How do you sell your photos online?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions
Ian_abaco
Ian_abaco Forum Member • Posts: 87
How do you sell your photos online?

I have a web-site but just post links to a print on demand sites that people could buy my photos from. I'd like a smoother look and setup but don't know too much programming. I'm looking at fotomoto which is a free way to sell your photos from your site without much set up. Also looking at fineartamerica which for $30 a year you can easily add a shopping cart to your site. I'm not sure yet but am hoping for other options, please share what works for you. Thank you.

Mark B. Forum Pro • Posts: 27,362
Re: How do you sell your photos online?
1

Ian_abaco wrote:

I have a web-site but just post links to a print on demand sites that people could buy my photos from. I'd like a smoother look and setup but don't know too much programming. I'm looking at fotomoto which is a free way to sell your photos from your site without much set up. Also looking at fineartamerica which for $30 a year you can easily add a shopping cart to your site. I'm not sure yet but am hoping for other options, please share what works for you. Thank you.

Unless you're 1) selling to a targeted audience (such as from an event) or 2) your photos are absolutely phenomenal, I think you'll find it's very difficult to sell random photos to random web users.  I've only sold event photos, and even then sometimes it wasn't worth my time to do the event.

You might also want to ask on the Pro Digital Talk forum.

Mark

jimhughes
jimhughes Senior Member • Posts: 1,382
Re: How do you sell your photos online?

I've sold photos on FAA for years. What would you like to know?

-- hide signature --

www.jimhphoto.com

Ian_abaco
OP Ian_abaco Forum Member • Posts: 87
Re: How do you sell your photos online?

Mark B. wrote:

Ian_abaco wrote:

I have a web-site but just post links to a print on demand sites that people could buy my photos from. I'd like a smoother look and setup but don't know too much programming. I'm looking at fotomoto which is a free way to sell your photos from your site without much set up. Also looking at fineartamerica which for $30 a year you can easily add a shopping cart to your site. I'm not sure yet but am hoping for other options, please share what works for you. Thank you.

Unless you're 1) selling to a targeted audience (such as from an event) or 2) your photos are absolutely phenomenal, I think you'll find it's very difficult to sell random photos to random web users. I've only sold event photos, and even then sometimes it wasn't worth my time to do the event.

You might also want to ask on the Pro Digital Talk forum.

Mark

Thank you for the response. I have a few loyal fans and I sell a few things by posting on facebook. I know I won't sell multitudes but having a website is affordable and if it's simple for a visitor to purchase something and I only make a few dollars it's rewarding for me. I've just started using twitter and pinterest and you'd be surprised at the eyes it can put on your images.

Ian_abaco
OP Ian_abaco Forum Member • Posts: 87
Re: How do you sell your photos online?

jimhughes wrote:

I've sold photos on FAA for years. What would you like to know?

I checked out your site, very nice images. I noticed it's through smugmug and don't see an option to buy a print. I have a free FAA so only able to list 25 photos. Do you pay the $30 a year for unlimited? Do people just find your images there or do you post your images other places? Please share your FFA link and I appreciate any info you'd share.

Thank you

jimhughes
jimhughes Senior Member • Posts: 1,382
Re: How do you sell your photos online?

Ian_abaco wrote:

jimhughes wrote:

I've sold photos on FAA for years. What would you like to know?

I checked out your site, very nice images. I noticed it's through smugmug and don't see an option to buy a print. I have a free FAA so only able to list 25 photos. Do you pay the $30 a year for unlimited? Do people just find your images there or do you post your images other places? Please share your FFA link and I appreciate any info you'd share.

Thank you

The reason my site doesn't currently have a "buy" link is that if it did, I couldn't link to it in posts here on DPReview. I'm probably going to restore the "buy" links and quit posting here for that reason.

Here's my FAA main page:

https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/1-jim-hughes

If you don't pay the $30 you can only put up 25 images, and you'll never be found. The only sales I get are from people finding me somehow on FAA, either via Google or FAA's own keyword search (which is terrible).

FAA is a long story, there are a lot of things I could say about it, both good and bad. First off, their internal keyword search ranking is based on past sales  - so until you get lucky and sell something, you're buried on page 1,000.  So you need to get more than 25 up there, and keyword them well, and then get lucky.   Of course if you have your own marketing efforts, you may not need to rely on search, like I do.

-- hide signature --

www.jimhphoto.com

Dexter75 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,660
Re: How do you sell your photos online?

Only Fans 😃

jimhughes
jimhughes Senior Member • Posts: 1,382
Re: How do you sell your photos online?

If you just want to sell to people you know, or have reached by other means, then FAA as a POD has 2 big pluses and 1 big minus.

Plus - you set your own markup, which can be anything.

Plus - they have a complete UI for selecting a frame and mat (besides the usual metal, acrylic and canvas options), and they accept images of any pixel dimensions, your photo doesn't have to be a standard aspect ratio.

Minus - their shipping charges are wildly unpredictable and can be extremely high.  This is an ongoing issue with photographers trying to sell there.

-- hide signature --

www.jimhphoto.com

Ian_abaco
OP Ian_abaco Forum Member • Posts: 87
Re: How do you sell your photos online?

jimhughes wrote:

If you just want to sell to people you know, or have reached by other means, then FAA as a POD has 2 big pluses and 1 big minus.

Plus - you set your own markup, which can be anything.

Plus - they have a complete UI for selecting a frame and mat (besides the usual metal, acrylic and canvas options), and they accept images of any pixel dimensions, your photo doesn't have to be a standard aspect ratio.

Minus - their shipping charges are wildly unpredictable and can be extremely high. This is an ongoing issue with photographers trying to sell ther e.

I just set fotomoto on my site, it added a buy print button under each of my images. I kinda like it but still not sure it's exactly what I want. If you don't mind I will message you my site if you'd give me your feedback.

I'm still interested in faa because it's affordable and might get other viewers that wouldn't normally find my site.

Jay Anson
Jay Anson Regular Member • Posts: 102
Re: How do you sell your photos online?
1

Ian_abaco wrote:

I have a web-site but just post links to a print on demand sites that people could buy my photos from. I'd like a smoother look and setup but don't know too much programming. I'm looking at fotomoto which is a free way to sell your photos from your site without much set up. Also looking at fineartamerica which for $30 a year you can easily add a shopping cart to your site. I'm not sure yet but am hoping for other options, please share what works for you. Thank you.

Stock sites. I don't care what anyone says about not making sales. I make sales every month and I don't have 100s of 1000s of images either.

Ian_abaco
OP Ian_abaco Forum Member • Posts: 87
Re: How do you sell your photos online?

I wonder why faa doesn't offer the ability to use your own domain?

jimhughes
jimhughes Senior Member • Posts: 1,382
Re: How do you sell your photos online?

Ian_abaco wrote:

I wonder why faa doesn't offer the ability to use your own domain?

Many have asked for that over the years, but FAA isn't interested.  You can do a redirect, but that's not as good.

-- hide signature --

www.jimhphoto.com

mfinley
mfinley Senior Member • Posts: 4,402
Re: How do you sell your photos online?

jimhughes wrote:

I've sold photos on FAA for years. What would you like to know?

Can you create a professional and seemless buying experience on a wordpress website using the FAA shopping cart?

Are you better off with your own website and doing the above or create a FAA website and sell through that?

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jimhughes
jimhughes Senior Member • Posts: 1,382
Re: How do you sell your photos online?

mfinley wrote:

jimhughes wrote:

I've sold photos on FAA for years. What would you like to know?

Can you create a professional and seemless buying experience on a wordpress website using the FAA shopping cart?

Are you better off with your own website and doing the above or create a FAA website and sell through that?

I haven't tried the shopping cart, but from what I've read in their forum, it's not 'customizable' and there isn't a way to use it to bring up a 'buy' page for a specific photo that someone was looking it.

The second question is complicated. I'm a small potato, only selling a few on FAA in a month, relying on keyword search. The website that FAA gives you at the $30 level is clunky looking and not very customizable. I don't use it, but it works for some people. The only traffic you'll get there is what you generate on your own. You can't use a custom domain, you can't use Google Search Console.

Since it's not your domain, you're not really building up SEO in the bank for the future.  Based on what's been happening there in recent years I have some fear that the owner will sell or merge the business and those  'premium' sites may go away.  They haven't received any significant updates in years.

www.jimhphoto.com

Ian_abaco
OP Ian_abaco Forum Member • Posts: 87
Re: How do you sell your photos online?

jimhughes wrote:

Ian_abaco wrote:

I wonder why faa doesn't offer the ability to use your own domain?

Many have asked for that over the years, but FAA isn't interested. You can do a redirect, but that's not as good.

I found this article https://ourartsmagazine.com/blog/2019/03/01/ssl-domains-on-pixels-com maybe it will work

jimhughes
jimhughes Senior Member • Posts: 1,382
Re: How do you sell your photos online?

Ian_abaco wrote:

jimhughes wrote:

Ian_abaco wrote:

I wonder why faa doesn't offer the ability to use your own domain?

Many have asked for that over the years, but FAA isn't interested. You can do a redirect, but that's not as good.

I found this article https://ourartsmagazine.com/blog/2019/03/01/ssl-domains-on-pixels-com maybe it will work

Yes I remember all that hoo-ha about SSL after a redirect, and someone eventually figured out how to make it work.

Really, the way to learn about FAA is to just pony up the $30, upload a lot of photos, and ask questions in their forum. The FAA upload process is tedious but not nearly as bad as, say, Society6 (shudder). People in the forum will happily answer your questions as long as you stay positive - if you criticize FAA your thread may get shut down.

If you have some decent photos of things for which people might be keyword-searching, and subjects that aren't totally saturated already, you might get a sale. You don't have to be exclusive with FAA, you can sell your photos elsewhere and still keep your pricing consistent.

I've been on FAA for years and have sold quite a few in that time. Eventually I decided that I needed to start promoting my own domain for the future, because I didn't like the direction at FAA. I actually have a series of blog posts about my long and only somewhat successful attempts to get Google to start indexing my SmugMug gallery on my own domain.

https://jimhphoto.com/index.php/2019/11/28/smugmug-and-seo-crickets-chirping/

I took a look at your site, it looks fine, I'll look at it more closely later. I do remember the FotoMoto plugin, I looked into that once and decided it wasn't for me, but can't remember why...

I'm still trying to figure all this out myself. My sales have been pretty dismal since COVID hit, sometimes it's hard to stay motivated, but I'm looking to the future. My blog is now getting some views and I'm trying to build on that. Feel free to PM me with any questions I might be able to answer. Or even better, post a question on my visitor-hungry blog.

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www.jimhphoto.com

jimhughes
jimhughes Senior Member • Posts: 1,382
Re: How do you sell your photos online?

@ian_abaco, I just looked at your site again, and the FotoMoto plugin actually looks pretty good at first glance.

Do tthey handle the whole 'fulfillment' thing - i.e. do they ship the finished product and deal with issues like quality or non-delivery?  Or is it all on you?

-- hide signature --

www.jimhphoto.com

Ian_abaco
OP Ian_abaco Forum Member • Posts: 87
Re: How do you sell your photos online?

jimhughes wrote:

@ian_abaco, I just looked at your site again, and the FotoMoto plugin actually looks pretty good at first glance.

Do tthey handle the whole 'fulfillment' thing - i.e. do they ship the finished product and deal with issues like quality or non-delivery? Or is it all on you?

They handle print, ship and delivery that's why I want to give them a try. You could fulfill yourself if you want but why if you don't have to. The setup you see on my site is totally free, reason being fotomoto takes a decent transaction fee. But you have full control to set your prices. They also have two paid plans.

jimhughes
jimhughes Senior Member • Posts: 1,382
Re: How do you sell your photos online?

Ian_abaco wrote:

jimhughes wrote:

@ian_abaco, I just looked at your site again, and the FotoMoto plugin actually looks pretty good at first glance.

Do tthey handle the whole 'fulfillment' thing - i.e. do they ship the finished product and deal with issues like quality or non-delivery? Or is it all on you?

They handle print, ship and delivery that's why I want to give them a try. You could fulfill yourself if you want but why if you don't have to. The setup you see on my site is totally free, reason being fotomoto takes a decent transaction fee. But you have full control to set your prices. They also have two paid plans.

I had forgotten about FotoMoto, thanks for reminding me.

I have about 700 salable photos so setting up my own gallery, on my site, would be a bit of a project. That's why I use Smugmug. But their UI for buying prints is terrible - a total embarassment compared to other sites.

-- hide signature --

www.jimhphoto.com

Ian_abaco
OP Ian_abaco Forum Member • Posts: 87
Re: How do you sell your photos online?

jimhughes wrote:

Ian_abaco wrote:

jimhughes wrote:

@ian_abaco, I just looked at your site again, and the FotoMoto plugin actually looks pretty good at first glance.

Do tthey handle the whole 'fulfillment' thing - i.e. do they ship the finished product and deal with issues like quality or non-delivery? Or is it all on you?

They handle print, ship and delivery that's why I want to give them a try. You could fulfill yourself if you want but why if you don't have to. The setup you see on my site is totally free, reason being fotomoto takes a decent transaction fee. But you have full control to set your prices. They also have two paid plans.

I had forgotten about FotoMoto, thanks for reminding me.

I have about 700 salable photos so setting up my own gallery, on my site, would be a bit of a project. That's why I use Smugmug. But their UI for buying prints is terrible - a total embarassment compared to other sites.

Let me know if you use fotomoto and how it works for you. I just read the how tos and the setup was quite simple

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