Most photographers hope to make money out of their pictures. But to take the kind of pictures that sell, you need to have knowledge as well as talent. You have to know what makes a good photo work. You have to know about light levels. And you have to know about camera equipment.
All of that knowledge is an asset that other people would like to possess. That’s why so many photopreneurs have set up websites that don’t just showcase their pictures — in fact, many of them don’t display any photos at all — but which share their understanding of photography, and in particular, cameras and equipment.
Darren Rowse, for example, has become famous both for the reviews on his Digital Photography Blog as well as the fact that he makes a six-figure income from this site and others.
The money comes entirely from advertising.
Anyone, of course, can set up a camera review site, which is why so many people have already done it. To be successful then, you have to follow three simple rules.
1. Niche Your Site
It’s certainly possible to write reviews of every piece of equipment you can lay your hands on but if your review site has a theme, it will also have a built-in audience. You could offer reviews of lenses for macro photography, discuss lighting equipment for photographing food, or talk about backgrounds for photographing models. Make each site or part of your site about one topic and you’ll find it easier to get targeted traffic — and ad clicks.
2. Optimize Your Ads
Those ad clicks can come from a variety of different programs. Google’s AdSense might be the most popular overall but for sites about products, Chitika’s eMiniMalls are usually the best bet. Because you can choose the ad and match it to the review, you give readers a place to buy the piece of equipment you’ve just recommended. But those ads have to be optimized. They have to be put in the best positions on the page; the pictures have to complement the posts; and they have to offer products that your readers will want to buy.
3. Be Honest
Write a bad review of a new camera or a new lens and clearly, few people will click on an ad offering that product. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. People will only come to your site if they trust you. If they think you’re just after a fast advertising buck, they won’t read what you’ve written, they won’t come back and they won’t read the ads. Be prepared to dish the dirt on products you don’t like. Point out their weaknesses so that buyers can make up their own minds. And praise the heck out of items you use and enjoy — and explain why — to keep the ad clicks and the income rolling in.
Writing reviews can be very profitable. It can also be easy. Sometimes you don’t even need to have used the item you’re reviewing. If you can’t get hold of a new camera, simply report what other people are saying and add your own views. If they’re worth hearing, you’ll still be able to turn your expertise into income.
[tags] photography business, chitika, eminimalls, camera reviews [/tags]