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Besides your day-to-day shooting, why not have your website bringing in income while you work or sleep? There are many choices to add a little extra cash to your bottom line each month.

Sell Your Images

Of course, the most obvious income-driving technique is to sell your own photos. We’re not talking about your commercial photos but your personal work, something you’re passionate about.

  • Selecting – Edit your personal images so that you have cohesive collections of material (nature, portraits, places, etc.). You may want to do a little footwork here to see what’s selling. Try Google’s free keyword tool to see what people are searching for online.
  • Finishing – To increase you price point, be sure to create a high-quality product. It’s important to use products that not only enhance images but will last as well. Use acid-free materials, like Savage’s White, Gray or Black Mat Board. You can also try pre-cut mats to finish your work. Sites such as Canvas Pop or Shutterfly will transfer your images to canvas to make a truly lasting piece of art.
  • Payment – You’ll want to make the purchase process as smooth as possible. (Who doesn’t love the efficiency and speed of an Amazon purchase?). If you have a WordPress site, you can use a service like Woo Commerce. They offer a free plug in so you can set up a shopping cart yourself and integrate it with PayPal. For a comprehensive look at other ways to ease the purchase process check out this feature rich Smashing Magazine article.

Create an Ebook

Selling digital goods online is a fantastic way to fill in the income gaps when you’re between projects. If you’re a professional photographer, chances are your wealth of knowledge would be seen as worth purchasing by any up and coming photographer or the enthusiastic amateur wanting to transition into a professional career.

  • What Topics – Keep it simple and start with basic topics such as lighting, composition or exposure.
  • Create It – Aim to write a 10-20 page eBook to start. Set a time frame of 30 days to complete it. Need tips to get you going? Copyblogger shows you how to do it easily. Adobe Acrobat Xl makes creating PDF’s a snap. 
  • Add It- With some basic HTML knowledge, you can easily upload your PDF file through your server. Check out Wikihow’s instructions

For more inspiration visit photographer Andrew Gibson’s site to see how he created a comprehensive series of eBooks highlighting his expertise. 

Offer Ad Space

Make that sidebar on your site work for you. Fill it up with display ads!

  • Display Ads – Visit the Interactive Ad Bureau’s (IAB) Display Ad Guidelines to see what’s trending in display ad sizes then reach out via a personalized email to other companies with products and services you think would be on brand with your studio.
  • In-text ads – If display ads seem daunting, start with in-text ads. Use your page content or blog posts to create revenue-driving links.

Affiliate Marketing

Becoming an Affiliate Marketer is easy. It’s usually free to join any of the big affiliate networks. What you’ll need to master is learning how to market the ads.

  • Which Networks? – Amazon, Ebay Partners, Google Network, Commission Junction, LinkShare and ShareASale are all fantastic entrees into the affiliate world. Simply create a login as an advertiser and apply to companies’ programs. It usually takes a day or two to hear back if you’ve been accepted. Beware, some of the most popular companies may want to see you have a good amount of traffic to your site.
  • What To Look For – When selecting ads you’ll want to pay close attention to commission rates, average sale and cookie length (the time the affiliate link stays with the person who clicked through on your ad. The longer the better). 
  • Marketing Your Ads – Unless you already have a tremendous amount of traffic to your site, you’ll need to start working those ads. Use keyword phrases in your content to attract like-minded purchase. Determine a budget you can spend on Google Ads and market these terms. The Super Affiliate Handbook is a wonderful resource to get you up to speed. 

Cheryl Woods

Cheryl Woods is an accomplished photographer, designer and branding consultant with a career spanning 20+ years. Her photographic work includes editorial, fashion, portraiture and product photography for major companies in the consumer products field including QVC and Hanover Direct. She received a B.F.A. in Photography from the University of the Arts and an M.F.A. in Media Design from Full Sail University. Cheryl's work has been exhibited at the Lowes Museum of Art in Coral Gables, FL, The New York Independent Film Festival and the Rosenwald Wolf Gallery in Philadelphia, PA. Check out her website here!


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