Overview Of Business Model
There are a number of approaches you can take to setting up an online photo display site. You can focus on artists, photographers, or the general public. If you focus on artists, you would generate revenue by charging them a fee to have their work displayed on your site. This would assist them in selling their original pieces of work.
Alternatively, if you focus on photographers, you can earn revenue on a commission basis or by a flat fee. You could allow photographers to submit images to your site. In turn, you would sell access to your site to the consumer market. People would pay for the license rights to the image and in turn you would pay the photographer and retain a percentage.
The third option is to open a photo display site to the general public where people could create their own folders and upload their own images for free. Revenue would come from complementary products and services. Photopoint.com is one such example. They sell cameras, printers, postcards, photo prints, and so on.
Knowledge of online advertising techniques is an asset to run this type of business. If you decide to launch a photo display site, you are going to have to ensure that you are generating as much traffic as possible to your site to make it appealing to photographers or artists looking to use your site as a sales vehicle. Likewise, you will need a large amount of traffic to increase your opportunity to achieve success with a consumer photo gallery. To do this, you are going to have to dedicate a lot of time implementing various Internet marketing techniques to create a constant flow of traffic to your site.
Cost To Start This Business
Initially you will have to pay for the design, development, and hosting of your Web site, computer hardware, computer software, a scanner, and a printer. If you currently have some of these items, your initial start-up costs will be considerably lower. Other costs that you will incur are related to the promotion of your Web site. Photographic images can take up a lot of storage space and you will also need a lot of bandwidth to ensure that your site loads quicklyâ€”this can be relatively expensive. Estimated cost is $5,000 to $15,000 to start.
Number Of Employees Needed To Start
This business can be started by one individual.
This business has significant international potential. Artists and photographers from around the world will be interested in using your site as a sales or promotional vehicle. In addition, if you approach the photo display site from the general consumerâ€™s angle, the concept has mass appeal.
Important Business Issues To Be Addressed
There is a lot of competition for the general consumer category, some of which is backed by large corporations. You will need to be able to differentiate yourself from the pack.
You will want to have high bandwidth to ensure that visitors to your site do not experience delays with downloads.
Online Marketing Techniques
- Develop a viral marketing strategy where people can â€œTell a Friend about This Siteâ€ via a link on your site. This will spread the word about your site and encourage others to visit.
- Develop a comprehensive link strategy. You will want to generate as many links as possible from Web sites, directories, and meta-indexes related to your target market. There are many relevant sites pertaining to photographic pieces and original artwork that would be appropriate. Likewise, there are many sites that would appeal to the general consumer.
- Develop a sponsored listings campaign to bid on appropriate keyword phrases with the popular search engines.
- Promotion through appropriate mail lists, e-zines, and newsletters is important. You could even develop your own newsletter or mail list to stay close to your target market.
- You should consider developing an affiliate program. This can increase your sales force dramatically if you sell products, such as cameras, relating to your site content.
Selling advertising spots on your site can earn additional advertising. If you have your own newsletter, you can earn additional revenue by allowing companies to sponsor it.