BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Aggie Villanueva
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/8/2006
 

Selling Prints Online


I have had enough people now want to buy my prints (10x13 and larger) that I am thinking of opening an online photo gallery to sell them. I have many questions, but I guess my main one is: do any of you know how I can get free listings in search engines and any other ways to send people to my site?


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7/13/2006 4:11:38 PM

 
Ariel Lepor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  You mean you want to know how to advertise for free, right? Search engines automatically add you to their listings. Maybe you could do a search for "free advertisement" or something. Another idea is to always sign emails and comments or other things with your web site, as people might be interested and check it out.

What other questions do you have?

Ariel
ScrattyPhotography


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7/13/2006 5:42:45 PM

 
Aggie Villanueva
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/8/2006
  You mean that if I put up a website the search engines automatically list it? I thought I had to register it somewhere, and come up with dozens of "keywords" and other complicated stuff like that.

Other questions? Oh gosh! Starting with I don't know what to charge. I format my prints for 5X7, 8X10, 10X13, 11X14. And when I get my digital slr they will be top quality.

I've seen them in the large sizes that are over $110/print but I want my photos to be available to everyone, but I still need to pay for my thousands of dollars worth of equipment, time, etc.

Then there's which web host to use. I've checked into shutterbugs Pro Shop where my orders automatically go to them for printing and the customer can order the prints in any form they offer, including the photo gifts, and my favorite, the stretched canvas. Do you know anything about them?

I guess that's enough questions for now. I really am not asking others to do my research for me. I've spent months crawling the web and reading everything I can. But it still all seems like Greek to me.

And everyone uses terms that I've never heard. I'm not even decided on the digital slr to buy yet.

Whew! I sound like a mess. but everyday I spend researching I end up with information overload, and just wish I could be in the mountains taking pictures instead! Know what I mean?


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7/13/2006 6:25:55 PM

 
Ariel Lepor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  Yeah, I feel like you do.

Question 1: Not for regular search engines! You just make a site, and google, yahoo!, etc. scan the web and add you to their listings. Or so I think. I never actually asked an expert, but I think that's the way it works. I have a blog, for example, and it shows up in Google, even though I didn't register it or anything.

I see you take really good photos! But how much you should charge depends largely on whether or not you frame them. I'd say that you should charge in the ball park of like (US)$15 for the 5x7, maybe around $40 for the 8x10, $50 for the 10x13, and $60 for the 11x14, and double if you frame them.

I haven't started printing/selling yet, but I've been doing some research.
I don't think I ever looked at Shutterbug. I did look at Shutterfly, which sounds like Shutterbug. It looked good, but then I looked at SnapFish, which looks better. They have better prices, and I think they offer the same kind of service (for less) as Shutterfly, though I'm not sure if people can buy through your SnapFish account. SnapFish, I might add, uses FujiFilm stuff for quality, long lasting, printing. You can also sign up with Costco (from their site), which is like a local SnapFish, for even less. I didn't really look into this much, buy you might want to check out Smugmug.

I also am very seriously looking into using ifp3.com. Check out their site. It looks really good for web hosting and making it easy to sell your work, but you have to send out the prints yourself. You can still print them at Costco, by the way.

I haven't gotten into looking for an SLR, yet. I think Canon's top SLRs are pretty popular, so I bet they're good. If you have questions about terms, I might be able to help you there.


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7/13/2006 9:23:20 PM

 
Aggie Villanueva
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/8/2006
  Yes, I meant Shutterfly. That looked great, but only because they do all your record keeping for you and the convienence of having my customer's orders go straight to them and they fill, ship it, and deal with customer service issues such as returns. More time for us to be out taking pictures.

They also have the option for customers to order any of your prints as any of their photo gift items. You don't make much profit from that cause they don't give us a discount on gift items, so you can't mark it up too much. But it's nice to give customers so many options and not have to do any of the drudgery work.

But I think their prices are too high. And my favorite option is to order a print as a stretched canvas. At Shutterfly the smallest you can get is $89!

I like Winkflash. I use them all the time. They're prices are cheaper, quality great, customer service great, and I ordered a smaller stretched canvas from them for only $27. And only $0.99 shipping for any order of any size up to and including the 10X13s.

I have emailed them repeatedly, even to the marketing and advertising dept, but they don't offer the same deal as Shutterfly, and don't know when in the future it might be available. I also emailed Snapfish, if I remember correctly, and they don't offer the same deal either.

I was just looking around on Snapfish. Where is the service you were talking about there? I couldn't find anything. I would like to check it out. And I will check out the Smugmug and Costco you suggested, and also the ifp3.com

About the search engines: I googled both my websites and they weren't there. But I googled the name of my friends website selling furniture and it was the first listing. Could it have something to do with the way I titled my website, or that the webaddress is way different than the title? Or maybe that the host I use (Freewebs.com)isn't search engine friendly (whatever that means) Or maybe it's cause I didn't purchase a domain name for either. D0es your blog have a domain name? I wonder how important a domain name is.

I think your price suggestions are in the ballpark. I was thinking similarly, but I wanted to hear what others thought about pricing. My prices would be without matting or framing, but that option is available to all my customers if I go with Shutterfly. We also get no discount on frames or matting from them.

For the terms I'm going to just have to study the glossary. I don't know what anything means.

Again, thanks for all your great suggestions.


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7/13/2006 10:19:53 PM

 
Aggie Villanueva
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/8/2006
  Hi again Ariel,
I just looked at your great photos. And you don't have a digital slr??!! What kind of camera did you take these fabulous photos with?

I see your into hummers too. I have hundreds of hummer pix on my family website (www.freewebs.com/myaggie2/), but none come out good enough at 4 megapixels to sell. They are just for my enjoyment as we sit out on the flagstone and watch them drinking the nectar I make them.

I just uploaded 3 more of my hummer pix to my gallery, besided the two I already had there of my husband holding them in his hand. They seem to love that. These are the best I've been able to capture and none are great.

How did you get such crystal clear shots. I have to zoom pretty far and then crop out 3/4 of the photo, and of course they are all grainy then.


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7/13/2006 10:43:02 PM

 
Ariel Lepor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  Yeah, I was really interested in Shutterfly, but I figured that I wouldn't be able to really make a profit if I used them. If you print your own work or have Costco do it, ifp3.com seems to make it easy as far as selling is concerned. They even let you sell downloads. Email ifp3.com. Their support has been very good from my experience with them, and combined with how you print them, it should be much better than Shutterfly.

Aggie, I just did a search for:
--
Aggie & Deli Sanchez This site is dedicated to keeping our families in touch
--
and your site came up on top. If you don't have a lot of words like photography, "Aggie Sanchez", hummingbird, in repeated amounts, it's not likely to show up very high in Google when you search. Just make sure to have a lot of keywords in the text of your new web site.

Thanks for your compliment on my hummer shots! I use a Fujifilm S5200. It's kind of like your Z6 (which I saw when researching before I got the S5200).
If you want to get good hummingbird shots, shoot in the daytime when the birds are in the sun (unless they're not flying), get close to the hummers, have a pretty low ISO, zoom in all the way, set the focus to macro, have a wide aperture, have a very fast shutter speed, and I guess you can have your "anti-shake" feature turned on if the shutter speed is below 1/450s. Hold the camera still, and, if your Z6 lets you focus close enough, the bird will fill a large part of the frame. I crop many of my pictures a little, but I don't usually get noise when I do that, unless I have an ISO of like 400 or up. There are also programs like Helicon Filter (free) that reduce noise. If you have Photoshop, you can get an extension (I think) for noise reduction.
Just one thing I'm not clear on. When I was researching, the main problem I saw with the Z6 was that it's pictures were soft, not that they had high noise levels. hmm... Also, the Z6 is a 6MP camera - not 4MP. And you know what? If the pictures are good and clear with low noise and good DOF, colors, lighting, focus, etc., even at 3MP they will be sell-able as downloads or small prints.
Don't think that good megapixels make good clear images.

By the way, it was a little while ago that I was looking at Snapfish, so I might be mistaken. I think, though, that you can, if someone goes directly to you and asks to buy a print, have Snapfish print the photo and send the print to whoever you want.

Email Steven Gunnerson (http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/contact.asp?memberID=74968) and ask him about Snapfish and Costco, and about anything special you should do when using them. He is the one who told me about those services and he currently uses them to print his work. His bio also has information on how he prices his work.

BTW, he uses the EOS Digital Rebel (300D) Digital SLR Camera (which many pros use) and that's only 6.3 MP. But (almost) everything else about it is better than your P&S.
See DigitalCameraInfo.com and dcresource.com for great reviews.
If you don't know many terms, you probably won't (until you learn) know how to make the best use of your future SLR and it's manual features, special things, etc.

I explain basic camera settings used in manual mode here:
http://scrattyphotography..com/2006/06/what-do-camera-settings-mean.html


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7/14/2006 9:47:23 AM

 
Aggie Villanueva
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/8/2006
  Wow. Thanks for all the info. I only chose the Dimage Z6 cause the Z3 I use isn't on the list. It's a 4 MP camera and it has no manual settings that I could find. I use their manual all the time to learn, but I may have missed some of that just because it was greek to me. I'll check it again.

The thing I've found is that no shot of any kind come out good in the daytime here under this NM sun. Everything is whited out. There is absolutely no vividness of color, even to the naked eye, unless you're in the shade.

Also everytime I use the macro setting the pix are a total blur. And I don't know if I can adjust the shutter speed on this camera. The anti-shake is always set to "on."

As I said, I'm going to go over the cameral manual again. I have probably missed ways that I can take better pictures even with this camera, before upgrading.

Does BP keep these message boards on for a long time, or do I need to print out our talks to keep them for reference? And I'm going to your site to read about manual setting as soon as I get a camera that lets me do that.

Thanks again. And I really did enjoy your hummer pix.


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7/14/2006 11:14:17 AM

 
Ariel Lepor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  You can use the "Live Help" button to get help finding the Z3 on the list or adding it to the list.

I've heard that colors are more vivid before 10 AM and after 3 PM. You can also use a polarizer filter to help with that.

It sounds like you just have a bad camera. The Z6 should be a lot better. So should a dSLR. My advanced P&S Fuji S5200 is also very cheap, if you don't want to spend so much on an SLR right away.

Your camera does in fact allow for (at least to some extent) manual control. It's also a good idea to know about what the different manual settings mean so you can better figure out what camera you want.

Don't worry. BP keeps these discussion threads on forever. Just make sure you keep the link which BP keeps email you so you can easily get back to it. That or bookmark it.

Thank you, and you're welcome. :)


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7/14/2006 11:38:28 AM

 
Danielle E. Rutter
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/4/2006
  While a domain name isn't important in getting yourself listed in a search engine... it is important if you are trying to sell photos and perhaps are handing out business cards. If you tell somebody your web addressa and it's long and complicated... they'll never remember it. But if you say it's aggiephotography.com or something simple... then they could remember that and retain it for the future when they are telling others about these wonderful prints they got. :) Besides... they only cost about $8 per year so it's hardly going to break the bank. I get mine at 1and1.com but you can get them tons of places. Just google it and see what the cheapest deal is.

I don't know about any particular hosts not being "search engine friendly." I've never heard of that. But I suppose it's possible? How long has your site been up? The googlebot might not have found it yet if the site is new. Or if you have something on your site that is extremely common... it might fall to the bottom of the list. On most search engines, the most frequently visited sites come up at the top (though not all of them). And if you're in an extremely popular category then you're likely to be shoved to the bottom... or a few pages into the search anyway.

Good luck!


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7/15/2006 5:37:26 AM

 
Danielle E. Rutter
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/4/2006
  While a domain name isn't important in getting yourself listed in a search engine... it is important if you are trying to sell photos and perhaps are handing out business cards. If you tell somebody your web addressa and it's long and complicated... they'll never remember it. But if you say it's aggiephotography.com or something simple... then they could remember that and retain it for the future when they are telling others about these wonderful prints they got. :) Besides... they only cost about $8 per year so it's hardly going to break the bank. I get mine at 1and1.com but you can get them tons of places. Just google it and see what the cheapest deal is.

I don't know about any particular hosts not being "search engine friendly." I've never heard of that. But I suppose it's possible? How long has your site been up? The googlebot might not have found it yet if the site is new. Or if you have something on your site that is extremely common... it might fall to the bottom of the list. On most search engines, the most frequently visited sites come up at the top (though not all of them). And if you're in an extremely popular category then you're likely to be shoved to the bottom... or a few pages into the search anyway.

Good luck!


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7/15/2006 5:37:38 AM

 
Danielle E. Rutter
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/4/2006
  While a domain name isn't important in getting yourself listed in a search engine... it is important if you are trying to sell photos and perhaps are handing out business cards. If you tell somebody your web addressa and it's long and complicated... they'll never remember it. But if you say it's aggiephotography.com or something simple... then they could remember that and retain it for the future when they are telling others about these wonderful prints they got. :) Besides... they only cost about $8 per year so it's hardly going to break the bank. I get mine at 1and1.com but you can get them tons of places. Just google it and see what the cheapest deal is.

I don't know about any particular hosts not being "search engine friendly." I've never heard of that. But I suppose it's possible? How long has your site been up? The googlebot might not have found it yet if the site is new. Or if you have something on your site that is extremely common... it might fall to the bottom of the list. On most search engines, the most frequently visited sites come up at the top (though not all of them). And if you're in an extremely popular category then you're likely to be shoved to the bottom... or a few pages into the search anyway.

Good luck!


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7/15/2006 5:38:06 AM

 
Danielle E. Rutter
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/4/2006
  While a domain name isn't important in getting yourself listed in a search engine... it is important if you are trying to sell photos and perhaps are handing out business cards. If you tell somebody your web addressa and it's long and complicated... they'll never remember it. But if you say it's aggiephotography.com or something simple... then they could remember that and retain it for the future when they are telling others about these wonderful prints they got. :) Besides... they only cost about $8 per year so it's hardly going to break the bank. I get mine at 1and1.com but you can get them tons of places. Just google it and see what the cheapest deal is.

I don't know about any particular hosts not being "search engine friendly." I've never heard of that. But I suppose it's possible? How long has your site been up? The googlebot might not have found it yet if the site is new. Or if you have something on your site that is extremely common... it might fall to the bottom of the list. On most search engines, the most frequently visited sites come up at the top (though not all of them). And if you're in an extremely popular category then you're likely to be shoved to the bottom... or a few pages into the search anyway.

Good luck!


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7/15/2006 6:16:33 AM

 
Ariel Lepor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  Danielle's right. I'd like to add that when you set up an ifp3.com account, you automatically get something like aggiephotography(or whatever you want).ifp3.com. If you buy a domain name, I think it's just for like a year or something until you re-buy it. $8 a year isn't bad. Ifp3.com lets you change your domain to whatever you buy (like aggiephotography.com) for a one time fee of $45.


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7/16/2006 8:23:08 AM

 
Aggie Villanueva
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/8/2006
  Thank you both. I didn't understand the domain name thing but now I get it. It is good to have something short and sweet for customers. And I imagine the selling of photography online is very competitive, so most likely I'll go way into the search engine list. Oh well. In just a few month I'll be ready to jump into the ocean of others trying to sell their photos and see what happens. Thanks again.


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7/16/2006 3:34:49 PM

 
Ariel Lepor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  You know, I think it might be automatic for many sites, but with ifp3.com, they walk you through optimizing your site for keywords for search engines.

I just set up my ifp3.com site. www.scrattyphotography.ifp3.com
Check it out!
I think I'll add the option to buy prints to it soon. After it goes through with PayPal, you get the info and can have Costco or SnapFish send out the print to the buyer.


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7/17/2006 5:12:23 PM

 
Robert M. Nicholson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/19/2005
  I added this to another thread and thought it would work here too.
_________________________________
Hello everyone,
In my experiences I believe that BP websites are a great deal. Cheap and easy. I decided to go with other route...purchased web hosting service and designed my site myself. I wanted to learn how to design and host websites. You need a lot of time and patience for that kinda endeavor. I read many books of web design, theory and e-biz. I personally like that stuff...yup I'm sort of a computer geek...enjoy business and of course photography. So it works for me.
About the selling prints:

I previously set up paypal on my site and had the buying options, shopping carts...this and that! And I thought HTML was time consuming!

I recently finished Jim Zuckerman's class "Making Money with your Photography” and learned so much! I highly recommend this class. He taught me so much about the ins and out of the money making side of photography.

Personally I have not had to much success selling prints straight from my website. Most of my sales come from me going to local galleries and gift shops. My website is good to send prospective buyers and show my work off. But the most important thing...you need a high volume of traffic to visit your site. Even then....people might still be reluctant to buy anything directly from your site…in these days of hacking and identity theft!! Also not many people Google photographs for sale or art prints...if they did you would be paying big bucks to Google, Yahoo and MSN for those top ranking spots!!

Rob

__________________________________
More about search engines and key wording.

Most of the big dog search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN) will not display your site unless your domain name or key words are specific. Also the reason why they are big dogs (Google is huge…stock shares near 400$ a pop) is because they charge and arm and leg for popular keywords!!! If you plug in Photography for example…do you think you are going to be on the first couple pages!!! Oh no…only the big boy with big bucks can afford those spots.

My recommendation is to get an easy or catchy domain name and beef up your key words and the meta keywords for the smaller search engines. The register on every free advertising site….marketingtool.com, craigslist.com, yahoo locals and even blogs!!!! The more traffic to your website the better chances you have of getting some buyers. Don’t forget to get out there to do some leg work, talking to galleries, gift shops and business.

Rob


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7/20/2006 2:01:32 PM

 
Ariel Lepor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  Ifp3.com helps with getting better spots sooner in searches, but sites show up anyway. If you pay Google, you get to be an add or one of the special top few hits. The first page of hits doesn't all pay the search engines.


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7/20/2006 7:21:57 PM

 
Aggie Villanueva
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/8/2006
  Rob,

Could you give me a link to your site? I pretty much think I will go with the Shutterfly Pro site. It's cheap and they take all orders for you, fill and ship them and deal with returns etc. Since I'm so new to business that sounds great to me, even though I don't like their prices.

And thanks everyone for your thoughts. These search engines are confusing. Exactly how do you go about beefing up your key words and the meta keywords (for smaller search engines)? I'm not real sure what these terms mean, though I have done some researching.

Should I list other keywords along with photography, landscapes, nature, etc., such as New Mexico? And is there a limit to the number of keywords you can list? And exactly where do you enter these keywords? I can see I'll have to put some thought into this keyword business. And can you add to them or change some of them at a later date?

I agree about the legwork. Though that's kinda hard here. It's a 2 hour drive oneway to get anywhere. But it can be done with enough gas money.

I have thought about applying to sites that feature what's going on in each state. Then seeing if they would list my link. I've heard some forums accept little ads, etc. I'm not expecting to make a living at my photography up here in the hills, but it would be nice to share it in this way.

I guess my first step will be to get a site up and make sure my keywords are strong and inclusive. I have over 100 photos I can offer, but they are all taken with a 4 megapixel set on auto. So I will have to sell them probably at about only $25/per because when blown up to 10X13 they get a little grainy when viewed up close.

Thanks again.


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7/22/2006 7:10:44 AM

 
Aggie Villanueva
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/8/2006
  Ariel,

Thanks for all your advice. It's been very helpful You have a beautiful website. I noticed you are selling photos for download. I considered the stock photography route, but doesn't that mean that whoever buys your pix file owns it and can do anything they want with it?

Then it seems, no one would want to buy the print because they could have it printed out themselves, or even resell it. Any thoughts on selling stock photography?


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7/22/2006 7:18:40 AM

 
Ariel Lepor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  Aggie, the search engines find all the words you have in your site. You don't worry about this if you use shutterfly. If you have another web site, http://www.google.com/addurl/Captcha?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.scrattyphotography.ifp3.com%2F&dq=Nature+Photography+by+Ariel+Lepor&continue=%2Faddurl&id=11617408780884537476&hl=en&captcha=logarh&submit=Add+URL lets you tell google about your web site, so it speeds up the time it takes to find it and maybe improves the accuracy of how it shows up in searches. Ifp3.com, in setting up a site, walks you through doing all this and adding keywords to your site, but you don't need to do this. A ifp3 site, I might note, is in flash format, so google might otherwise have a hard time finding words. Whatever service you use, I sure whatever you need to do will be obvious and easy. Don't worry about all this!

I'm not 100% clear on the term, but I think stock photography is when you sell a lot of downloads for very cheap. It doesn't mean that the buyer gets rights to the photo, unless you specify that they do. I don't do that. I make it very clear that downloads are for personal use only. Besides, the only quality download good enough for (small-medium) prints, I charge a few hundred. That's a lot! People would only buy it if they intend to make several prints.

The reason I don't sell prints yet is because I haven't yet tested Costco's printing quality and shipping process by buying a print from them. Once I make sure it's to my satisfaction, I'll begin selling prints.


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7/22/2006 10:00:49 PM

 
Robert M. Nicholson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/19/2005
  I needed to re-read some of my info before putting it out to you guys. E-Business or E-Commerce

Yes Google has a couple advertising options. You can buy keywords, pay per click on the sponsored spot up top or bid on an auction to get a high ranking spot. Yes not all first page results pay search engines...but they are very specific keywords. For example if you search something general like “photography”, my website is no where to be found...but if you search humbled eyes photography or humbled eyes that’s a different story.

Not sure if you can edit your keywords with BP, ifp3 or shutterfly. If they use templates...they might not..but I’m not totally sure.

Here are a couple hints to make your site more search engine friendly and improve your search engine positioning:

1. Create titles and descriptions that grab the searchers interest.
2. Use phrases not single word in regards to your keywords. (Studies show that a majority of searches are phrases…like “fine art photography”)
3. Use different keywords for different pages to describe the content.
4. Use specific keywords...general keywords will not improve your traffic. Use things like your city, your name, specialties and much more.
5. Use the misspelled words too! Yes...photografy, fotography and every combination.
6. Remember some search engines are case sensitive. Use fine art and Fine Art as keywords.
7. Get the name of your biz out there...on blogs, on line publications...anything and everything. Be a parasite and find your host! Let others pay for the top spots...then hop on and let it ride. I find Yahoo Locals produces the most traffic for my site.
8. Research your competition...study their websites to figure out what they are doing right.
9. Always keep up with changes in the industry!

Increasing your traffic:

1. Link up with other websites…this is becoming really big now a day. Also if you start getting a lot of traffic...you could make some money too!
2. Promote...promote...promote! Have “meet the artist” days at local coffee shops or galleries. They will love it because they get exposure too! Pass out biz cards or free prints with your website on it. Start submitting pictures to local publications and newspapers. Make sure you have them give you credit.
3. Again get the name of your biz out there...on blogs, on line publications...anything and everything.


Check out these sites:

Search Engine Optimizer

Acadmey of Web Design SF


My website is Humbled Eyes Photography.


Here is a great book:
Website Analysis and Reporting

Google: e-commerce, e-commerce website or e-business to learn more on these topics.

Hope this helps,
Rob


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7/28/2006 11:20:32 PM

 
Ariel Lepor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  Great information, Rob! I'd like to add that you can, in a special page, change the keywords with ifp3.com.


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7/29/2006 9:22:50 PM

 
Ariel Lepor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  Oh, Aggie, the Google link I gave before should have been: http://www.google.com/addurl/

Sorry! I think that's why this page is so wide.

By the way, maybe your prices should be a little higher than what I previously suggested.


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7/29/2006 9:25:30 PM

 
John G. Clifford Jr
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/18/2005
  Well, you have to ask yourself a couple of questions.

1) Do you want to handle printing, or do you want someone else to handle it for you?

2) Do you want a totally custom website where you control every aspect (and do you have the expertise for that), or do you want a simple solution that you can point people to that handles pretty much everything for you?

If you're a serious fine-art photographer who insists on controlling every aspect of his craft, including printing, then you will want a website service that allows you to sell the print that you make; it just gathers orders, collects the money, and sends you the orders to fulfill.

If you're like most people on BP, you want a site that does the work for you; customers pick their image and their print size, the site does all the work including getting prints made and shipped to the customer, you get a check.

BetterPhoto has some choices in this category, and so do places like Shutterfly, SnapFish, and Smugmug. I'd look at them all before making a decision.

Note that getting top quality prints is not just a matter of buying a decent dSLR. It's knowing how to use that camera, and even more important, how to post-process your images so they look good at the customer's desired print size. Making enough money to cover your print and website costs isn't easy, and you won't do it if what you offer isn't of the highest quality; if it was easy everyone would be doing it.

Re getting on search engines, unless you pay it will be hard to get good placement for generic phrases like 'photography', 'hummingbird', etc. Specific phrases like 'Taos Fall Festival' or 'ruby-throated hummingbird photos' may do a little better. The Internet is a huge mall, and your site (like most others) is a tiny kiosk off the main thoroughfare. Most photographers who do okay with a website use other venues (art shows, business cards, brochures at galleries, blurbs from published photos in newspapers or magazines, etc.) to push potential customers to their website. Don't expect to make any money unless you do this.

Good luck!


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7/29/2006 11:46:37 PM

 
Robert M. Nicholson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/19/2005
  Selling Your Art Online


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7/30/2006 9:42:06 PM

 
Aggie Villanueva
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/8/2006
  Summer here in the mountains keeps us tied up. Actually Spring, Summer and Fall, because winters here make it impossible to accomplish anything, So we use this time to prepare for winter. So I haven't been online often lately.

You are all so helpful I can't find the words. I have been checking out all the sites you recommend. The link to "Selling Your Art Online" will continue to be helpful for years to come.


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7/31/2006 9:50:27 AM

 
Ariel Lepor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  Hi, Aggie,
I'm told 1and1 is good for buying domains, and you get an email address with your own domain along with the domain for $6 a year. If you pay ifp3.com a one time fee of $45, they set up your site with the domain you bought.
Also, when (at least with Costco) you upload the images, be sure to select that in the pop-up select image box you select the option to upload the full versions, not the 5x faster way. I've also heard that SnapFish is better than Costco for the really large poster prints.
Here is a link for putting your website information in many search engines: https://www.ineedhits.com/secure/order-step1.aspx
Ifp3 helps with Google, MSN, and Yahoo. Yes, you do put in keywords here. It's not so difficult - you just (carefully) think what words people would use when searching to buy your kinds of photos.


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8/9/2006 3:53:47 PM

 
Ariel Lepor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  Aggie, how's progress?

I'm in the process of setting up my site at my own domain now, still using ifp3.com, and I'm also selling prints now, too.

For print services, see this thread:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=25273


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8/29/2006 7:58:53 PM

 
Aggie Villanueva
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/8/2006
  I'm so grateful for all your suggestions. My office room had been in the proccess of overhauling floor to ceiling for the last 3 weeks. And it's due to go on for another few weeks. So I haven't been able to get a my computer. The remodelers had car trouble today and that's why I got to sneak in here. I plan to check out everything you have advised in a month or so when I'm back in my office. Thanks again. And I'll reply then. Aggie


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8/30/2006 11:04:51 AM

 
David A. Bliss   I apologize if this has already been mentioned, but I just couldn't get through all of the responses ;-)

Most search engines use spiders to find and rate sites. The more links you have going to your site, the higher your site will show on a search list (to simplify it very much). I belong to a number of artist and photography forums. My website is listed on all of them. Also, I have made many friends on these forums, and we add links to each others sites on our own to help increase the number of times a spider finds a link to them.


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8/30/2006 12:14:27 PM

 
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