7 Ways to Earn Passive Income as a Photographer

In these uncertain times, it’s very natural to consider different avenues of earning income. I have always been a huge advocate for earning passive forms of income, mainly because as freelancers our income can become very inconsistent at times.

I feel especially during this pandemic, there are many ways that we can be doing more for our business as photographers. Particularly when it comes to earning extra income.

Below I’ve compiled 7 tried and tested avenues of earning passive income, which any photographer can do.

Please note that there may be affiliate links within this article. These links help support my blog as I may earn a small commission with no extra cost to you.

1. Affiliate Marketing

Many of you may have already heard of the term, ‘affiliate marketing,’ however it can sometimes come across as a complicated and time-consuming method that sounds like more effort than what it’s worth.

I can tell you that affiliate marketing might be quite an effort to begin with initially, however as soon as the initial hard part is over, it’s an incredibly easy and straightforward avenue to earn passive income as a photographer.

Affiliate Marketing mainly involves using dedicated links from companies and brands. They will in turn pay you a percentage commission fee for the promotion of their products once someone makes a purchase.
So essentially wherever you do most of your promotion, whether that be your website, blog, YouTube channel, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. you can integrate affiliate marketing links to earn passive income. All it takes is for you to recommend a product with a dedicated link for viewers to click on. If the viewer clicks on the link and purchases the product you’ve recommended, (or sometimes even another product on the site,) you will earn a commission.

As photographers I feel this is quite an easy method to integrate into our online promotion as we use different products all the time! This is definitely a consideration I would include for any photography business. Using sites such as Commission Junction, ShareASale and VigLink are great ways to start affiliate marketing.

2. Selling Downloadable Products

Selling downloadable products is also a fairly simple way to earn passive income.
If you have an Adobe Subscription, there are many things as photographers that you can sell in the form of a downloadable product including; Photoshop Actions, Lightroom Presets or Photoshop brushes, etc.
Even selling eBooks or Templates could be a viable source of income.

This is a simplified method of earning passive income which you can organise and set-up from the comfort of your own home.

3. Selling Physical Products

Selling physical products could come in the form of a few different things. For example, selling prints, photo books, merchandise, etc. can be a great way to supplement your own income.

Sites like Etsy, Redbubble and Society 6 are perfect for this, and provide very simplified platforms to upload work to. These companies can also provide the physical product for the consumer with no extra work or resources needed on your end.

4. Google Adsense

Google Adsense is a great tool to use if you have a platform to monetise. Whether that be your website, blog or YouTube channel, there a several ways you can integrate this into your business.

Google Adsense works on people viewing your content, whilst integrating advertisements onto your promotional platforms. So once it has been integrated, it’s often smooth sailing from then on!

5. Stock Photography

Selling your images through Stock Photography sites such as Getty Images can offer you a good source of extra income.

If you have any spare and unused images, (which as photographers, we usually have very large backups of thousands of images taken over the years,) selling these as stock imagery is a great way to earn passive income.
A word of caution with this though, you’ll need to ensure you have the correct model release forms available to avoid any legal complications if you mainly offer portrait photography images to sell.

6. Sponsored Content

Sponsored content is another way for photographers to potentially make passive income. This sometimes involves building your audience, (particularly within a niche genre,) and either reaching out to brands or being approached for paid promotional content.

As I said previously, photographers are exposed to a wide variety of products and accessories, and it’s sometimes even helpful for us to promote or recommend those said products. (Particularly if you have an audience interested in knowing what your favourite products are!)

7. Online Classes

My final tip on earning passive income as a photographer focuses on hosting online classes.
In photography, there are countless genres, products, techniques and business prospects to explore. This is where online classes can provide valuable content to viewers of your work.

If you have a specific skillset that you excel at, why not teach an online course? Not only are you connecting with like-minded people and providing them valuable content, you are able to supplement your income with another photography related business prospect.

Using online sites such as teachable, skillshare or even YouTube is a wonderful way to start teaching online with minimal set-up hassle.

I hope these 7 tips on how to earn passive income as a photographer have been helpful for you today. It’s important during these times to consider other ways of earning income to provide a sense of consistency and security to your business, and I truly feel these 7 ways have the potential to do just that.

Until next time! x

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