Log into Amazon at the moment, and on the front page, you won’t just find the usual list of recommended products that you probably don’t want. You’ll also see a homely-style photograph of a cake in the shape of a Kindle.
We don’t know if Amazon paid for that photograph (although we suspect it didn’t). We are sure though that the site that supplied it is now seeing its server costs fly through the roof as a portion of the gazillions of people who see Amazon’s home page every day click the link above Jeff Bezos’ signature.
In terms of exposure, getting your image and a link on Amazon’s home page is like being chosen as Book of the Month by Oprah. It’s a guaranteed winner.
But you can’t wait for that to happen to you if you want to use Amazon as a way of earning income through photography. Nor do you have to sign up to the company’s affiliate system and plaster Amazon’s ads all over your Web pages (although there’s nothing wrong with that.)
There are plenty of other ways to pick up cash as a photographer with the help of the world’s largest online retailer.
Sell your Photography Book on Amazon
Probably the easiest way to make money with Amazon is create your own photography book and place it on the site that millions of people turn to first when they’re looking for a printed volume. Amazon’s Advantage program lets anyone sell their books, music or DVDs and even offers a print-on-demand service through CreateSpace so that you don’t have to splash out on inventory that just fills up your garage.
We like the way Blurb lets photographers create and sell books, but it’s worth comparing Blurb to CreateSpace to see which lets you build the better product and offer it in the best way. You might even find that it pays to use two different self-publishing systems depending on your marketing stream.
You could even take this further and create a DVD that teaches how to shoot photographs in your particular niche and sell it in the same way. If other photography enthusiasts often ask how they can shoot photos like yours, that should be a good sign that you’ll have a market.
Of course, it’s not enough to create your product and place it on Amazon. If you’re going to sell it, you’ll need to promote it too…
Use the Reviews
One very easy way to do that is to become one of Amazon’s reviewers.
Anyone can contribute their opinion of any product sold on Amazon. That means that you can leave messages under sales pages for any cameras, lenses and lighting equipment you use. You can let people know what you think about various photography books and photographers. You can even offer tips and advice about the sort of items the buyer is thinking of purchasing.
And if you also include a link to your website each time you do that, you’ll be creating a road to a sales page that lots of targeted buyers are going to travel down.
You could certainly just link to your home page and let the site do its job but you could also create a special landing page for Amazon’s shoppers to promote particular services or products — even photography items that you’re selling on Amazon.
When a site the size of Amazon hands out free space on its Web pages, it’s just a waste for any entrepreneur — and especially a photopreneur — not to use it.
Update your Amazon Blog
Another tool that Amazon offers its sellers is a blog on the sales page. That might sound a little strange. Few people are going to log in to an Amazon sales page to read your latest thoughts. They might do it to read Dan Patterson’s latest thoughts but they’re less likely to do it to read the postings of a photographer they hadn’t heard of until just a few minutes before.
You can still use the blog though by adding a few brief articles that reinforce your image as a skilled photographer with good images and information to offer a buyer.
If you already have helpful posts you can take from your website, you won’t even have to do any extra work.
Steer Clear of Prints
One strategy you’d probably want to avoid though is trying to sell your prints through Amazon. Search for photographic prints on the site and you should find that you’re faced with a pretty meager choice, most of them placed there by large retailers.
Whether that’s because people just don’t want to buy art on Amazon or because photographers just aren’t doing it is hard to say. It’s possible that eBay simply does better. But it does look likely that you’d have a hard sell.
If you’re looking to shift your images on Amazon then, your best bet is to use one of the many methods of putting them on the pages of a book… then market it like mad.
[tags] sell images on amazon [/tags]