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.