You may be wondering as an enthusiast photographer (nowhere near a professional, nor do I plan to become one), how do I keep 35mmlens.com profitable?
I only use top-of-the-line services
Before I start to address this question, let me tell you that when I decided to invest a large amount of my time and effort into this website, as a self-respecting person I did not think ‘thrifty’ web hosting services would match my tremendous personal input. This website is run on a top of the line web hosting service with advanced features like real-time site health monitoring, 256-bit encrypted connections, spam blocker and page by page speed analysis. The server has cutting-edge security features to keep out the nasty viruses and can handle large amounts of traffic. Media-rich contents such as high-resolution photos and videos are not an issue at all which sets my website apart from others using ‘free’ hosting services. There is no advertisement – as a graphical person I hate that stuff on my web pages and I know you do too. The WordPress template it runs on has advanced features for newsletters, social media integration, an online shop platform that accepts credit cards, PayPal and all other major payment methods. The only problem I have is that I simply do not have enough time to use even half of these functions yet!
All this ensures a great user experience for my readers, yet it also means out-of-pocket expenses for me. Yes, I am very passionate about 35mm lens photography, however, not everyone sinks hard-earned money into a website like I do. Am I out of my mind?
A self-funded model
The answer is that this website keeps itself running with the affiliate program I participate in. The links on certain pages on this website directs to reputable online stores that my readers can choose to invest in the hobby, should they choose to do so. I make a commission via the sale which pays for the running cost of this website. With my affiliate program, I can focus on creating the best content on 35mm lens photography without having to worry about financing for the website. I don’t know where you are from but in Sydney, Australia, housing prices and living costs are skyrocketing in recent years. Having my website run on a self-funded mode and even create a small $1000 profit from time to time takes the financial pressure off me as well as allowing me to reward myself occasionally.
I use the service of Wealthy Affiliate and can vouch for it. It is an online platform that provides all the technology infrastructure for your website as well as detailed step-by-step guides to create your own profitable online business. I have exchanged messages with some peer members who make as much as $1000 per page, per month on their website with some search engine optimization techniques. Kyle and his team at Wealthy Affiliate look after everything about my website based on a flat, transparent monthly membership fee. There is no other paid products or services they sell (unlike some that charge membership as well as higher ticket ‘exclusive’ contents on top), they basically dish out the whole thing once you are a member.
The best possible way to learn online marketing
Learning to make money online isn’t easy. If I compare this to learning a new language, I could buy a foreign language textbook and recite it, or I could enrol myself into a class, get involved in language exchange meetings, even immerse myself into the language environment by living in a foreign country for a while. You probably can tell which way of learning is more effective: in my opinion, the community-based learning with a human to human interaction gives you the best chance of success.
Wealthy Affiliate is providing this fully immersed experience for me. I built this website on day 1 and I have been posting my blogs as well as learning the latest online marketing knowledge via interactive classes and self-paced video lessons every day. I am supported by peer members old and new to keep the spirit up and have access to ‘masters’ I can turn to for questions. There are dedicated technical support staff that answers all technical related questions within minutes. With Wealthy Affiliate, I am confident that every step I take is taking me precisely to the right direction, there is very little wasted effort. You can gain the same from your Wealthy Affiliate membership.
A bonus for photographers
A little surprise ‘bonus’ for me is that the knowledge of online marketing I learned at Wealthy Affiliate helped promote myself online as a photographer. Before I learned about online marketing, I had the doubt that although my photography skills are ‘above average’, I never got enough likes on Flickr, 500px and Instagram. Sometimes it makes me a little confused that a seemingly naive photography gets hundreds of ‘likes’. This experience even made me question the value of my pursuit of taking the best possible photos I can. Wealthy Affiliate surprised me by helping present myself better online, both on this website and on social media. Although ultimately how far I can go as a photographer is determined by the quality of photos I produce, at least I know I have made my work visible to the world in the best possible way. This, in turn, motivates me to perfect my skills and becomes a better photographer. It is no doubt a positive and inspiring experience.
My thoughts for you
I hope this article presents my genuine thoughts to you and do not come across just as a piece of promotional material. At the end of the day, I and this website hosted on Wealthy Affiliate server is proof that the program is working wonders for me. If you are wondering how much I paid for my membership: it costs $48 a month or $365 per year, but you can try it for 7 days free of charge.
Whether you are someone who wants to bring your hobby (any hobby indeed) to a brand new level, or a professional with a photography business to promote, or even a business-minded person trying to build a second income via an online business, I recommend you to grab a free trial. No commitment, nothing to lose. I learnt that 1 in 8 people who did the 7-days trial stays as a full member (including myself), the statistic tells you it is not a time-waster.
As a disclaimer, I will earn a commission if you sign up as a fee-paying member at the end of the 7 days trial period. Leave a comment and let me know if you have any questions.