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Photography is a very creative and fun hobby to pursue. Whether you’re a beginner, learning as you go or have some advanced skills, photography can also help you earn passive income.
A photography business is ideal for stay at home moms or dads who want to make extra income from their homes.
Mobile photography is something you can convert into a real business, just like traditional photography.
I have covered how to actively make money with photography. In this post, 15 ways to make extra cash online with photography, you can find out how.
This new post, however, is about how to make passive income with your photographies. Passive income, meaning you do the work up front to create an asset and collect ongoing income later.
For you, this may mean your own photography business. How big or small you want to make this business depends on your goals.
You can make, for example, $1,000 a month for extra cash. On the other hand, you may want to create a larger business and earn a lot more. The scope and size of your photography blog or side hustle depends on you.
The first thing is to create a photography blog or website with your own domain name. The best way to start making passive income with photography is having your own platform.
Your platform will help you to create digital products for sale and to form affiliate partnerships to earn commissions.
Here, I help you create your own blog in 8 steps.
Why you need your own blog with your own domain and host?
Free Host/Domain vs. Paid Host/Domain
Your photography blog domain name should be owned by you and not by a free platform or third party.
There are free site builders that will let you create your website or blog, this is tempting, but it’s not the optimal choice. Your blog’s url or domain will contain the name of the free site builder.
Here is why it’s important to have your own domain name and hosting service.
- Your blog will look more professional with your own domain. A free site builder will include its name also. For example, a free builder will give you “www.photos123.freesitebuilder.com”. Instead of www.photos123.com, for example.
- It is more difficult to monetize a free site, than it is to monetize one with your own domain and hosting.
- Your own hosting service will give you more space in the server. A photography blog or site needs plenty of space because of the use of images.
- If you decide to change to a paid domain and hosting, it will be difficult to transfer your blog. Plus, you’ll get a new url. As your blog grows, it’s very likely you’ll see a need and an opportunity to have your own hosting.
Once you have your photography blog or website, developing a strategy to earn passive income becomes more doable. You build upon your blog to earn money.
Here are the 5 ways to earn passive income with a photography blog or website.
1. Create your photography blog. This blog should teach the visitors using posts and how to guides about your niche. You can also write product reviews that focus on teaching your craft.
2. Focus on a photography specialty. Don’t try to do it all. This is good advice for blogging in general, focus your time and energy on 1-3 photo niches. Try out different things and stick to the ones you like the most and people engage the most with.
Developing one or a few niches will allow you to focus your learning, marketing and networking efforts. Learn to do specifics things related to your photography niche, learn them very well.
Focusing allows you to create a backbone (1 to 3 themes) for your blog and this makes it easier to monetize.
Photo specialties ideas for beginners include; Nature photography, sport photography, weddings, architecture, travel, creative, artsy, mobile photography, self-portraits, food photography etc.
3. Promote a few affiliate products or services. A big part of your business should be selling. This may include selling your own creations or recommending others’ services, as your affiliates.
You become an affiliate of another business by referring their products/services to your visitors/readers. Your visitor uses your affiliate link and make a purchase from the business. In return you get an agreed upon commission.
Since you are going to create a photography blog, then you should look for ideas to sell related products.
Ideas for beginners include; referring cameras, softwares, digital products/downloadables, lenses, tripods, photography bags and other accessories.
Typically, there are affiliates or merchants networks you can join. Then you apply to become an affiliate of companies within the network. For photography these are some of the popular affiliates networks, with varying commissions rates.
- Amazon Affiliates Program
- Ebay Patners
- B&H Photo Video
- Skylum Software
4. Create a course, a digital guide or a workshop on your specialty. So, you’ve decided on your photography specialty and know enough to put a valuable course together. Online learning has become very popular and photography is a good subject to learn online.
What types of courses can you create? Basic photography, lighting, food photography basics, nature and sport photo basics, mobile photography. It will all depends on your expertise and specialty.
If you already are covering nature photography on your blog, for example, selling a course on how to do nature photos may work for you. You already have the readers on your blog interested in this topic.
Teachable, Udemy and Masterclass.com are some of the platforms you can utilize to create and sell your photography course.
If you lack technical skills, don’t be afraid, you can contract out some of the tech work to freelancers who are budget friendly. Sites like, Fiverr, Upwork, Toptal, Freelancers, 99designs and many others make it simple to find tech help.
5. Develop photography digital products to sell. The best digital products are priced low to be sold to the DIY market. This market is already looking to save money by doing things themselves. If you can provide a low cost option to solve a problem they have, this can be your market.
Photo digital products may include; selling downloadable images, developing apps and creating plug ins to enhance photographies and images. Also, Photoshop services.
What about your technical skills? Contracting out the creation of apps and plug ins is not as expensive as you may think. Websites like Fiverr, Toptal, Craiglist, and Upwork provide a large market place of skills at different prices.
You may only have to invest a couple of hundreds dollars to develop the app you need.
The bottom line for making passive income with a photography business is setting up a platform (a blog or website), monetizing this platform with affiliate partnerships, creating a digital course or a how to guide and developing and selling related digital products. All of these around your blog and its niche content.
Photography is one of the best option for a work-at-home business path. You can set your own hours, while still having time for your family. It’s also a great creative outlet.
Earning passive income this way does require a lot of work upfront. This work is not immediately compensated. However, once you have set your business, most of the work is done and you’ll work less.
Read more about creating your blog, How to set up your own WordPress blog. Leave me a comment or question, I would love to help you.