and vice versa. Your artwork shouldn't be unique. You can sell so-called similars. For example, you can sell one pattern with different background color, and it will be okay. You don't bother with making nice previews. You just upload your work, fill the submission form, and select a place for the watermark. You attach a special property release form to your every work. There is a special blank there which states your ownership and all legal staff. In case of photospheric, more bureaucracy, model, minor model and neutral releases. But don't get doomed with this hard one. You can reuse releases you've already uploaded. If you submit, generates similar or mixes. For example, you can make release for a set of elements, and then use it with a lot of things made with these elements. Also, I've heard people just create a template and PSD file. There's only a couple of fields to fill in, just a product name and date. Not sure it's a correct way to do it, but it seems that people have no problems with this work around. Well, enough of Shutterstock, let's move on. Next, Bigstocks, Istock, Dreamstime, Fotolia, and Graphicriver. Istock. You can sell photos, illustrations, audio, and video. You need to pass the test too. From designer perspective, it will be three images, but it seems more strict to as technical and aesthetic moments. Payment rates are in a complicated mix of Shutterstock system with addition of exclusiveness bounces. Now, Dreamstime. You can sell photos, images, clip arts, and vectors. There is no exam, so you just sign up and upload. Yes, they still have pre-moderation. Payouts depend on exclusiveness of your image, how many times you image have been sold, size of image, type of license. You can get from 34 cents up to about 40 bucks per image. Keep in mind that here exclusiveness really matters and you will get the highest rate of your sell exclusively on Dreamstime. Now to Fotolia. Fotolia is one of the biggest stocks in Europe and part of Adobe family since last year. You can sell photos, vectors, and videos. There's no entrance test, for now just sign up, get accepted and you're ready. There's no too complicated. Payout system is from 20 percent to 63 percent of price, which depending on customers plan. One thing to consider, there is rising product Adobe Stock, which already seems to be integrated with Fotolia. This Adobe's integration of services is great and handy and can lead to the increase of customers count. But on the other hand, they can change terms of service upon release, so it's the thing to keep in mind. Graphicriver. Graphicriver is a subsection of innovator market where you can sell illustrations, graphic, and fonts. For fonts, checkout the PhotoDune by innovator. It seems similar to other stocks because there is no integral test, there is pre-moderation, exclusive authors paid more profitable authors paid more. But couple of things to notice. First, in comparison to other stocks, there is no much works, so you may expect less competition. But as far as I know, Graphicriver and PhotoDune are not so popular places to get stock images. A lot of guys out there are saying about high amount of rejects with no adequate or rational reason given. A friend of my friend even got hard reject who is a permanent band a couple of years ago, just because inspector was too lazy or forgot about optional features of products stated in the description. Also, there are less popular stocks you may want to check. Bigstock by Shutterstock, Depositphotos, Colourbox, Canstockphoto. How does it feel working with stocks? The main point, you have to invest a lot of time and effort there. I'm talking not only drawing and creating, preparing, attributing, and uploading consume a lot of time, plus constantly growing competition between authors. You'll get used to be confused and stressed with rejected works even if they're perfect. It's okay to end up where only a couple of stocks give you reasonable amount of revenue and then others hardly making pocket money with lots of work submitted. But a lot of people consider stocks as their main income source, so I advise you to start with couple of stocks to see if their model suits you. One more thing to mention, generic, stereotypes, simple graphic, and elements work better. Yes, you can try to sell state of artwork, some altruistic illustration, for example. But obviously its usage is limited to a couple of purposes and it's more likely that this artwork will have more than two sales per quarter. I honestly tried to make some minor Shutterstock couple of years ago, and then it was little of my images are sold constantly. The irony is, all images still purchased were made in 10 minutes and submitted just for the experiment with markets. Generally, if you have a lot of time and patience, you may try to make stocks your primary activity or you can use it as a little bonus income. If you have any traditional stock experience, don't be shy share it with us. 4. Fancy Shop Platforms: Now we'll talk about in some way more advised, more fancy platforms for selling our goodies, Creative Market and Etsy. On traditional stocks you encounter justice contributor. We'll just have a list of your works while on Etsy and Creative Market you operate a shop. This fact gives you more freedom with decoration, building relations with customers, receiving feedback, and so on. I can say that this kind of platforms appeal to me more than traditional stocks. The content is my concern. It is more artistic there, have more visual way while traditional stocks content is dull and seems like clone sometimes. It's like [inaudible] [inaudible] maybe. On the other hand, traditional stocks have a lot of customers and can give you nice revenue. I'll start with Creative Market. You can sell there almost any visual kind of digital product, graphics, photos, illustrations, mock-ups, fonts, website templates and themes, 3D scenes and so on. To be honest, Creative Market is my favorite place for selling digital goods, but Creative Market has quite strict face-control. To open up a shop, you have to submit a request, include a list of products you sell somewhere already, your portfolio, your own website, Dribbble, Behance and so on, and a color letter explaining why you'd like to open a shop there. They don't approve all the requests, hence keeping overall quality level high, but of course you can try to submit again and show other works for example. The main pros of Creative Market. One of the highest rates, author gets 70 percent on every sale. You sell the price of your product and the price for extend license. It cannot guarantee you high profits of course, but it's a nice marketing tool to make your happy. By the way, Nicky Laatz, one of the top Creative Market authors, recently hit $1,000,000 mark with her shop there. I'll leave a link to hear the interview inscription. You can for some limit decorate your shop, change shop color, descriptions and products author anytime you like. You can change it again anytime you need. While submitting a product you are not limited to keywords and brief description. You have rich instruments to describe it. You can upload a lot of previous examples of usage and videos and descriptions and so on. They have quite descent referral program and you can make additional buck by advertising other houses products and social networks. They don't have pre-moderation of your products, so there is as little steps between you and the customer as possible and only you are responsible for the quality of your products and your shop reputation. The team of Creative Markets promote high-quality authors very often, hand picks, weekly digest and so on, and these promotions have significant impact on your sales. Creative Market has a lot of social networks mechanics. It's really vivid and deep platform with great community. You can see who bought your product, communicate with buyers, other authors, also they have really interesting blogs which lots of useful information. A couple of adv-ices. Always do the best you can to get the highest quality when making your product. It's the best way to improve your shop reputation and to get it advertised by Creative Markets team. Always make nice, neat and rich previews with examples of usage of your product. Make your description clear and informative. It takes much time and effort to make nice previews, but it's the most significant factor when people make up their mind on buying there. Sometimes it's better to double-check, I mean, the product you submit. The community is very loyal, so you can fail a couple of times with no harm of your reputation, but don't think of it as a loophole. Just fix it. Since that stress doesn't worth it, it's better to pay a little more attention to your product. As told before, Creative Market is community driven, so be social, go and comment on other's products. Communicate on forums and always respond on feedback. This a very crucial thing. Now let's talk about Etsy. I think it's the first thing that comes across your mind when you think about selling your artwork online. Creative Market shares some of Etsy's features, so other bids once again and highlight some differences. On Etsy you can sell not only digital goods, but material goods too. Etsy gives you full freedom on price setting too, but the math here is a little different. In comparison to Creative Market's fled 70 percent, you have only three with a house percents kept by Etsy, but there is a lot of additional fees, like $0.20 leasing fee, some updates fee, PayPal transaction fee, and more. Be careful and read the terms. Etsy has a huge customer pool worldwide since it's one of the oldest platforms of that kind rounds the web. On the other hand, it is not specializing on digital goods solely, while Creative Market is. It's too general and it's more possible that your artwork would be found through direct search than looking through categories. Etsy does promote shops often and regarding huge customer base, we will count it as a plus, and that one is big. Etsy has a special service called Patterns. It is just like WIX, Squarespace, but on Etsy, with your own domain, fully loaded with all e-commerce functionality, bunch of designs, a lot of customization options and integrated with your Etsy listings. It's like opening your own shop with no technical headache. You only buy a domain, follow simple steps, select design, and you have a shop. Let's do some recap on these two. First, they give you more freedom and more tools to work with, but with that comes responsibility for your shop, reputation and so on. You can just submit low-quality, sloppy products, but you will be just wasting your time. Next, you have to dive in marketing your products and shop. Yet there are some success stories when people upload only their first font, got noticed and start earning decent amount of money, but usually you work hard and put a lot of effort in marketing social network. It's possible also that you'll have to provide some support for sold products. If on Creative Market it's possible to settle discussion right there, in private messages, in comment section of each product. On Etsy, you will be communicating with customers mostly with e-mail, despite that they have some social space-like forums and groups. Since Etsy's customers pool is very big endeavors, you can end up answering some things you thought are obvious, like change in printer orientation, for example. Remember that the way you'll get loyal and satisfied customers, just be a good person. It's easy. I think it's time to jump to our next group. But before we go, I'd like to mention another one platform. There is also a Hungry JPEG, which is about selling digital goods, just like Creative Market, but they mostly focus on selling bundles and less social active, but the mechanics is similar. Person approval procedure, you set up your shop, uploading products, and start marketing on the web while waiting for sales. 5. Printshops : Well, online print shops. It's a services where you can sell your images printed on braced range of material products, like mugs, t-shirts, sheets and more. You upload your image and the service prints it on required product and sends out to your customer and you get some profit. Some common thinks about most popular print shops. First, most print shops suppose you to upload more than one version of your image to fit the range of products that they print on. Next you'll we'll be checking how your image is supposed to look on final product, and fit it to look perfect. This is really time consuming. Second, major players have social features, so be advised. It's all about marketing. You'll be pushing like buttons and commenting amongst products, advertising on social networks outside print shops etc. Next, most of them are free to register so you can easily try out working with these print shops. Most of them paying via PayPal so it's better to have an account there. Next, keep in mind that customer pools, sales volume and popularity of every print shop differ, hence it can take much time to get sales. Don't count on lots of sales in first day. Last one, some of print shop require exclusiveness so you'd like to read terms of service. Now we take a look on most popular print shops. Society6, one of the most popular places where they sell gauges cases, t-shirts, closest, bed covers and more. For confirmation, they charge you with $1 payment via PayPal, and after that you can set up your shop, like on creative market. Redbubble, and that's one popular print shop, t-shirts, pillows, posters, stickers and so on. You can sign up here for free and it's easy to operate. Casetify. Quiet cute print shop focused on cases for different gadgets. To register you should send them your social network profile and your portfolio link. Zazzle. Just like Redbubble or Society6, has lot of staff they print on. From gadget cases to kitchenware. Registration is free but uploading times attribution process is a little mess. Art of Where. That's a platform with slight focus on fabric and different clothes, they have even a kimono auction. Registration is free and you can start your shop right away. Spoonflower. If you're a pattern designer, I bet you already know it. I suppose it's the most popular print shops specialized on fabric, paper, and gift wraps as crafted supplies. You have to register, setup a shop, add the samples of your good and then you can sell. DesignByHumans. They sell clothes, marks, stickers and so on. Deny Designs. Very cute print shop with best assortment frontiero staff, pillows, sheets, blankets and more. DecalGirl. Print shop focused on cases and stickers for different devices. Last three require approval so you send them a link to your portfolio of a couple of works. Well now we have a list of major print shops which you'd like to try out, but there are a lot more different print shops where you can sell your designs on the web. I'm focused mostly on t-shirts, like, and Some of footed ware design like I think print shops is the easiest way to understand if selling your art online is comfortable for you. In the next shop part we'll talk about something interesting and challenging. I'd like to tell you about one more interesting way to earn a bug on the Internet with your creativity. It will totally fit you if you're a fighter and love a challenge. and, both have challenges with payouts for winners. Minted much of a feminine website with stationary weighed in calligraphy set, cute home stuff and art prints. They select what to sell by design competition. Winner gets part of money from those are sales of his work, money price, and the shop vacation on website. Welovefine. It's about fine art, games, comic books, and so on. As they state, submit designs, rate submissions, winning entire school to end up as officially licensed merchandise for Fans By Fans. I haven't tried them yet. But if you already did, it would be very kind of you to share your experience with these two in class discussion section. I think our fellow students will be happy to know. I'm seeing you. 6. Your Own Website: If you already have your own website, in most cases you can add there an online shop option or if you don't, you can use ready templates with E-commerce integrated, if you're using WordPress for example. Or start with some services like WIX, Shopify and similar. I've included a list of Zim in attachments. These services are very convenient. You are free from extra time and money burden for a reasonable monthly or annual fee. You get ready to use online shop with a range of different tools such analytics, social networks, and payment system integration and many more. Note that options may vary, but on error service, you'll have all the essential functionality and sell free testing period, to see if this services fits you. All you need to do is to customize design and connect your domain name or bought it, if you don't own one. Thus, your own website gives you more freedom than services. But on the other hand, you have to handle all the issues, hire developers, manage all back office staff. That serves is constantly move forward and reach their functionality and tools they present for clients. It's an easy way to start with such platform. If you question yourself, should I have a website? I definitely say, yes you should. It's a good place to tell about yourself and it's a good marketing tool. some x sellers even run a whole network of websites for promotional and marketing purposes. Even if you are anonymous microscope photographer, you can have a website with listing of your work there. Since most of stocks have that [inaudible] thing called APR. It will help to integrate your products on stocks on your website. Another case of use, you can walk with simple multiple stocks and aggregate all your works from different stocks. I bet many of you already have a website, as a standalone or via services. I hope you will share your experience results or some tips, tricks and use cases that would be interesting. 7. Final Thoughts: So in this class we've talked a bit about platforms were you can sell your art online. There are a lot of options and I hope everyone can find something suitable. It's a cool to try new ways of earning money and depend not solely on private clients. If you're already into it, I hope that you'll share with us your thoughts and experience, may be some useful things and nice platforms I haven't mentioned. Or if you're about to jump into your freelance career, it could be a great starting point, a playground to try your skills and understand if it is your way. Anyway, it's a cool thing to try making money by doing what you're passionate about. I hope you find something useful in this class. Thanks for watching.