Five Core Ways To Monetise Photography Website In 2022


Whether you are a full-time professional or an eager enthusiast, a good photography website is one of the best ways to get your work seen by a wider audience. We'll teach you how to monetise photography website easily!

Whilst platforms such as Instagram and 500px may show your work to a wider demographic, having your own photography website still has many advantages. The first and foremost is that it is a collection of your own curated work, displayed the way you want it to be. It is a much more personal way of presenting your photography to a more targeted demographic.

Websites Are Not Cheap

Websites are not cheap though, especially if photography is not a source of income. Even a basic gallery hosting site might cost you $10-15 per month. So is it worth it? Well, it can be if you monetise that site. 

Now I am not going to sugarcoat this part, but you will need to spend some time on the design and marketing of your site if you want to generate money. That process is well documented and well worth researching before you start. So with that in mind let’s look at five ways to monetise your photography website.

Selling Your Prints

If you have an audience for your site that truly admires your images, then selling prints is a good option. There are two ways that you can go about this. The first is to invest in a good photographic printer and print those images yourself. 

  • The advantages of this are that you are in complete control of the quality. However, the cost implications can be large, factoring in the printer, the ink, the paper, and of course your time.
  • The second way is to use an online print service. There are many of these available and most of the major gallery sites will have a connection with one. Although you do not have control over the final print image, it is a much cheaper option and often the service will have a more global reach.
Canon color printing making print
Printing yourself can be costly. By Joshua Fuller on Unsplash

Selling Image Licenses

The problem with stock photography libraries these days is that they are completely oversaturated. There are billions of images competing! This means the chances of yours making it to the top of an image search is relatively low.

However, if you feel that your photography has a unique selling point, something that makes it stand out from the crowd, then it's well worth looking at selling licenses for them to be used.

You are going to need to do some active marketing to find buyers, but if the images are unique, they will command a much higher license fee than generic stock images. That said you will need to have a deep understanding of the various types of licenses and understand the difference between editorial and commercial work. Armed with that knowledge, it is perfectly possible to sell licenses yourself.

Webpage selling image licenses
You can directly market your own image licenses. By Jason Row Photography

Selling Preset Packages

If you are a bit of a dab hand at Lightroom, then you will know about presets. These are scripts that allow you to specifically grade the way an image looks with one click.

They are immensely powerful, easy to create, and with a little time and effort very marketable. They will work best if they are themed towards a particular genre of photography, for example, landscapes or portraits. If you have already created your own presets that reflect your style of photography, then marketing a series of them through your website is an excellent way to generate some passive income.

Be aware though, it is a highly competitive market, one that will require you to make your presets stand out from the crowd. You will also have to actively market them to get some sales.

Lightroom icon on a Mac
Lightroom presets are a good way to earn a passive income. By Szabo Viktor on Unsplash

Be An Amazon Affiliate

Let’s start by saying this route is not going to make you a huge sum of money. However, if you are a gearhead and have a talent for writing, then you can make some money on the side through Amazon. 

The key way to do this on your website is through blogging. There is an added bonus in that blogging is an excellent way of driving traffic to your site. 

  • You will need to sign up for the Amazon Affiliate program in your own country. Once signed up, you can promote a product by typing it into the Amazon Affiliate search. Amazon will then provide links, either simple hyperlinks or embedded adverts. Depending on your web host, you should be able to use either.
  • For affiliate marketing to work, the links you provide must be in step with the article you are writing. So if you are blogging about a new camera that you have bought, drop in links for the camera, perhaps the lens and also even guide books on using it. One thing to be aware of is to make sure your audience knows that you are using affiliate links in your blog. In some locations it is illegal to advertise in such way without informing the viewers.
monetise photography website
Amazon will not make huge money but may be worth it if you blog. By Marques Thomas Querysprout on Unsplash

Monetise Photography Website And Skills

If you are an experienced photographer with a lot of knowledge in your own field, then it’s perfectly possible to sell your skills. There are plenty of newcomers to photography crying out for one-to-one sessions with photographic mentors. There is no better photographic education than spending time with an experienced photographer. 

  • The beauty of the digital era is that mentorship can not only be done face to face in real life but also online through apps such as Zoom. Whilst online tutoring is more limited, you can still help a student through problems and explain how to do specific things. 
  • Even better is one to one mentoring in the field. With this type of tutoring the student can learn a huge amount in a relatively short period of time. As a photographer, you can command a much higher rate for direct one to one mentoring.
camera and computer
Your own experience is often sellable. By Jeshoots on Unsplash

These are five ways to monetise photography website in 2022. Of course, they are not the only ways, and they will take an investment of your time, both in setting up and in marketing. However, if you want to cover the costs of your site, or even make a reasonable passive income, they are a good place to get started.

Further Reading:

About Author

Jason has more than 35 years of experience as a professional photographer, videographer and stock shooter. You can get to know him better here.

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