Passive Income Ideas for Landscape Photographers
There has never been a better time for landscape photographers to consider making money through passive income.
Due to Covid, traveling is a challenge now, and many of us can't venture out further than our backyards. But it doesn't mean the work has to stop. It's time to organize your portfolio, gather your best work and start creating using your knowledge and skills in different ways.
Let's look at some inspiring and lucrative passive income ideas for landscape photographers:
Fine art prints will never go out of fashion. As landscape photographers, we are lucky our images don't date as Mother Nature gives us the same pretty views every season. People love to buy prints for their homes or offices, and it is also a popular gift. Set-up an online shop on your website so your existing customers can buy your prints as well as the new customers that discover you searching online. Offer a range of options, products and sizes to increase sales.
Marketing your prints is essential. Reach out to everyone you know because landscape prints appeal to a broad audience. Create a marketing calendar taking in the major gift-giving holidays such as Christmas and Mother's Day and Father's Day. Reach out to businesses in the area you took the photo in. They might be in the market for a fine art print for their business. Run ads, blog about your print shop and tell anyone who will listen about your online shop that sells your awe-inspiring photographic prints.
Selling Digital Products
Creating digital products is a great way to make money through passive income. You can think of each product as an asset that you can sell over and over again. Some of the most popular digital products are Lightroom Presets, Photoshop Actions, Video LUTs or eBooks.
This method of passive income takes the most time to create but also if often the most profitable. You can sell tutorials using your knowledge and experience as a landscape photographer to help other photographers who are looking to further their education.
There are so many areas relating to landscape photography that you can cover. Start with what you know best, which might be technical skills, marketing, editing, or simply the gear you need for different seasons as a landscape photographer. You will hear the term evergreen, which means the info will remain the same over time. Evergreen content is highly valuable because you can continue selling it in the unforeseeable future. For example, technical tutorials aren't evergreen because as technology advances, photographers' methods will also. But a tutorial about why it is essential to get permission to photograph on private property would be evergreen because it doesn't change.
Check out Udemy and Teachable to see how you might create single tutorials that lead into courses. You can also post your tutorials on Youtube and link to sites where you can post exclusive content to fans and followers who will pay for access like Substack, Skillshare, and Patreon.
Ad revenue via content on YouTube
If you already have many loyal followers on social media, you can make passive income through ad revenue via YouTube. If you can create informative and entertaining video content, you will impress your followers and soon gain new ones. You might even become an influencer!
Log onto your YouTube account (or create one if you are new to the platform), check you have the enabling monetization setting turned on and start uploading videos. To be eligible for the YouTube Partner Program, your channel needs 4,000 public watch hours in the last 12 months and 1,000 subscribers. Once you reach that goal, you can make some money.
Selling Stock Photography
Stock photography has been around for decades, and the market is saturated compared to the early days. Especially since smartphones have advanced to levels capable of shooting stock photography, it's been harder to make money via this method. Still, it's not too late to make some passive income by selling your beautiful landscape images to the libraries that supply photos to newspapers, magazines, bloggers and web designers all over the globe.
There are endless libraries online. I recommend choosing 5-10 libraries and uploading at least 100 images to see which ones are most successful for your work. Caption and keyword your images before you upload to save time. Even by doing that, it can be time-consuming to prepare your work and upload it ready to sell. The good news is you don't need to concentrate much and can do it while watching a movie or listening to a podcast.
Blogging can lead to passive income and is something you can do in your spare time when you feel motivated to write. If you become an affiliate for photography products and mention them in your post, you can earn passive income. If your reader clicks on a link and makes a purchase, you will receive a percentage of the sale. You can use products you already have like cameras and gear, and most big companies and many small ones have affiliate programs you can sign up for.
As a fine art and landscape photographer with a focus on Nordic landscapes, I have experimented with many of these methods and can report success - especially with selling Lightroom presets and fine art prints.
Of course what works for some might not work for others and some make more money than others. But the important thing to remember is it all adds up.
Drop me a line if you would like to discuss more passive income ideas or to hear about my coaching offer. I have a lot to share about photography, particularly the business side of the industry and love connecting with other photographers.
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About the Author – Jan Erik Waider
I'm a visual artist and fine art photographer based in Hamburg. My work focuses on atmospheric and abstract landscape photography, capturing the essence of the remote polar regions. – Learn more about me and discover my fine art photo series, prints and books or download my Lightroom Presets or Capture One Styles.
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