Red colored banner with text "Advertising Art*" and sub text "* good luck with that"

Wasting Artist’s Ad Money on Websites That Don’t Care

one things leads to another and i think we all learned something today??? amazon and disney kind of suck… wait… no… that’s not it…


I hope Disney is okay with wasting its money… because the animation of the Star Wars: Rogue One ad prevents a user from closing it (X)… which of course leads to false clicks! Sad!

And considering Rogue One‘s advertising budget is most likely quite large… and IMDB is one of the most relevant places for movie ads… I’m guessing Amazon is going to be getting a nice chunk of ad money it isn’t entitled to.

But of course that would depend on the type of ad buy wouldn’t it… it might be on a cost per click basis or just a flat fee. We don’t know and probably won’t know. That’s private business-y stuff.

What I do know is that quite frequently advertising budgets are completely wasted on websites like IMDB.

And for you artists out there looking to advertise your new book, your hand crafted jewelry on Etsy, your paintings, your prints… this should highlight something for you.

The reality is that you should expect to spend bigly on advertising and get almost nothing in return. I promise you, you’ll be lucky if you get a single sale for a $50 print after spending $150 on advertising.

But why is that? Why did i say the thing?

Frankly it’s because websites do not care. Twitter doesn’t care, Facebook doesn’t care, IMDB doesn’t care, Google doesn’t care… none of these organizations actually care about the end results. They feel that the end results are your fault and problem. They only care about the process.

What matters to them is how easily can a customer buy an ad, how easily can they target the ad, how do we collect more data on end users for targeting, etc.

They are so wrapped up in their own worlds of technicals that the things that really matter to the small advertisers of the world, you artists, really don’t matter to them. That’ll become pretty clear to you when the ad salesman starts repeatedly calling you to get you to increase your ad spending while claiming it’s to better “target” your ads. Sales matter, quantifiable data matters, actually helping the advertiser is way down there on their list of priorities.

That’s how we get to the point where all of your advertising on Etsy got you a bit of attention and maybe a single sale but that’s it. Nobody continued to engage with you and most of the engagement you did get seems fake. Your money was basically just wasted on ads and now you’re an even poorer artist than you were before.

And instead of addressing that problem… these companies blame you. They tell you that you have to engage more, spend more, target your customers more precisely.

They post all kinds of inane articles about how you should blog more and make videos because people love videos! Because again… they don’t care. They don’t take the time to understand that people can’t just magically blog more (and constantly) about handmade jewelry… you can only talk about the process and how you got into it and such so many times!

And that’s where we are… traditional advertising just does not work very well for artists because nobody cares. It’s all bland bureaucratic nonsense that only kind of works for bland businesses. You aren’t a bland business and art requires people to actually care.

So you’re going to have to try something different to get noticed.



Update – Artist’s Ad Spending Examples (12/19/2016)


So I actually have a little bit of data for you guys! I’ve gotten some examples from artists of what they’ve spent to promote their work… so now you guys can see how much value you’ll get for your ad dollars…

Anonymous Ad Spending

Etsy - Spent $25 on promoted listings, received ~ 400 views, and received no new sales.

Facebook - Spent $50, received ~ 1000 views, and 30 engagements. No new customers on her shop.

Twitter - Spent $100, received ~ 5000 views, 10 new followers that were all fake, and zero website conversions. No long term engagement.

StumbleUpon - Spent $250, received ~ 10,000 views, 3 engagements, no new customers.


If any of you would like to share how advertising your art worked out for you feel free to comment (anonymously or not) below or send me a message!


we went from star wars ads to criticizing the stupid way the online advertising world works… neat huh…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.