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1. Selling digital art prints vs. physical art prints

Selling art on Etsy: A step-by-step guide [2024]

Updated Jan 15 2024

Sometimes getting started is half the battle. The idea of setting up an online store, putting your art on display, and making sales may be intimidating at first. We think you'll be surprised that setting up an Etsy shop and selling your art is easier than you expect.

Most artists prefer to spend more time making art than dealing with the logistics of sales, shipping, and return policies. An Etsy shop takes a lot of fuss out of the process, allowing you to make a profit without worrying too much about the technical side.

Successful Etsy sellers earn an average of $43,000 to $46,000 per year. Although, the profit potential is unlimited. The site's top sellers make more than $65,000 per month.

The key to selling art on Etsy is preparation. It's a competitive platform, and your Etsy store needs to stand out to become successful. Learn more about how to differentiate your business, find an excellent print on demand (POD) service, and start selling your artwork on Etsy here.

Main takeaways from this article:

  • Discover the difference between digital prints and physical prints, and the advantages of selling physical art on Etsy.

  • Determine how to research your target audience, develop a brand, and create quality custom art and products that appeal to them.

  • Find out about the benefits of using a print on demand supplier and how it can be a cost-effective way to get quality products to your customers quickly.

  • Learn how to create a unique Etsy shop and market it to your target audience.

Selling digital art prints vs. physical art prints

Simply put, prints are reproductions of original artwork. A print is often more affordable than an original piece of art, making it more accessible to a wider audience. There are two main types of art prints for sale on Etsy; physical prints and digital prints.

Physical art prints

Physical art prints are hot sellers on Etsy. They allow customers to own the artwork they love without spending drastically more money on an original. For artists, prints help their art reach a wider audience. It's a way to profit without having to wait for someone with deep pockets to purchase the original.

Physical art prints can take many forms. A quality POD service can transfer your art onto canvas, posters, wood, aluminum, acrylic, and more. They can even ship your artwork in a quality, ready-to-hang frame.

Digital prints

You may also choose to sell your digital art on Etsy. In this case, you're selling digital downloads. The buyer can then print the digital images on paper, canvas, or other surfaces they desire.

Physical prints are excellent Etsy products because they arrive at the buyer's home ready for display. Shoppers don't have to spend more money and time printing the product.

This article will walk you through the process of selling prints and other custom art products on Etsy using a print on demand service.

How to start selling art on Etsy in 2024

There's no better time to start selling art on Etsy than now. All you need is a passion for creating art, ambition, and our expert guidance to create your Etsy store and start making money online.

1. Conduct market research

2Conduct market research

Research is an essential part of creating a profitable Etsy business. Etsy is a competitive online marketplace with thousands of artists already using the platform. Thorough market research is a step toward joining the long list of successful Etsy shops.

Market research involves learning about your target market to understand what they seek and how your products can fulfill demand. The many aspects of market research include the following:

  • Where your potential customers live or shop

  • The age range of your customer base

  • What's currently trending in the industry

  • What influences customer purchases

  • Needs the customer base feels are underserved

  • And numerous others

Market research is growing in popularity, meaning there are several online tools available to help you perform your market research from home on your computer. Google Trends, Google Keyword Planner, and Ahrefs are all helpful for discovering the most popular search terms. You can search the most popular art keywords within a certain region and time frame to find out what's trending, where, and when.

Spend some time browsing Etsy to find out which types of art are most popular. You'll get a good idea of which styles of artwork and products are most popular.

Remember that your passion will keep you motivated to create and update your Etsy shop. Choose a niche that will inspire you to keep creating the art your customers love.

2. Create and collect artwork

Finally, it's time to do what you love; create your original art. Buyers want high-quality artwork that is eye-catching but not overwhelming. Here are a few simple tips to remember when creating your artwork to sell on Etsy.

  • Keep it simple and try not to overwhelm the viewer with difficult or confusing designs.

  • Create original art that stands out from other artists on Etsy.

  • Consider what your audience is already purchasing when creating new artwork. Are they really into abstracts? Watercolors of animals? Landscapes?

You don't have to be an artist or designer to sell art prints on Etsy. Your unique ideas can also be made into art by professional artists or designers. A quality print on demand service like Gelato will also provide resources to help you create eye-catching designs affordably.

3. Find a print on demand supplier

3Find a print on demand supplier

Print on demand companies have transformed the way artists sell art. However, it's important to choose a quality, reliable supplier that will work with you to help you achieve your goals.

A POD supplier can help you create and sell your unique art prints and numerous other products displaying your artwork. Here are a few tips on what to look for when choosing an excellent print on demand supplier:

  • Look for a company that offers a variety of products in addition to art prints

  • Find out where they are located and where they can ship, so you can reach the widest audience possible

  • Make customer service a top priority, as you'll be in contact with your supplier often

  • Consider overall pricing, including shipping costs and how quickly products can ship

Gelato is a popular print on demand service for numerous reasons. We make it our mission to provide the best products and customer service, so you can stop worrying about the logistics and focus on making art.

We're based in Oslo, Norway, but we work with more than 100 companies around the globe to create and ship your products worldwide. This allows us to provide faster, more affordable shipping while reducing carbon emissions, waste, and unnecessary costs.

We make it easier than ever to turn your unique art ideas into a profitable Etsy business. Our Etsy print on demand integration is a user-friendly way to connect your Etsy store to Gelato. When you make a sale, we efficiently fulfill your order and ship it to your customer. Our services are always quick and reliable, which reflects positively on your business too.

4. Design your products

Designing products is another exciting part of the process. This is when you decide how you want to sell your artwork. You can create physical prints of your art for shoppers to buy and display immediately.

At Gelato, our ready-to-hang print options include the following:

We can also print your artwork on various other high-quality products like phone cases, mugs, tote bags, t-shirts, and hoodies.

Gelato's Design Editor is the easiest way to upload your designs or images, edit them, and view mockups of the products you create. You may also choose to order a sample to see your product in person before uploading it to your Etsy store.

5. Establish your brand

4 Establish your brand

You need your fans to be able to find you quickly and easily. Much of your notoriety comes from having a memorable brand name and logo your customers can remember. Creating a strong brand is especially important on Etsy, where there are so many artists selling their unique products.

Fortunately, you're an artist! Creating your business name, logo, and banner is part of the fun. It's important to remember that your brand identity is how your customers will view you, so be open about your mission, unique story, and other aspects that reflect your niche, artwork, and you as the artist.

6. Create an Etsy shop

You can't start selling art on Etsy without creating your Etsy store. The thought of opening a store may sound overwhelming, but we're here to walk you through the process and prove it's much easier than it may seem.

  • Log onto Etsy and create a traditional buyer account. You'll then click over to Etsy.com/sell to get started building your Etsy storefront.

  • Customize your storefront by adding your business name, logo, and banner.

  • Add your Etsy profile picture and compelling bio. Remember to choose a photo that fits within Etsy's size and shape requirements so it doesn't become distorted on the website. Include information about your brand mission and what makes you unique in the bio section.

  • Establish shop policies for returns, exchanges, and cancellations. Etsy is a global marketplace, so you must determine where your products can ship, your shop language, and your currency.

  • Integrate your POD service with your Etsy shop. We make connecting your current Etsy store to your Gelato account easy. Once the two are linked, Gelato handles all your fulfillment and shipping needs.

  • Upload your products to your Etsy store. Add high-quality product images by taking photos of sample products you ordered or Gelato's mockup studio tool, available to Gelato+ subscribers. The mockup studio tool makes it easy to view product previews, save them, and upload them to Etsy.

  • Write detailed product descriptions so your customers know exactly what they're buying. Accurate descriptions reduce the probability of dissatisfied customers and returns. Include information about the product's material and available sizes.

  • Use keyword research tools, like Ahrefs, Google Trends, and Google's Keyword Planner, to optimize your product titles and descriptions with relevant Etsy keywords. This will help increase your product's visibility in search results.

7. Market your Etsy art business

5Market your Etsy art business

It's time to get your Etsy listings out in the world for your customers to see. Unfortunately, just creating an Etsy store doesn't immediately draw thousands of customers. You need to promote your art business via other outlets.

Social media is an effective and affordable way to market your art and Etsy shop. We recommend streamlining your social media pages so all your usernames relate to your Etsy store name. Remaining consistent across multiple platforms, like Pinterest, Instagram, and TikTok, makes you easier to find. Paid advertising can help you reach a wider audience without making a hefty investment.

You may have already sold your art at art shows, festivals, and other events. Update your existing communities and forums to inform them about your new Etsy store. Always promote your Etsy shop at any in-person events you attend with your art. Customers who didn't bring enough cash to the art show may head home and purchase on their card.

The Etsy platform is always eager to help you market your shop. Their promotional tools, like Etsy Ads and sales and coupons can help promote your business within the Etsy platform. Etsy Plus costs $10 per month and offers new ways to make your shop stand out, sends email reminders to customers, and includes advertising credits.

Create a newsletter to ensure your loyal customers are always up-to-date on available new art, products, and discounts. Using multiple advertising tools means reaching a wider audience and more potential customers.

Earn a profit from your art on Etsy

There are customers around the world waiting to display your unique art prints and other products in their homes. They just don't know your art is out there yet. With your unique perspective, original ideas, and Etsy account, your artwork can reach its full potential.

The unbeatable combination of Gelato and Etsy accounts can increase your profits cost-effectively and efficiently. Our integration with Etsy allows you to create high-quality, custom art products that showcase your art. Simply upload your artwork, design your products, and we'll take care of not-so-fun stuff, like fulfillment and shipping.

Integrate your Gelato and Etsy accounts to get started today.

Selling art on Etsy FAQs

Is Etsy worth selling art on?

Etsy is an ideal outlet for selling your artwork as prints or on other products like t-shirts, mugs, and other gifts. However, selling original artwork is more difficult, as shipping can be challenging, and there's more at stake with the generally much higher pricing. Many buyers prefer to see the art in person before purchasing.

Is it hard to sell art with an Etsy store?

The Etsy online marketplace makes selling your art more convenient. However, according to Statista, there were 7.47 million Etsy sellers in 2022. You'll need a strong brand, high-quality product images, unique designs, and effective marketing to stand apart and make sales.

Can I make money selling art on Etsy?

Yes! Selling art on Etsy can be a fun side job or a profitable full-time venture. Some sellers make a few hundred dollars per month, while others make thousands. Follow the sound advice above, and you'll be well on your way to creating a successful Etsy shop.


Next steps

Start selling products with Gelato