My Experiment in Selling Art Online – Last Update

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Well, this experiment just isn’t working out very well. I made some really big mistakes right from the start, and because of those mistakes my new online art store is getting from two to six visitors a day. You can’t sell anything online with that kind of traffic. πŸ™

And, unfortunately, I can’t think of any way, going forward, to get more traffic, because I can’t afford to buy ads.

Be sure to watch the video for the details.

Even though this experiment didn’t work, I’m still glad I did it. I may not be able to fix the problems I’m having with getting traffic to see my animal prints, but I did learn a new way to create a WordPress website (and I think my new design looks really nice), and I learned to not ignore the advice of experts when it comes to researching the potential traffic before starting an online business.

And, of course, I learned how much fun it is to paint animal portraits using Paint Tool Sai.

Thanks for all your support while I played around with the idea of selling art online. It’s been a fun adventure, but now I go back to work at my real job, writing books. I start on that just as soon as this post has been published.Β My Experiment in Selling Art Online - Last Update

PS: Shelbot just sent me this link for an article that lists the common mistakes made by people starting their first online business. I made mistake #1. πŸ˜‰

88 thoughts on “My Experiment in Selling Art Online – Last Update”

  1. Hi Jonni sorry your experiment has hit a bump. I finished my version of Mark Smith’s paper mache clay press. It was not quite as easy as I thought but fun. I have pictures of it but I think they’re larger than 250 KB how can I get them to you? I’m just barely computer literate.

  2. Just have to throw it out there … Cozy mystery …. I loved Utah. And I hate to say it , but you should be charging for the privilege of Ultimate paper mΓ’chΓ© . I know it’s a hobby , but a $1 a month or$2 or more , ( not to much more lol fixed income here . ). Thank you for all you do for us crafters . You are a blessing .

    • Thanks, Monica. I kind of miss Utah, too. One of these days, maybe when I retire, I’ll figure out how to market novels more effectively and write a few more cozies. It was fun. I have some half-baked ideas for new plots, but they’ll have to wait.

      And as for charging money for the site – a lot of people have suggested that I add Paypal donate buttons to the sidebar. Maybe I’ll do it someday. But I think most of my readers are as broke as I am, so it would feel strange asking. I do usually sell enough patterns to pay for the web hosting and maintenance of the site, and that really helps.

    • Hi, I agree with Monica, I have just purchased a pattern for $5 and I would happily pay a monthly, or annual subscription to be sent monthly patterns (for example), and rather than my (possibly) one off $5 I would happily have paid more for a monthly pattern (even if I don’t make them). I currently pay UK pounds sterling Β£19 per month subscription, and get a crochet project, pattern and wool – but I don’t know what i’m getting, so its a nice surprise…. just a thought, but i’d be happy to pay a subscription. I can’t wait to start making the rabbit head, i’ve just downloaded the pattern, so very excited. Thank you…

      • Thanks Anita! I hope you have fun with the rabbit. Let us know how it turns out.

        The subscription model is certainly something to think about. Right now I’m just happy if I sell enough patterns so don’t have to take money out of savings to pay for the hosting, and I only had to do that once this summer. Frankly, it’s a lot of work to change a 500+ hobby website into a real business, and it would take a big commitment on my part. I know some people have managed to do it, but if I tried to make the change I’d have no time to write, which is what I actually do for a living. I’ll keep thinking about it, though.

        We do get up to 100,000 visitors a month, but most people are just looking for the free recipes.

        • I came for the free recipes and stayed for the great content. Have bookmarked & will be returning… will end up subscribing to the blog… would likely end up willing to pay a small subscribe fee for ‘premium subscriber’ content if that were so.

          But, I’m not one to buy other artists’ individual patterns, I’m a techniques junkie… haven’t had a chance to look at your merchandise much. Which of your books would you recommend as the best all-around for solid basics and expansion of techniques? (THAT could be a good E-book idea)

          The comments so far are right. Between your artistic & technical talent, teaching talent, screen presence & writing skills… You have been building up something right here that you seem to be under-rating!

          Lots of people love to try a hobby… sometimes they come looking for one thing and spend money on another. Sometimes people try to emulate an artisan and learn to appreciate the monetary value of purchasing their work all the more.

          • Hi P.L. Thanks for asking about my books. The one that gives you a full course in building animal sculptures around patterns, including directions for making patterns of your own, is How to Make Animal Sculptures with Paper Mache Clay. It’s already available as an e-book on

            I don’t have a private membership area because there are way too many people who would not be able to afford to join, and I would be excluding people from information that might make a big difference in their lives. Remember, many of my readers are from India, Africa and South America, and they come to this site because paper mache is the only sculptural form they can afford. Of course, anyone who does want additional information can buy one of my patterns or books.

            And no, I don’t under-rate the value of this blog, or my skill-set, at all. However, I do have years of experience in this particular tiny niche market, so I know how small it is and how few people are actually able to pay for paper mache instructions. I greatly appreciate the people who do buy my books or patterns – they’re the ones who keep this blog online – I couldn’t possibly afford to keep it going on just on my Social Security check.

            Since you sound like a systems guy, let me show you how small the entire Sculpture niche is on (not just paper mache, but the entire collection of books about sculpture techniques of any kind). The book I mentioned is often the Best Seller in the Sculpture category. One day when it was officially the top seller I sold two Kindle books and no print books, for total profit of $4. That means that nobody is making any more money selling paper mache books than I am. The niche is just too small. In fact, since my books are self published and most of them aren’t, I may be one of the few paper mache authors who make any money at all on their books.

            But I don’t base my valuation of this blog on money. I base it on the large number of people who write and tell me how much they’ve gotten out of my free tutorials and the books they’ve read, sometimes even saying that my new sculpting techniques have changed their life. And because of all the wonderful people who tell me how much they get out of this blog, I’ll keep it online as long as I can afford to.

            • Thank you so much for the response & book recommendation, and for the wonderful work you do in this labor of love.

              I appreciate your candid approach in communicating about these topics. Your various interactions with the comments and questions is offering a fantastic way to enhance thinking/perspective about the various types and aspects of creative ventures in the modern world.
              There is an underlying thread I’m seeing, of people finding that their successes/failures in creative work becomes directly tied to their personal strengths and weaknesses in the skills/interests they have or develop (or need to learn) that don’t seem related to the artwork at all. The input of your commentors and your interaction with them is giving me a lot of really helpful food for thought, regarding my own ideas/endeavors… which is very much appreciated.

              I will definitely be following up on that book purchase in the very near future!

            • You make some interesting points. I think a lot of people wanted me to prove that paper mache sculptures are worth a lot of money because that would validate their own artwork. Unfortunately, I knew I could never get even minimum wage for my sculptures because I’m too slow, and that really bothered people. But money is just one way to put a value on artwork, and it isn’t the most useful, in my opinion. I love all the original sculptures and paintings in my own house, but since I and my family made all of them, all of the artwork in my house was ‘free.’ But that doesn’t diminish their value to me at all.

              I read an interesting line recently. It was in Dave Berry’s book Tricky Business – one of the looser musician characters said he noticed that being a competent musician or artist doesn’t mean you’re going to be a success. In fact, he knew some amazing musicians with more talent than he could ever hope to have, but they still didn’t own a decent car. But a just-competent businessman can make money. He’s right – it’s all in the business end of things, and that’s where a lot of us artists don’t have the training or personality to really make it work.

  3. Hello Johni
    Your paintings are professional and beautiful.
    Thanks for sharing your experience. It is very helpful. You are so creative that you will find a solution soon.

    • Because the hosting for a WordPress site is only $3 to $6 a month, and Squarespace costs a lot more. I’m currently also using the Shopify Buy Button ($9/mo) but my daughter says she can switch my site to the free Woocommerce buy button instead, which would save more money. I loved working with the Squarespace templates – they’re really nice. But my experiment just started to cost too much money and I had to cut back any way I could.

      I’m also having great fun designing my own site from scratch using the GeneratePress theme and the Elementor plugin. With Squarespace and Shopify you’re limited by the set design of available free templates.

  4. Hi Jonni,
    Your animal prints are lovely! I’m sorry it hasn’t worked out the way you planned.
    I just bought your How to make Tiny Paper Mache Dogs book today! I’m looking forward to your new books!

  5. Well, Jonni, I have to hand it to you and your wonderful spirit to not let this experience totally frustrate you or get you down. To put that much work and effort into something and not get results would be daunting for me. You should have been a scientist, failing an experiment is fine, as long as one learns from it! Please leave your website up for a while and try the etsy thing with a link to your website if that is possible. I have no social media knowledge so I cant help, but, I am rooting for you!

    • Thanks, Eileen. As you know, I do a lot of experiments, and I do have fun with them. I really did hope this one would work, because I could then have a successful experience to share with all the folks who are also thinking about selling art online. I still know it’s possible – I just haven’t personally figured out how to do it.

      I’m frustrated by the fact that some of the books and courses on how to sell art are not written by artists, or they’re written by artists who had a bit of success selling to a particular audience in a particular place, and now they’re making their money by selling courses, which claim anyone can have their same success, instead of with their art.

      I know a lot of artists need to teach in order to pay the rent. But others do really well with their artwork alone. I’m sure there’s a trick to it that I haven’t found yet.

      As an aside, Jessie just made her first sale yesterday from her Instagram account. It was a nice sale, but it would cover about a week’s wages if we think about this ‘art thing’ as a business. For three months’ work, that’s not great, but it’s a start. And it’s giving her the confidence to keep going with it. Maybe she’ll learn the secret that eluded me, and she can write the book! πŸ˜‰

      • That is great for Jessie! That is not her only source for selling is it? Does she put her work in galleries and the like?
        Both you and Jessie have a knack for teaching so you could do that, though I know that’s not so much in your comfort zone. I don’t know, I think the reason that artists don’t write books about marketing art is that they just want to do art, not concentrate on the business end of things. I know one successful artist who has no clue about what show, etc comes next. His wife has the business end taken care of and just tells him when and where. It is a good system for him. I digress, but that is why artists don’t write those sorts of books.
        You are kind to want to share your knowledge about online art selling,but I do wish for some success for you. I liked the idea that someone had about cards, your pictures would lend themselves to something like that. Maybe you could add a line of blank cards if you do the Etsy thing.

        • Hi Eileen. Yes, Jessie also has paintings in galleries, and some of them are now on a traveling museum show that’s going around the state. I agree that having a spouse to take over the business end of things is a good idea. I understand the business part on an abstract level, but when it comes to actually doing the steps I usually get distracted and go do something else. I’ve never been able to find a partner like that, but the creative folks who do are very lucky indeed.

          I like the card idea, too. I guess I would have to get them printed here, and ship them myself. I’ve also heard (online) that people often buy the cards to frame, instead of buying a more expensive print. I’m not sure if that would matter or not.

          Speaking of cards and prints, have you ever considered using photos of your beautiful little sculpted scenes as prints? You go to the local shows, I think, and it might be a way to bring home a few more dollars without making more sculptures.

          • I think my husband would do it but he still works full time and I wouldn’t ask him to do it. Maybe when he is retired???
            I like the card idea but I would have to get Christine out to PA to photograph them- do you think she would come? Right now, the shows that I am in wouldn’t permit them or would take a 35% commission. It wouldn’t be worth it for them or me. I do have it on the back of my mind though.
            Perhaps your current printer already has that service and you could have them print and mail like they do for your canvases and posters. If you go with the Etsy store, that could be part of it.
            Did you start your new book? And how cool is it that Jessie’s art is traveling the state? She has quite a talent, takes after her mom! None of my kids have explored their artistic side. One is very gifted but spends his efforts elsewhere and is too lazy to put the work in. Maybe one day.

            • The printers I’m currently using don’t do cards. I have just now started putting items up on a new etsy store. I removed the giclee prints from my site, mostly to cut down on the number of pages I had to create by hand. I’ll put them on etsy, instead, but each listing takes quite a long time. I might be able to give you a link to the new store in a few days.

              I sent etsy a support request yesterday for a problem I was having, and they responded really fast. I was impressed. And Jessie just got back from a long trip and stopped by to pick up the dog I was watching for her while she was gone. She’s decided to take my art business in hand, and she has some great ideas for it. I’ll let you all know if her ideas work out.

              I started the research for a new book. I got sidetracked with the etsy thing, but I should get some actual words written down by tomorrow morning. Words are helpful, when you’re writing books. πŸ™‚

  6. I have not tried any of the co-op sites such as Etsy, yet, but I don’t think you gave it enough time. Etsy is so inexpensive and frankly I think it makes a great “home page” to show one’s work. As to a blog, I don’t think you need to write a long blog, sometimes just a few short paragraphs, oftentimes not even having to do with your work considering some of the ones I’ve been following. I’ve just started making trinket boxes and so far, when I “show” them on my Facebook page someone contacts me and wants to buy them. So far I haven’t accumulated enough to open my shop, yet, but I’ve now decided to stop “sharing” my latest endeavor with friends and followers so I can build my inventory. Once I have my shop open, I will share my latest boxes and let people know they can see more on my Etsy page. Granted, sooner or later friends and followers are going to stop buying but I think FB is an excellent way to reach people. I didn’t read all of the comments so someone may have mentioned this, but I think your paintings would make lovely gift cards. You wouldn’t get rich, but I think you could turn a profit and on the back of the cards you can also post your link so people can see your books and the full sized paintings and prints. But thanks for sharing your experience with us, and your wonderful expertise.
    P.S. I also think page designing is a terrific skill if you enjoy the computer than much.

  7. Oh Jonni! Please do not give up. You do not need to BUY ads. I have never bought one ad. I use free social networking. I tried to keep 100 items in my shop and now only have 17 because they are selling as fast as I make them. How? From my facebook following. I post the new things every day around the same time….then they go to my online shop and buy them. I wonder why you have a Facebook phobia? I have been doing this for over four years with Facebook and nothing bad has happened so far. Your work is so beautiful! People just need to know about it and I think it will sell. There is also Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr to develop a market with and they are all free. Also, please do not give up so soon. It took me years to get a solid social media following. Your work is just amazing and I think a lot of people would love to buy it if they knew about it. You have shared so much with others. Now is your time to shine and have success beyond your wildest dreams!

    • Thanks, Nance. I love your work, and it’s easy to see why you’re doing so well. I guess “phobia” isn’t the right word. I just have a really hard time thinking up something to say every day. I have a hard time thinking up something to say once a month for this site! And it takes me quite a while to create my animal portraits and get them sent to the printer and get the sales pages created – at least a week if I worked at it full time.

      But your support means a lot to me. Thanks!

      • Hi Jonni,
        I read your post about trying to sell your art on web. I know you might get a larger flow of customers if you put your items on as well. Just a thought. I know there is a big following on that particular site. Good Luck.

        • Yes, there’s a big following – but have you had any experience selling on etsy? I know a lot of people try it without success, although a few people do quite well. If you have some tips, we’d love to hear them. πŸ™‚

      • Jonni,

        Your inspiring books and techniques and encouragement has meant a lot to me!

        Your work is just amazing. You would not have to say much…except…”this is a portrait I am working on”…and then “this is the finished product” and voila…SOLD!

        With that said, you are an extremely intelligent and talented lady, who no doubt will find your own way that works just perfect for you!

  8. I just went to your website and it is a really nice page. You did great! I also see on the side there is a tiny link to facebook and to Pinterest for people to save it. When it is shared on facebook it lists your website address. Get friends and rellies to share and it will pick up pretty quickly I think. Christmas is coming and people will be looking for unique gifts too.
    when people save your site to their own site on Pinterest there are others who follow them and it snowballs to others πŸ™‚

  9. Jonni, I’m so sorry that this venture didn’t turn out well for you. Your animal prints are so lovely, but I know from experience how disappointing it can be when your art isn’t selling. I couldn’t count how many art and craft shows and exhibitions I entered years ago, paying an entrance fee and then having people comment how much they liked a painting, but sadly not enough to buy it. I admire your spirit and wish you better luck with the next round. Perhaps Etsy?

    • Thanks, Joyce. I do think I’ll try Etsy, as soon as I have a little more spare time. I do need to get back to my writing, though – I’ve taken off more time than I can afford, so I need to go back to work. Maybe when my next book is finished I’ll start a new Etsy page. Or sooner, perhaps, in my “spare” time. πŸ˜‰

      • Great Jonni! Etsy isn’t going to cost you an arm and a leg to see how your amazing animal pictures fare. $.20 to list x how many of your prints to post for a start? 10, 12 ?…. for the whooping cost $2.00, $2.40????? You post, sit back, answer a question or two if a potential buyer asks…and let the site work for you…You, Jonni Good are an extremely talented Artist as well as Adventurous woman who is an inspiration to all of us….Share you amazing work. If you don’t want to ship yourself, engage the digital print feature. DO NOT GIVE UP with your dream….Please.

        • Thanks, Sharon. I may give it a try – I’ll have to read that email I got from Printful first, to see exactly how it would work. Have you tried making prints of your work and selling them on Etsy?

          • My Etsy shop is sorely neglected. After the burnout of sculpting ornaments (which I created and sold outside of Etsy as well), then receiving emails asking me for notification for when I started creating them again, from some of the collectors …. the requests I received for specific one of a kind sculptures…I realized the only way it would be worth my time and the hours, days I put into the projects weren’t workable unless I had molds made of the originals … which I never figured out how to do. I did list one print (on Etsy) made of an old painting I created for one of my granddaughters years ago, that one I posted on Pinterest, pretty amateur, a couple of large magnets of paintings I created (paintings that are completely out context of the cute, happy little items I started my Etsy shop with)…a cowboy with a rifle, Native American portrait that certainly didn’t have any cutesy to it)….just to test the waters to see if they would garner any interest….which they did not for the one time posting on Etsy that I gave them.
            So to answer your question, yes, I made a half hearted attempt at selling a couple of prints of my work on Etsy, but as you know, a shop that offers only a couple of items isn’t any way to judge consumer interest. Offering 3 items in a shop is no way to get a good determination if people are interested. Besides that, I don’t really know if the themes I really want to introduce to the Etsy market would draw the type of buyer this site draws.
            Your paintings are definitely more suitable to this market Jonni.
            The horse head sculpt is still waiting for me to get back to it, which will probably have to wait until the Farmer’s Market season is over for me. (BTW, Just won 2nd place ribbon on my Strawberry Jam :)).

            • Congratulations! Winning a ribbon is so much fun. I haven’t taken anything to a fair in years, but maybe I’ll do it next year – if I can remember in time.

              Did you ever try the method I use for making doll heads, but with ornaments? Now that I ask that, I should try it myself to see if it works, shouldn’t I? The holidays are already creeping up on us. As for themes, I don’t know what the Etsy crowd likes – I buy plants from etsy folks, but I’ve never bought artwork. I can never afford to.

            • When I stopped making ornaments. that was it…I flat out stopped because I lost all my interest in it.
              But now that you’ve mentioned the holidays….your dolls WILL BE a perfect gift item to list on Etsy….starting right now…maybe even listing your books on the site as well, or at the very least list some of your dolls and in the description include your Amazon book link (with a few words about your PM how-to books) on your doll listing. Why don’t you test this out Jonni?

              Yeah, getting the ribbon for my jam was fun…guess I need another shadow box to mount along side the box with my PM art sculpture ribbons…. Need the reminders to get this show on the road.

              Another great idea you have….enter some pieces in the fair….if it’s still going on in your area. That would be a wonderful advertisement for the locals to become aware of you and what you are doing….it could open a door for you to teach others too.
              Not far from where I live there is an abandoned school that just sent out a flyer announcing a call to artists from all areas of art to sign up and teach classes there. My daughter snagged me one and brought it over. I don’t know what I did with it, buried in some pile of paperwork somewhere…but I thought teaching PM sculpting might be a very good idea since people are so aware of the environment more than ever before….and learning to turn their trash into art might just be of interest. I checked some of the classes they’ve already got up and running and what these artists are charging for sharing their knowledge and expertise is over the top and would make my bank account very very happy. The newly named “Learning Center” wants half…alongside a fee to rent a room there….and of course it is up to the teacher to advertise and get the word out to the public about a class, which could be done in the local newspaper…..if anyone still buys newspapers these days.

            • I do hope you’ll sign up for a teaching gig – I’m sure you would have fun with it. And you could tell us all about it.

              For me to make my dolls to sell, though – not a chance. That’s why I wrote the book, so other people could make them if they wanted to. I don’t want to start another doll factory. They sell too well, and I’d never get to do anything else. I’m so spoiled! Being broke isn’t all that much fun though, I must admit. πŸ˜‰

              On the other hand, if one didn’t have to make the bodies and clothes, but just the little hollow heads, that might be fun to do just for the holidays. I don’t think I’ll do it, but if anyone else want to, please let us know how it works out.

  10. oh no,
    Have you tried putting your stuff on Pinterest? There are a lot of people on that site! And it gives a lead back to you and gets your name and art style out there. Also there are “groups” all over the internet that you can join to let them know about your wares that can direct interested people to you. Do you have a daughter, son or grands, friends that love to do things on the computer and can do it for you to at least get things rolling? My kids love helping me out with computer stuff.

    • Hi DeAnna. Yes, I tried Pinterst. It was not much of a success. If I hadn’t thought it would work I probably wouldn’t have tried doing this at all. Live and learn, I guess. πŸ˜‰

  11. Hi Jonni, sorry to hear about your experience. I do not sell a great deal of art online but I find the best results by posting my art on eBay.

    Etsy did not work for me. I think I got 2 sales in a year.

    I ‘m just now trying which specializes in handmade (also original art printed by an outside printer) and items made in America. I just joined and uploaded some items so I can’t tell you how successful it will be.

    Either way, both eBay and Artcra are free to list so you have nothing to lose. With eBay I can feature my items on Pinterest as well as Facebook and Twitter.

    • Hi Josephine. That’s really interesting! Would you mind telling us the price points of your eBay listings? Is there a certain sweet spot that works well on eBay? I’ve had an account for years, but I’ve never sold anything on the site. And I’ve never heard of Artcra before. I’ll look it up. Let us know how it works out for you.

      • I just now tried to look it up, but I don’t think I found the right site. The one that Google showed me had a listing in Cyrillic. Or maybe it’s Greek. Do you have a link?

    • Hi Jonni. Pricing goes according to what I’m selling and what size it is. I’ve sold 4″ x 3″ Sugar Skulls in porcelain clay for – 4 for $20 or 2 for 10.

      I’ve sold paper mache masks/wall hangings for $35 to $45 depending on size and how detailed. I’ve done Lady Dia (Day of the Dead), Green Man, Grey Alien Head (special request), Tarot Woman and a red Day of the Dead (which still hasn’t sold).

      I’ve also sold paper mache “Hamsa” (good luck hand with eye in center) Large – $15 (8″x10″) and Small (6″x5″) $10

      As far as a sweet spot, I find that handmade items under $50 work best. In my case, some items (Tarot Lady & Green Man) took almost a year to sell. I only make what appeals to me so that if it doesn’t sell I have something that I like living with. In addition to being on a fixed income, I have limited space to store/display large items.

      On eBay you can list up to 50 items a month for free (auctions or buy now) and only pay a fee if they sell (10%). I also start an auction at the minimum price I want to get because if you put a “reserve price” on an item you pay a extra fee for that. With higher starting prices I get lesss view but I’m not too concerned about that – my handmade items are “quirky and have a limited market anyway.

      eBay allows you to offer “variations” on a specific item (i.e. different colors, types, sizes, etc.) so I think you could probably list one animal print in a auction but then add variations for the different animals in that same one auction. This woulc give you a lot more “bang for your buck” and I don’t think there’s an extra charge for “variations” but you would have to check that out on eBay. All payments are made through PayPal and they charge a small 2.9% to process, however, you’re only charged when you make a sale.

      I do my own “fulfillment”but I believe that eBay offers a fullment service for an added fee. Here’s the link for eBay’s selling fees page:

      You can sign on as an individual seller or open your own shop with a whole slew of features. I sell as an individual.

      I really think you should check out all the options available to you at eBay. Your artwork is beautiful (painting and paper mache) and there must be a market for it somewhere.

      • Thank you, Josephine! You’ve really given us a lot to think about, and the info on your prices is really helpful. Just as soon as I have a little bit of extra time I’m going to look into this.

  12. Hi Jonni,
    So sorry to hear that selling your art work online isn’t really working out for you but I am so glad that you were able to learn a lot from it any ways. It seems like Pinterest has changed so much in the last year or two that I guess its like if you’re not one of those huge companies like you said its next to impossible to get the traffic thats needed. I do know that since Pinterest has made a lot of these changes I don’t really see much at all in my feed from most of the people I follow & I really miss having the Like Button!!! I went back through some of my Feed & I didn’t really see your Pins in it. =( I don’t think that most of my pins are really seen by anyone any more. I don’t get near the Pins, Likes, & Follows that I used to get. I Definitely Liked the old Pinterest Better but I guess it is about the money. =( Darn! =) Well just Enjoy what you do, makes working a lot more Fun & Bearable.

    • Yeah, but I don’t blame them. Pinterest ran through millions of dollars for the first few years. Their investors probably thought it was about time to get some of their money back. You can boost a pin by paying them money, but I haven’t tried it. I suppose I should, at least once, before assuming it won’t work.

      I said in my video that the Instagram accounts for myself and my daughter weren’t working. Jessie called me today and told me that she just got a big sale from Instagram, her very first one. Yeah! That one sale won’t make up for the months of work she put into Instagram, but it sure will help. She thinks I should sell something expensive so I would only need one sale to get excited. Maybe she’s right.

      • No I don’t blame them either, you have to make money sooner or later, but I do still miss the old Pinterest. =( Pinterest is still one of the few online things that I do, I just don’t use it nearly as much as I used to. I don’t do the Instagram, Never did do the My Space, and I really don’t do the FB either, not even sure what else there is. I’m too old school I guess lol!

        Congrats on your daughters big sale! Yes, shes probably right, you should try selling something expensive. You have so many Great pieces that you’ve made over the years, it would be so hard to choose what to let go of though.

        I’ve still got all of the materials to try my hand at the Paper Mache, now I just need to figure out what I should make? You make it look so easy but I’m sure its not.

        Good Luck to you and your daughter and Take Care Jonni. =)

        • The first one can be challenging. They get easier after that, so just jump in and make something! That’s why I put the little chicken at the beginning of my book on sculpting animals – it’s so easy, but you end up with a cute little sculpture that you can give to someone as a gift. And it gives you the confidence to make something that’s more challenging. So just give it a go – and remember to show us how it turns out!

    • Thanks! You’re certainly right about networking, which is especially hard for someone like me who has a major Facebook phobia. Maybe I should try to get over it, when I find the time. πŸ˜‰

  13. It might be worthwhile signing up to Fine Art America for your pints and canvasses. I believe there is a free one month trial, and input costs can be very low, depending on the account options you go for. You set the amount you want out of the sale, they do the printing and shipping and pay you your percentage as required. I get sales intermittently and I do absolutely nothing to promote my site. Better results would likely be possible if a person worked at promotion. I look at it as a site that runs itself in the background and occasionally pays dividends while I’m doing local direct marketing of my work. If I was in the US I would likely do much better and would work harder at promotion. I am Canadian based and the exchange rate on the dollar is a real deal-breaker for the Canadian customers who know my work.

    • Thanks, Judy. They do good work, too. I have several prints that my daughter put on that site, and they’re exactly the same as her originals. And yes, marketing is really important. Doesn’t Fine Art America sell mostly to US buyers? Do they charge extra just because you live in Canada?

  14. Hello Jonni, I’ve loved your work for so long. Maybe you would like to join Facebook, people would be able to share your page very easy when your friends share your posts. I think the traffic to your store would pick up fairly fast too. I joined FB a couple of years ago in order to take painting classes and I like it. For each class they form a group of people who are studying, that way we are able to meet others with the same interest we can talk and share our work. It’s been very nice getting to know people from around the world. Anyway it’s just a thought for a easy free way to advertise or give classes.
    I absolutely love your work and seeing what you are up to. I love making small paper clay sculptures, I started a few years ago because I teach my grand children art and they really like paper clay.
    Best of Luck to You πŸ™‚

    • Hi Bev. Thanks for your support. I’ve heard of Facebook groups, but I don’t know which ones would cater to people interested in buying art. That’s the catch, I think. It’s easy to find people who want to make their own, but how do you find the ones who want to buy a print or poster? I’m sure there’s a way to do it, but I don’t know how it’s done. And not knowing how to find your ideal customer is a fatal flaw in any business plan. πŸ˜‰

  15. Hi Jonni!

    So sorry it’s not working out the way you had hoped. Paper mΓ’chΓ© is more unique to the virtual marketplace and less competitive in search engines than prints. However, your animal art is beautiful no matter what medium. This having been said, it takes so much SEO, as well as networking to get visibility that translates into sales. So what happens with us Maker types is that we turn into Arterpreneurs of sorts and it can be so time consuming.

    I find that Etsy’s marketplace is much easier for selling. They have many good tools in place that are at our disposal. It’s still lots of work but yields good results when I set my mind to it. My instance doesn’t allow enough time to work on Etsy updates and new listings on a regular basis. But when I really work it, it’s such a rewarding feeling to hear a ChaChing!

    You have been a wealth of information and inspiration to me and others. That feeling we get as viewers in anticipating what you will do next or just getting that positive paper mΓ’chΓ© fix is something very uplifting. Thanks for keeping us in the loop.

    Wishing you well in all of your endeavors.


    • I was against Etsy in the beginning because of that search bar at the top of everyone’s listing. You do the work to get customers to your sales page, and then Etsy makes it easy for you to go find someone else’s page. But I’m starting to rethink it. Would you like to share a link to your etsy page, so we can go take a look? You never know – maybe one of our readers would like to buy something. πŸ˜‰

  16. Hi There!
    Etsy is probably the best way to sell your handmade art online. Also, creating an Instagram account and following others who make and sell similar art is a great way to get noticed in your particular circle and even outside it. You can create hashtags for your art and label each photo you post with those hashtags. Put photos of your art on Pinterest to create a way to get more viewers. Your art will definitely sell! Keep trying.

  17. I wonder if you could drive traffic to your website by posting items for sale on Craig’s list in the art category and listing your URL for more information. You could continue to post every couple of days for a different print or sculpture.

    • What an interesting idea! That might even be a great idea for my daughter, who paints local landscapes. I wonder if Google counts live links on a Craigslist ad, for search engine rankings?

      Hmmm… Have you ever tried it?

      • No I haven’t tried it yet. I have been selling my art (mostly upcycled furniture and household items) on consignment thru a local antique shop. I’ve been informed that they plan to revamp old pieces themselves for sale and so will no longer be doing consignments of my work. So I need to find a new way to market my items. Thought about Craig’s list. Will need to revamp my website to do this. Unfortunately, I have some commitments that will take me out of state for some time, so I won’t be able to attempt this soon.


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