Every photographer wanting to make money from their photography should have their portfolio online.

Whether you are an aspiring photographer just learning the trade, or an established photographer that has been shooting for 20 years and regularly gets published in national magazines, you should promote your work online.

There are lots of social networking sites where you can hang your shingle, i.e. Facebook or Myspace. There are lots of photosharing sites (i.e. flickr) as well where you can post pictures for the public to view. Or, you can create your own website.

There are certainly advantages and disadvantages to all three approaches.

I will cover social networking and photosharing sites in a future post…

If you choose to create your own website, there are a few basic steps you should follow:

1. Register a domain name
2. Create the website
3. Host the website with a reputable provider

A domain name is the URL that a customer will use to access your website. The URL for the Photoincome website is www.photoincome.com. Domain name registration can be done at thousands of sites on the web. Some of the companies that I have dealt with are:

* www.networksolutions.com
* www.godaddy.com
* www.web.com
* www.register.com

The cost to register a domain name ranges from ~$7 to $35 a year

Various programs are available to help you create a website. They are very easy to learn the basics and many come with wizards and templates to speed things up. With some computer knowledge, you could probably create a basic website in an evening.
Some of the website creation programs that I have dealt with are

* NetObjects Fusion
* Adobe Dreamweaver
* Microsoft Frontpage
* HomeSite
* There are lots of others…

Website creation programs range from ~$30-$400. The higher priced solutions give you more bells and whistles…you actually could create a webpage with a simple text editor if you knew HTML.

The final step of website creation is publishing your site to a hosting company. There are thousands of companies out there that will host your website and provide many packages with features galore. You want to pick a plan that will provide adequate disk space for your photos, and adequate bandwidth for your customers to download your photos. Expect to pay ~$7-8 for a basic plan up to hundreds of dollars for online stores, customized programming, etc.

Contact me and I can point you to reputable, honest and customer service focused hosting providers.

I will discuss some ideas for good websites in a future post.