ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Sell Your Photography and Artwork Online

Updated on July 16, 2012
An example of the easy to use 'creation' page on Red Bubble.
An example of the easy to use 'creation' page on Red Bubble.

It's All About Networking!

So you're a budding photographer and want to know the best way in which to get yourself noticed, and make a few dollars from your work?
Below are some tips on how to earn yourself a bit of spare cash, plus advice on what to avoid when promoting your work online.

Be prepared to accept that you won't make a fortune by selling your images online. If you are looking to retire from your day job and become an internet entrepreneur, then think again. It is hard work from the get-go, and you will spend most of your spare time networking, promoting, advertising - and receiving little compensation in return. Saying that, however, the longer you stick at it, the more attention you will receive, and obviously, the more people that are made aware of you, the more chance you have of being successful in your photography sales business.

  • A great site to join (completely free) if you would like to have your artwork printed onto things like mugs, t-shirts, aprons, greetings cards, bumper stickers, etc, etc. You set your commission rate, and the Zazzle team deals with all of the post-purchase processing. Zazzle has the ingenious function which allows you to do a mass upload, immediately transforming your artwork/photographs onto 100 different products at once. You can also create templates for others to use in their creations.
  • Red Bubble: Exactly the same concept as Zazzle, Red Bubble deals with all the purchases made, and again, you set your commission rate. Free to join and quite high traffic on images views.
  • Etsy: This is like an online craft fair. You create a free account, and then you list your items for sale, and are charged a listing fee by Etsy. The huge difference between Etsy and the sites I've listed above, is that all processing work is your responsibility. If you want to sell one of your photographs, or other art/craft, as a framed print, for instance, then you would have to actually have it framed, and mail it to the buyer yourself. Etsy is ideal for those of you that have already got items ready for sale - photos/paintings already framed, dolls/teddy bears already made - this makes it much easier to gauge things like postage costs, the cost of framing, etc. Definitely worth joining and selling on if you can find a niche in the market for originality.
  • This is by far one of the best methods of selling your photography (and other artwork) online. You can opt for a free membership account, but this only allows you to upload 25 images at any given time, so it's definitely worth paying the $30.00 annual subscription fee which enables you unlimited uploads. FineArtAmerica is not just for those living in the USA - both artists and buyers from all over the world use the site.
    Once you have uploaded good quality images that you wish to sell, you are able to set your own commission rate for each image sold, and once you've done that, that's it! That's all you have to do. When a buyer purchases one of your images, FineArtAmerica do all the processing work; greetings cards, framed/unframed prints, various canvases - plus they ship your work out to the buyer, so you literally don't have to worry about any of the post-purchase stuff!
    Included with your subscription is: your own personal gallery/website link, a 'shop' icon for Facebook, a blog, personalized email campaigns, plus a multitude of other gadgets designed to help you promote and advertise your work.
  • Ebay and Amazon: Pretty much everyone has heard of one or both of these auction/sales sites, but have you considered selling your photographs on there? Like Etsy, you would have to determine whether you wish to sell original photographs, larger (custom) prints, and whether they'll be framed or not. You'll always draw a larger audience by listing items as 'customizable', for instance, giving the buyer a choice of size, frame color/frame type. Just do your homework first with regards to the cost of shipping, as it's easy to get carried away and end up charging less than it cost you to print/frame/ship your photograph.
  • Stock Photo Sites: Avoid these. For one thing, there are too many of them to throw a stick at, and unless you are a highly skilled, professional photographer, then it's unlikely you'll make anything from uploading your images to one. The standards they require are extremely high, as the majority of the customers that use stock photo sites tend to be corporations and high-end businesses (online and off). You'll find that the best selling images are those that have been created solely in editing programs, such as Photoshop, and these are known as 'vectors'. Actual photographs are two a penny, and the stock sites' rules are extremely tight when it comes to things like model releases (even if your photo shows the back of someone's head from a distance, they will reject it unless you have a signed model release by that person!) and some even reject photographs of recognizable buildings and landmarks, unless you have gained authorization from the owner to photograph their property, and then use it for commercial purposes. Some examples of stock photo sites are: Fotolia, Shutterstock, BigStockPhoto.

Remember, no matter which site you register with, the job of networking and promoting is entirely up to you - the more time you put into it, the better your chance of results/sales. One way of doing this is by search engine optimization (SEO), and here are some sites that enable you to submit your website link to a multitude of search engines all in one go: Free Website Submission, FreeWebSubmission, Evrsoft.

Utilize Facebook, Myspace, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, DIGG, ChimeIn, and Google+ - all are fantastic tools which you can use to share new items for sale, links to your personal website, and announce upcoming events, sales and discounts.

Pinterest 'boards' are like virtual notice boards, where you 'pin' something you like on there.  In the case of your photography, you can pin your photos on there, and others can find that pin, and re-pin it to their own board.  See the potential!
Pinterest 'boards' are like virtual notice boards, where you 'pin' something you like on there. In the case of your photography, you can pin your photos on there, and others can find that pin, and re-pin it to their own board. See the potential!
An example of what you get from your own personal sales/gallery site on F.A.A.
An example of what you get from your own personal sales/gallery site on F.A.A.
Look how easy it is to upload your photos, and create products, using Zazzle!
Look how easy it is to upload your photos, and create products, using Zazzle!

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)