If you are a photographer with a passion for the art, you are not alone, there are thousands just like you, and if you want to stand out and get noticed, you need an online photography portfolio website.
You may think that it is too costly and complicated to create a website for your work, but believe us, it's not. Having a portfolio website can open doors! And you don't have to be a professional photographer to get your work online either. You may be an amateur photographer or just a hobbyist, but didn't every professional photographer begin as an amateur or hobbyist? And where are they now? Their images are gracing the covers of international magazines! Everybody has to start somewhere.
So how do you go about creating a portfolio website to showcase, and even sell, your work online?
Creating a website is easy and fast if you know what you’re doing. First, you need a content management system – this makes updating your site really easy to do. We recommend Wix because of the ease of use and the fact that it has many great gallery options to choose from which provide excellent high-resolution display of your work.
Selling photos from your website
We live in the digital age and photography is the number one item everybody needs on their sites. So why not consider selling your photographs directly from your website? If someone browses your gallery and sees something they like, why not let them buy it then and there? For a long time, the only way to sell your photos online was through stock websites where you apply to have your pictures in their catalog, and they keep a hefty commission from your sales. But selling from your site cuts out the middleman and allows you more control over your earnings.
Creating images to sell as Stock Photography
If you are wondering if there is a market for stock photographs, rest assured, there is! And it's huge. Millions of business websites use stock photographs in their catalogs, websites, social media pages, blog articles, reports, newsletters and many more uses. There is a massive demand for high-quality stock images.
Why not start building up a collection of photographs that could be used by businesses as stock photos? As a general rule, generic business images along with symbolic pictures that illustrate concepts and emotions are a good choice to produce as the audience for such photos is quite broad.
There are some websites where you can sell your images such as iStockPhoto, Getty Images, Shutterstock and Bigstock to name a few. The good thing about these types of sites is that they handle all the marketing and their services are used by many people every day.
But be aware of the cost to sell on these sites. You are charged a commission on every sale of an image, and the amount you earn, called a 'royalty' varies between 20% to 60% so you won't see all of your potential earnings.
Your image will also be alongside thousands of other photos, so you may not stand out as well as you would like. For this reason, it is good to consider setting up your own space. Your photos are as unique as you, so give them a place where they can be set apart.
But let's say you do set up a portfolio website, you may be wondering what should it look like, how will I get people on there and what sort of payment system will I have to integrate?
It's not hard to attract an audience or following. The social media platforms do a remarkable job at helping in this area. Instagram has become a viral site for photographers, and the layout of Instagram makes that the perfect platform for gaining followers. Once you have followers, you have a ready stream of people eager to see your work, you will soon have some who will want to purchase from you, and this is why you need a portfolio website. From your social pages, followers can click on your profile and head straight over to your site where they will be able to make a purchase. And if they can buy directly from you it's more money in your pocket, so why wouldn't you? Also, if you are not sure how to set up such a site, then Wix is certainly going to help you in that area. You can create a site which is purely a catalogue of images. Its the perfect tool for those who are not programmers or tech savvy. Take a look a the gallery below, your website can be as simple as that.
Perhaps at this point, you are thinking that selling online will involve an expensive e-commerce site and complicated payment gateway.
At one point, yes this would have been the case, but not anymore. There are many tools and plug-in's designed to take care of all the pain points of digital selling. This is where we shamelessly plug our own payment integrated platform, DOCSUEY, which has been specifically developed for you to sell your photographs directly from your website without the need for an e-commerce store or shopping cart. When you upload picture to Docsuey, you are issued with a unique 'Link.' The link is used by your followers to make their purchase and receive the download straight to their email. And yes, you can sell your image more then once. Docsuey will send out multiple download links for the one product you are selling.
The great thing about Wix is that you can setup payments without the need for integration, plugins or shopping carts. All you have to do is embed your Docsuey link into a Wix Button as shown below:
Select 'Add' from the side menu. Select a 'Button' Now go into the Button settings by clicking on it.
Here you can Change Text, add links, change the colour and fonts or even animate the button.
Simply copy and paste your Docsuey sale link into the URL address bar. Be sure to select 'Web Address' from the list on the left. Its that simple. The button works like a PayPal button. When a user clicks on the button, they are taken into your Docsuey Product Page where they can use their credit card to make their purchase. Docsuey then sends a download link to the buyer and the money goes straight into your bank account.
Start Selling Your Photographs Online Today
Setting up a website is fast and affordable with Wix so why not give it a go...and Wix is free to create your website. You can even publish it for free if you don't mind the Wix branding, but seeing it can cost as little as $10 per month, it's well worth paying for it. And using Docsuey won't cost you anything either. Our service is free to sign up use. We don't take a commission out of your earnings so you'll keep 100% of your list price. Find out more about Docsuey at www.docsuey.com
To recap, selling your photos online is a great way to make some extra money and also gain some fans along the way. And who knows where it will lead in the future? We could be seeing your images grace the front page of National Geographic!
If you have successfully set up your own website with Wix tell us your experience, we'd love to hear about it – and please leave a link to your site in the comments.