Every photographer should have their own website. Period. It doesn’t matter if you’re a full-time professional or an aspiring hobbyist. Having a website comes with a string of advantages.
Not only is it a good way to display your work, but it also allows you to be less dependent on third-party platforms, and it’s a great way for fans or potential customers to learn more about you.
Let’s hop straight into it and look at the top 8 advantages of having a photography website.
#1 Display Your Images Exactly How You Want
Platforms such as Instagram are great for sharing your work and getting your name out there but you have very little control over how your images are displayed.
Social Media platforms are optimized for certain aspect ratios and don’t give much flexibility in how the images are presented.
That’s not the case with your photography website. Here you can design the galleries just as you want, without being forced to use a given aspect ratio. It’s a chance to show the images just as they’re intended to be seen.
#2 Tell Your Story
Your story matters. You might not think anyone cares, but they do. A study done by KoMarketing found that 52% of first-time visitors will look at the About page of a website. This is where you can make that crucial first personal connection with your visitors. It’s where you let them know who you are and what your vision is. It’s where a visitor will learn if they find you trustworthy or not.
There are many different practices when it comes to creating a good About Me page. What you include depends on what your purpose of the website is.
If your main focus is to sell prints, your About Me page should focus on what pain you solve for your customers. The page should be about them, not you.
The content might be very different if the purpose is to simply share your work and blog about your journeys (and you don’t intend on selling any products). In this case, the reader might find it more interesting to learn about your background and how you got started with your creative pursuit.
There’s no one correct way of writing an About Me page but I strongly recommend doing some research before making yours. This is a page that’s more important than what you might think.
#3 Write Longer Descriptions About Your Images
Social Media platforms aren’t the greatest when it comes to lengthy behind-the-scenes stories. Long descriptions can even have a negative impact on some algorithms.
However, some of us actually enjoy reading the stories about the images we like. It’s nice to learn what went into creating the shot, and what the shot means to the artist.
Your website is a great platform for this. People visiting your website are there because they want to learn more about you and your work. So take the time to write good descriptions. This could be in the form of a blog post or as the description in the gallery.
Writing good image descriptions can also have a huge impact on your website’s searchability. It’s an important part of SEO, which we’ll come back to in reason #5.
#4 Create Galleries to Showcase Your Series
As the years go by, it’s only natural that your image archives grow bigger. This is, of course, a good thing but it also makes it harder to have all your best work seen.
There is no good way of organizing your images on a Social Media platform (the exception perhaps being Galleries on Facebook, though it’s not very customizable). Mostly, your Instagram page is just a big collection of your images, where visitors have to scroll through hundreds of images.
A photography website gives you a lot more flexibility when it comes to presenting your work. Here you can organize the images and show them alongside other images that fit into the gallery or series. Visitors won’t have to scroll endlessly; they can find their favorite images in just a few clicks.
Many photographers choose to have Personal Favorites or Featured galleries on their websites. This is a great way of showcasing what you believe your best work to be.
#5 Use SEO to Reach More People
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, can be a complicated field but it’s one worth investing time into if you have ambitions of making an income from your photography. Optimizing your website for SEO is a huge factor in increasing traffic and reaching potential clients.
A well-optimized website will rank high on Google or other search engines for the keywords that are most important for you. For example, through the years I’ve optimized my photography website to, among others, focus on the keyword Norwegian Landscape Photography. It’s now the first result on Google and this has led to some of my biggest license deals and commissioned jobs.
Now, the term Norwegian Landscape Photography will probably not be very helpful for your website. Take a minute to write a down few words or phrases that best describe your photography or website. These are what you want to focus on when optimizing your pages.
Keep in mind that broader terms such as Landscape Photographer have more competition and will be harder to rank for (and you can rank for more than one keyword)
#6 Sell Prints Through a Print Store
Have you ever thought about selling your images as prints? Perhaps you’ve already sold a few? If so, a website is going to be a huge advantage for you.
I’m not going to lie and say that it’s going to be easy to sell prints just because you’ve got a website. It won’t. You still need to put a lot of work into marketing your work. The website is there to make you look more professional, and to make the experience easier for the customer.
Recommended Reading: How to Optimize Your Images for Printing
As with many other things, there are many ways to do this. Some photographers prefer having a full-on print shop where customers can browse and purchase prints, while others have a smaller page containing only contact information and basic must-knows about the prints and process.
#7 Promote Your Other Products
Making an income from your photography often means diversifying your income streams. There are few photographers who make all their income solely from one product or service.
Prints are only one possibility. Some photographers also offer licensing, stock images, and even various merchandise. These are all products that benefit from having their own dedicated pages on your website.
Other products can be eBooks and courses or perhaps photography workshops. Any product or service you offer should be easy to find on your website. If not, you’re missing out on potentially big sales!
#8 Earn Money with Affiliate Marketing
The final benefit of having a photography website is the possibility of earning a passive income through affiliate marketing or advertising. More traffic and better engagement lead to more lucrative opportunities. This is a big part of why bloggers are able to make good money from their websites.
Simply put, affiliate marketing means promoting someone else’s product or service. For example, here at CaptureLandscapes, I’m proud to be working with products such as Vallerret Photography Gloves and RayaPro. When someone makes a purchase through my link, I get a small commission (without additional cost for you)
I strongly suggest that you only promote products or services you use yourself. Again, one of the purposes of a website is to build trust. Promoting unrelated or even dodgy products can remove this trust in an instant. It’s better to work closely with a handful of trusted brands than dozens you’ve got no experience with.
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A photography website can be used for more than just showcasing your best images. It’s a place where you can connect with fans or future clients. It’s a place you can promote your products and services, a place you can make an extra income, and most importantly, a place where you can tell your story.
Having a website makes you look more professional and trustworthy. If you haven’t made one yet, what are you waiting for?