As you can probably tell, over the last few years I have spent a lot of time learning and talking about the steps needed to get into internet marketing as a way of making money online.

I’ve spoken about courses and events, I’ve shared techniques and reviews, but I haven’t really told you much about me along the way.

It’s a funny thing, but right back at the start of my time working at home, I attended a conference on professional photography, thinking at the time that it might be a way to earn money from what had become my main passion as a hobby. What’s even funnier (but in a white clown, tragi-comic kind of way) is that I turned my back on it, as it looked like I’d need several years to get established.

Here we are several years later and I don’t have a photography business, but I do have a fledgling IM business. What might have happened if I had taken that first direction?

The Wheel Turns

It’s obviously a huge mistake to look backwards at what might have been, but things do have a way of coming round again in life and I believe that I have seen one of those chances just recently.

Those of you who have been keeping in touch with the blog will know that I released my first real WSO back in May and I chose at that time to bring out a package of resale rights Facebook timeline covers based on my photographs from across the years.

Not a major money-spinner, but at least I broke even while adding a few folk onto my list!

All that editing and adjusting got me back in the mode of thinking of my “hobby” as an asset and so I dusted down a mindmap I had made as an introduction to photography.

And then, just last weekend, I was talking to a couple who had bought an all-singing, all-dancing compact system camera and who were bemoaning the fact that they still got dreadful photos from it. They didn’t feel as if the money had been well spent and the lives of their children were slipping away in a haze of overexposure and motion blur!

We had a long chat and worked out (eventually) all the little things that they just didn’t understand about their new toy and by the end of the weekend, they were happy bunnies about how their pictures were turning out…..and that made me think about unserved markets.

You can probably guess where this is going next.

I’ll be kicking off a new project to help everyone who thinks their pictures still suck, despite now owning a moderately priced compact camera. I may be able to help those with a point-and-shoot a bit too, but it’s the next level up that really need help.

To help that project get started, I splashed out on a new Canon Powershot SX260 HS (you have to love these model numbers), as I felt it was only right to talk about my own real-world examples and my trusty Nikon D300 is way up the scale to use as a real test-bed for this.

The coolest thing about it all, is that I checked my Amazon Associates account in the UK that has been earning money at a trickle for some time and I had enough in there to just about cover the cost of the camera. So, that’s me, living the internet lifestyle 🙂

Here’s a quick video of me with my new toy:

The great thing is that I have a visit to Madrid planned for next week, so although I won’t be updating the blog as often, I will be getting to grips with my compact camera and all it’s frustrations (whoever heard of a camera not taking RAW photos!).

It all goes to show, that sometimes the things you love in life are perfectly acceptable topics for product creation and marketing. Take a look at your own hobbies and passions and then check them out in your favourite keyword tool, who knows, you may be sitting on a goldmine. As a word of caution, do check out the commercial viability as one of my first blogs was based on my passion for Sudoku and that really doesn’t bring in the cash 🙂

Let me know if you want help identifying where your passions can make money – there’s gold in them there brain-cells.

About Martin Percival

Martin Percival is an Internet Marketer with 28 years of experience in the IT world. He uses his technical skills to help others gain a foothold on the internet. You can track him around the internet on Google Facebook and Twitter

6 Responses to “Martin Percival – Internet Marketer or Aspiring Photographer?”

  1. Janie

    Funny. Photography is/was my hobby too, and I had to choose between that and web design some years ago. I chose web design as at least I can do that from bed with the laptop if I’m having a dodgy health day. Not something you can do as a landscape photographer! I haven’t done photography seriously for a few years now, but I was actually checking out a webinar replay on photography just before I came to your blog. I still don’t think I would make a go of it professionally, but I’d like to get back into it as an amateur.

  2. Martin Percival

    Landscape photography has almost completely been trashed as a career by what I like to call the “Twitter Effect”. If you throw enough point and shooters at a scene, one of them will catch the perfect lighting and weather combination that you would only get by camping on the spot for weeks. Serious landscape winners get up at 3am just to be somewhere the crowds can’t be bothered to get to.

    My plan (hopefully) takes all that into account, by letting me share the knowledge without the ungodly alarm calls 🙂

  3. Janie

    Ah yes,. Even before Twitter. Shortly before I moved south I had an interesting experience. I was taking part in an exhibition and craft fayre in the run up to Christmas. A couple came by and the woman was just raving about one of my photographs, a lovely (if I say so myself) black and white moody shot of a boat in the bay at Plockton. He whipped out his wallet to buy it for her and she turned to him and said “Are you out of your mind? If I want a photo of Plockton I’ll take it myself!” ans walked off. He was SO embarrassed. That was the beginning of the digital ‘everyone’s a photographer’ age.

    You might find this interesting http://jjfast.com/camera-atm/ <– not an affiliate link, at least not mine. 18 hours till the deal runs out at the time of writing. I'm not buying, but the video might be interesting from your p.o.v if you have a couple of hours spare to watch it. Spookily, this was running in the other screen when I first saw your original post above, and I thought yours was going to be a review of it at first.

  4. Paul

    Hey Martin,

    As an ex-professional photographer of 35 years, you have to choose your audience carefully. I looked into creating photography courses, but found only a buyer market in things like weekend residential courses on particular topics such as “nature” and “wildlife”.

    I never looked into the compact camera level as I am not overly familiar with that level of camera, other than I can use one, more the SLR camera. Also compact cameras don’t have the same control over Depth of Field, exposure, most don’t accept a flash gun (only build-in) or RAW file format.

    As you have commented if you throw enough point and shoots at a scene one is bound to be acceptable, this ot only applies to landscape photography but in my experience is now prevalent in wedding, corporate and some commercial photography as well. Hence getting out of the industry earlier this year.

    Wish you all the best with your project

    Paul

  5. Martin Percival

    Of course, if I had a brain, I’d have noticed that I meant the Flickr effect, not twitter!

    I saw that package being pushed and had a quick look at it. It may make an interesting backend affiliate offer, but I think I need to get my aspiring profit-makers to the point where they can take pics first 🙂

  6. Martin Percival

    Hi Paul,

    I definitely hear what you are saying about demand and it’s an area I’ve thought about quite hard. I think the fact that so few of the more advanced features are available is what makes the compact space so frustrating for users.

    As for residential courses, I’m not sure that I am up for that yet, let’s see how the front-end offer goes and if I can build anything long-lasting off the back. At least there’s a clear upgrade path available for pushing reviews of other (and bigger) products 🙂

    Martin

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