Hi everyone, Keith here. In this article I’m going to be discussing, loosely, a conversation that I had with a photographer friend/neighbor of mine.
Ultimately we decided that I would help her setup a website to sell her photographs. I will be using WordPress because it is free and simple to use. During the case study I will show you how the site was built, where else her photos are being sold and how to do the same, some of the work that went in to gain traffic from search engines, and her initial successes, among other things.
I will also be recording how-to videos along the way that will help her with the setup and maintenance of her business, that I will share here with you as well. All bases will be covered and you will have all the information that you need to setup an online photo business yourself, or the content needed to help outsourcers set things up for you.
Like many artists, my friend is very passionate about her work, which became clear to me recently when she did a “photo shoot” for me and my kids.
My idea was to have two photos done. One that represents my life as a stay at home dad, being able to break away from “work” anytime that I please to spend time with my children doing what we love. One thing that we really enjoy is walking in nature. Right near our house is a patch of trees that, to many people’s surprise, contains a pear tree and 4 apple trees, among other wild edibles. I also maintain a raw food web site, so I thought this would be a perfect time to get a photo to represent that site as well.
I have seen Meagan with her camera around the neighborhood, and I have seen her work used on the blog for the local newspaper. Plus, I see her collages on Facebook. But at this stage she hasn’t really done any photography “work” for money.
We Got To Talking About Her Passion, And She Wondered How She Could Make A Living At It
While we were out getting our photos, the kids and I just went about our walk, doing what we do. She just stayed in the background snapping away. I have never hired a photographer before in this capacity so I didn’t know what to expect.
At the end of the day she Dropboxed me (Dropbox is a way where two or more computers have access to the same folder and/or files) over 100 photos. I was shocked because we were only out a short while. She just got lost in her work and took plenty of brilliant photos. I had many more than two to choose from. She also took some nature pics for her own collection.
At any rate, we began talking on Facebook after and she was asking about a good way to make money from the Internet with her passion. Being a mom to two children, her son still considered a newborn, it wasn’t realistic to think that she could go about it full time.
She needed a passive way to make money with her photography.
Selling Stock Photography Online For A Passive Income
Initially Meaghan was thinking of ways to share her expertise or to find clients to make money. She hadn’t realized that she could sell some or all of her existing photos.
I talked to her about stock photography and how she could upload her photos online and sell them to web masters, graphic designers, and other online entrepreneurs. Over and over and over.
What appealed to her most is that she could simply upload, organize, and describe her photos and she didn’t have to handle delivery because it’s all automated.
We talked about using existing marketplaces and the benefits and limitations. Essentially, the main benefit is built in, ready to buy traffic, on sites that are authorities in the search engines. The main drawback would be lack of control, and sharing revenue.
While it is possible to sell stock photos in an existing marketplace and get up and running very quickly, it’s also possible to have your own web site to do the same. But why not do both? If the marketplace rules for selling photos are similar to that for selling themes and plugins, where sometimes there is an exclusivity clause, she couldn’t sell the same photos on her site that she has in the marketplace. But that’s OK!
An Existing Collection of Stock Photography to Sell in Established Marketplaces and Her Own Site
Meaghan has been taking photos since she was a young child. Although it hasn’t been long where she has been storing photos digitally on her computer, she has amassed quite a collection that hasn’t seen the light of day… yet!
I feel that some could be sold in established stock photography marketplaces and some could be sold on her own web site. That way, in some cases she could also promote her site from the marketplaces. And also, she could get experience in both settings. She could earn money sooner in the marketplace and slowly (or rapidly) build a following on her web site and keep all the money.
With the Right Tools it Could Take Just a Couple Hours to Create a Photo Selling Web Site
Knowing about the photo selling plugin for WordPress available here on Tips & Tricks I knew that it wouldn’t take long at all to set up a web site ready for selling photos.
Sure, I could use a general store plugin but it makes more sense to use a plugin designed specifically for selling photos. It keeps the maintenance, function, and setup simplified. Plus, it handles situations specific to photo selling such auto-watermarking to prevent image theft.
What To Expect In The Case Study?
As I move forward with the site I am going to share Meaghan’s and my conversation about the decision making process in terms of the web site name, categories, etc. I’ll share with you the existing marketplaces that she contributed content to and talk about any specifics that I’ve learned about those sites.
And naturally, I will record videos so that you could watch over my shoulder as I build the site and set everything up. These videos will be accompanied by written tutorials, so stay tuned.
Subscribe to the Tips & Tricks to be notified when the new information is added to this site. Meaghan and I will be working at it part time and will update when we can.