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Posted by Team Aftershoot
Updated: December 13, 2023

Affiliate Marketing for Photographers: Where to Start

Everyone who runs a photography business knows how unpredictable cash flow can be.

With a craft like photography, earning money from just shooting has its limits – you can’t shoot two weddings at the same time and double your income!

Finding ways to earn additional revenue through alternative and somewhat passive ways is a great way to increase your income.

Affiliate marketing is one great option, and it's pretty simple: promote the products and services you actually like and get cash in return.

In this article, we’ll cover the basics and benefits of becoming an affiliate, as well as some technical details and types of programs you can join.

Let’s get started!

Affiliate Marketing for Photographers

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is pretty simple. As a photographer, you use many products and services.

For example, let’s say you use Aftershoot for culling and editing, and you’d gladly recommend it to people who need a post-production solution.

As an affiliate, you promote Aftershoot’s software with your referral link.

This referral link will connect you with the traffic and sales that come from your website or other content mediums.

You'll get a commission whenever someone purchases something through your link, and the company you’re promoting will pay you for this sale.

The more sales you make, the more money you earn – simple as that!

What is an affiliate program?

An affiliate program is a system that companies use to make the relationship between them and the promoters easy.

When you join an affiliate program, you’ll get an agreement between you and the company you’ll be promoting, your unique referral links, and sometimes even a discount code for your followers.

Why should photographers join an affiliate program?

As a photographer, there are many products and services you’re using daily that you’re happy with.

Your friends and acquaintances that also do photography or want to start doing it keep asking you for recommendations, and you gladly give them.

And if you have an online following and recommend products online, the number of people you’re in touch with is even more significant than just a few people.

Many of the companies that create these products and services have affiliate programs that will pay you (in either money or free software/equipment) to promote their products.

In addition to that, in many cases, you’ll get a discount for your friends and/or followers.

It’s a win-win-win for everyone involved.

Once the ball gets rolling with several affiliate programs, you’ll have a steady stream of income coming into your photography business.

This will help you build a healthy cash runway, and be a nice cushion for months when you don’t have a lot of work scheduled.

I’m worried that affiliate marketing is unethical – what should I do?

If done right, there are no issues with affiliate marketing regarding ethics.

Now, let’s talk about this common take on affiliates and where it comes from.

To be completely honest, there are a lot of unethical practices in affiliate marketing.

Some of the most common ones are:

  • Promoting a product or service you know is bad just because it pays money
  • Saying that you use a product or service that you don’t actually use
  • Not disclosing that you earn money from the partner that you’re promoting

As you can see, some of the best advice on how to be an ethical affiliate marketer comes down to common sense.

If you choose only to promote the products you personally care about, and disclose that you’re earning money from the affiliate commission, you’re already doing a great job both for the company you’re partnering with and the people who’ll purchase something through your link.

Should I disclose the affiliate partnership?

If you’re based in the United States, the FTC requires you to clearly disclose the affiliate partnership on your website or another content medium.

For example, if you have a website, you’ll need to add a disclosure in your privacy policy, terms of use, and the piece of content where you have affiliate links.

For more information on this topic, we recommend you have a look at this article which covers the topic in great detail.

What kind of affiliate programs can I join as a photographer?

There are many affiliate programs you can join, and the best place to start is by creating a list. This list should consist of all the products and services you use in your business.

It can include various things such as event organizers you work with, the software you use for creating albums or culling images, invoicing software, equipment, and more.

To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of types of partners.

Software

If you’re running a photography business, we’re sure you use a number of different software products. These products may include:

  • Software for creating albums
  • Software for culling images
  • Invoicing and bookkeeping software
  • Scheduling software
  • and more!

Many companies already have affiliate programs, and you can start things up by reaching out to them to ask how you can join.

Did you know that Aftershoot and Pixellu both have their own affiliate programs?

Aftershoot will pay you a 10% commission on each sale you make for up to 1 year and offers a 10% discount for your friends. You automatically get your code when you sign up for Aftershoot.

Pixellu will pay you a 10% commission on each sale you make, and give you a 15% discount for all customers coming from you. If you’d like to join, fill out this form, or reach out to Aleksandra for more information - [email protected]

Equipment

As a photographer, you have your own set of equipment you use.

If you’d like to promote a product you use, you can check if the company that creates the equipment has an affiliate or ambassador program.

Keep in mind that sometimes these companies may have a strict set of requirements and audience sizes to become their partner.

If your craft is still not at this level, you can join some of the online marketplaces, such as Amazon.

Photography Education

The learning never stops, especially if you’re a business owner looking to become better at their craft and run a successful company.

The resources that are available online are never-ending, but the better question is – which courses, books, and materials are the best ones?

If you went through the process of looking for content, selecting the best ones, and learning, then you’re the right person to ask this question.

Some of the largest educational platforms out there such as Skillshare, Udemy, and Teachable have their own affiliate programs. If you studied something here, you can consider signing up for their programs.

On the other hand, there are many individuals who create amazing educational programs on their own.

The problem with them is that they’re often too small to have an affiliate program of their own. However, don’t let that discourage you!

You can reach out to them and check if they’re willing to create a special deal with you to promote their product.

Vendors you work with

During your photography career, you probably worked with many people who are event organizers, florists, DJs, and so on.

You’ve seen it all – the good, the bad, and the ugly. And when it comes to the good ones, you’d be happy to refer them to someone you’re working with.

When it comes to vendors, it’s the same situation as with individuals with educational programs – they often don’t have established affiliate programs.

In this case, it doesn’t hurt to speak with the ones you like working with, and see if there’s a way to find something that works for both of you.

Don’t be afraid to get creative!

These were some of the most common types of partners we typically see photographers working with. However, there may be something we’re missing.

Don’t be afraid to test things out, and find unique ways to work with someone that’ll be beneficial for both of you.

Affiliate Marketing for Photographers – We Covered the Basics

Those were some of the basics of starting out in affiliate marketing as a photographer, but this is more than enough to get started.

Before you go, don’t forget to check out affiliate programs run by Aftershoot and Pixellu!

Pixellu will pay you a 10% commission on each sale you make, and give you a 15% discount for all customers coming from you. If you’d like to join, fill out this form, or reach out to Aleksandra for more information – [email protected]

Pixellu affiliate marketing for photographers

Aleksandra 3

This article was written by Aleksandra Jovicic, Partner Marketing Manager at Pixellu and the brain behind Pixellu’s SEO strategy. Aleksandra has 4 years of experience working on SEO and affiliate marketing projects in different industries — from sportfishing to travel to wedding photography.

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