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Journey to $5k/mo with Free Stock Photos and Shutterstock

Discussion in 'My Journey Discussions' started by Imageric, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. Imageric

    Imageric Junior Member

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    Hello BHW,

    I'm a developer and I've been doing this for a long time (since 2012), I've created tens of websites for all kinds of niches and all I created has been passive income (literally)... I created a website and just let it live (and earn couple hundreds dollars per month). Then I sold it for couple thousand dollars (or let die). It's time to grow up and move on...

    Now I want to create stable and solid income and the best way (for me) is public promise. I'll get all the know-how for more than 6 years and squeeze it to one website. One thing will change, I'll not let the website grow itself or die, I'm going to do linkbuilding, on-page SEO, optimize website performance, create new content and much more. And I'll try to post followups in here.

    The point of whole business is to create website with totally free content (photos, vectors, videos under CC0 licence) and earn money with Shutterstock affiliate program (premium content for dollars). There are plenty of ways how to do it and the biggest websites with free content are doing the same.

    For now I have several thousands of free photos from public domain sources (I'm sure you know some of them) and I'm able to scrape millions (but it's not worth it now). The key will be now finding right niches with potential of organic traffic, create unique content and do linkbuilding for it. In stock photo business, there are thousands of these niches.

    Automatization is the key and I'm a programmer, so everything should be automated. For now I have automatic posting to my own WP blog (it's like "TOP 7 Racing Car Free Stock Photos" etc.), automatic posting to Pinterest, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter... and I'm planning to use every single API I'll find (Tumblr, Wix and much more). My scripts can create unique content, photos, collages, infographics and post it to various platforms and my robots can scrape any content I want. In my mind is also something like API for free photos I've scraped (paid).

    What I've done so far...
    • Blog commenting (150 comments manually)
    • Several web 2.0 (tumblr, flick, pinterest, ...)
    • Bought EDU links at BHW
    • Bought a Reddit link at BHW
    • Bought 3 expired domains with good ranks and backlinks

    And of course, I'm ready for your questions, thanks.
     
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  2. ddlmanager

    ddlmanager Regular Member

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    How do you plan to get traffic? Organic search only? In this case wouldn't you target keywords which are also targeted by huge companies in that field? (such as royalty free images) or things like that
     
  3. lacifitra

    lacifitra Power Member

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    Since you're a dev, why not integrate all APIs with the Flask backend? That would surely save you a ton of work.
    Interesting journey, different from all the IG+CPA stuff that's going on.
    I wasn't aware that Shutterstock is profitable...
    Good luck, will be following!
     
  4. Imageric

    Imageric Junior Member

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    Organic search mostly, the royalty free images shouldn't bother me. I'm targeting for "free photos" (of course, there are big websites too)...

    The other sources will be of course social sites, Pinterest, newsletter... PPC and advertising doesn't make sense.

    I'm integrating all APIs in backend :) Via PHP/JS, not Python, but results are the same...

    Thanks!
     
  5. Imageric

    Imageric Junior Member

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    3 months passed so fast and I totally forgot about the journey...

    I purchased some content, links, tumblr blogposts and social signals via BHW, invested ~$100 max.

    Shutter had some incentive bonus for Q4, so it gaves me couple hundred of extra cash for October, and it was definitely the most successfull month (~1.7k $). Now I'm waiting for Nov and Dec bonus.

    Now I'm going to invest in more quality content and backlinks, and I have some ideas about few linkbaiting method, I'll share.


    Merry Christmas :)
     
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  6. 100kgoal

    100kgoal Newbie

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    great progress
    you sell the pics or just affiliate
     
  7. deedee1whoa

    deedee1whoa Elite Member

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    Being a programmer is quite useful, you can basically speed things up anytime.
    Good luck! Doesn't seem like you'll need much, though. :)
     
  8. Imageric

    Imageric Junior Member

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    @100kgoal Thanks a lot! Just Shutter affiliate, I have a really good commissions here and the content is far better than other stocks...

    Totally agree @deedee1whoa :) I'm learing Python now for faster and better scraping, but PHP is definitely good enough too. I'm fine with simple graphics too, so I only need good content and marketing (as I'm learing it too).

    Now I'm thinking about this - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/pbns-for-international-sites.1078937/ - to create PBN in large countries / languages for specific topics and niches in stock photos industry... it's because I've got purchases from whole world (US, Australia, Thailand, Japan, Korea, Argentina and much much more)... so first thing will be to translate all content in all possible languages and then get ranked in local languages with local PBNs... uff, I think 2019 will be short :)
     
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  9. Ecodor

    Ecodor Power Member

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    @Imageric could you explain a little bit more about how do you find those images and about CC0 licence. :)
    Thanks
     
  10. exelon65

    exelon65 Registered Member

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    How much traffic do you get on a daily or monthly basis?
     
  11. Imageric

    Imageric Junior Member

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    @Ecodor Well, I'm scraping several free stock photo resources, which there are hundrends of them. Some of them has hundreds of photos, some of them hundreds of thousands. But most traffic goes to "premium" photos and videos now, so it's not a priority to scrape more content.
     
  12. Imageric

    Imageric Junior Member

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    @exelon65 Not so much I have to say, in November 18 it was about 32k users per month. I would like to hit 100k monthly by end of 2019.
     
  13. aloneak

    aloneak Newbie

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    a really unique idea never thought about it. Keep updating us about your journey mate.
     
  14. Imageric

    Imageric Junior Member

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    @aloneak Thank you :)

    Now I'm projecting todo list and mind map for 2019, I'll post it here to make a comittment :D
     
  15. NOCSwitch

    NOCSwitch Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Looks great keep it up, How do you source traffic to feed it? thats my question for you if you dont mind sharing
     
  16. zeroto100k

    zeroto100k Newbie

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    Good luck OP.

    I'm a developer too and frequently find myself dragged down by early optimization (not in the code, but in general). I'd try to automate every aspect of my idea even before knowing if it's profitable or not. Glad to see that you are past that problem.
     
  17. Imageric

    Imageric Junior Member

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    @NOCSwitch 95 % of traffic is Google (US, RU, FR, ES). My goal in 2019 is also build an e-mail list...
     
  18. Imageric

    Imageric Junior Member

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    @zeroto100k Thanks a lot. Yes I'm doing it too, I want to always automate everything :) but this project is profitable, so there is a space for optimization (processes, website speed, SEO tests, ...).
     
  19. tonylocoz

    tonylocoz Newbie

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    Are you selling the free stock pics as your own through shutterstock? Or just using those as bait for your website which then leads onto people seeing your premium picture posts affiliated with shutterstock?

    Good luck!!
     
  20. Imageric

    Imageric Junior Member

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    @tonylocoz Thanks a lot! No, I'm not selling my own photos (there are much higher quality photos on Shutter), but I'm uploading my photos as free for baiting the website and then get affiliate commission (so it's a mix of my photos and other public domain photos)...