Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Photos For Profit
Ways to make income with your best images
Labels: Sharing and Websites
|This Article Features Photo Zoom|
PhotoShelter does more than stock licensing; it's also a great way to sell individual prints of your work by turning your site into an online photo store. More than just selling prints to the select group of buyers you personally send to your site, the benefit of being a part of PhotoShelter's network is that buyers know the service as a place to go for high-quality photographs. Whether they want to license stock or buy prints, shoppers visit PhotoShelter on a daily basis. If their search term matches keywords in your photographs, your work will be presented to the customer. You can choose to make it a fully automatic transaction that only appears to you as dollars deposited into your bank account, or you may want to hand-print and deliver the products to your customer directly in order to personalize the process.
One of the nicest things about selling your prints with the help of PhotoShelter is the company's commitment to improving business for photographers. This extends to workshops, tools and articles designed to improve your website's search engine optimization, the caliber of your online presence and the quality of your photographic products themselves.
|SmugMug's product configuration tools let you choose what photo products you'd like to offer, choose finishes and set pricing with an interface that's clean and easy to understand|
PhotoShelter isn't the only option for selling prints to a worldwide audience, though. Zenfolio works much the same way, as do services like DropShots and SmugMug. Free photo-sharing sites such as 500px and Flickr also make print sales easier by allowing you to promote your work to an inherently interested audience. Much as it does in the stock arena, Flickr makes it possible to sell prints of your photographs by delivering an adoring audience. Though print sales aren't seamlessly integrated (at least not yet), many Flickr photographers find that their fans ask about ordering. You can make it clear in your profile and caption information that prints are for sale, plus offer links to your own website or other services online where users can purchase those prints.
Etsy might be the most popular place online for artists and craftspeople of all sorts to sell their handmade wares. Many photographers sell prints through the site, along with other products featuring their photography—there's no reason you can't sell everything from T-shirts to coffee cups and coasters adorned with your photographs. Etsy doesn't fulfill orders, but it puts interested buyers in touch directly with sellers, and handles the financial transaction. It has a built-in audience that appreciates wonderful work, but to make the most of it, a network of interested fans is very helpful—like the kind garnered through Flickr and other social-media sites.
If you're fortunate enough to be a superstar photographer with a big book publisher's backing, you're able to sell your books through a variety of powerful online sources—the publisher's outlets, your own website, even Amazon.com. But the vast majority of us don't have such highly financed backers, so we need a more democratic book-publishing system. Enter Blurb.com. Blurb is a book publisher that harnesses digital printing efficiencies to keep costs down and make it possible to print small runs—even a single beautifully bound hardback book—without breaking the bank.
|Bay Photo provides a variety of specialty printed items, including a range of book options.|
And as we're living in this brave new world, Blurb also makes it possible to easily turn your book designs into downloadable ebooks for tablets like the iPad. Then you can sell your book to an even broader audience.
|AdoramaPix and others offer a lay-flat binding that beautifully presents photo spreads.|
However you choose to print your book, you'll find that sales are tied as much to marketing as they are to the quality of your work. Don't be shy—use every Internet advantage you have, and make it known that your work is for sale, be it books, prints or stock photography.
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