Category Archives: Uncategorized

How artists use Instagram

I believe Instagram has the potential to be a great platform for artists.  Why?    Instagram was designed to work with images, a perfect match for an artist.    I have just opened an instagram account for my paintings and will report results.   I am not disclosing the user name now, in order not to skew results.    Thus far, in just a couple of days, I have uploaded 7 images and have 5 followers.  I belive these are high quality followers because I did not go find them.  They found me and without prompting have decided to follow me.

Instagram was designed for use with Mobile phones.   It doesn’t have full functionality on a desk top or lap to, yet, so I recommend you stick to your phone.   Instagram is owned by facebook.  It’s up to you if you integrate it with your facebook account or not.   For now, I have chosen to open an account completely separate from facebook to see how it performs all on it’s own.

Setting up an account

1.  Download the instagram application to your phone.   2.  Register with either an email address or your facebook account.  3.   Set your privacy setting to “public”  so anyone can see your art and begin to follow you.  4.  Write a short description about yourself or what you intend to post.  The more specific you are the better.    If you have a website or blog, add the URL here.  This is the only place a live link is allowed in Instagram.

2.  Begin to add images.   You can do this by taking a photo of your work or downloading a photo to your phone and then adding.

3. How do artists find followers, collectors, and fans on Instagram?  You do this by tagging a photo you upload with relevant hashtags.   For example,  you painted a portrait of Marilyn Monroe.  In this case you may think about adding the following hashtags  #MarilynMonroe #painting  #portrait #vintage #oilpainting , #art   etc.     People are continually looking for subject matter that is of interest.  The hash tags helps people interested in your subject matter find you.

I would suggest adding an interesting description, caption, or commentary.   If people are interested in your piece of art, they’ll want to know a little bit more.




Google Advertising for Artists

To my disappointment, Google advertising, adwords, is not a good solution for most artists.   After hearing an “art coach” tout the merits of adwords, a friend and I decided to give it a whirl.   The advertising is very expensive.  Unless you are selling an expensive piece, you’ll lose money.

Here is what we found:

  1. Google adwods staff is excellent, helpful, and free.   You don’t need to hire someone to set up google advertising for you .
  2. Google advertising is expensive.  We found that most clicks cost us .60 to .75 cents and one click cost as much a $1.87 before we found out we could put a cap on the cost per click.   You can also set a daily budget.
  3. Many people pin and not so many buy.   We found a direct correlation between the time the ads were running and the notifications we were getting from pinterest that people were pinning our images.

We ran our experiment for about a month and made 7-8 modifications to the ads in an effort to improve results and cut down costs.  While it is possible to set the cost per click as low as a few cents, that doesn’t mean it will be shown by google.  Your ad competes with other ads for space.  We tested 10 cents, 20 cents, 30 cents, 40 cents, 50 cents, 60 cents and got 0 impressions.

Your ad can show as a text ad or as an image.   Image ads which google refers to as “display” ads are more expensive than text ads.   Since you are selling ads, it makes sense to buy the image ads.  We found that we got more clicks per views on the image ads over the text ads.

We were primarily interested in selling posters.  Right now our art is on Fine Art America.   Given the cost of the ads, Google advertising is not cost effective for artists and photographers selling posters and art prints.   You may make $20 or $30 per poster but you can quickly spend that and only get a handful of views.

Based on my conversation with the google staff, I found out that most artists who advertise spend several hundred dollars a month.

If any of you have tried google adwords we’d love to hear your experience.

Holiday Sales for Artists

Ok Artists.  I know we’re not used to thinking like big box stores, but our beautiful art is going to get lost in the holiday hustle bustle if we don’t get out there.  Check out the influence of social media on holiday shopping on the infographic put together by offerpop.


16.3% of shoppers looked for deals in social media before Black Friday.

47.2% of shoppers made purchases from home.

Retailers saw 240% increase in referrals from Facebook.

Social Media Holiday Sales Info Graphc