How to Start an Art Blog and Make Money for Beginners

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Starting an art blog is daunting. There are so many questions at the beginning, not only how to start an art blog, but what do you say and how do art blogs make money?

Start an art blog with a domain name, cheap hosting, and a fast website theme. It will cost about $100 per year to get started with WordPress. Make money with your art blog by selling prints, digital downloads, adverts, affiliate links, and teaching.

In this article, I’ll explain how to set up a website, and the different ways that art bloggers use to make money. Additionally, I’ll also tell you how to get traffic, what to blog about, and how long it will take to see some results.

OK, let’s start right at the beginning.

(I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. However, I only promote products I like and recommend)

How to Start an Art Blog

If you have never set up your own website before these are the steps you need to follow.

  • Name Your Blog
  • Buy a Domain
  • Buy a Hosting Plan
  • Buy a Premium Theme
  • Customize Your Theme
  • Start Publishing Content

For artists who don’t yet have a blog, starting one is not so hard. To create a blog, follow these steps:

Name Your Blog

If you are not sure what kind of name to choose search for your own name, if it’s available, use that. You can always add ‘art’ as a suffix.

I made a mistake setting up my site. Originally I used my name but let it expire because it contained no keywords and I thought that was important. Later I realized that my branding should be my name and I went back to buy it again, but it was gone.

I made another error. I chose a keyword that was too narrow.

I’m a wildlife artist, so I called my site wildlifeartstore.com, but now I want to expand on my content beyond wildlife. I boxed myself in. I should’ve been less specific.

Choose a general title, short if possible, with no crazy spelling or characters. Buy a .com domain. There are fewer choices available but the public trust them more.

If your audience is international avoid country-specific domains. If your domain ends in .co.uk for example, Americans are less likely to view it as relevant to them.

Buy a Domain Name

Once you’ve settled on a blog name, buy a domain name from a domain provider of your choice. Domains vary in price from one domain provider to another, but they start as low as $7 for a year.

Picking a name for your blog should be your first step. It’s essential to check if the domain name is available for purchase. You can check this on any domain provider’s website. I like Namecheap but there are many more to be found with a simple search. Another popular provider is GoDaddy.

Buy a Hosting Plan

Hosting plans also vary in price and are paid on a monthly or yearly plan. A basic shared hosting package will do.. I advise paying for an annual plan, it’s often cheaper and there are introductory offers to entice you.

Blu-host is promoted by many sites, so too are GoDaddy and Hostgator. I’ve tried all three and wouldn’t rave about them. They are promoted because their affiliate fees are so high.

Until recently Siteground was a firm favorite but they have repositioned themselves as a mid-priced option.

I use Greengeeks.com (affiliate link) not because they are the absolute best, I don’t know if they are the best or not, but because they promote themselves as carbon neutral, and that matters to me.

GreenGeeks Web Hosting Landing page
for ethical art blogs
GreenGeeks Hosting (affiliate)

Over and above their care for the environment, their customer service is fantastic and as a non-techy, I really appreciate it. Their servers run quickly and they have attractive tariffs.

Like all these companies they attract you with cheap starter plans to sign up for a year, or more, and those plans revert to the standard fees when the initial term expires.

Greengeeks (as they all do) did auto-renew my subscription and I was shocked at the price difference. I contacted them and they immediately slashed my tariff as a ‘loyalty bonus. No haggling was needed, and no threats to leave on my part, they just switched to a lower price.

I have to do this every year before the renewal. It’s my only gripe.

Purchase a Premium Theme

WordPress has a variety of free templates to use, however, I advise purchasing a premium template. There are a variety of premium themes that look fantastic and are designed by professionals to be lightweight and fast.

Choose a theme that is well supported and loads at a lightning speed. If you are not sure where to find them try these four first:

  • Kadence – Designed to be used with its free Kadence blocks plugin.
  • Astra – Lots of youtube tutorials to get you up and running
  • Elementor – Designed to be used with their own page builder
  • Generatepress – Fast theme with great support (My theme)

Customize Your Theme or Template

Theme customization on platforms, like WordPress, is pretty straightforward, but for beginners, it can be challenging.

There are plenty of free tutorials online that help you to figure things out. I follow a few youtube channels:

If you need a logo try 99designs but it’s a bit pricey. The alternative is to look for a cheap offer on Fiverr (affiliate). You should probably check them first. You’ll get one for $10-$20.

Get small jobs done quickly and cheaply on fiverr
Get small jobs done on Fiverr

If it’s all too much and you want something instantly why not make a portfolio website with Squarespace? Learn on Skillshare (affiliate)

Start Publishing Content

Write and publish a blog post once the blog is customized and set up, publishing content is the next big step, a never-ending process. Pick one of the topics mentioned below and craft an article around it.

There’s more to blogging than just writing the content, there is the formatting, images, tags, and links that all need to be taken care of, not to mention the SEO. It’s a steep learning curve and can be frustrating if you don’t know where to start.

Here’s a free course for you if this stuff is too confusing.

The first step is deciding on a blog topic and writing an introductory sentence or two, about what the article will cover. This should include: who it’s for; why they should care about reading it (their pain point). Use it to prepare the reader for the next paragraph.

The 2nd paragraph is the answer snippet. Answer the question or statement you made in the headline in 2-3 sentences. Use formal English. Be as clear and concise as possible. Edit out the fluff.

If you are confused, Google the search query and read the winning snippet. Copy the format and try to out-perform your competitor.

If the winner is a list and not a paragraph, you probably need to make a better list.

Lists are often the H2 headings but not always. Sometimes they are bullet points with a leading sentence.

The next step is to write a segue to introduce the first sub-heading with a clear reason to carry on reading.

Write about 1200 words and follow this formula:

  • Intro
  • Formal answer snippet
  • Segue
  • Sub-heading/content (200ish words)
  • Sub-heading/content (200ish words)
  • Sub-heading/content (200ish words)
  • Sub-heading/content (200ish words)
  • Sub-heading/content (200ish words)
  • Conclusion

Ideally, your blog should be 1200 words, or more, to have enough keywords for it to have a chance of ranking.

Write a list of sub-headings and write about 200 words under each one. That way you not only divide the text up into readable blocks, but you also can work on each section separately without straying off-topic or getting overwhelmed.

Include one or two outbound links to other authority sites to show Google that you have researched the subject and include relevant internal links to other related content,

Finish the post with a call to action. That can mean a request to sign up to your email list or grab an offer related to your content. If nothing else use an internal link to another blog post.

The idea is to tell them what to do next. The longer they stay on your site the better it is for you.

What Do Artists Blog About?

Artists and art bloggers have a variety of topics to write about, depending on their specific niche. For instance, artists can write on topics such as career advice, personal experiences, or painting tips., there are so many angles.

Topics can include any of the following:

  • How you learned your craft
  • What motivates you
  • Your personal journey
  • What you’re currently working on
  • How you create your art
  • Types of tools and materials you use
  • How to use software
  • How to mix colors
  • Product comparisons
  • Essential resources, like books, or courses

The list is endless when you put your mind to it.

For more help writing engaging content take a class on Skillshare (affiliate).

Your blog serves a different purpose depending on who you are targeting. If you are trying to find new organic traffic and rank on Google your blogs must be about the things people are actually searching for.

If, on the other hand, you are reaching out to your fans they will want something more personal.

When you have developed a strong email list, your newsletter will drive traffic to your blogs and help them to rank.

The next step is to publish and promote it on social media or any other marketing channels you have access to.

This will give you a head start – Social Media For Artists: The Best 13 Platforms for Creatives

How to Drive Traffic Your Art Blog

Some ways of promoting an art blog include social media:

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest

Search engines:

  • Google
  • Youtube
  • Pinterest

Forums:

  • Quora
  • Reddit
  • Facebook groups

Paid advertising through social media, search engines is an option but only if you know how to target your audience, otherwise it’s a way of losing money.

Guest blogging helps in building a personal brand through exposure to new audiences, the same goes for podcasts and webinars. In other words, you reach out to other sites and partner with them.

This takes a great deal of time and effort. You will probably benefit more from networking on forums with links back to your site. Do it naturally and be helpful. Don’t spam, it doesn’t work.

Start an Email List For Your Art Blog

Creating an email list is essential for art bloggers for various reasons. An email list is one of the easiest ways to build a fanbase. It’s personal and allows for one-on-one interaction. Email lists can also be important in marketing digital products.

Above all, email lists are your own personal resource for communicating with your followers. They give you direct access to your fans without any reliance on other platforms.

You cannot rely on social media platforms to respect your needs, they don’t work that way. They care about their own profits and are willing to destroy any business if it’s in their own interest.

That’s why art bloggers need to take control of their own marketing efforts. You have to be proactive in building a fanbase and earning money by utilizing social media and their algorithms but not being at their mercy.

Mailchimp offers a free starter plan for up to 2000 subscribers. It’s a wise first choice. You can always switch to another provider later on as your mailing list grows.

How Art Blogs Make Money

You’ve made it this far. Now you know how art blogs make money, and what to blog about, start a blog and build an email list. Art blogs can make money if you dedicate time.

There is so much to learn and this is just the tip of the iceberg, but the most important thing to do is just make a start. You can learn as you go.

  • Sell Prints
  • Run Ads
  • Affiliate Links
  • Teaching and Art Tutorials
  • E-Books
  • Art Coaching
  • Link to Patreon

Sell Prints From Your Website

As an artist, the most obvious way of making money is by selling art prints. An artist can sell their art in two forms: digital or physical prints. The digital route is more passive since the artist doesn’t have to be involved beyond the initial setup.

The user can buy, then download the digital art, and do the printing by themselves.

Another option is to integrate your e-commerce section with a Print-on-Demand company. Printful (affiliate) has a good reputation and sells products of every description, including fine art prints.

The artist sets the price, and Printful does all of the printing for them and ships it directly to buyers. The profits are small but again once it’s all set up, it’s a passive income.

Print on Demand Printful t-shirt on my art blog
T-shirt Print on Demand via Printful

There is one major drawback with POD. You can’t sell limited edition prints directly to the customer. For many artists, limited editions are a major source of income, but if you are happy to sell open edition prints it’s a viable option.

Physical prints are also a good possibility: The buyer can order one through the artist’s e-commerce store or via links to 3rd party platforms such as Etsy.

Take this Skillshare class for a better introduction to print on demand and selling via Etsy

The artist ships the prints directly to the buyers. These prints have a far higher profit margin but there’s more work for the artist upfront.

Read this if you need to know about printing: How to Make Prints of Your Art – Printing Art Explained in Detail

An artist has to ship the piece to the customer directly after the order, create the print themselves or contract out the work to a printing company. Then there is storage, packaging, and finding a reliable postal service. It’s time-consuming and ties you down.

Run Ads On Your Art Blog

Once the blog has consistent, substantial traffic, an artist can join ad-selling programs. Unfortunately, many bloggers choose to run ads before they have any significant traffic using Google AdSense. This isn’t necessarily a good idea.

Google AdSense allows blog owners to show ads on their sites in return for a cut of the money paid by brands to advertise on Google, but they pay peanuts.

You will need a decent amount of traffic before you earn a commission worth having. Once you reach 10,000 monthly visitors you can apply to companies offering higher rates. Ezoic is a popular choice and they recently lowered their barrier of entry, although some say it slows their site down.

The dream is to reach 50,000+ monthly visitors and join Mediavine. They pay top rates if most of the traffic comes from the States. If you see a site running Mediavine ads you know they are doing very well.

If you are on Mediavine, you’ve made it. Everything is possible with that amount of traffic.

Affiliate Programs

Art blogs also make money through affiliate marketing programs. The idea is simple enough, when a user purchases the recommended product, or service, through their “affiliate link,” the blogger gets a cut of the sale.

Check this out: How Artists Make Passive Income: 9 Great Side Hustles

There are many kinds of affiliate marketing programs and strategies. Links can be sent in emails to your list, you can review products, add links in your blog content, promote online courses, create a resource page with links and advertise physical products.

Affiliate marketing is lucrative for artists who don’t have their products or services for sale.

For years bloggers could make a good income by setting up an affiliate program with Amazon, but wouldn’t you know it, after dominating the space for years, Amazon decided to screw their Amazon affiliates and slashed their rates overnight. That’s a monopoly for you.

Don’t worry there are plenty more sites out there that offer good rates of return. Alternative affiliate sites include Avantlink, Commission Junction, and Shareasale, to name but three.

Plus companies have their own programs. The click-through rates will improve if you direct customers directly to the manufacturer.

The bottom line is that for a blog to be successful it needs traffic. You can’t expect to make money without bringing people in first.

Teaching And Art Tutorials

Expert art bloggers can also offer training courses to upcoming artists who wish to hone their skills. Creating an online course can be challenging, but if done well, the fruits are worth it.

Live online classes can also be offered instead of just pre-recorded ones to provide one-on-one interaction with aspiring artists. Skills like painting, drawing, and photography can be a lucrative way to teach online, once an artist has a substantial following. 

It’s more profitable to sell and offer your courses on your own website but if that sounds too daunting there are platforms that offer this service for you and you can promote the links.

For instance: (contains affiliate links)

Skillshare (affiliate) is a platform that allows artists to teach their skills from anywhere they please and set up custom classes around different topics. It offers a free plan and a premium plan for $99/year.

Udemy (affiliate) is another very well-known site for selling online classes. They offer plenty of categories, including painting and drawing courses.

It’s free to create a course but Udemy has its limitations. The competition is fierce, their algorithm favors cheap discounted offers, the quality is hit and miss, and they keep your customers to themselves.

That said, some people do very well.

Domestika (affiliate) is one of my favorites. The general standard is very high, the production is professional, and their courses are focused on the arts. The prices are always on offer in some way and buying a bundle keeps the prices very low. There are no membership fees you sign up and pay for what you want.

There is only one drawback. Most, but by no means all, courses are in Spanish with English subtitles. Some are dubbed into English. That said, there are many courses in English. It hasn’t put me off, the prices are too low to care.

I’ve set up an online courses tab with the best drawing lessons, and all but a few are in English.

Domestika logo
domestika course bundle
Domestika logo

Teachable (affiliate) is an online course builder with fantastic resources and customer support. Unlike Udemy and Skillshare, you retain full control of your site. You keep the profits but in return, you pay a monthly fee. There are 3 plans, basic, pro, and business.

Youtube is another option. If you can teach your art online it opens up a world of opportunities with paid memberships to view private content and links to Patreon where they can ‘donate’ to your site for greater access to your material.

Offer an E-Book

Ever thought about writing about what you do? It doesn’t have to be a teaching course, you can write a guide instead.

There are two ways to approach eBooks. You can sell them as downloadable publications, usually as PDF files, or give them away in return for emails.

If you want to sell your guide, the easiest way to get started is to join Gumroad. They host and deliver your guide and take payments. In return, they take a small percentage.

That’s exactly what I chose to do with my guide.

Offer Art Coaching Services

Instead of offering courses on different artistry skills, art bloggers can also provide consultations to companies and individuals. You could be someone’s personal coach and teach them how to do their own artwork, for example, but you can also coach organizations that need help with creativity as part of your gig.

Typically, consultancy can be provided upon appointment and charged per hour or through online workshops, like paid webinars and paid video tutorials.

Coaching can be a great way to earn a wage but it’s hard to scale. Coaching tends to be one on one, or to a very small number of clients at any one time. Even if your books are full, there are only so many hours in the day. There is a limit to what you can earn.

Link To Patreon

Some bloggers make extra money through donations. It’s easy to set up a blog to receive cash via offerings using digital payment services, like PayPal. This method works best with those who have a large loyal following that are willing to offer support.

Patreon is a better way is to encourage your fans to support you.

Patreon landing page
Patreon Landing Page

Patreon works by giving your fans a way to support you in exchange for exclusive content. Successful channels give back to their patrons in the form of rewards.

Rewards can be things such as:

  • A blog post from the artist
  • Art lessons and Workshops
  • Discounts
  • First access to early releases

It is similar to the crowdfunding model of Kickstarter and Indiegogo where people donate cash at various levels but with Patreon, they are donating monthly payments and they can cancel at any time.

Patreon can be hard to manage but it’s a great way to make sure your loyal followers are supporting you. A campaign can be set up with just a few clicks on the site and then money will start coming in every month from people choosing to support your work.

Some artists do very well. They redirect their traffic to their Patreon channel using social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest or send them via Youtube.

Some artists are able to make their Patreon channel their full-time job.

How Long Does It Take To Earn Money With An Art Blog?

The time it takes for an art blog to make money depends on the amount of work you put into it. Even with great content, a new blog takes time to get traffic and marketing is essential.

There’s no fixed amount of time that it takes to start earning money on a blog. Some can do it in months, while it might take at least a year to start earning anything at all.

A fully optimized blog post will take about 6 months to rank on average. This time span can be speeded up if you drive traffic from other platforms but it’s a long, long game with no guarantees.

You will need quite a few blogs in order to make money. Ideally, you should aim for about 1000 page views per month per article. That means each post should be at, or near the top, of every page in a search.

That’s bloody hard to achieve.

I’ve noticed that successful art blogs tend to have about 200 blogs or more. If the average post is about 2000 words, you do the math. That’s a huge amount of work.

It ain’t passive.


Male lion head pencil drawing by wildlife artist Kevin Hayler
‘Head of the Family’ by Kevin Hayler

If you like the way I draw and want to try things for yourself, this is my basic kit: (Amazon affiliate links)


This is my offer if starting a mini art business appeals to you. It’s how I’ve made my living for over 20 years. Take a look.

Selling art made simple digital guide for starting a small art business

If You Want to Sell Your Art

Check this out!

Psst…it’s only $12.99!


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