Episode 17 – Monetizing Your Photography Site

dylan and corey from fuel your photos

Who wants to make more money with their website in 2021? Sure, you want more bookings… but what about more passive income for the work you’re doing building up that website traffic? In our opinion, if you aren’t making at least $1,000 per month (besides your photography bookings) with your photography website… you’re missing out on some easy opportunities.

We discuss if monetizing your traffic worth the time and effort?

Affiliate marketing

What is affiliate income? 

Examples:

  • Education promotion (courses, guides, ebooks, etc)
  • Preset reviews/promotion
  • Camera gear reviews/promotion
  • Website services reviews / promotion (themes, plugins, hosting, galleries)
  • CRM reviews/promotion (honeybook, etc)
  • AirBNB
  • Amazon
  • Etsy
  • Private affiliates with many companies (search brand + affiliate)

Ad Networks

  • Share A Sale
  • CJ Affiliate

Sell your own products

Presets/Luts

Templates (Instagram stories, etc)

Style guides

Sell your own education

Consumer facing (How to take better photos with your iPhone)

Industry facing- other photographers, other vendors

Monetize your traffic
Ad Networks (typically 10k hits /mo min)

Featured spots on high traffic roundup pages (venues, vendors etc)

Paid referrals to other photographers

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Corey: Hello, and welcome to episode 17 of the SEO for photographers podcast by fuel your photos. It's still an inquiry today. We are going to be talking to you about an interesting topic. That's a little bit different than anything we've done so far. We're to talk about monetizing your website as well.

Photographer.

Dylan: Yeah, it's going to be a fun topic. Uh, We're both photographers, but we've also spent a little bit of time monetizing websites. And this has been an interesting year where I think that it's kind of paid off to have more than one way to make money with your website.

Corey: Yeah. And we're not going to necessarily be talking about that.

The very typical, Hey ways you could diversify your income as a photographer. Some of it will be things you might've seen on articles like that. But specifically we want to talk about how photographers should be thinking about. Their websites as potentially more than just selling their services, how they can be monetizing the traffic on their site, how they should be thinking about affiliate marketing.

It's been a topic that I've been extremely interested in for years, but recently I've decided to start digging into even more and finally start taking some action. Uh, so hopefully we can talk about some of those things today. I feel like I've always, always thought. Why aren't more photographers, monetizing the traffic.

There's so many topics out there that photographers could write about and get a significant amount of traffic and make decent money. Why are they doing it? Totally. Hopefully some of you are going to start doing it now. Yay.

Dylan: Where do you want to start?

Corey: I mean, I guess maybe let's just kind of talk about, is it worth it, like, okay.

Who should be thinking about this and why? Um, and specifically. Like, is there going to be a lot of extra work involved where maybe a photographer would say, well, I'm a photographer. I'm not a writer. I'm not a blogger. I'm not trying to be an influencer. I just want to be a photographer. Should those people think about it?

Or do you need to be willing to put more effort into it? What are your thoughts there?

Dylan: I have some interesting thoughts. I hope it's interesting. Uh, first I do think that there are opportunities to make meaningful affiliate income, even if you're just starting out and your site isn't extremely established.

Uh, you don't have to be a known, uh, person in the field or in like in the photography, like ecosystem, uh, to have a voice into have like meaningful. I guess thoughts on different products or services or I've seen monetization happen for fairly low traffic sites is what I'm trying to say, I guess. Yeah, that makes sense.

Corey: I mean, that's a good point. It depends on exactly what you're trying to do with this, because I think for a lot of people, an extra couple of hundred dollars a month, that's just coming in without any extra effort would be. Meaningful for sure. Uh, and I think maybe even I I've got some articles on a site that's really old that I haven't touched in a long time that sometimes makes four or five, $600 a month off of a single article.

And I'm like, wow. Okay, cool. I'll take that money. Um, and that's the kind of income I think you could get to like. Very easily. If you're doing any kind of blogging, any kind of website work, I think between two and $500 a month is extremely attainable. Just with a little bit of effort. Yeah.

Dylan: I also think that there are some, uh, Benefits that will happen.

Like, as you build your authority by doing this sort of like affiliate or monetization tactics, it makes you the expert and then clients potential clients. Other photographers will see you as that expert, just because you're putting yourself out there. Uh, just that, like the act of doing that does amazing things for your brand.

Corey: Not to mention that. Just taking this kind of blogging thing to a different level and start starting to think more about writing for affiliate marketing or for monetization is going to teach you a lot about SEO.

Dylan: Yes, you're going to be in the trenches to an extent.

Corey: Yeah. And it's a very different kind of SEO sometimes than your typical, like how do I write for local photography keywords

Dylan: for sure.

Um, and I mean, it could even go past like the typical blogging. Like you, you might realize that not only do I need to do a blog post, but I need to do a YouTube video for this topic. And then you get into video production and. Building a YouTube brand and all of that. And I think it's just really good ways to kind of flex your marketing muscles and expand, like, just grow as a, both photographer and marketer.

Corey: Yep. You know, as I'm thinking about some of the things that I've done in the past, I want to mention one of the biggest failures that I've had personally with affiliate marketing before we even get started, maybe this would make more sense to put at the end, but, you know, I've had tons of articles where I've had like one hit wonders essentially.

And I know the processes, I know. Exactly how to rank things. I know the SEO landscape and what kinds of topics to target all of this stuff. Right. But my problem is that I don't do that work consistently for a long enough period of time under the same brand or website or umbrella. Yep. I mean, like even when we were putting together the blogging course, and I did that article about a date night ideas for pregnant couples.

I mean, that article by itself is still getting over a thousand clicks from Google every month. Uh, almost a year later without touching it. If I would've done the same kind of article every week for a year. Gosh. I mean, thinking about that, I'd be at 50, 60,000 clicks from Google per month. Now, obviously not every single one of them would be a winner, but some of them would be bigger winners than that.

Probably. I think it could easily level out to 30 to 50,000 visits a month from Google, if you could blog once per week.

Dylan: Yep. I mean it's reasonable. And I think this is like, we'll probably get to it later, but not only just starting these projects can be kind of tough mentally and teaching yourself these new processes, but being consistent over time is everything.

And you have to just keep with it. Um, My partner just has a affiliate site. That's separate from our photography site. So it's kind of different where she, she wants to kind of have this separate brand she's using to monetize. Um, and her results were not spectacular for the first few months. Uh, but she was putting in the work and she was writing good content in it.

It's hard with brand new sites. Um, But she was about to give up and finally, one of the articles just took off and then the other started kind of improving the rankings. And now it's like every single day she's getting affiliate. Uh, Like sales and show open up her, her stats every morning and it's, it's continually climbing and it's just, it's really cool to see that because she's stuck with it.

And didn't give up after a few months of like writing weekly articles. Uh, she's seeing a nice payoff.

Corey: Yeah. And I think it's, it's hard because if you're doing it with the goal of it being your sole income, like I want to do affiliate marketing, or I want to blog for a living, whatever. Getting through that first year is so painful.

You need some money saved or some sort of other income or something. And that's, what's great about doing this for photographers is that if you've already got a photography business and you're making some money, um, and if you can do work that will help grow your photography business. At the same time as monetize to make more money, it's just such a good fit, I think.

Dylan: Yeah. And I mean, I'm thinking back to some of my own like affiliate wins and I think my, my longest standing affiliate, when is doing, uh, BNHS affiliate program to do gear reviews, and I started doing that. Right. Gosh, it's it must've been in like 2012 ish, maybe somewhere in there. Um, so not only. Did it force me to get new gear, which, who doesn't like new gear, uh, go out and push that gear to the limits and, uh, set up shoots and let's see how the different lenses and bodies worked under different light conditions and all those things that made me learn how to be a better photographer.

Um, it made me dig into technical things that I didn't previously understand. Um, and then it built it built industry connections. By both the people that looked at those reviews and also like I've had coffee with the people from BNH multiple times, uh, they've sponsored workshops for me. Like it, it created actual industry relationships purely because.

I decided that I wanted to review a lens and put in the work to do

Corey: that. Right. Exactly. Yup. Tell me if there's just, there's so many when it's like a win-win win, win, win situation. I don't see why. So more people aren't doing. And though there are people doing this, like we see examples all the time of photographers who are monetizing their sites or.

Dabbling with some affiliate income or maybe doing a lot with affiliate. Uh, I've seen some photographers kind of popping onto the YouTube scene this year who are really pushing that YouTube plus affiliate. Um, And they're doing very well and it's surprising how fast they can grow in that right now.

Dylan: Yeah. I think my favorite one to watch right now is Ben childish, who he, I don't think he really did much with YouTube in the past few years. Like a few videos here and there, and now he's just like crushing them. He's putting them out consistently and his channel is growing fast.

Corey: Yeah. Cool. Well, let's dig into some of the ways that you could monetize as your, your site.

Um, we're going to talk about affiliate marketing. We're going to talk about selling your own products, selling your own education and monetizing your traffic through ads and placements. So, um, let's dig into affiliate first. We've kind of already been talking about that a little bit here, but just give me a quick definition of affiliate marketing.

How does it work?

Dylan: Yeah. So anytime you link to a product, uh, typically. Most product or service companies are going to have an affiliate program where they give you some sort of kickback for any sales that come from people that you send to them. Uh, they all have slightly different terms and slightly different percentages and all of those things.

Uh, but almost every company has an affiliate program. Uh, I can't really think of exceptions, but I'm sure that they exist. Um, And so, yeah,

Corey: I mean like the ones that don't have affiliate programs are typically the ones that I found recently, they're like already doing really viral social marketing, and they have so many, like, everyone knows about them already, so they don't have any need to do affiliate marketing.

But then again, some of those, like, Amazon for example, right? They're built on affiliate marketing. So

Dylan: like Tesla has an affiliate program. Tesla need more marketing,

Corey: but I have come across recently. I was just looking at Mark Rober, put out a video for, um, he's doing a program on monthly.com and I'd never heard of monthly.com, but.

They're basically driven by influencers and, um, they didn't have an affiliate program. I was like, dang, I really want to push that somehow. But they are kind of like already using influencer marketing and don't really want to muddy it with affiliate marketing, I think makes sense. But anyway, so affiliate marketing is, uh, basically you're a salesman for someone else's product or service or something, and they give you a commission.

If you sell it.

Dylan: For sure. Sometimes there's also coupon codes involved where you can offer coupons to your audience and then the coupons help track. Um, but yeah, I mean, that's the basics and then it comes down to you deciding how much do you want to leverage your audience? Like how much do you value them?

Like, are you going to tell them to buy things that you don't actually love? Which I don't think I don't agree with. And I don't think Cory does either. So you have to find that balance of actual honest reviews. Pushing products that you actually do stand behind and that's like gaining the trust of your audience so that they, they know that if you're linking to something that they can trust it.

Yeah. I

Corey: think that's, it's interesting. You, you bring up audience here. I do think that, especially for affiliate marketing and probably for selling your own products and education, maybe not quite so much for monetizing your traffic, but for the first three, it really helps to have. Some sort of audience, I'm doing air quotes here, but basically someone, a group of people who already trust you as a person who could recommend something to them.

Yep. Let's, let's talk about, um, some of the most successful things we've seen, like categories of things that photographers are currently promoting as affiliates that we've seen to work well, either on our own sites or from people we know. Yeah,

Dylan: totally. Um, education, I think is pretty big right now where a lot of the workshops and courses and conferences have become online this year, mostly due to COVID.

Uh, but it's been trending that way for awhile. Um, and now you're able to. Share your experiences and reviews of the courses that you actually do benefit from and get some sort of affiliate income from that? Um, a lot of the courses that either we have, or we know, uh, they'll almost all of them have affiliate programs.

Corey: Yup. And some of them are wide open. Like you can promote them. Anyone can sign up and just be an affiliate, whether or not they've taken the course. Some of them are restricted to, if you're a student, you can apply to be an affiliate. Some of them are, if you're a student you're automatically made an affiliate.

There's a lot of different ways that they're set up, but most courses are going to have affiliate programs. And generally they're going to range from 10 to 30%. Sometimes it goes as high as 50% of. Um, you know, a new signup whenever you recommend the course.

Dylan: Yeah. That's awesome. Uh, and the same goes for like any sort of guide or ebook or anything like that.

Yeah. Um, another big thing in the photography world is presets. Uh, I had a site that's dedicated only to reviewing, uh, presets and I tried to come from a very non-biased like I was, I was trying to review presets from like a total, like. Uh, I don't even know how to explain it, but like without bias of like presets that I personally would use on my own photos, but really how they've worked in general over a wide range of photos and situations.

Um, most preset companies had, or I talked into having affiliate programs. And so that was quite successful. Um, so if you do like a preset, if you use a preset on all of your photos and you have people asking you what preset you use. Signing up for the affiliate is going to be some easy money

Corey: for you.

Right. And it might not be a ton. I mean, I mean, most presets, they range from packs that are $20 to up to maybe $200. Usually that like 79 to $129 range is where I see like preset packs. But I mean, if it's a 10, 20% affiliate, which is, I would imagine pretty standards would be like five to 20%. Um, that's still, you know, potentially.

20 $40 per sale.

Dylan: We'll buy you a nice dinner or

Corey: lunch or something. And if it's not, I mean, yeah, if it's like a couple bucks, like if a lot of people are asking or if you can put it on your website and the right kind of place, or especially if you can do a review of a specific preset pack. Yep. Like a lot of times there are, there's already going to be refuse out there.

Anything that's like this, like, like presets, there's going to be people who have set up their business to only get affiliating comfort presets. Like Dylan just said he made a whole website for it. And so you're going to have some competition, but you'll be surprised. Exactly. And especially if you are a.

Uh, you're already somewhat of an influencer or you have a decent audience, whether that be on social media or just like you're an educator in the photography space. If your website has a decent authority, let's say you can often out perform a lot of those kinds of generic preset review websites almost instantly just by putting up a review.

Dylan: Yeah. The, the site I created didn't have any real authority. I did link to it from my site and things like that, but I was often outranking the preset. Uh, companies' websites because most of the upstart preset companies create brand new websites for the preset packs. But yeah. Yeah, that's fine.

Corey: Cool. And you already talked a little bit about, uh, camera gear, but add any more thoughts about that?

Dylan: Okay. I would just say that most of the main suppliers of camera gear have affiliate programs. Um, BNH Amazon, I believe Adorama, um, K H for used gear film gears is a decent program. Um, And so like with the used gear, you can go get like really technical with some old vintage lenses or something. And some of that old film gear is becoming just incredibly popular and the values are going up crazy high.

And so getting 10% of a $2,000 contacts or something is decent money. Um, so I mean, there's something for everybody there.

Corey: Yeah. I would definitely say. There's a couple of things that come to mind. One, when I think of gear reviews and affiliate marketing, I'm thinking of like Sam heard, you know, someone who pushes the limits with what gear can do in a way that's going to catch the attention of other photographers.

And they're going to say, how did you do that? And he can be like, Oh, look, here's a tutorial. And everyone's going to want to buy that. Like, when he started doing the thing with the prisms, like everyone, like he put an affiliate link to some, you know, Amazon prisoner or whatever, and they were like sold out the next day.

You couldn't get them for a long time. Right. That's powerful. Whenever you can push people towards that. Also, I would look for longer tail things in the, in the gear review. Like I don't want you to go do a review of a Canon 50 millimeter, 1.2 L like that's just silly. There's too many, very thorough reviews on something that's been out for a long time and very common, right.

Either look for specialty gear or look for terms that are getting traffic that have like versus, so Canon 1.2 L versus the Canon 1.8, you know, the nifty 50, like what's the actual difference. Could I take those two lenses and take real photos in the same scenarios and show people a side-by-side comparison?

Those kinds of reviews often will have a little bit less. Competition and, um, you know, we'll still have a lot of traffic.

Dylan: Yeah. Oh man. I just thought of an example, uh, Sean Flanagan reviewed the Olympus M J U two, which is like the super like obscure film camera at point and shoot. Right.

Corey: Telling us this about this at WPI.

Right.

Dylan: And it absolutely took off he's booked weddings from that. Uh, Post where people were researching, that camera fell in love with his photography work and booked him for their wedding.

Corey: Yep. Nuts. He was telling me this, I'm like, I've never heard of this camera. How are that many people searching for it?

And I looked it up. I'm like, dang, that's crazy. Right.

Dylan: Nuts. Yeah. Uh, whenever I think of, uh, gear reviews, by the way, Ken Rockwell is the one that pops into my mind. Oh, gee,

Corey: Gary V right there.

Dylan: Yeah. Photos of walls, brick walls. Love it. Yep.

Corey: It's gonna be hard to make that kind of, uh, um, debt in the market. This, this timeframe, I think, but I mean, I also think of someone like, uh, Jared Poland, you know, someone who like, even though that's again, kind of old school original, but he brought personality and YouTube and stuff into it.

Right. So if you have a really fun personality and you could review stuff on video, then you still can make a dent in the market. For sure.

Dylan: Also. Just having a page where you list, which gear you're using and have affiliate links to it for every time you ever get an email or a question asking what, what gear do you shoot with?

Just that simple, like, like one page can make you so much money.

Corey: Right? I mean, even if it's just, you know, you're not an influencer or anything, but you're like, Your wedding photographer or something, and guests are asking, Hey, I'm thinking about buying a camera for my cousin for Christmas or whatever. I'm gonna leave that question to your cousin, but someone might.

Yeah. But anyway, so that, you know, then you send them that page and it they're like, Oh, wow, that's really good. I like this. I trust that photographer. They're the only photographer I knew to ask. They buy it. You get a commission

Dylan: exactly. Uh, next, think about any of the like website services that you use to run your business.

And almost all of those companies also have affiliate programs. Um, you've probably seen ours before, but, uh, WordPress themes, plugins hosting, uh, online gallery options. All of those companies typically have an affiliate program.

Corey: Yep. And so even just having a four photographers page on your site, where you talk about how you built your website, that's a great place to get some.

Uh, affiliate income, whenever other photographers are asking about getting started, I mean, would you think will happen? Yeah.

Dylan: We had somebody in our course group that I was talking to a few weeks ago that had a really great post that was just like TAVI versus HoneyBook. Like you were talking about earlier, when you do versus you does typically rank quite well.

Um, those comparison posts,

Corey: I always wanted to pull the trigger on. Uh, ShootProof versus pixie set back in like 14 or something. When those two were like head to head all the time, new players in the market. But at that time, that search got thousands of searches per month for that versus term. And I was like, Oh, both of these, I can say both are great and get affiliate income from both of them.

Dylan: Dang it. And that goes also into like CRMs, um, like HoneyBook, like we just mentioned. Yep. After that a lot of photographers travel for work quite a bit to different cool locations. And so we've all stared stayed in Airbnbs. Airbnb has a decent affiliate program. Yep.

Corey: Also works great when you do location roundups.

Dylan: Yeah, exactly. So anytime you're creating a guide to different locations, uh, through a little Airbnb, uh, widget in there.

Corey: How's that been done? I know she put that on your site fairly recently. Have you been getting any conversions on that?

Dylan: I have had a few. I think that COVID has been a little bit hard, more or less.

Uh, I don't, I don't think that's the real reason. Um, I think where I skimped was that I just slapped a generic widget searching for the city that my post was about on, in the bottom of my post.

Corey: So basically it's not more helpful than going to Airbnb and doing the search yourself

Dylan: 0%. And so. My next step is to take my, my three most successful posts that it's on.

And really my, I think it's my, my big surplus is what drives the majority of my Airbnb traffic. And so I'm going to actually research the venues or the Airbnbs that I've stayed at, or that I wish I would've stayed at. And. Include more information about those specifically and links specifically to those,

Corey: those places.

Yep. That makes sense. Yeah. That's, that's a big thing for all of affiliate marketing. Can you really add genuine value instead of just going after a commission?

Dylan: It's everything. Yeah. Every time I I've taught myself that lesson over and over again, and it really is how much value you can add. Yeah. Uh, Amazon, Amazon that said crappy corporation, but that, eh, yeah.

It's and it's also a really pretty poor affiliate program, to be honest.

Corey: And it's got worse this year.

Dylan: Yup. The downside or I guess, uh, the only reason I, I even consider it anymore is that. The, the huge benefit that I see is because they've taken over the world. Um, you can link to a $3 products like, uh, you might be linking to a, I don't know, not even a memory card, like something even cheaper.

And then somebody buys a $6,000 TV and a jet ski, or who knows what? And like all of a sudden you have this huge affiliate commission. And we see that with justice site every day, where. Yes, they're clicking through and buying like a 10, 20, 30, $40 product from our link, but they're also doing their shopping through Amazon fresh and they're doing all of their Christmas shopping and all this other stuff.

And it's

Corey: like, wow. It's like

Dylan: 10 times as much revenue as if we were just getting affiliates for the single products.

Corey: Yep. One thing to pay attention to with Amazon is that the commissions are different in different categories. So I think the average across all of Amazon is now at like three or 4%. Does that sound

Dylan: yeah, used to be six.

Yeah. It was

Corey: like six to 8% on most categories. There's still a few that are in that six to eight range, but most of them are like four and maybe even three. And then. I think there are some that are down to like one or 2%, but there are some categories that still have like 10% commissions, especially all Amazon related products.

So there's some interesting opportunities there. It's just, you know, if you're, I don't know, I don't think you're gonna make a ton of money off of Amazon associates, unless you've got some really unique strategy, but it's certainly one of those that if you. Have a site that's focusing on Amazon affiliate it's worth it.

I've had a problem getting on Amazon associates and every cause there's a requirement where within your first 90 days, you have to make at least three sales. Yep. This sounds stupid. But like for some reason I never make the three sales.

Dylan: It's hard. It's hard on brand new sites.

Corey: But even like I've got sites that I could throw it.

I always, I think it's because I I'm like, Oh, I should do this. And I sign up and then like, I get busy and I never actually like made the post. And then it's like, you have 30 days left to make a sale. And I'm like, crap. Do it this time.

Dylan: Yeah.

Corey: If you've already got some stuff going where you could go in and drop some Amazon links, you have should be relatively easy to get those three.

Dylan: Yeah. And you can sign up for the Amazon influencer program, which is, it sounds really, really stupid,

Corey: but,

Dylan: um, It's it's an easier way to get, uh, out Amazon affiliate and it's, it's linked to your Amazon account in a way that it makes it really easy that if you're sharing links to a friend or family or somebody, it just adds your, uh, affiliate code and you get a tiny kickback.

And so I've used that with friends and like, If they asked me how to build up a gaming PC or something. And I just sent like the 10 links for all the gear they make, I make like 40 bucks. So.

Corey: Cool outside of Airbnb and Amazon. What else do you see as like the, are there any other typical websites that you would go to for that kind of thing?

Dylan: I would say Etsy is the next one. Um, you can use this for like client gifts or props and all sorts of stuff. There's just like really unique, cool stuff on Etsy, a lot of art, um, interior design stuff. Like it. Uh, there's a lot, um,

Corey: he's a little bit hard to get into. I mean, it's not that they're super selective or anything, but it's through, is it through commission junction or I through one of those big networks,

Dylan: I think they're on both, uh, CJ and share a sale.

Corey: Okay. It was a pain whenever I tried to sign up for it. I remember that. Yeah. Yeah. That's also a common thing with affiliate programs. Uh, some of them won't take people who. Either have not enough traffic or they look at your site and they're like, nah, that's not related to what, like the type of person we want to promote this.

So kind of keep that in mind, whenever you're applying, especially if like in, in Dylan's example with, with Jess where, you know, she started a new website. Well, Sometimes it might make sense to apply with one of your existing websites, like maybe your photography websites already established. It has lots of traffic.

You apply using that as your main website, but then you can still usually branch out into other

Dylan: sites. Usually

Corey: sometimes like still, like if you have, you start with a brand new site, they may just reject it automatically, especially if there's nothing up on the site yet. And then some of them make you like add every domain where you're going to promote it.

Yep. I haven't really come across many of those though. Honestly.

Dylan: Yeah. After that, just private affiliate. Like if you, if you love a product, uh, you can typically just Google that brand and the word affiliate and. I hope that they have an affiliate program already or send them an email and ask, uh, after that we do have, we just mentioned share sale and, uh, CJ, uh, both of these sites are directories of affiliate programs.

So you can look through and see what companies offer affiliate programs, what their terms are and all of those things, what the payout is, and, or even get ideas for possible products that you might want to promote.

Corey: Yep. Sweet. All right. So, uh, there's probably, you know, hours and hours more that we could talk about affiliate marketing is especially if we like got into the strategies, SEO strategies for affiliate marketing.

And if that's something that you guys are really interested in, for sure. Let us know we can make more episodes about affiliate marketing and maybe some specific strategies. I mean, and we talked about some examples here, but there there's a lot more to it. Um, but let's move on to talking about selling your own things on your site.

Dylan: Yeah, totally. Uh, I think the easiest example for photographers and videographers would be making presets and Lutz.

Corey: Yep.

Dylan: Um, And they don't have to be wildly expensive or you don't have to have a huge following. Like I've, I've personally never really sold presets. And I think that I've left a lot of money on the table, in my, over my photography career because of that.

Um, I went deep down the development path on them and just never quite got them ready and never pulled the trigger and actually just made them publicly available. So, yeah.

Corey: Yeah. That could be a big one. Um, you know, I haven't been thinking lately about. Cell, uh, creating some sort of like preset for. Even for an iPhone or for whatever phone photography and then running tech talk ads for it, because I've seen a couple, but I haven't seen anyone like really pushing on ticked.

I'm sure they're out there, but interesting. I think that if you could do a quick little snappy video, that's like, wow, look how much more amazing these photos are now that like goes to your presets? I think it could just go up.

Dylan: Yeah. I mean, that was kind of when I started that preset review company, I did a lot of research on different preset companies and I realized quickly that there are some, how many more, that flight kind of under the radar of professional photographers.

Yeah, for sure. I kind of targeting the same thing you are talking about where it's more amateur people or people that just want cool presets for their travel photos, or they want to look like an influencer and they just want that like a teal and orange look or something like they want more contrast who knows.

And cheap presets that target those like type of people make a ton of money.

Corey: I mean, when we're talking about a ton of money, let us find that a little. Should we add some information? We won't name any names here, but we've seen some of the revenue from some different preset companies plus Dylan's site.

And it's very possible to make six figures a month. On presets.

Dylan: Yeah. Yeah. It's

Corey: been normal, but I'm

saying,

Dylan: but it's wild. It's wild. Yeah.

Corey: Even we've seen, uh, a company that is, um, selling on average a $14 product. I think actually, maybe the bundle was the most popular thing and it might be it's under a hundred bucks.

And just, you know, really making significant revenue with these really small, specific products. So just know it can happen, especially if you start to build an audience around, uh, your brand is really blow up.

Dylan: Yeah. You don't need to be $200 or whatever, expensive high-end, uh, there's definitely money to be made, so, yep.

Uh,

Corey: you sell besides presets.

Dylan: So I've seen people do things like, uh, Instagram story templates, um, just super simple design, uh, Templates that if, if you have more of a design sense and skill, maybe you come from a graphic design background, uh, you can create things like that that are really helpful for photographers that save time and maybe sell them for a few bucks.

Uh, and you'd be surprised, I think how much revenue you can make.

Corey: Yeah. That just made me think of an idea that is not wasn't on our list of notes, but could be interesting. Talking about presets and templates. One way that you might be able to get into this market. If you don't know how to do this work on your own is to potentially partner with a company.

That wants to use your audience and we'll create the presets or templates for you. So I can think of a few examples. Someone like a develop, they have, all of their presets are through partners. Um, you have, uh, companies I've seen like, um, like Imagely w with their webs, with their WordPress themes that we're basing all of them on, um, like partners, like they were building the website for the photographer and then letting that photographer potentially.

Get a commission or like be an ambassador for their themes. I've seen other people who, you know, like they pay for a custom theme to be developed. And then they ended up selling that as a theme that other photographers can use. So sometimes you might be able to use your own. I don't know, like have someone else make the thing for you and still be able to get a commission from it being sold,

Dylan: which is awesome.

And I think the other example that's somewhat similar. Yes. Like style guides, um, a lot of photographers create style guides, uh, to send out to their clients and realize that it's a really hard task. Uh, and so I've seen photographers bundle up that style guide and sell it as like a, uh, Illustrator file or something like that.

So photographers can just tweak the copy and throw their own example images and send that out to clients. Uh, things like that, that save photographers, time and effort and money, and, uh, typically are going to sell well.

Corey: And another one of those examples where even if you don't think you can do it, if you would pay to have it done, right.

Think about hiring a designer. That's, you know, maybe they charge you $5,000 to put together a few PDFs or something. I'm saying like, maybe it's a really high number, but still you're like, you know, what, if you had to talk to the designer about this, by the way, because yeah.

Dylan: Product retail.

Corey: Yeah. But still a lot of them were okay with it and you can say, Hey, I'm going to pay you.

Whatever price, but whenever you're done with it, I'm going to have the right to sell it and, um, or maybe even split a commission with them. So just know that you can get creative with this kind of stuff. If you're going to pay to have it done for you, consider whether it's possible to sell it, the other photographers.

Dylan: Yeah. And then I think the last category would be creating your own education products. Yeah. So this could be consumer facing. This might be, uh, towards kind of your potential client market, where it's like, here's how you take better photos with your phone. Here's a quick guide, um, because they trust you as an expert, they're going to be interested in that.

Um, or it could be industry facing and it could be teaching other photographers that look up to you or like your

Corey: work. Yup. I think either of those, I think a lot of photographers are hesitant to. Create some sort of education or course or whatever, because it seems daunting. It seems like it has to be this big task.

It doesn't necessarily need to be that big or advanced. Sometimes you can do something really simple and it can be fairly low price and it could still be very profitable for you. Um, so just think about whether there's something that you're an expert on that people ask you about that you could turn into a short course, whether you host it on your own site, whether you use teachable, whether you, um, what's the big one.

That's I think about it.

Dylan: Yeah. I know exactly what

Corey: you're thinking is a big course website and you can like become an instructor on there and you don't make a ton, but I mean, I've seen some people who are making thousands of dollars a month off of it. So it depends on your topic and how. Well, you're known in the industry, but even, even if it's small, sometimes these little things it can add up.

Dylan: Yep. All right. The last topic is just monetizing your existing web traffic. Uh, do you want to talk a little bit about ed that

Corey: works? Yeah. I feel like this is one of those ones that always seems to be the big, why aren't people doing this to me? Because if you get a certain amount of traffic on your site, I would say.

The baseline is probably gonna be like 10,000 visits per month. And when I say visits, different ad works, our ad networks are going to measure that differently. Some take page views, some take, um, sessions. So sessions being like unique visitors or no sessions would be. Period. If it's, even if they're not unique, but not page views, because page views could be you have 10 page views in a session or however many.

So anyway, depending on the app network, but let's just say it's, um, a baseline of 10,000 sessions. If you can get to around that net, that Mark, there are ad networks that will. Allow you to apply and then insert a little bit of code on your site and they'll start inserting ads or running them on your site.

They'll handle all of the management of selling the ad space and, you know, figuring out rotating it and all that. And all you have to do is put that on a piece of code and you're done, um, I can't remember exactly which ones I think is Zohak might be the one that is the lowest, but I could be wrong on that.

There's um, AdThrive there's, I don't know the names of all of them off the top of my head, but if you just search for things like, um, ad placement network or something like that, you should find some of the big media vines and other big one. Some of these will require you to get to more like the 50 to a hundred thousand page views per month level before they'll even accept your application.

Um, but anyway, once you do. The amount that you get paid on, these is potentially more than most people would think. Uh, I think a lot of people are used to like ad sense numbers. It's not called that anymore. Is it Google ads?

Dylan: Numbers.

Corey: Yeah. And it's like, basically nothing, you know, you get a 10,000 views and you're going to get paid like $6 or something.

Um, whereas just moving up to something like Zohak, you might triple or quadruple that just instantly by being part of a network, um, And even that might not sound like a lot, like what is that? You say 20 bucks per thousand views, but if you're getting 50,000 views per month, now all of a sudden you're at at least a thousand dollars per month and just ad revenue.

That's awesome.

Dylan: Yeah. I think that as OIC is going to be the goal for my site this year, I want, I want to get my. I think my traffic, my traffic qualifies now, but I want to make sure that it's actual quality traffic to those sorts of topics.

Corey: What are your thoughts about place? Like do you think placing ads is going to be annoying to the point where it's going to hinder user experience or even potentially,

Dylan: I think I'm going to be somewhat careful about what parts of my site I have ads shown on.

Um, but I think that. The general ecosystem of the web, like when you're, when I'm surfing a website? Well, a, I have an ad blocker on, I was

Corey: thinking the same thing.

Dylan: I just don't like add stuff, make me angry. And I think it is kind of odd that, uh, we, as photographers are expected to have this ad free experience.

That's just very straightforward and to the point, but 80 or 90% of the web traffic that the person is. Clicking on before they get to our site has ads. And so I don't think it's going to be this like jarring experience to S and also if it's a quality ad network, these ads are relevant and they're useful, like, uh, it's going to be client or it's going to be.

Like products that they've been searching for or looking at or researching. And I dunno, I, I'm not, I'm excited for it

Corey: as a performance nerd. Are you worried about the performance hit

Dylan: terribly? I think his OIC is the only ad network that works on amp sites.

Corey: I think actually all three of the ones that I've mentioned have some sort of amp capacity or ability, but I looked it up and was reading the articles on their sites about amp.

And they're saying one, you have fewer advertisers who, um, create whatever they need for amp. So you have less selection there. And there was some other reason I can't remember what it was exactly the way that amps displaying ads or something. Yeah. Anyway, the whole point was. Most people who are using an amp enabled site, we're having overall lower numbers as far as monetization goes.

Yeah. Interesting. We'll have to see, I guess.

Dylan: Yeah, totally. I'll have to test that, but I think I'm excited overall. Yeah. I have like a few non photography or not my main photography site affiliate sites that I'm excited to test as well.

Corey: So we worked with the client earlier this year and we were looking at their traffic numbers and we're like, You realize that if you just applied to an ad network and put.

An ad across your site. Like probably one of those, like bottom banner ads, maybe a sidebar ad. It would probably generate between like four and $6,000 a month. Right. And so it's like, some people don't realize just all you have to do is turn on ads and all of a sudden you've got like almost a full-time income for.

A lot of people, yeah. Sitting there ready for you anytime you want it. I mean, now most people aren't at that level of traffic, but for sure, our queen is kind of, you could get there as a photographer.

Dylan: Yeah. I mean, I think my peak ever web traffic is somewhere between 70 and 90,000 hits in a month. I could have made a lot of money with ads that month.

Corey: Exactly.

Dylan: Yeah. Um, outside of that, You can do featured spots on high traffic, Roundup pages. Um, so if you're featuring different types of vendors or venues on your site, reaching out to them and saying like, Hey, I have a list of the top wedding venues in Portland. It ranks w first or second for that term.

Do you want to be first? They might pay you for that because it's going to make them money. And

Corey: this is a, this is a big deal. And some people might be thinking, well, if they're already on the list, why would they pay me? Let me just tell ya. I've experimented with this on these kinds of Roundup posts by switching around the order of where things go, especially when I'm including myself on the list, I'll put myself normally in the list and then I'll put it up at the top.

The number of clicks that I get by moving myself to the top of the list is mindblowing. So much more people who read these list posts don't click on everything and they're more likely to click the first thing, just like in regular organic

Dylan: search results. So this putting it together as outlined for this podcast is a really great reminder for me to do this today.

I remember research permanent email, some wedding venues.

Corey: Yeah, seriously. I mean, even if you're like, Hey, it's a 50 bucks for the year, or, you know, some of your Postmates, if you're getting a lot of traffic and you can prove it to be 200, 300, $500 for a year, maybe even more than that. Uh, and that's a lot of these people wouldn't flinch.

Like it, especially if you're only offering like one to three spots, let's say I'm going to feature three venues on this list of 30. I'm gonna charge them, you know, 200 bucks a year. Well, that's $600 on something that was just sitting there. Right. It was already working, but now you're making money off of it.

That, that kinda thing is a no brainer.

Dylan: I think I decided, yeah, just now I'm going to hit them all with a 1000 a year and I'm going to do three spots and I'm going to let you guys know if that works out,

Corey: dude, if that works out, I'm going to be like, why didn't I do this sooner, but

Dylan: totally. I think it's going to happen.

I think I can get. At least three venues to sign up for that.

Corey: Yep. Well, someone personally, who is not exactly in this space, but did something very similar to this recently and was amazed at how fast the spots sold out, right? Yeah.

Dylan: Uh, and then our last way to monetize traffic would be paid referrals to other photographers.

Um,

Dylan: I, I know of a few photographers that have decent systems for this in place. Um, or like actual like real systems and not just like, Oh yeah, I'm giving my increase to my friends or whatever. Um, a lot, I mean, one by-product of having. Decent SEO or marketing in general is that you get too many inquiries, uh, that you're not able to fully shoot all of those jobs yourself.

And a lot of people don't want to go through the work of having their own studio set up with multiple photographers. And so you just have extra inquiries and you can either charge a per booking to other photographers because you're providing quite immense value. Um, when you're a new photographer, getting those inquiries and getting those jobs.

Everything. Uh, and so if you're able to PR to provide that for people you are presenting value, um, I know photographers, I believe Sam Hurd does this through his Patrion where you can sign up for a, I think it's like a monthly fee and you're able to get access to his extra inquiries. Um, wow. Yeah. And it's pretty impressive how much he's able to charge for that.

But I, I definitely think it's worthwhile for newer photographers. So.

Corey: That is a good idea. Yeah. I need to be doing that with my photography site. That's still alive, even though I'm not taking bookings. Right. Do it. I haven't done it is because I just haven't thought about like the best way to handle it logistically.

Like how do I know whether someone who I send books, I had to follow up with them or it has to be on the honor system, or I just charged them for the leads. I mean, there's a lot of different ways you could do it. Yeah. I

Dylan: bet somebody would pay you. A certain amount per lead. I mean, it might be $20, but it might be 50 or who knows.

It could be a hundred.

Corey: Yeah. And even if it's far less, even if it's like

Dylan: five bucks,

Corey: two bucks or something, like, I mean, who knows if I, if I really I've turned off all the contact

Dylan: forms on that sense,

Corey: but if I turn them back on and optimized for that, yeah. I mean, I might get 10, 20, 30 leads a week. And even at, you know, $2.

That's still potentially totally a lot, several hundred dollars a month. I mean,

Dylan: that it pays like these things that up, like, I always think of it like that pays for all of my groceries or something. Like, I always try to like assign some sort of. Equal value to it. But, uh, I have a bicycle wheel review that makes me a little bit of money, but it pays for the tubes that replaced my flat tires.

Corey: Nice. That's awesome. Well, hopefully through listening to this episode, either through some of the examples that we gave or the main points we made here, you've been able to think of some. New ideas that you can try to monetize your site and keep in mind that you don't need to start swinging for the fences necessarily.

Just try to get on base, just go out there and do something to add, you know, some sort of monetization and see if you can get up to $50 or a hundred dollars a month and just take that and maybe even reinvest it back into creating more content or trying something new and see, you know, I think a lot of photographers, if you're in.

A major Metro and you are a wedding or portrait photographer, and your website is not making you at least a thousand dollars a month. I think there's room that you could make, you could make that, you know, I don't think so a

Dylan: hundred percent. And I, after recording this have my own, uh, opportunities that I'm gonna go take advantage of today.

So we'll, we'll see you guys, uh, next Friday, but I'm excited to, to hear in the Facebook group or in the comment section, uh, what's working for you and, and what. What ideas you've gotten from this episode?

Corey: I hope it sounds good. All right, guys, we'll see you in the next

Dylan: episode. Bye.


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