Are you skeptical about making money from selling photos, given that everyone can use AI tools to generate genuinely unique images? Do you believe that photographers are in danger? The reality is that the demand for high-quality pictures is currently at an all-time high, and many photographers make money from selling photos to both large companies and individuals. You can also venture into this domain if you have the skill to capture great shots. Starting such a side business requires a minimal investment, and you don’t need coding skills.
Who Could Sell Photos?
The good news is that anyone can potentially make money from selling photos. However, the less favorable news is that only a small fraction of photographers manage to earn substantial income from selling their photos. The success of this endeavor hinges on several factors, including:
Quality of the Images: Your photographs should be captivating, original, and visually appealing. They must stand out as professionally taken and possess a unique edge that differentiates them from the works of other photographers.
Effective Marketing: Generating awareness about your work is essential. Whether you like it or not, marketing is just as vital as honing your photography skills.
Time Investment: If you believe that uploading ten photos to a marketplace will instantly yield thousands of dollars, you’re mistaken. The quantity and quality of photos you upload directly influence your earning potential. The more photos you make available, the greater your chances of earning money.
Modalities of Selling Photos
There are numerous ways of selling photos, but two options are the most popular. The first option – selling photos on marketplaces is simple and implies zero investment. Stock photography websites like Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, and Getty Images allow photographers to upload their images and earn royalties whenever the images are downloaded or used.
The second option is to make money from selling photos directly on your website or portfolio. While it is more intricate, this approach grants you greater control over your business. Naturally, you can choose to pursue both avenues simultaneously—selling on marketplaces and through your personal website.
In the subsequent sections, our focus will be directed towards the process of selling photos through your individual website.
How to Create a Website to Sell Photos
There aren’t necessarily bad or good ways to create a website to sell your photographic works. It depends on your preferences and skills. For example, go for Shopify if you are a proficient user of the platform. However, we strongly believe that WordPress is the best solution for most photographers. It works for both experienced coders and non-coders. Moreover, WordPress has the most themes and plugins to enhance your website’s functionality. It’s important to note that while we advocate for WordPress, it’s not the sole method for establishing your website. Assuming you opt for WordPress, here is a breakdown of the steps to follow.
Select a Hosting Provider
The host platform is the foundation of your website – it might not be visible, yet its significance cannot be overstated. Luckily, you have tons of alternatives to store your site files and the prices are pretty affordable, especially for new customers. Start with shared plans to save money because, in the early stages, your site won’t attract large cohorts of customers. As your website gains momentum, consider upgrading to VPN, dedicated servers, or cloud hosting to accommodate increased traction.
Find the Best Theme
People are extremely impatient when setting up a business website. The excitement can cloud judgment, leading to ill-advised decisions. Selecting the WordPress theme for your website shouldn’t be an emotional decision. Don’t choose a WordPress theme that you like because your website is for customers. Therefore, go for a theme that will help them. Yet, it’s not enough! The theme should be aligned with your brand. If your focus is on evoking emotions through artistic photography, align your theme accordingly. Conversely, if your photography is more commercial, opt for a theme that exudes professionalism over artistic flair.
However, selecting a theme takes time, so we prepared for you two suggestions.
Rife is our theme and we might be biased, so you’d better explore it firsthand to form your own opinion. Start by studying the demos – PhotoProof, OneLander, Fully, Sonata, East, or Caroline. All these demos reveal the potential of Rife. It’s a matter of a few clicks to import your favorite demo and just edit it to match your style and needs.
Rife has been meticulously designed with photographers in mind. It offers an array of options for displaying images, including sliders and galleries to neatly organize your work. The multiple types of headers, footers, and portfolio pages allow you to create an exceptional website. What’s more, Rife boasts clean code that’s optimized for both speed and search engine visibility, ensuring a seamless user experience.
Divi is a versatile and powerful solution for creating stunning websites without any coding knowledge. With its intuitive drag-and-drop builder and a wide range of pre-designed layouts, Divi offers unmatched customization flexibility. It works for any kind of project and the countless options to customize your website will blow you away.
Install necessary plugins
The theme is responsible for the design of your website, while the plugins are to expand its functionality. Consequently, you have to install a couple of plugins to improve the website’s performance and user experience. Don’t worry, most plugins needed for your photo business are free of charge. Begin with SEO and caching plugins, these are indispensable for any website. The WordPress plugin repository includes a bunch of excellent plugins in these areas. Yoast, All in One SEO, and Rank Math are the most popular SEO plugins while WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache are the most installed caching plugins.
Next, you should install an ecommerce plugin and WooCommerce is by far the most popular. It helps you handle the selling process, so you have to pay close attention to its configuration. Finally, install a plugin for image handling if the theme’s options aren’t enough for your needs.
Promote, Promote, Promote
Setting up a website to make money from selling photos is only half of the job. An actionable marketing strategy is as important as the site itself. Create an actionable strategy to promote your website and services. Be aware that the results won’t appear overnight. It’s about consistent effort and patience. It would help a lot if you have already a reputable personal brand.
Success in the photography business requires much effort. It takes time to build a reputation, establish a customer base, and generate a steady income. Be patient and persistent in your efforts. Learn from your experiences, adapt to changes, and keep refining your craft.