Do you wonder about the benefits of selling pictures in your own web store, versus the microstock image clearinghouse sites? If you’re like many photographers, it can seem as if the convenience offered by managed sales offsets the added revenue from independent sales. While it’s true that breaking even, let alone reaching profitability, can be more difficult when you over-invest in your online business, this doesn’t have to be the case. You can easily launch and maintain your digital storefront with minimal overhead and a tiny startup budget. All you need is the right tools for the job, and the right systems in place.
Selling Pictures Independently on a Small Budget
Sales websites built by a professional web designer are expensive. Payment processing, file hosting and content delivery are a headache when you attempt to manage them manually. Microstock sites take the expense of website management and the labor of running your business out of the equation, but they can also cost you money. What if there were a way to reap all the benefits of managed sales while still selling pictures independently?
Working with an eCommerce platform makes it easy to manage your business, and entirely possible to launch on even a shoestring budget. If you can cut and paste simple HTML code, you can turn an inexpensive template site or even a free blog site into a sales portal. Payments are processed through names you and your customers trust, like PayPal and Google Wallet. Your files are hosted securely, and automatically delivered to your buyers the moment a transaction is completed. Services like PayLoadz.com take all the stress out of online business management, freeing you up to create new products and release new images.
Marketing: the Key to Selling Pictures Successfully
No matter how great your content, selling pictures will be a struggle if no one knows about your business. Microstock sites offer little to nothing in the way of promotion or marketing for specific contributors, which is one of the reasons why your own business will typically be more lucrative than a microstock sideline. Full-service eCommerce platforms give you access to zero-risk marketing tools, like affiliate network access, which help you to boost the signal without a large marketing budget.
Because you’re essentially paying your affiliates on commission, you only pay for marketing through these systems when it’s effective. Unlike banner ads and sponsored social media posts, which cost money up front, affiliate marketing requires no advance investment. You never have to gamble with your funding, or worry about the effectiveness of your investment. Start selling pictures in your own webstore today, with the help of a high quality system.