The Pro Photo Home photography message boards have started a new program where you get paid to post. I had to check the date on the email to make sure it wasn’t April 1st. A follow up email this morning assured me that the program is real. For contributing content to the site you are paid 10 cents per post, with a maximum of $100 per year. You do need to sign up to be a member, at $35 per year, which takes your potential earnings down to $65 per year. Read more about the Photo Rewards Program.
If you regularly post to photo.net, fredmiranda.com, or another photography forum, this may be an intruguing idea. Your content is worth something. Better content creates a website that more people want to visit, which creates more advertising revenue for the site owner. Pro Photo Home’s acknowledgement of the value their content contributors provide is a step in the right direction.
But now that we’re in the age of the blog, can the message board really survive? The photographers whose opinions I care about do not regularly post on message boards — they have blogs, or write for publications. Here’s why — you have the potential to get paid more, and you own the content.
Let’s pull back the curtain again for a minute. If you follow an Amazon link from a blog and purchase any product, the blog owner gets about a 4% cut from Amazon. Last month someone clicked on a book link on my blog and bought a Nikon D200 and accessories, and my cut from Amazon was close to what I’d get for a whole year of posting on Pro Photo Home. Anyone planning to buy a Leica M8 soon? Maybe a new TV?
B&H Photo has also started an affiliate program. High traffic lens review sites like The Digital Picture utilize a nice blend of photo store links, Amazon, and Google Adsense without being overbearing.
I haven’t really made much of an effort to monetize my blog. The Amazon links are there for your reference. I only recommend things that I really like. My goal is to make enough money each month to cover my web hosting and other expenses, but I’m not worried about it if I don’t.
My tolerance for web advertising depends on the quality of the content. The better the content is, the more likely I am to put up with advertising. Where do I draw the line? I don’t like banners, boxes, or Google ads interspersed within the content. Keep the ads in the sidebar, and I usually don’t have a problem with the design.
Do advertisements and product links change how much you trust the content of a website? I would love to hear some examples of blogs you read regularly that have well designed ads.