Web design

Developing Your Own Waterfall Photo Website

waterfall-with-rainbowPhotographic art needs to be preserved, protected and copyrighted - yet pimped out to the masses and sold when deemed appropriate. One of the hardest problems of being an artist is that art is almost always transitory (no matter how permanent it may seem), making the need to preserve it that much more important. Just as important is the need to produce copies of it for sale, it's even more vital to develop a website to showcase your talents to potentially interested employers.

Let's take your waterfall photos, for example, and see how we'll develop an excellent website which may be featured on digital camera reviews websites.

Develop Action Plan

To develop a website that shows panoramic waterfall photos taken around the globe, some level of planning is required. Inexperienced web designers opt for using a CMS like WordPress or Joomla, and have these directives in mind when planning how to display waterfalls:

  • Ways to provide a web-based interface that allow me to easily upload my photos, add descriptions of these photos and show maps of where to find the waterfalls
  • Developing a side-bar that promotes businesses in the geographic areas near each waterfall (hotels, restaurants, etc.). In particular, finding a method which will allow customers to click on the vendor and print out coupons/vouchers for that vendor's local business would work wonderfully.
  • Allow customers to purchase my photos, yet watermark them until purchased to protect rights.
  • Build the site so that busy photographers like yourself don't have to get involved with the ordering, distribution or payments. You'll want the website to provide a link to a payment gateway and photo printer/distributor.
  • Design with succinct functionality that allows users to create accounts, lets users to comment on photos and lets users recommend other waterfall or waterway locations that should be added to the site, or photographed.

Outsourced Steps

Newcomers to multimedia website design should keep a multi-step process towards achieving an optimal sales, marketing, pricing and website implementation plan of action. Consistently asking yourself questions like are there other sites doing photos of waterfalls within several hundred miles of my location, or will site upkeep costs outweigh potential per photo costs, will provide better insight when figuring out which steps should be outsourced. To assist in the creation of your website, try these methods:

  • Identify Similar Themes

Identify 10 photography websites with waterfall (or nature) photos that are particularly compelling/attractive to get an idea what you'll be up against. As a professional developer myself, I'd say my initial thoughts are towards using a WordPress theme (Photocrati 4.0 or similar), or even a magazine layout schema would work. Any sites that are built around a preexisting framework or theme would be favorable when theme shopping. Note that it should include as many customizable features as possible since uniqueness will increase sales potential. Many sites which offer digital camera reviews offer specific layouts which epitomize their goals in consumer advocacy.

  • Identify Themes Optimized For Profit

Identify the most successful, compelling or profitable of these websites using an analytical approach and state why they are compelling and successful. Find some methodology to entrench your marketing efforts better than everyone else without spending your savings.

Strategically Strategize

Since waterfall photos are considered a ‘product', you or your team should propose a strategy for building an affiliate marketing program which not only benefits your bottom line, but is linked to:

  1. The businesses near the waterfall locations.
  2. Other businesses (like camera gear) which could cross-promote your waterfall photos.

Note that many of the businesses near the waterfall locations will be in rural areas and may not have a web presence, so the strategy will have to take into account traditional affiliate marketing and cross-promotion techniques. The strategy would need to include technical detail showing integration with the end-to-end site solution you, or your outsourced company, have agreed to. Also, those interested in launching this type of website must identify an appropriate method of creating coupons or vouchers for the affiliate companies to ensure cross-promotional benefits.

Real Waterfall Photos Rock

With arts and culture festivals becoming a major selling feature of the city scene, restaurant and bar proprietors are increasingly being driven to modify their venues for their visiting acts. Website photography showcases, however, are still relatively infant with loads of room for invigorating designs to be implemented. When creating a waterfall photo website, perhaps cross-promote your shots with businesses offering reviews of digital cameras for maximum exposure; if you used a particular camera, you could actually write the review and attract attention to your website portfolio simultaneously.

Roger Klawinski is a freelance writer and gadget guru from Indiana. You can follow him on Google+.

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