We absolutely understand the frustration with trying to sell art online these days. Believe us, this is something we have given much thought to.
Our understanding of the situation is the same as what others have said in this conversation - this is not a DPW specific issue but, instead, due to the saturation of the online art market. As with most things, being in on a new thing early on has its benefits. In the early days, circa 2006-7, selling art online was the exception and so the field wasn't crowded. Artists who began selling online then often did very well and built loyal and durable followings that have served them well since. These days, as it has been said, the online art field is very crowded - huge offerings of beautiful art are just an easy click away. Because of this, many of the artists that are doing well selling their art online are those that stand out by broadly promoting themselves and their art through blogs, workshops, and books.
We do wish there was something more we could do to improve sales for our artists. We have tried advertising, both online and in magazines, but found that the thousands of dollars spent each month did very little to increase traffic to the site. For example, a few months ago we decided to try advertising on Pinterest for the first time, where we have over 25,000 followers. After a few days, we saw we were spending an average of $30 a day for about 30 click-throughs to the site - so an average of $1 a click per day. Not bad perhaps, however, when compared to the over 500 cost-free click-throughs we get from Pinterest just from having DPW art pinned, it is clearly not an effective or efficient investment.
Instead, we do what has proven to be effective, which is to promote our members' art on Facebook, in weekly interviews and giveaways on our blog, and in Pinterest. The word-of-mouth promotion this creates is much greater and both more authentic and durable than that generated by paid ads.
While we can't control market forces, we have continued to focus our efforts on consistently improving DPW, not only as a platform for showing and selling your art, but also as a community for artists, where they can support and inspire one another. And, we will continue to improve and expand DPW without increasing the cost of membership.
As always, many of the best ideas for improving DPW have come from our members and visitors, so please, when you have observations, ideas, and suggestions, let us know both here on Art Talk and by clicking the Support tab on the left side of the DPW website!
Yours in Art!
Carol and David