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How to Make Money with Photography – Small Business Trends

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Photography can be so much more than a hobby. Those who enjoy photography often are inclined to turn their passions into successful small businesses. With some talent, a camera and a computer, any photo enthusiast has the potential to make money in the photography industry. There are so many ways to make money with photography, including the following 21 amazing methods.

21 Amazing Ways to Make Money with Photography

Do you dream of becoming a professional photographer? Do you have photography skills, a camera and a computer? Whether you want to specialize in wedding photography, sell poster prints online or edit photos for other photographers, you can make money in the photography industry.

Many photographers become successful small business owners by specializing in one or more photography niche, and sometimes diversifying their efforts is the formula for financial success. Interested in making money with photography? The next question then becomes where to sell photos, because there are many options. You can earn money as a photographer in the following 21 ways:

1. Create a Photography Blog

Photographers can make money by creating photography blogs featuring their work and expert advice. A photography blogger attracts visitors to their website by publishing vivid photographs, often for sale, and other web content including photography tutorials and articles about the craft. When a blog attracts a large enough following, it can be monetized by featuring ads, affiliate marketing links and other influencer marketing efforts.

2. Advertise Wedding Photography Services

You can establish a small business as a wedding photographer. There is always a great demand for shooting weddings, and a wedding photography business is a great way to make money in the industry. Remember, a wedding isn’t an opportunity simply to point and shoot your camera. The bride and groom want to look amazing in their wedding photos, so you’ll want to sharpen your photo editing skills. Taking impressive photos of weddings can then open doors to other event photography opportunities. Many wedding photographers start small and ultimately open their own studios.

3. Sell Stock Photos on Stock Photography Sites

One of the most popular ways to make money with photography is by selling your work on stock photography websites like Shutterstock and iStock. Stock sites allows customers to purchase permission to use a digital image for personal or commercial use. Photographers submit their best images to the stock sites, which then display the images for sale in their digital catalogs. Customers purchase the photography online, download the images, and the stock photography website pays the photographer a portion of the revenue.

4. Join Photo Contests

One way many budding photographers try making money with photography is by joining photo contests that award cash prizes for the best photos. You don’t have to look very hard to find a plethora of available photography contests, many offering substantial prize money. Not only does winning a photo contest mean you’re making money with photography, but it offers valuable exposure that can lead to other paid professional photography opportunities.

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5. Sell Photo Prints

People are always looking for amazing photos and wall art to decorate their homes and workplaces. Some professional photographers make a living by selling photo prints on their own website. You might find a market selling landscape photography or travel photos, while others specialize in framed prints or canvas prints. Some photographers prefer to sell fine art prints, while others might sell more commercial images on their websites. When it comes to art, there’s a market for everything. If you’re just getting your start selling prints and don’t yet have your own website, a variety of online marketplaces like Fine Art America are available for selling high quality photos.

6. Run Photography Classes

Are you a skilled photographer with expertise to share? From finding the right cameras to the best studio lights, you can make money by running photography classes and inspiring aspiring photographers to follow in your footsteps. While you can teach photography to groups of local students, many photographers reach a larger audience by teaching photography online. Whether it’s through video tutorials on YouTube or Instagram or a webinar posted to your own website, you can attract an online audience by creating engaging educational content about photography. Then, you can charge people to access the content or you can monetize the website where the content resides.

7. Make Money with Travel Photography

Do you love traveling? You can make money photographing your experiences. There is always a demand from publishers and advertisers for travel-related photos, especially photos of popular tourist destinations. Freelance travel photographers who can also write well can boost their incomes by writing accompanying written content for travel magazines and travel agencies.

8. Specialize in Portrait Photography

Portraits continue to be in high demand among all demographics as people are always looking for a quality photographs of families, couples, teams and individuals. A photographer who specializes in shooting portraits can open their own studio or travel to take photos at locations like schools and shopping centers. While anyone can take their own portrait, not everyone is a skilled photographer who has honed the craft of portrait making and photo editing.

9. Sell Eye-catching Posters and Merch

Some online photography marketplaces specialize in posters, and photographers can transform their images into eye-catching wall art to sell to the public. Customers seeking engaging poster-sized images can visit sites like Redbubble to purchase prints, and the photographer earns a portion of the sales. Photographers also can make money by selling their photos to print on phone cases, stationery, clothing, blankets and more.

10. Offer Prints on Demand

Photographers with ample portfolios can set up their own online stores and sell prints on demand. Availabile photographs can be showcased in an online gallery, and a customer can order prints of photos they want to own, which can be sold in a variety of sizes and on multiple mediums. There’s no need to print photos in advance and risk the investment in unsold prints, just display your portfolio and wait for customers to order their favorites.

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11. Freelance for a Magazine

Print and online publications like magazines and newspapers are always in need of high-quality photos, and you can make money from photography by selling images to them. Some freelance photographers take assignments from specific publications, while others take photos they believe will be of interest and sell them to the highest bidder. Publication niches that feature freelance photography range from travel, outdoors and entertainment to auto sales and real estate listings.

12. Become a Paparazzo

If you live in an area known for its celebrity sightings, you might be able to make money as a paparazzo photographer, shooting images of major names at events and in their everyday lives. Paparazzi jobs in places like Los Angeles and New York City are lucrative, and the photographers are well paid for in-demand shots of celebrities, but it is also a challenging and highly-competative market.

13. Advertise Maternity Photo Shoots

Some professional photographers make names for themselves by specializing in the maternity photo shoot niche. Expectant mothers and their families love to cherish the memories of a pregnancy, and a photographer who can capture that special glow can build a successful small business with loyal clientele. Photographers can either open their own studio where they conduct maternity photo shoots, or they can take their photos on location in cooperation with their customers.

14. Promote Pet Photography

Do you relate well to animals? Pet photography is a niche growing in popularity as more customers look to preserve precious memories of their furry family members. Photographers who can establish rapport with pets, and who have the reflexes to capture fleeting photographic moments before they pass, can find success promoting pet photography, which can take place at a studio but more often takes place at locations like parks and clients’ homes.

15. Sell Real Estate Photos for Advertisements

Taking photos for real estate advertisements can be a lucrative gig for professional photographers. When listing properties on websites and in trade publications, realtors need high-quality photographs to showcase the homes. The better the photographs, the more interest they will generate. You can make money with photography by sharpening your photographic skills, shooting buildings in ways that bring them to life and showcase their best features.

16. Photograph Small Businesses

Its hard for any modern small business to succeed without a web presence, and nobody wants to visit a website without images. While some companies will choose to purchase stock photographs for their websites, many small businesses seek professional photographers to capture these important images. You can make money from photography by specializing in providing services to small businesses, shooting photos of their properties, teams, products and services.

17. Become an Instagram Influencer

If you frequently post high-quality, engaging photographs to social media platforms like Instagram, and you develop a large following of fans, you can monetize your social media presence as an Instagram influencer. Influencers produce an abundance of social media content, then earn money through activities like selling merchandise, featuring affiliate links and accepting donations.

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18. Photograph Events

Weddings aren’t the only events where photographers are in high demand. From company events to homecoming dances to family reunions, people love having photos to remember life’s special moments. Sometimes event photographers are hired to take a portfolio of images for the organization, while others take individual shots and sell photos to attendees. By offering their business cards at events, photographers can take advantage of key networking opportunities and further expand their small businesses.

19. Edit and Retouch Photos

You don’t have to be behind the camera to make money with photography. If you are a photographer who has mastered the craft of editing and retouching photos, you can form a small business performing the service for others. You don’t even need a fancy camera to retouch photos. All you need is a computer and any of an assortment of available photo editing software options.

20. Serve as Photography Assistant

A photographer just starting their career might make money serving as a photography assistant to another professional. An assistant photographer can learn valuable skills at the side of a seasoned photographer while making money helping with the photography equipment list, providing customer service, managing schedules, and other tasks related to the overall photography business.

21. Specialize in Infant Photography

Do you have a knack with kids? If you can connect with babies from behind the lens, you can earn a decent amount of money working as an infant photographer. Practically every new parent wants to capture the precious few moments when their children are in the infant stage, but special skill is required to take quality photos of babies. A photographer who sharpens those skills and specializes in infant photography can benefit from a high-demand niche that requires a professional with the right demeanor to work with kids.

How much money do photographers make?

How much money do photographers make? A photographer’s income can vary widely depending on the professional’s niche, location and volume of work. According to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average wage for photographers is between $30,000 and $40,000 per year, although the top 10% of earners make more than $70,000 each year. Nationwide, the median hourly wage for a photographer is just under $20 an hour, with half of photographers earning more than that wage and the other half making less.

Which type of photography makes the most money?

Photography wages widely vary because there is such a variety of niches in multiple markets, each with varying levels of demand and profitability. A high-fashion commercial photographer, for example, will make far more money than a family portrait studio in a small town. In general, commercial and marketing photographers, including advertising photography and real estate photography, earn more than those who sell photos to individuals, simply because there is a high demand and more money to be spent by big business than by private families.

Image: Depositphotos


AFFILIATE MARKETING

How Brands Can Use Affiliate Marketing to Increase Their Marketing ROI

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How Brands Can Use Affiliate Marketing to Increase Their Marketing ROI


Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Getting a strong return on a marketing investment: It keeps a lot of people up at night. How will the money spent on that PR firm translate into sales dollars? How will that huge advertising campaign that cost a million dollars impact your brand? For most marketing initiatives, determining ROI is an unpredictable waiting game with no guaranteed outcome.

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There’s one marketing model that plays by a different set of rules, however — rules based on paying for performance after results have been driven. Affiliate marketing, once viewed as a shot in the dark, is driven today by sophisticated technology, transparency between partners and compensation tied to specific, measurable results.

Related: How This Affiliate Marketer Learned Enough About His Craft to Strike Out on His Own

That said, a successful affiliate program requires the right experience and partners. Whether you’re looking to start an affiliate program or take an existing program to the next level, you need a strong team behind you. Here are the five players you need to ensure you’re driving the affiliate ROI you want:

1. An Agency

Unless your company has the resources and bandwidth to build a team of several people with extensive affiliate marketing knowledge and experience, hiring an agency is the best option. Agency marketers are experienced at handling the multifaceted complexities that come with building and growing a high-performing program.

Make sure you’re clearly looking at the agency’s setup, ensuring it’s based on performance. I once saw a speech by Robert Glazer, the CEO of Acceleration Partners, a global affiliate marketing company. He wrote a book called “Performance Partnerships,” which focused on aligning any affiliate program with performance. It’s easy to fall for the trap of working with a company that says it will bring you sales, but make sure it puts its money where its mouth is. If it doesn’t deliver in the short term, chances are high it might not be able to meet long-term expectations.

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2. A Scalable Network or Platform

Whether it’s an affiliate network or SaaS platform, all affiliate marketing programs need a technology platform to run on. Your platform should be able to support your growth plans and offer you the right features and geographical coverage, particularly if yours is a global brand.

Awin is an example of this type of platform. The firm provides technology that helps address industry challenges, such as third-party tracking, data light tracking, attribution and advanced commissioning. These types of data weren’t available years ago, but with new tech advances, you can identify what works, as well as when and why. It’s not just valuable for the affiliate program, but for also learning what works so you can apply that knowledge to different sales channels.

3. Loyalty Partners

If you want to scale your program quickly, you’ll need to partner with players who are focused on establishing loyal customers. Ebates is one of the bigger players in the loyalty sector operating on a performance basis. The brand is actively expanding its markets and its categories beyond retail to include travel, dining and ride-sharing for cash-back rewards.

It’s important to determine whether these types of partners will truly create loyalty or attract the wrong types of customers. If you pick the right type of loyalty partner, it can result in the strong, loyal customer base that’s key to long-term brand survival.

Related: How Loyalty Programs Are Emerging as Effective Marketing Tools

4. Mobile Partners

Customers are increasingly spending time on mobile devices and apps, so it’s imperative to have partners within your affiliate program who dominate the mobile ecosystem.

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Ibotta is an example of one of these apps in the U.S., connecting consumers with grocery, retail and lifestyle brands and rewarding them with cash for buying things they need. I used the app pretty easily when I was standing in line with customer service after a purchase. I simply took a picture of the receipt, and the app applied the cash back to my account. With a lot of mobile user growth, it’s good to look at partners who have developed a mobile user experience that makes things easy and accessible for the customer.

5. Tech-Driven Publishers

The affiliate space has grown well beyond coupon and deal partners. To drive incremental revenue on a performance basis within your program, consider partnering with publishers who are advanced in e-commerce technology, including deep website integration and artificial intelligence.

RevLifter is one example: The company helps brands deliver more conversions, incremental sales and customers by personalizing deals for advertisers across marketing channels. Available worldwide on a pay-per-performance model, it uses AI to understand real-time signals from users’ on-site behavior and deliver the right deal to the right customer at the right time.

Related: Partner Programs Turn Competitors Into Collaborators

Whether you’re new to affiliate marketing or simply needing to step up your game, checking off these boxes will help you develop a strong affiliate marketing program. ROI is hard to manage when you’re running a bevy of marketing programs, but the right team can help you take the reins — and get the outcome you want.



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AFFILIATE MARKETING

This $19 Course Demystifies Affiliate Marketing in Two Hours Flat

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This $19 Course Demystifies Affiliate Marketing in Two Hours Flat


Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.

Fire up your go-to social media feed, and there’s a good chance you’ll scroll past at least one promo code or coupon being promoted by an influencer you follow. Without even trying, you’ve been exposed to a new brand, as well as an incentive in the form of a free trial or discount that might just get you to convert. That’s the magic of affiliate marketing.

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Companies big and small are leveraging affiliate marketing to drive brand awareness and conversions, and affiliate marketers stand to make a pretty penny for their services. Of course, the field can be a bit tricky to crack. but that’s what the SEO Affiliate Domination course is for. Now only $19, this course can help you make a killing in the affiliate marketing scene; and for 90% off what it would usually cost.

In just two hours, this course offers a detailed look into the lucrative world of affiliate marketing. Jump in, and you’ll discover important strategies for e-commerce, affiliate marketing, SEO, and video marketing; and you’ll emerge with a greater understanding of how to build brand authority.

Normally $199, the SEO Affiliate Domination course is on sale for only $19, a whopping 90% off the usual price.



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AFFILIATE MARKETING

Pick a Marketing Model That Lets You Pay for Results, Not Potential

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Pick a Marketing Model That Lets You Pay for Results, Not Potential


Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In an era of caution, companies need to invest in marketing efforts that lead to a direct payoff and don’t require more than they can afford. Over the past week, I’ve had to evaluate all the things I’m doing at Calendar to see what’s really moving the needle. It’s astonishing the things we’re spending money on that aren’t actually driving revenue to our bottom line.

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As today’s environment forces drastic behavioral shifts in our daily lives, companies of all sizes and in all industries are evaluating the changes they need to make to stay nimble in our new economic reality. As businesses adapt to the stay-home economy, they’ll be focusing on which investments drive the best possible outcomes.

Businesses are used to pouring money into marketing channels that require upfront, flat-fee investments for promised inputs and potential outputs. Rather than invest in these marketing channels, companies can leverage affiliate marketing, which only requires them to pay partners once they’ve achieved the desired result.

Related: How to Build a Reliable (and Profitable) Affiliate Network From Scratch

What is affiliate marketing?

When managing their marketing budgets, companies should invest in channels tied directly to outcomes and avoid unnecessary risk. After all, if they pour all their funds into marketing but see no payoff, how will they afford to develop their products and services further? 

Affiliate marketing (often called “partner marketing”) is simple: A brand partners with a publisher, or an affiliate, to market a product or service to its audience using a tracking platform. Unlike marketing channels that require upfront payment, brands pay publishers a percentage-based commission for each sale generated through their content. 

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Forrester predicted that by the close of this year, U.S. ecommerce sales would total $500 billion. Combine that with predictive analytics firm Custora’s prediction that affiliate marketing will influence 14 percent of ecommerce purchases in the U.S., and that means affiliate marketing will impact $70 billion worth of sales. Pepperjam’s Adobe Summit 2017 Survey revealed that only 4 percent of are investing in affiliate marketing, meaning there’s a big opportunity. 

Related: Three Trends That Will Drive the E-commerce Sector In 2019

How affiliate marketing pays off (in more ways than one).

Affiliate marketing offers a cost-per-action (CPA) payment structure instead of a cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-impression (CPM) structure. This creates a sustainable, competitive advantage because businesses only have to pay for converted sales and leads after the publisher finalizes them. Even during tough times, brands should always want to pay for incremental revenue. It prevents businesses from throwing good money after bad — they don’t need to invest large amounts of money into marketing campaigns or ads that turn out to not convert as expected.

Instead of continuously investing money into Facebook and Google, hoping it leads to conversions, affiliate marketing enables brands to broadcast their product to a wide audience of potential customers with a pay-for-performance pricing model. It also enables them to be more hands-off, allowing their affiliate partners to use their brand standards to do the work themselves. Affiliate programs can even include partners who will share the brand via Facebook or Google; unlike traditional methods on those platforms, these will be paid based on those campaigns’ performance, allowing a low-risk entry to these channels. 

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Related: How Much Should You Spend on Social Media Marketing?

Even in an uncertain economy, this framework can scale. Because the marketing investment is only a portion of the revenue the partnership brings in, businesses just have to figure what they’re willing to pay for each transaction or new customer. They don’t have to worry about pouring excessive budget into a single channel. 

In a precarious marketplace, businesses need to stabilize their immediate future by investing in channels that they know will drive profit. Affiliate marketing is the model for this moment: It’s built on transparent and trusting relationships, where brands and partners set clear expectations and companies only have to pay for the outcomes they get.

People are at home, and that’s where affiliate marketers can capture their attention. Companies can stay ahead of the game by using affiliate marketing to maximize their ROI and make sure they’re paying for outcomes, not inputs.



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