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11-29-2010, 02:42 PM   #1
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Any Smugmug Pro's Seeing a Profit?

Hey Folks,

I'm interested in moving from amateur to semi-pro photography, and by that I mean I'd like to make a little side money selling prints/downloads, mostly for buying more gear.

I'm playing with the Smugmug trial right now, and I'm uber-impressed with the setup, but before I drop $150 for the pro account, I wanted to see if any fellow Pentaxian had any luck with this site.

I'd like to at least get the site to pay for itself. Anything more would be gravy for buying more lenses. I also have my own domain name and host, so if there's a better option for that front I'd be interested. I tried Gallery 3 and was pretty disappointing. The Smugmug look is exactly what I was looking for.

So anyway, obviously mileage will vary based on quality of photos and marketing, but are there any testimonials out there for better or worse on Smugmug?

Thanks!

11-30-2010, 04:06 AM   #2
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have a look at The stock image library, and e-commerce sales solution for photographers ::Theimagefile:: contact then and tell them what you have put in you post, then decide, the prices are very good and with your own domain well worth thinking about.
I have just started with them and I am still building up my web page, tweaking it still as far as wording, and I still have loads of images to sort out.I also had domain name and host seamless change over no problems.
Countrystudio image files for sale as downloads or prints. free daily downloads
12-06-2010, 12:53 AM   #3
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Smugmug user here and I love it.

I've gone for the mid-rage power user account though, and on my home page I've got "contact me" info for bookings or to buy prints, and that works well.

From the prints I've sold and the bookings for portrait sessions I've easily made back the hosting costs many times over.

Being a complete html/scripting numptie I love it purely for ease of use and customisations you can make without needing any website building experience. Throw in the unlimited traffic and great customer support I'd still be using it just as a host for sharing pics.
12-07-2010, 08:54 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Warped Quote
Smugmug user here and I love it.

I've gone for the mid-rage power user account though, and on my home page I've got "contact me" info for bookings or to buy prints, and that works well.

From the prints I've sold and the bookings for portrait sessions I've easily made back the hosting costs many times over.

Being a complete html/scripting numptie I love it purely for ease of use and customisations you can make without needing any website building experience. Throw in the unlimited traffic and great customer support I'd still be using it just as a host for sharing pics.
Thanks so much for your reply! Glad to hear someone is using smugmug well! I think I'll take the plunge and give it a shot (at least for a year) to see if I can work up any interest/sales. Do you market your site anywhere to help with hit counts?

12-09-2010, 06:08 PM   #5
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Hi Jeff,

FWIW, I have a SmugMug Pro Account. However, it's a fully customized site, including domain name. I wanted a fair bit of control so that's the route I took. It takes a fair bit of work to make it like that though. Once it's done, it's good to go. Take a peak if you like.

If you choose SmugMug, I suspect the mid-range power user should suffice for your needs - as are the other suggestions made here.

Cheers,
Marc
12-10-2010, 09:32 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Langille Quote
Hi Jeff,

FWIW, I have a SmugMug Pro Account. However, it's a fully customized site, including domain name. I wanted a fair bit of control so that's the route I took. It takes a fair bit of work to make it like that though. Once it's done, it's good to go. Take a peak if you like.

If you choose SmugMug, I suspect the mid-range power user should suffice for your needs - as are the other suggestions made here.

Cheers,
Marc
Thanks Marc,

Nice site setup! I'd probably do something similar. I own jeffshaddix.com, but right now it just forwards to my flickr page.

Couple questions. Do you get many photo print purchases through the smugmug interface? Have the prints been good quality and require little proof work?

Can you recommend any ways of drawing people to your website? Obviously for wedding and portrait photographers they can hand out business cards, but for landscape/artistic it's not so easy. Any advise on building web tracking for the latter?

Thanks!
12-20-2010, 06:14 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeffshaddix Quote
<snip>
Can you recommend any ways of drawing people to your website? Obviously for wedding and portrait photographers they can hand out business cards, but for landscape/artistic it's not so easy. Any advise on building web tracking for the latter?

Thanks!
Smugmug is very easy to use and create tags and keywords for individual shots and galleries. The tracking that comes with the accounts shows trends and which shots are receiving the most hits and a heap of info - so no real need to set up anything there, it's pretty much all done for you.

If you search "fetish photographer Perth" on Google, my Modelmayhem, Flickr and Smugmug sites all show at the top on the first page - That's purely through good tagging and key word,s as well as links to other sites and having other sites link to me.

I've not done any formal promotional or advertising work. So if you make use of the tags and keywords, once again smugmug does all the work for you.
12-20-2010, 06:39 PM   #8
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Jeff, sorry for the delay in replying - Warped has definitely covered the bases in his answer. Recommendation by word of mouth and promoting yourself are two very strong avenues to consider.

Cheers,
Marc

03-29-2011, 08:02 AM   #9
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Jeff - searched for this thread and it addressed exactly what I was looking for - thank you.

Marc - terrific website, beautiful images. Thank you for sharing your insight.
04-05-2011, 02:47 AM   #10
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My smug mug pro website is 5 days old and I love it so far.

The only negative point for me is that the print services offered are ONLY in the USA.. which makes shipping costs fairly high for my Aussie clients/ adds a bit of a delay to them getting the product.

I've requested they add more print services world wide as its a fairly major issue imo. I saw at the same time there is a similar request pending for European users.

I also have my own domain as you can see below:
04-07-2011, 05:31 PM   #11
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I do weddings, so instead of smugmug I actually have a pictage account, but I can speak about the online store experience and I love it. I do make money off of my pictage account for events and smugmug would be much of the same. .

IF you are selling more landscape/nature/architecture/still-life type of stuff, I would suggest that you create a free account on etsy too. I know they take a commission, but a lot of people seach and buy from that site. Also a great way to market is to create a blog. Get a free wordpress one and just constantly update it and load in a lot of great keywords.
05-24-2011, 11:04 AM   #12
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Smugmug - $150 per year for pro account
Pictage - $1200 per year for pro account

Huge difference.
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