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:
- Self Taught Artists
- Self Promotion Skills for Artists
- Promote Your Art
- Artists and Photographers Directory
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
UPDATE: Fine Art America / Pixels has removed the page sponsorship option which previously allowed artists to sponsor a page and be seen on the third row. This tip is no longer relevant and has been removed.
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!
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) rose to number 3 on the Best Sellers page, so it is possible to get discovered with the right image and a little luck and effort!