Selling artwork is tough. Ask any artist.

With the modern-day ecommerce and online communities celebrating the art they love most, it has never been easier to sell art from the comfort of your home!

It feels challenging to imagine dealing with art printing, inventory, shipping, all trying to be an artist. Still, companies like Redbubble have made the process relatively easy to manage for you.

Let’s take a look at how!

What is Redbubble?

Homepage of Redbubble

Redbubble is an online marketplace where you can have your designed artwork on a variety of products of artwork can purchase.

It started in 2006 in Melbourne, Australia. The founders wanted to create a way for independent artists a way to sell their creations hassle-free.

With over 700,000 artists supported on their platform, Redbubble has given freedom of expression, and unique print-based products are being sold and enjoyed worldwide.

Why should you sell on Redbubble?

Redbubble’s success in the online art marketplaces comes from the easy access to purchase and the complete outsourcing of the product and its shipping.

This easy convenience of Redbubble doing a lot of the work for you means you only have to deal with the artwork and promote it.

You also don’t need to handle your website, and it doesn’t cost you anything to upload as many designs and products as you like.

What do you need to do is supply the designs to be uploaded and printed. The quality and quantity of your designs are entirely up to you. It would help if you also found ways to get people to visit your store on Redbubble so they can purchase your print products.

No need to worry; here’s a quick guide on how you can set up your Redbubble store!

5 Steps to start selling on Redbubble

Ready to create your account and get started?

Here’s a quick guide on how to do that and start selling.

1. Create an account

Redbubble making a new new account

The online process of generating your personal information to create your account is the easiest part.

In the upper right-hand corner of the header is the ‘signup’ button.

Now you’re given two choices of an account type:

  • An artist account
  • Or a customer account

You will want the artist account, so you can upload your designs and sell them. Customer accounts can only purchase from artist accounts.

Once you decide on your shop’s name and your login credentials, you’ll see their main dashboard. From here is where you can add designs, set up more information about your shop, and ways to get paid for your sales.

2. Make designs that sell

Now, this is easier said than done, or everyone would be making a lot of sales.

It can be pretty challenging for a new artist because it’s not what you create as people like what you make.

Here are some essential tips in understanding why some art sells more than others:

Relatable

a humorous design for relatability
It was just a wheelie design on Redbubble

People like things they can see themselves wearing or using in their lives. It’s why models that look like the type that would use the design fits well.

When it comes to creating art that sells is to know who are the people who would purchase it. Motorcycles for burly men and princesses for young girls are ideas that help resonate with your ideal customer.

Uses design principles

wave and sun shirt
Vigorous use of design principles from Redbubble

People want to purchase artwork they feel proud of and want to show it off. It’s pretty tricky to do that when the art isn’t pleasing to look at.

What makes it pleasing, you might ask?

It follows four principles that work wonders in making sure your design looks fantastic. They are:

  • Contrast: are the colors and objects different from one another so that they are easily seen and legible if there’s text.
  • Repetition: Is the overall style the same throughout the design? Repetition is to make sure the plan focuses on a type instead of doing too many at once.
  • Alignment: Is the artwork presented in a way where all objects are proportionate to each other? For instance, the anonymity of a person’s body can look awkward if the size or positioning of the limbs is not in the correct spot.
  • Proximity: Is there enough space for the details of a design to be seen? A problem with a lot of artwork is a lot is going on, and it gets too busy to see everything. Proximity is the skill to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Creates an emotion

peace and teach shirt
Powerful words to show emotion in a creative way

Emotions are what make us human at our core. Emotions mean anything that creates a feeling is going noticed and remembered.

Probably the best emotion people like to see from art is a sense of awe.

Other feel-good emotions like humor, joy, and love also make great choices because we can never have too many of these.

That isn’t to say negative emotions won’t sell. It’s more challenging to show emotions like sadness and anger in a pleasing way.

Maybe these emotions suit you more, and find it easier than positive emotions. Remember, it’s about showing emotion for your audience to feel something.

3. Upload your designs

uploading new work to redbubble

There are two ways to upload a design, and that’s either through a new design or copying from one from a previous store on Redbubble you’ve already owned.

Once you’ve uploaded your design, you’ll find the requirements to be very easy to meet, but you’ll want to go above that to make sure it’ll print out nicely.

Ideally, you would want to use:

  • 300ppi resolution minimum to ensure high quialty print.
  • Transparent PNG file, so the background of the art doesn’t get in the way of the color of your product.
  • A bigger design than you need, because you can always scale down to make sure everything fits.
adding new work to redbubble
A design that will be uploaded to Redbubble

Once your design is uploaded, you’ll immediately see mockups with a variety of products you can choose to add to your store – you can use all of them if you wish to!

mock ups of design for redbubble
Mockups of what the design will look like on a product

You then have the option to make it public or private. If it’s ready to sell, click public and get ready for a challenging task: Getting your design seen to make sales.

Tip: Not sure which print on demand niche to sell in? Check out this article with 27 great POD niche ideas!

4. Get your designs seen on Redbubble

Now you have your designs uploaded and the products ready, it’s time to market them.

There’s a lot of different types of marketing you can do depending on your skillset. For the easiest to jump into, we’ll look at some digital strategies you can start today:

SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) uses specific ranked keywords, so your products will show up for them when someone searches for these keywords.

It’s one of the most effective ways of getting visitors to your RedBubble without spending anything, so It’s a strategy everyone is using.

The catch is it can be challenging to understand what ranks well and what you should focus on. SEO can be a full-time job in how it works because it’s an ongoing process that never stops.

Here’s a guide we’ve made on how you can get started with SEO and apply it to your website.

Social Media

Social Media in both paid and organic advertising is a strategy that has led many RedBubble stores to success.

The challenge in social media marketing is not all platforms perform equally. Depending on your ideal customers, they may not be on the one you like the most.

Older generations prefer Facebook, professionals are best for LinkedIn, and women love to use Pinterest.

Once you know what the average person is doing on these social media platforms will be easier to identify which one to spend your time and energy towards.

Here are helpful guides on maximizing a social media strategy that will get you the results you’re looking for:

Email marketing

Email marketing is using the email addresses you’ve captured to send promotional emails about your products to them.

While Redbubble doesn’t have a built-in way to build an email list on their website, there are tons of businesses that allow you to do so quickly.

The most common is Mailchimp, and they’re the leading provider helping businesses have email lists without needing a website.

We also have previous articles on email marketing guides that will help you learn everything you need to know about this profitable strategy.

You can check them out here!

5. Get paid on Redbubble

getting paid fill out form

It’s free to create an account, upload designs, and receive payment from RedBubble. There is nothing to lose in starting since there are no fees.

You must reach $20 in royalty payment to receive payment from Redbubble into your PayPal account, and there are no hidden fees.

When going through the payment details, you’ll have to confirm your email address, add your residential address, and your chosen currency. After inputting that information will now give you the option to select either PayPal or your banking information for a direct deposit.

Once you’re finished with filling that out, you’ll be ready to get paid in the way you want!

Now we learned all the things you should do in selling your art; let’s look at the mistakes that could hinder it.

4 Common mistakes to avoid

While it’s a step in the right direction to know what you should do to get sales, it’s also essential to avoid these mistakes that can make the difference in being super successful and not making a sale.

1. Making too many discounts/pricing too low

Determining the price is a common problem amongst beginner Redbubble store owners where they feel the best way to compete is on price.

Price is where they learn the hard way. That is not a good strategy.

While we like to think that if it’s low cost, it’ll beat the competition, but that’s just a race to the bottom strategy where no one will win.

Instead, focus on creating the best designs possible and as much value as you can for what you’re selling.

2. Being too inspired

Being inspired is essential to be creative since it’s all about gathering ideas and presenting them in new ways. When we don’t do it in a new way, it can be difficult for anyone to purchase your product.

Too much inspiration is a common problem that happens to all creative people. We like something so much we want to use it in our work, and the next thing we know, we practically copied it!

Being too inspired isn’t as opposed to outright copying artwork and hoping no one or the original artist will know.

All rights reserved example

It’s illegal, and you could very well have a lawsuit if not a formal warning to remove it from your store. So beware of your inspiration.

3. Skimping on the design process

As you may know from the design principles that help you get sales, the opposite is very accurate.

You wouldn’t like it if the chef of a restaurant made your food by not preparing correctly. It undoubtedly won’t feel like you got your money’s worth. That’s how customers feel when they see your design if you skimp the process.

Many designers like to upload as many designs as possible to increase the chances of a sale. While this can work, it’s also not a smart strategy.

Instead, understand your brand position, what your customers like, and your strengths, and you’ll find a deeper meaning in the direction you should go to get sales.

Rushing makes you more prone to mistakes, and why it’s best to think of it as honing your skills in a journey instead of only caring about the destination.

4. Trying to appeal to everyone

There’s an old saying, ‘If you try to appeal to everyone, then you won’t appeal to anyone.

It’s like trying to get everyone you meet to like you. Sounds impossible considering you don’t want everyone you’ve met, right?

You can only please a certain kind of people, and the rest will ignore you. Not appealing to everyone isn’t bad because ‘not for me’ is an acceptable way of knowing you shouldn’t win them over when there are always people who like what you’re doing.

Focus on those that care. Life is too short to worry about people who don’t.

Alternative websites like Redbubble

Maybe you don’t like the process of Redbubble or had too many bad experiences with their product handling? The good news is there are other websites like Redbubble out there.

I’ve made a list of the three biggest and will govern what makes them great and worth checking out.

1. Etsy

etsy homepage

Etsy is the powerhouse of all things handmade, but there is some leeway in what you can sell on their marketplace.

It’s crucial to note Etsy is not a fulfillment model business, so that they won’t handle your inventory and shipping for you.

While this is not dropshipping, Etsy is the largest platform for your products to be noticed. There’s also a lot of helpful resources for you to handle a traditional ecommerce store.

Maybe it’s not for you, but it’s worth checking out the possibility.

2. Society 6

society6 homepage

Society 6 is the largest competitor to Redbubble, and they capture a lot of what made them great.

The reliable customer service combined with a variety of consistent quality products means Society6 is one of the best options to look into.

As you look around other designs from Redbubble, you’ll notice there’s a difference in the average person who visits Society 6.

The difference in the type of design that sells well is more contemporary and other traditional art styles. These styles include minimalism and ongoing trends.

To say, Society 6 is those who identify themselves as fine artists rather than graphic artists. So if that’s your preferred style, then your artwork may be more profitable with them.

3. Zazzle

zazzle homepage

As you’ll notice from the designs that sell the most on Zazzle are in the style that fits in contemporary homes and weddings. They’re also festive and more feminine than masculine.

With this information, you can see if your work aligns with that or be the graphic artist who favors Redbubble’s customers.

Zazzle has a big plus over the rest of these marketplaces because they have the most product variants to choose from. So if you want the most comprehensive variety, Zazzle will be your best choice.

Related article: How Do You Price Products With Different Variants? (6 Ways)

Conclusion

As you continue your print on demand dropshipping journey with Redbubble, you’ll find the problems and solutions of ecommerce that apply to this platform as well as other marketplace-type websites.

Once you’ve mastered who your customers are and why they love your designs, you’ll find it to be satisfying, quite profitable, and very fun to show off!

If you’re looking for a print on demand supplier, then check out these two articles here:

Best of luck on your journey!

Want to learn more about POD?

Ready to move your print on demand store to the next level? Check out the articles below:

Plus, don’t forget to check out our in-depth how to start a print on demand business guide here!

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An owner of a Print on Demand dropshipping business and writer of ecommerce articles to share my experiences.

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