Making money from your photographs is an excellent way to earn passive income online. All types of businesses as well as individual website owners are in need of photos.
Whether the photos are for a website or for printed material such as brochures, your photos can earn income for you when people choose to buy them.
I’ll share some great places to sell your photos online. Besides that, I’ll also share how you can generate another stream of online income in the photography niche using your own website.
Be sure to read through to the end to learn how to earn income in the photography niche!
How I escaped the 9-to-5 with a simple blog. Click here to learn how.
Places to Sell Photos Online
If you want to store your photos, create a photo website, and sell & license you photos, this is the place to do it. PhotoShelter enables you to display your work, sell your photos, and deliver them to your customers.
You can try out PhotoShelter using the free trial. Otherwise, there are three pricing plans, Basic, Standard, and Pro. They are $10/month, $25/month, and $45/month respectively.
Similar to PhotoShelter, Zenfolio lets photographers create a portfolio website. It also has a built-in shopping cart so that you can sell your photos.
What is also nice is that the eCommerce portion of Zenfolio also offers marketing tools such as coupons, emails, and Quick Shop so that clients can purchase your most popular products.
Pricing plans are $7/month, $15/month, and $30/month.
This service really simplifies the selling and delivery of your photos. Picfair lets you showcase your images and each photo can be purchased as a printed product or digital.
Picfair will produce your prints and handle the licenses for digital downloads of your photos. Pricing is reasonable starting with their free plan or $8.99 per month or $89.90 per year.
You can set up an online storefront for your photos and sell both print and digital downloads. Print options include canvas, metal, glass, and paper.
Smugmug pricing plans are monthly starting at $7, $11, $27, and $42. You get unlimited storage, free desktop and mobile apps, as well as 24/7 support.
This service lets you sell your photos across the most popular photography marketplaces from one place. Wirestock lets you share and showcase your content through your portfolio while selling on the largest marketplaces.
These marketplaces include Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, Deposit Photos, and more. You will receive 85% of all royalties earned through Wirestock.
How to Make Money in Photography Without Selling Photos
Besides selling your photos online, you can also make money selling cameras, lighting equipment, and more without buying inventory.
The way to do so is with affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is the promotion of another company’s products in exchange for a commission when a sale is made.
You never have to buy any products, store, pack, or ship anything. I’ve been doing affiliate marketing for a few years now so I understand how to promote products and make commissions.
There are many photography affiliate programs that you can join. These affiliate programs offer a percentage of the sale of their products.
You will be provided with special tracking links called affiliate links. You can share your link on your website, social media, emails, and wherever else you want.
The strategy that works best for me is creating niche websites.
What is a Niche Website?
A niche website is essentially a blog that focuses on one specific topic. There is an unlimited number of niches to choose from.
I always recommend choosing a niche that you have a genuine interest in. For example, one of the first niche websites I ever created was in the golf niche.
I know nothing about golf and I’ve never played it. It is a popular niche and the only reason that I chose it was because of the earning potential.
My golf niche website barely lasted a month. I became bored trying to write content for it. Needless to say, I gave up on the website and moved on.
However, if you have a genuine interest in your niche, you’ll have more fun creating content and content is what brings you free web traffic.
In this case, you may really enjoy photography. You can create a niche website on a particular subniche of the broader photography niche such as:
- wedding photography
- newborn photography
- beginner photography
Or whatever type of photography that you specialize in.
Create Your Website
You will need a blog and the most widely used blogging software is WordPress. I recommend getting a self-hosted WordPress website.
Meaning, you’ll need to register your own domain name, get a web hosting account, and install WordPress on your account.
I know that starting a website is a daunting task for many people. If you need step-by-step help and training, I recommend following the same online training program I used when I got started.
Following the training there helped me to transition out of a full-time retail job to working on my website full-time.
After your website is up, your job is to create content (blog posts) in order to attract targeted web visitors.
These visitors will be highly interested in your blog posts and the affiliate products that you recommend.
How to Make Commissions
The way your niche website will earn an income is by recommending various products related to your niche.
There are plenty of photography affiliate programs that you can join. Amazon Associates is one of the largest.
Amazon carries a wide variety of photography products from cameras to lighting and more. As an affiliate of Amazon, you can promote any of the products on the website.
They provide you with your affiliate links which give you credit anytime someone buys products using your links.
You can place your affiliate links within your blog post content and review pages. The key is consistency with content creation.
Selling your photos online is a smart way to generate a new passive income online. You can add to that by creating a photography niche website.
A niche website is excellent for generating passive income online. You can earn by promoting affiliate products related to your niche.
Creating a niche website was one of the best things I’ve done. It is the only business model that runs my business.
Learn how you can make a steady income online with a niche website and affiliate marketing. Click here to learn how I do it and how you can too.