For those that have known me for awhile know of my personal photography project thefemalecanvas.com. I started this website many years ago before I started shooting portraits. Quite simply it is a galley site of my photography of women with tattoos. It also includes articles and covers of my work with Skin& Ink magazine.
I used to have adsense on the site many years ago (before I ever read the terms) but the site was banned for some nudity on some of the images. Site was young and I didn’t really think twice about it at the time. Still cant find a way to get it unbanned. I sell prints from time to time and calendars every year.
Fast forward to today. Because of being so busy with the portrait business I haven’t really shot or updated the site since last year. Knowing the things I do now and with the tools I have I decided to add analytics and check it out in Market Samurai. What I found out shocked me. It is a PR2 site and for many of the keyword phrases (involving tattoos and women) it ranked #2 or #3. Checked analytics after a week and it is getting 300+ visits a day!
So obviously I’m thinking I need to find a way to monetize the site again. Cant keep thinking ‘what if I had adsense here’ anymore. A fellow photographer and niche builder suggested photography eBooks. He has had good luck on his site with them, but his site is more of a how to site. I dont think most of my visitors are looking for the ‘how to’ 😉 but I may try it. I think the first step is to do somewhat of a redesign to a wordpress platform (it is currently joomla 1.0) while keeping the same basic look. Going to try and customize the theme a bit to make print purchases easier. Next step I think I’m going to add a membership section that shows more images from each shoot. I have all the images I have taken to date still so I can add a few up front then trickle them in a couple a month as well as add new shoots. Yes I will have to get back into shooting material as well. I know a membership site is a bit more difficult because of the upkeep but I think I can do it if I commit to adding at least 2-3 galleries to the member section a month with at least 1 being from a new shoot.
My biggest issue is do I keep galleries flash based. Flash sort of protects the images from theft, but if I used lightbox or some other method it would be easier to add a shopping cart for print purchase. I’ll have to continue debating this in my head…
Some would say that membership sites are not passive income but I disagree. While yes there is a monthly upkeep and ill have to plan some shoots, the site itself sits up there and hopefully adds members each month. Each member is then a recurring dollar amount that goes to bank without doing anything. Just adding say 2 members a month at $50 a month (easy number to discuss, not what I would be charging) that’s $100 the first month. Second month have the $100 recurring and $100 from 2 new members, So $200 and so on. So at the end of a year Im Making $2400 a month and would have made $7,800 for the year 🙂 One can dream right?
What are your thoughts or ideas?