I have been working as a full time artist for the last 18 months and a lot of my sales come from either my own website, portals I belong to, social networks or the events I participate in. Last year I sold 101 paintings and this year 75 already. Here are few of the best tips I can share with you if you are interested in selling your art online.
I think the best tip I can give on how to sell art online is to constantly produce art that is better and better. Maybe you have heard it many times but this is the best way I know. It is up to you only to work out what you can do to improve your current situation as an artist. Do the research and find out what other artists have created depending on your motive and style. Then sit down for 10 minutes every now and then and ask yourself, what can I do to improve my style today? You should come up with a few answers. Obviously not all of them will be great but do not worry, the idea is to think about what you are doing and how you can become better at it. Get into the habit of creative thinking. Then choose one, best idea and take action. Simple. A lot of people simply do not do anything or not enough. To give you an example, when I started painting my style was very realistic. I thought the next step for me would be to take it the next level. I could buy a DVD and learn techniques, watch more youtube videos or go for a private lesson. I did a combination of all three. It is only up to you to work it out what is the next, best step for you.
Then you need to have a portfolio of your best work. If you are still working on it but you want to sell online you can register on certain portals. In this way you do not have to have many artworks but still make a sale. I would recommend Artfinder, Fineartamerica, Saatchi art. These portals will take commission for your sold art but in return you will get the access to amazing worldwide members. These portals worked really well for me but I am sure you can find others that you could try. You will be surprised how often people buy art online. Be honest to yourself and ask for the "right price". The more you know about competition the easier it is to choose the correct price you should sell your art for. Do not ask for too much if you are only a beginner. The better you are the more money you can ask for your art.
If you have a strong portfolio that represents your style and can be organised its time to set up your own website. You want to be seen as a professional artist. You can choose available packages and there are many different suppliers you can choose from. I would recommend Wix or Big Cartel.
Then use social media such as Facebook, Instragram, Twitter to direct the traffic to your website. At this point I assume that you already have your facebook page with art only, Twitter and Instragram. You may find that other social networks work better for you. The idea is to build the audience and then share new artworks to direct people to our page. I tend to publish a set of photographs of the new work, say a few words about what has inspired me to paint it and details about where to get my work are added in comments. Your posts should be interesting, personal and should always include the best quality photographs. I would advise to watch some vides on youtube about interesting FB posts. You can learn a little thing every time that can open a better dialogue with others.
Think about why do you want to buy a certain product from a particular person? The answer is because you like them. How to make people like me? There are books about it so read it, learn it and practise it. The way that works for me is to build my relationships with my audience by publishing regular posts, answering to comments, asking questions, commenting on others posts, joining art related groups basically just be active all the time. Do not be disappointed if you do not get a sale straight away. Art is very personal and you need to hit the taste of the right person in the right time. Even when you're not generating sales, you're still sharing your art with others and maintaining a public presence. give the best you can and wait.
When you make a sale be happy and grateful about it. Let other followers know that you sold that particular piece of art. This is important to let others know that your art is for sale.
You could add this information in your post. It needs be clear you are not only sharing your art but there is a way to buy your art.
When you sell your art think about packaging. Never compromise on it, make sure that your art is packed properly. Artfinder has its own packaging note so always print it out and include with the package. I like to send something personal with the artwork I sold. Depending on the value of sale I like to include a business card, voucher, a thank you note or a little gift. Its quite simple, treat others the way you wan to be treated and add something extra on the top. You do not have to go crazy with it but make sure you are grateful for the purchase. You will never know if a certain customer will not decide to come back to you in the future. If they do not I am sure they will recommend you to others.
Finally work on your style and push yourself to the limits as often as possible. Be original and create as often as you can so your customers can see fresh work. Never stop to invest in yourself and challenge your style daily. Hope this helps.