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Red Bubble made me money

I know many of us come here with the expectation that we’ll make a few dollars from selling prints and t-shirts, but that’s not how RB is making me money. Sure, I’ve sold a few t-shirts, and quite a few canvases, but that’s nothing compared to how valuable RB has been as a professional referral tool.

Lets go back a few years… In 2006, I took up photography again as a way to excercise some creativity. Sure, I run a graphic design business, and I’m paid to be professionally creative, but I’d really gone stale. Others take up life drawing, I picked up the camera again. In 2007, I nervously posted an image on the fledgling beta site, Red Bubble. It got picked up by The Age newspaper’s creativity column. Bouyed by early success, I continued to submit images to Red Bubble, always staying true to the mantra “Only publish your best work”. As a web designer, I knew the importance of back-links (to my own business site, and other social media profiles), and the importance of tagging with keywords, so pretty soon, a google search for “Healesville Photographer” started to show first page results for me. Now it shows me number one. Thanks to RB’s tech monkeys for the rockin’ SEO!

So, how did that make me money? Firstly, it started email and phone enquiries pouring in. “Do you do weddings, can you do wine bottles, can you travel, will you run classes?” etc… Now I’m booked for at least one shoot per week. That’s around $1000 a week. Secondly, people saw images on RB and asked to buy the rights to them. On monday I sold the rights to three images for $1200 each. (I kinda wish I could sell art as a digital download on RB, just to pass back some of the love!!)

Now, my business card says “Mike Emmett – Web guy, Photographer.” I’m a member of professional bodies for both design and photography, and I can honestly say it’s given me a new career.


  • Russell Greenwood
    Russell Greenwoodover 4 years ago

    Totally awesome to hear this Mike – well done. Looking forward to battling you out for #1 on google for Healesville Web Guy later this year ;)

  • mano et mano

    – Mike Emmett

  • John Robb
    John Robbover 4 years ago

    “can you do wine bottles”

    Photograph them or drink the contents? :-)

    Seriously now – In the time that I’ve seen you work, your professionalism and care in your craft shows through and that is what makes your new career a rewarding one for yourself and your customers.

  • Awww, shucks!

    – Mike Emmett

  • JanT
    JanTover 4 years ago

    Good thinking and timely, at least for me. Good for you, Mike, web guy and photographer!

  • Elana Bailey
    Elana Baileyover 4 years ago

    Mike, congrats….it is always great to read a success story. Well done.

  • Tania Rose
    Tania Roseover 4 years ago

    i did a few wine bottles last week. They were delicious! :)

  • Matt Penfold
    Matt Penfoldover 4 years ago

    Well done Mike, and what a great RB success story :-)

  • JanT
    JanTover 4 years ago

    Nice to read someone who isn’t whining, too!

  • ©FoxfireGallery / FloorOne Photography
    ©FoxfireGaller...over 4 years ago

    Congratulations, well done. I agree with adding the right tags to your images, I could never get the hang of what makes a good tag and what not.

  • Trish Woodford
    Trish Woodfordover 4 years ago

    Thats brilliant – what a wonderful success story – its so encouraging to hear about this sort of flow on success :)

  • Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos
    Konstantinos A...over 4 years ago

    Marvelous news Mike, congrats! You are a great inspiration, as I run a graphic design business too, and your story is very, very close… Cheers!