Maybe you are an amateur photographer, or even a seasoned professional looking to add another dimension to your portfolio or even another stream of revenue to your business. Whatever the reason you have for starting a photo blog, it can be more than just a fun sideline. It can also be a great way to create more profit from your photos.
Photo blogging can be a really simple enterprise, but to set up a photo blog for fun and profit there will be a few steps you need to take, and some basic things about blogging and monetizing your blog that you will need to know.
Get Things Ready
The first things you will need to do is get things set up. This means you will need a domain name, probably something that is either your name, the name of your business, or a combination of the two. Just be careful with your name and use an online domain name search tool to make sure the one you want is not already taken by someone else.
Secondly, you will need to choose a host. There are a number of hosts out there, from GoDaddy to hosts specifically dedicated to photo bloggers. There are also two types of hosting, dedicated and shared hosting. Shared hosting is the most common, and the least expensive. It can handle up to an average amount of traffic and is what most blogs on the web use. However, it is not the best if you anticipate a large number of visitors to your site.
The other type is dedicated hosting, which means you have a server dedicated only to your site. This means you can handle a lot more traffic and also have a lot more memory. Most enterprise sites are on dedicated servers.
Lastly, you will need to choose a theme or design. You can either have one custom created for you by a web designer, or you can use a pre-created template on platforms like WordPress. The Theme sets up the basic look and feel of your site, and there are free themes, premium themes, and even more customizable themes you can purchase with a minimal amount of investment.
Once you have your website set up, you are ready to add some content.
Be Careful with Your Content
As a photographer, one of the biggest challenges you will face is people violating your copyright and stealing photos for their own use without giving you credit or paying you for their use.
This is something to be aware of when you start a photo blog. There are a few steps you can take to be careful with your content and keep it from being stolen.
- Only upload lower resolution files and keep the high resolution ones secure behind a paywall, where you can sell digital copies or prints.
- Watermark even the photos you do upload. This makes them much more challenging for people to steal.
- Set up Google Image Search alerts. These will notify you if your images have been used anywhere you have not authorized them to be. It also gives you a place to showcase where they have been used before, a great selling tool.
You want to show off your skills, but you don’t want others to be able to use them without permission, or even worse, sell them for their own profit. Be sure to protect your images, and if you do not know how, get help from the start.
It’s no fun to chase down copyright violators, and you want your blog to be both fun and profitable.
Sell Your Products
Part of profiting from your photography is that you can sell prints not only on other websites, but from your own site. Selling digital copies in various sizes and even prints you can ship to the buyer is a viable business model that is easy to implement.
Of course you will need a platform that can handle these sales, something like an ecommerce store or WooCommerce plug-in. You will need to add some security to your site as well as a way to take payments. You can do this through PayPal, Square, and many others. Physical orders of prints will require both inventory tracking and shipping.
At first, when you are getting a small number of orders, you can probably handle these tasks yourself, but as you grow as a company, you may want to outsource them to someone else so that you can spend your time more wisely, taking more photos.
Besides selling your own products or services, you can sell others products through advertising. You can place native ads like those offered by Google AdSense to your site, and get paid every time someone clicks on an ad.
You can also get paid through affiliate advertising. This means that if you use a product or service you really like, you could become an affiliate for them. Whether that was Cannon cameras or Photoshop software, you have a unique link that leads to that advertiser’s store. You get paid every time someone makes a purchase through your link.
You could also find a site sponsor, someone who has a product or service they want you to showcase on your site on a regular basis. These sponsors can be a great source of revenue, and will also often offer you content to post, products to review, and more.
Photo blogging can not only be a great and fun outlet, but it can be a way for you to make some extra money as well. Blogging for fun and profit means you need to have a strategy and stick with it. Be careful about your content, and find ways to make money from doing the thing you love anyway.