Freelancing Online

July 2, 2009

Amazon.com Ramblings

Filed under: Books — carlaboner @ 7:32 am
Tags: , , , ,

If you have not already figured out the greatness of Amazon.com then I will help. Okay so they may not be the greatest place in the world – and yes you should support your local bookstore. But I must confess that I am hopelessly addicted to Amazon.com. I live in the middle of everything, as in I am 300 miles away from 3 very large cities, in a very small town.

I love our local bookstore but their square footage is slightly larger than my single wide trailer. They are very friendly there and can order in just about anything, but for some reason I still prefer Amazon.com. I guess I am just spoiled.

About once a month I spend $50 on books. Most of them are freelance related and I have even written reviews on Amazon.com about the books I have recently finished. Someday I may update others, but I just figured out how easy it is to set up a profile and write reviews.

Unfortunately they do not pay for their reviews, but they do pay through their affiliate program. It is well known that books are a common weakness for writers. So…if you are a writer it pays to sign-up for Amazon’s affiliate program and include links to your store, lists, profiles and reviews any where that is suiting.

As with all things, it is important to maintain the balance between informing and spamming.

If you would like information on and my opinion of various freelancing books on the market please visit my Amazon.com Profile. It includes my reviews, wish list and recently purchased items. I have rated every book I have purchased recently so it is a good indicator of the books I suggest. If you have any questions about them or would like me to write a detailed book review for this blog please let me know!

My Amazon.com Profile

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Photo Reflect Review

It was about 2 months ago that I stumbled across the greatest photography website for photographers, PhotoReflect.com. Photographers can sign up for an account that is essentially free. PhotoReflect does not make any money until you do!

Now that I have your attention, the PhotoReflect.com team has throughly impressed me through free webinars, Tips & Tricks newsletter, tech support, video training, consultation, software and website.

The software is Express Digital Darkroom and it handles everything – maintenance of the website, portfolio, photography events, orders. All you have to do it some data entry. I will warn you it can seem a little intimidating at first and that is where the free webinars come into play. On top of a very in depth instruction manual PhotoReflect.com provides a Getting Started and Advanced Tools webinar.

These webinars teach you everything you need to know to get your site up and running. If you are left with questions at the end you are invited to email your questions and the PhotoReflect staff returns your email or phones with the answer promptly.

You are probably wondering how the money aspect works, thankfully it is very simple. You are able to hook up with a large selection of different photo labs around the country. You can select one that is nearby and/or one that carries specialty items. The lab has all of their prices listed, from there you are able to figure out the price you want to charge on your photos. PhotoReflect.com takes a 15-20%  cut off the top. It may sound like a lot at first but if someone makes a $50 order your net proceeds are $41. The more you sell the lower the percentage PhotoReflect.com pulls out.

Designing your own PhotoRelect site is also very simple, they provide a wide variety of various templates and all of the information is fill in the blank. Your photos are easily uploaded using the Digital Express Darkroom software. These sites are very professional looking too. The site you are able to design are so nice that whether you are new to the field of photography or a seasoned professional you will be happy with the results.

One of the features that I absolutely love is email lists for future events. For example in three months you will be photographing the Smith Wedding & Reception, as soon as the event is booked you can create a photo catalog for the event(s). Instead the PhotoReflect site allows your customers to submit their email for instant notification once the pictures have been uploaded. For weddings this works perfectly because you can suggest the couple include a card in their invitations that mentions this feature. They enjoy it because everyone is able to purchase their own pictures after the wedding.

Another great feature is password protection. If the Smith couple does not want anyone but family members to be able to view their photos, you can password protect their event. This also works well for children sport teams, family photos and more.

PhotoReflect.com also provides you with the ability to sell more than just photos. You can make all your own packages, sell canvas photos, framed photos, photo albums, posters, christmas cards and you make all the choices. If you only want to sell 8×10’s that is your choice – it is not suggested, but you can do it if you really want to.

They handle all the credit card processing, provide discount options, gift certificates, it’s like having your very own 24 hour studio.

I normally do not praise places this much but I keep researching and I keep coming up with more and more satisfied customers, clients and employees. The only way I have found for someone to fail at PhotoReflect.com is lack of publicity.

You cannot simply put your photos up on the site and hope people show up and buy stuff – it just doesn’t work like that. One suggestion that I recieved from Walter at PhotoReflect.com is “print up business cards and on the back print something like: Thank You! Visit yourname.photoreflect.com to view and purchase your event photos!” Be sure to include a line for the event name and the event date. Everytime you take pictures pass the cards out.

Print up flyers to advertise your services then post them wherever you see fit. Make brochures that showcase your services and your website. Get the word out that you are a photographer and you have photos for sale!

Just like with any educated business endevor, you get what you put into it. If you love photography then this site will prove to be nothing but a blessing for you.

To visit my PhotoReflect.com site visit: http://carlamichelle.photoreflect.com aka Girl With a Pen & Camera

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