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FineArtAmerica.com / Pixels.com – 8 Tips for Artists on Getting Discovered

May 12th, 2012 by Nikki Smith

Artist tips for getting discovered on Pixels.com and FineArtAmerica.com

With over 5.4 million pieces of artwork on FineArtAmerica.com and Pixels.com, the trick is to avoid being lost in the sea of art.  Here are some great ways to stand out from the crowd and get your artwork seen on FineArtAmerica.com / Pixels.com.

1. Use tags effectively

FAA allows up to 500 characters of tags, comma-separated.  Use them!  Enter relevant keywords for your artwork including variations.  Here are some brainstorming tips (first shared by Andy Smy) to get you started:

Literal – e.g. “boy, girl, children, beach, sun, sand, sky, car, shadow”.
Attributes – e.g. “happy, smiling, walking, blue, young, old”.
Location – be specific, e.g. “The White House, Washington DC, USA”; or generic, e.g. “office, school, home”.
Interaction – e.g. “chasing, playing, moving, touching, shouting, flying”.
Concepts – e.g. “heat, power, happiness, strength, humour, teamwork, tranquility etc”.
Broad subjects – e.g. “lifestyle, travel, sport and business”.
Techniques – e.g. “predominant colours or shapes, black and white, grainy, blurred, digital manipulation”.
Standpoint – e.g. side view, rear view, from above, from below
Environment – e.g. spring, summer, autumn, fall, winter, sunset, sunrise, indoor, outdoor, interior, exterior
Composition – e.g. close up, macro, extreme close up, low angled, full length, cut-out, isolated
Minimalism – e.g. nobody, empty
Redundant – e.g. shots, pictures, images, macros
Pose – e.g. looking at camera, smiling, angry, standing, lying, sitting, walking, facing front
Human – e.g. one man, three women, crowd, queue, group, people, person
Qualifiers – e.g. large, big, small, multi-generational, black, white, Caucasian
Abstract – e.g. odd, unusual, concept, quirky, funny, humour/humor
Decades – e.g. 1940s, 1950s, 1960s
Nationality – e.g. european, dutch, british, english, american

To which I would add:

Variations – typos, plural/singular, alternate spellings (color vs colour), two words vs. hyphenated (high-res, high res)

2.  Consider Niches

There are thousands and thousands of flower images.  It is far easier to be discovered under a search term with less competition…

3.  Participate in groups

Submit your images to groups where they are relevant.  Be sure to follow group guidelines — many limit your submissions to one image per day.  The groups are run by volunteers who spend considerable time managing image submissions, promoting the group and answering questions.  Be courteous and considerate of their time.

Also consider joining one of the many groups focused on promoting your artwork.  These groups have active memberships and valuable information in the discussions tab.  Here are a few I would recommend:

4.  Enter contests

This is a fun, low-pressure way to gain exposure for your artwork among your peers, and potentially comments, favs and votes on your image.  Plus, if you win it give you something to blog about!  🙂  You can also create a gallery within your FAA account for any Award Winning Artwork.

There are three types of contests in terms of how voting is handled: Juried, FAA Only (only members can vote), and General Public (anyone with a FaceBook account can vote).  Juried and FAA Only contests will tend to have the best images ranking the highest.  General Public contests can sometimes morph into popularity contests as a few participants will solicit votes on their FaceBook account (a practice that is frowned upon by many).  I choose not to solicit votes because it doesn’t feel right for me personally.  Whatever your opinion on the subject, be sure to abide by the rules of each contest.

5.  Comment on artwork

When you leave thoughtful, heart-felt comments on other artist’s images, they are likely to return the favor.  Consider voting for and favoriting artwork that you love.  Votes on images will help raise their rank in the internal search results.  When you see “v/f” in a comment, that is short for “voted” and “favorite.”  The images you comment on will also appear in your activity stream, and as you follow other artists (and as they follow you) it becomes a method of shared discovery.

6.  Sponsor pages

If you are on page 23 or page 78 of the search results, how many people will see your work?  Fine Art America / Pixels ranks search results by evaluating several criteria including sales, votes, comments, tags/keywords, etc.  It takes time (and a measure of good fortune) to improve your ranking.  They also reward artists for “sponsoring pages” by showing their artwork on the third row of the first page of results.  Yes, that’s right.  You can skip right to the front page of a keyword search by linking to that page from your blog or website.  For example, by having the below links in this post I am sponsoring each of these search terms and my artwork will appear in rotation on the third row with other artists sponsoring the same pages:

Ummm…overkill? LOL!

Here’s how (it’s easy):

  • Log-in to FineArtAmerica.com / Pixels.com
  • Search for artwork by using the keyword(s) of your choice.
  • Look above the third row of artwork.  There will be a link to “Sponsor this page” – click it.
  • Follow the directions!  FAA will provide you a snippet of code to place on your website or blog to link to that page.
  • Once you’ve added the link on your website, enter your URL in the box provided on the “Sponsor this page” form and press submit.  That’s it!

7.  Limited Time Promotions

This is a tool behind the scenes.  FAA has a special section on the website for limited time promotions.  There, you will be one of a few hundred images rather than one in 5.4 million.  Promotions run for no more than a week and you can offer between 1 and 25 canvas prints at a discounted rate you set.   You choose from one of several standard sizes and then choose your mark-up.  FAA will give you a special link that you can use in your marketing efforts.

8.  Promoting Elsewhere

Above all, remember that Fine Art America does not market your artwork for you – that’s your job!  They do provide an excellent print-on-demand service, but it is up to you to bring the traffic.

I hope this list has been helpful!

Guitar Siren by Nikki Smith

Guitar Siren by Nikki Smith
#17 on the Best Sellers

P.S. When I first published this post in May of 2012, there were 2.7 million pieces of art. Now there are over 5.4 million! My “Guitar Siren” (pictured at left) is currently number 17 on the Best Sellers page, so it is possible to get discovered with the right image and a little luck and effort!

8 Responses to “FineArtAmerica.com / Pixels.com – 8 Tips for Artists on Getting Discovered”

  1. Angela says:

    These are great tips! Thanks! I haven’t even began to think about the marketing side of things but I’ll book mark this and get back to it in the future!

  2. I’ve had trouble with the Sponsor pages working. I put the pages on my blog, get approved, but don’t see my images for that keyword in the third row on FAA, nor the fourth…ninety-ninth row.

  3. Nikki Smith says:

    @Matthew – Once you sponsor a page your artwork will be shown on the third row in rotation with other people who have sponsored the same page. If it is a popular term, that means that your image will show up less often. If you find more niche terms with less competition to sponsor, then your artwork will show up more frequently. I hope this is helpful!

    @Angela – Thanks! I hope you find something useful here to market your own artwork on (or off) FAA.

  4. Nagi shupo says:

    Absolutely helpful, thank you very much for sharing these tips.

  5. 'Muyiwa says:

    I got here on research for sponsor a page in FAA.
    I have used higly “niche” words and so far I have found myself on first page.

  6. J.L. Meadows says:

    None of these have ever worked for me.

  7. Nikki Smith says:

    Keep at it, and keep creating more artwork, J.L.! I will say that just from your involvement in the discussion forums I already knew your name and recognized two pieces of your artwork. I love your “Epitaph” piece! 🙂

  8. CRicks says:

    I don’t have a website now, any suggestions.
    Thanks so much for the very useful tips, I have been promoting my artwork on facebook and twitter, but need all the help I can get. Have had some success in selling in a local gallery, but looking for more. Thanks again.

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