This article is a quick guide on how to sell your art online on Society6. I will walk you through the basics. By the end of it, hopefully, you will have your online shop up and ready to go! Get ready to sell on Society6!
When I decided to try selling my art online, I did a lot of research and learned about print-on-demand websites. Print-on-demand (pod) websites allow you to upload your art and put it on a wide variety of products. They do the printing and the shipping, while you focus on creating. After looking closely at a lot of them, I chose to sell on Society6.
Now, there are a LOT of options out there and if you want to seriously sell your art online, I highly recommend putting your art up on several websites to diversify your income, but it is better to start and really focus on one at the beginning. The reason I like Society6 better is that I feel like it fits my art style better. It has more of an “independent artist” feel, whereas RedBubble has more of a pop-art feel for instance.
Below, I will take you through the basics of uploading your art and starting your shop, and how to actually sell on Society6 and start making money.
First, of course, you need to register. The process is pretty straight forward. Once this is done, you need to make sure your shop is appealing and that entails adding a profile photo, a short bio, and a banner. Your profile photo should be your business logo or something that represent what you do. The bio should be a little bit about yourself and you can link your social medias in it. Honestly, I don’t think many people look at artists bios so don’t stress too much about it.
Prep your artwork
To get started to sell your art on Society6, you need to prep your work for uploading! Depending on the size of your artwork, it will be available on several products. Do not upsize your artwork to make it fit! Society6 recommends that your initial upload be above 6500 x 6500 pixels at 72dpi or higher, but really I recommend 300dpi. This will allow for most products to be made available on your profile. They have a chart listing pixel dimension requirements for each product: help.society6.com/hc/en-us/articles/224285368. Always edit your artwork in the biggest resolution possible. Bigger resolution equals better quality! Your files also need to be in RGB colors and not CMYK.
I always create my digital paintings at 10276×8537, 300 dpi. That way, my artworks fit easily on every product. For original art, I photograph RAW files or I scan at the highest res possible on my scanner. The more products you have available, the more likely you are to sell on Society6.
The next step is to upload your work and write the title, description and add some tags. The title can be the name of the artwork but should also say what the artwork actually is about so it is found. For instance, one of my fox paintings is titled “Blissful Light” so naturally, that’s the first thing I wrote in the title. Then I decided to add “Fox portrait” so people searching for fox artworks would find it easily.
The description should first and foremost literally describe the artwork. If someone could not see it, how would you describe it? Feel free then to talk about your inspirations, what drove you to create it, or anything else you feel like writing.
Your tags should be keywords that are relevant to your work. More than likely, they will match your description. So for instance, on my fox painting, I have tags like “fox”, “digital”, “painting”, “illustration”, “animal”, and so on…
Titles, descriptions, and tags are to help people find you in search. They should be relevant and to the point. Do not keyword stuff! Meaning do not add tags that have nothing to do with your artwork, you could get penalized and you will just annoy people searching for something specific and seeing your irrelevant artwork there.
Recently, Society6 explained that when a customer searches for a keyword, they look a the ratio of the matching tags to the total number of tags on that design. The higher the ratio, the more likely you are to show up in the search. So for instance if you only have “fox” and “illustration” as tags and the customer searches for these two terms, you would show up in search higher that someone having these two tags plus other keywords. Of course, there are other factors going into this, not just tags, but that’s one of the reasons you should keep your tags to the point. Society6 also explained that tagging colors were not useful as they have an algorithm that looks at your pictures and pulls the colors from there.
I tend to over-tag a bit I think, as you can see with the artwork below, but this one happens to be my more popular design and is selling quite well at the moment so I am unwilling to change anything.
Optimize your art for every product
After you are done writing the title, description and tags, your will find yourself on the “Create Products” page. Here, you can make sure that your work looks good on individual items. More than likely, you will need to re-upload a slightly different version for some. This part may take quite some time. To sell on Society6, lots of tweaking and adjusting is required. If your art doesn’t fit properly on an item, deactivate it. Keeping bad looking products just looks unprofessional when people visit your shop. I recommend getting Photoshop product templates from gumroad.com/l/vMquG, they have helped me a lot.
Get these products in my Society6 shop!
For some items, I actually go back in Photoshop and add on to my original painting. Of course that’s only doable if the art is digital. I do this mostly for notebooks, so my artwork’s main subject is displayed beautifully on the front and then the notebook’s back is the background.
In the picture below you will see that the artwork is on the right. The left part I added afterwards on Photoshop so this design would display beautifully on a notebook.
Like this artwork? Get it here!
Keep on creating!
Create more and upload more! The more the better! Good quality and consistency counts and will get you some sales eventually. Don’t expect your shop to take off overnight. Unless you are incredibly lucky, it will take you weeks or even months before you start selling. Marketing is key. Post on social medias, tell your friends and family, connect with other artists… and add more work!
Learn more about how to actually start making money on Society6 with this more in-depth article.
Any questions? Ask in the comments!