3 Ways to Earn from Your Photography Blog

By Cecille Loorluis
3 Ways to Earn from Your Photography Blog


We have featured Niche of the Week posts on special hobbies, or what I call "passions," before: makeup, cooking and travel. Here I am yet again with another Niche of the Week post on how to turn your hobby or passion into a source of income.

My husband was badly bitten by the shutterbug two years ago. He has always been interested in photography and has exhibited a talent for capturing great moments, so he finally decided to pursue it. He bought a Nikon 5100 DSLR and became the official family photographer. I fully support him, but we both never thought anything would come out of it besides having another hobby.

That changed when I stumbled upon this photography blog or "photoblog": How I Made $4,513.43 in Passive Photography Income in 11 Months. Apparently, as with other pursuits we have featured as Niche of the Week, photography can also be a source of passive income.

Interest in photography had reached a plateau until Nikon introduced the first digital camera in early 2000. Canon and other manufacturers followed suit, and not long after that, we discovered cameras on mobile phones. Digital photography was born.

There are now 4 times as many camera owners per US household as there were in 2002, with the bulk of photos stored on Facebook. Photography accessories such as memory cards, camera bags, cleaning kits and the like have never been more in demand. There are also online photography schools where you can learn to shoot better photos, as well as various books on photography.

The Big Picture

The photography industry is a $10 billion industry in the US alone.

Photography has gone digital in recent years. While anyone with a camera can now take photos and edit them with (often) free software, there's definitely still a demand for photography specialists, who are making a comeback as they focus on specific photography services like special events coverage and publishing photo books.

The photography industry in the US earned USD $10 billion in 2013, and and has been projected to grow 1.8% each year  since then — indicating a recovery in progress.

Photography Earnings - Photography Affiliate Programs

As far as interest in the photography niche, Australia tops the list. There was a decline to the number of searches from between 2014 to early 2016, but it is slowly on the rise. The US takes the 5th spot, behind New Zealand, the UK, and South Africa. 

Photography Interest by Region - Photography Affiliate ProgramsPhotography Interest - Google Trends

Picture-Perfect Keywords

"Pictures," "photos," and then some. There’s a lot of keywords to target in the photography niche.

If you want your photography site to get noticed, then you need to target the right keywords. Keywords play an important part in attracting the right people to your site.

Before you search for target keywords, consider what your photography site is about and what you eventually want it to be. If you're a local photographer and want to promote your brick-and-mortar studio, then you need to target keywords referring to the services you offer and then add your location. For example, "wedding photography San Francisco" will give you the following results in Traffic Travis:

San Francisco Wedding Photographer - Traffic Travis Results

The same thing works if it’s a specific photography service you’re offering on your site, or several. You can target keywords like “photo booths,” “photo books,” “wedding photography,” and “event photography.” The only catch is most of them are high-competition, buyer-intent keywords. Below are search results for "photography" in AffiloTools :

Photography Results - Affilotools

Having good on-page SEO can help make your photoblog more visible to users by ranking for specific keywords. This also leads to more traffic to your site.

Tags and keywords are important, even if it's just to draw attention to an image. Alt tags provide search engines with descriptive text for your image. In the event that the image cannot be displayed, a user will see the alternative text and know what the image represents. Always use your target keywords in the image alt tags when possible, and if not, then use words and phrases related to your keywords.

Articles on your photoblog are not exempt from those rules either. Make sure the article you're writing is optimized for the target keyword, as well as the images included in that article. 


How to Earn from Your Photoblog

Sharing the images you capture is great, but even better is earning while you do so.

These are just a handful of the numerous photography affiliate programs you will find online. As always, I checked the ClickBank Marketplace, and selected a few that have high commissions and good Gravity.

Endorse Online Photography Schools

Not everyone interested in photography already knows how to take good pictures, or understands all the artistic and technical factors that contribute to a great image. Even the ones who do are likely interested in learning more. As an affiliate, you can recommend a few websites that can help both beginner and advanced-level photogs enhance their skills.

Digital Photography School - Photography Affiliate Programs

1. Digital Photography School

About Digital-Photography-School.com
Digital-Photography-School.com is “a website with simple tips to help digital camera owners get the most out of their cameras.”

The information on the website is mostly free, except for eBooks and courses for those who want to further improve their photography skills.

How much can I make?
40% on each sale.

How do I apply?
The site manages its own affiliate program, so you need to sign up through the Affiliates Page.

Phlearn - Photography Affiliate Programs

2. Phlearn

About Phlearn
Phlearn provides a full course on retouching and special effects using Photoshop and Lightroom.

The site has free tutorials too, but they are not as in-depth as the full courses.

How much can I make?
20% for every course purchased through your affiliate link.

How do I apply?
You can sign up from the Affiliates Page.

Photography Spark - Photography Affiliate Program

3. Photography Spark

About Photography Spark
Photography Spark does not offer courses on how to improve your photography or photo-editing skills. Instead, the site features 3 courses on how you can turn that passion for capturing special moments into a full-fledged business.

How much can I make?
40% for every sale.

How do I apply?
Register as an affiliate through the site's Affiliates Page.

LifePixel - Photography Affiliate Programs

4. LifePixel

About LifePixel
LifePixel specializes in infrared photography. The site offers training on infrared photography and image post-production.

The site also provides camera conversion services and filters.

How much can I make?
5-20% on each sale. Commissions are sent out each month with no balance requirements through PayPal.

How do I apply?
Visit the Affiliates Page to sign up for the program.

UltimatePhotographyCourse.com - Photography Affiliate Programs

5. Ultimate Photography Course

About Ultimate Photography
Ultimate Photography Course offers an 18-module photography course online.

Their photography course is interactive and extensive, judging by the content of each module.

How much can I make?
Affilaites get 50% commission on sales of the course.

How do I apply?
The site manages its own affiliate program too, so you need to register directly on the Affiliates Page.

Better Photos Academy - Photography Affiliate Programs

6. Better Photos Academy

About Better Photos Academy
Better Photos Academy teaches the everyday Joe and Jane how to take better pictures through a 20-week course.

The course covers both photography and photo-editing basics.

How much can I make?
50% on every sale of the course, including initial sales and monthly rebills. 

How do I apply?
Sign up through ClickBank, or through the Affiliates Page.

Digital Photography Success - Photography Affiliate Programs

7. Digital Photography Success

About Digital Photography Success
Another course online course, Digital Photography Success teaches you how to master the use of your DSLR camera.

The course includes one month's free subscription to a monthly e-Magazine on photography. You can also access training videos up on YouTube.

How much can I make?
50% for each sale. The course sells for USD$97 so that gives you nearly USD$50 on every sale.

How do I apply?
They’re on ClickBank, or through their Affiliates Page.

These programs here are just seven of the many, many photography courses you'll find online. Be sure to check out ClickBank and other affiliate networks for similar training courses. The great thing about having a large pool of products to promote is that if one product doesn't sell for you, you can replace it with another quite easily.

Recommend Hosting and Tools for Photographers

There are plenty of online tools and resources for both amateur and professional photographers. The question is: Which are you going to pick? You can help your fellow photog friends by suggesting a few. Not only are you helping them, you're helping yourself — by earning a commission each time.

Zenfolio - Photography Affiliate Program

1. Zenfolio

About Zenfolio
Zenfolio is an all-in-one hosting and selling provider for photographers. The service makes it easy to upload, share and sell your images.

How much can I make?
30% for every signup to the site's membership program.

How do I apply?
Join SmartChaos to promote Zenfolio, or go to the Affiliates Page for more information.

PhotoShelter - Photography Affiliate Programs

2. PhotoShelter

About PhotoShelter

PhotoShelter helps photographers create websites with built-in eCommerce and SEO tools. Like Zenfolio, the site offers hosting and selling solutions to amateur and professional photographers. PhotoShelter has an independent affiliate program that offers commissions ranging from USD $6 to $165.

How much can I make?
Ranges from USD$6 to USD$165 for every paid account.

How do I apply?
PhotoShelter manages its own affiliate program. You can sign up from the Affiliates Page.

Camera Career - Photography Affiliate Programs

3. Camera Career

About Camera Career
Camera Career offers promotes several eBooks, including one of its own, on how to sell your photos online.

How much can I make?
60% for each sale, roughly USD $14.

How do I apply?
You can sign up through ClickBank or the Affiliates Page

Photography Jobs Online - Photography Affiliate Programs

4. Photography Jobs Online

About Photography Jobs Online
Photography Jobs Online is another website that shows you how you can make money by taking excellent images.

Sign up to the website, submit your photos and start earning!

How much can I make?
55% for every paid account signup. That's roughly USD $70 for each paid account through your link.

How do I apply?
You can sign up through ClickBank, or their Affiliates Page

Adobe - Photography Affiliate Programs

5. Adobe

About Adobe
Adobe is the creator of Photoshop, Illustrator, and Lightroom, the premier photo-editing and vector tools that are preferred by most professional photographers.

How much can I make?
You can earn 85% for the first month's subscription to Creative and Document Cloud (or 8.33% of a yearly subscription). In addition, you can earn USD $72 for memberships to Adobe Stock and 8.33% for every individual sale.

How do I apply?
You can sign up through the Affiliates Page or Tradedoubler.

Promote Online Photography Stores

As far as online stores that sell equipment, there's always Amazon, of course, which sells photography supplies ranging from memory cards to eBooks to published works on photography. Adorama is another online camera store, and well-known brands Canon and Sony have their own online stores as well.

Adorama - Photography Affiliate Programs

1. Adorama

About Adorama
Adorama has more than 250,000 products in its catalog, and has been selling consumer electronic goods for over 40 years.

How much can I make?
2% base commission. It can go up to 10% for some brands and product categories. Orders average USD $400.

How do I apply?
You can sign up through the Affiliates Page.

Sony - Photography Affiliate Programs

2. Sony

About Sony
Sony is a multinational conglomerate that produces consumer and professional electronics, from televisions and Blu-ray players to gaming system and, of course, cameras. The company resells through other major retail channels, but also has its own online store.

How much can I make?

How do I apply?
The site has an Affiliates Page, but you need to sign up for the affiliate program through LinkShare.

Canon Affiliate Program - Photography Affiliate Program

3. Canon

About Canon
Canon is another popular camera brand. Like Sony, you can purchase cameras, camcorders and photography accessories from the company website.

How much can I make?
2.5% base commission, with a possibility to earn more thanks to a tiered commission structure based on sales.

How do I apply?
Canon has an Affiliates Page but you need to be a Commission Junction affiliate first.

How to Get Your Photoblog Noticed

A photograph needs to be appreciated and shared. So does your photoblog.

Whatever reason you have for putting up a website, the aim is always to get people to visit it. For affiliate marketers, it's even more important to get people to click on their affiliate links and purchase the products.

There are many methods, both free and paid, to drive traffic to your website. It can get overwhelming, particularly because link-building and marketing strategies tend to be a combination of two or more tactics, and not one. It’s best to have a look at the methods you will use to promote your website once it is up, long before you actually launch.

Social Media Marketing

Where better to showcase your images but through social media sites like Facebook and Pinterest? You can share not only your images, but links to your articles as well.

You can also interact with your target market on these sites. Ask them to critique your images, or host a mini-contest to further engage them. Hootsuite has a few tips on how you can engage users in social media and build your brand

Blog and Forum Commenting

There are plenty of photoblogs and photography forums that you can participate in, such as PhotoCamel. Join in the conversation and provide helpful information to the other members. You'll build backlinks and create a positive reputation for your site. Once the forum-goers trust you and your site, they will be more compelled to visit your site and follow your recommendations.

Amazon Kindle Traffic

Share your knowledge of photography by creating a small eBook on a specialized topic, then post it in the Kindle store. Make sure that you have a link to your site in the eBook, particularly to the relevant articles on your site.

The best part about this method is that you have the option to charge a small amount for the eBook (such as $0.99), making it another potential source of income.

Photography and Affiliate Marketing: The Big Picture

5 to 20%
5 to 20%
USD $6 to
USD $165
2 to 10%

This is definitely a niche for someone who is into photography and dead-set on pursuing it. You can start off your site as a personal blog of someone trying to learn photography and take it from there.

Again, you have to have a real interest here. That means owning a camera, taking pictures and sharing your work with the rest of the world. Then you can add one or two of the photography affiliate programs we've featured here to your site, and start earning passive revenue.

Keep in mind that the commissions are not all good. The stores in particular offer only 2% for each sale. Still, that won't matter if your main focus here is photography and getting your images out there.

If you already have a photography site, and are getting some steady traffic to it, then this is good news for you. You can choose from any of the affiliate programs we've covered. It may not be much, but at the very least you can expect a small monthly earning from your site. 

I hope you enjoyed this Niche of the Week! If you did, please make sure to share it with your friends and family through the Share buttons below. Comments are welcome! Please make sure to leave them below, too. :)

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Jacob Golan 10 years ago
What about B&H in New York. I think they also pay commissions. You can also try travel commissions as well as lots of photographers are now offering tours to places where all the action is.
kevin richardson 7 years ago
This is perfect. I have been wondering about this niche for some time and was wondering what angles to pursue it from.
Dwayne Graves 7 years ago
Cecille, great information for the photography niche and the wide array of ways to monetize. Initially, I only thought about promoting electronics, but offering courses is a great way as well and you get to help aspiring photographers in the process.
Ryan 5 years ago
Ryan here @ Signature Edits - An online community that creates marketing templates & training for photographers who want to turn their passion into a full time income. For anyone out there interested, we have a 50% commission affiliate program! I'd love to have our community added to your list Cecille!
Contact us on our website to get enrolled & start earning today :)
Mary Noble 3 years ago
I just started my own blog on my site at Daytonohiophotographers.com, I like a lot of these ideas! Especially the affiliate marketing, it's a concept I never even thought of, and quite frankly I'm going to check out some of those classes as well. This has actually been really informative! I really appreciate it!