I have been told by many people that my photos are good, and I would like some advice on how to start selling my photos. I have a smugmug already, www.alexmojica.com , but after almost a year of posting pictures, my only sales have been to family . Could anyone give me some advice on advertising?
(Also, if you want to give me some pointers for the photos themselves, I would really appreciate it! )
It seems that most of the comments have been about the content of your photos. They are good comments, for the most part, but don't completely address your question. I won't claim a complete answer, but I have a couple of different thoughts.
First, take the comments of friends with a grain of salt. Lots of people tell me what a good photographer I am, and I have even been invited to be the next artist in a rotating display at the local library. Does that make me competitive with the best? No way! Everyone is a photographer these days, and I'm sure many thousands are better than I am. Many of those are probably as good as you or better.
Of course there's a good side to this. Potential customers are not necessarily more discerning than your friends and family. You don't have to create the best photo of "X" in the world. You have to offer a very good photo of "X" in a place where paying customers will find it. Once you reach a certain level it's more about marketing than the actual photography.
Apologies if this has been covered, but two very different market niches come to mind. One is art photography - the sort of thing people buy to hang on their walls because it is beautiful. The other is the sort of photography used in advertising, books, commercial web sites and so on. I'm not really an expert on either, but it is obvious that what you shoot and how you market to each niche will be very different.
One last thought. Making a little money from your hobby is one thing, and making a career of it is another. In my opinion, it is only getting harder to be a professional photographer. Some photography jobs will always exist, but the proliferation of high quality cameras and people who enjoy using them means that there will be increasing competition, and many of the new photographers are giving their work away under Creative Commons licenses. Organizations which might have paid a few hundred dollars for a minor photo for their publications are now finding them online for nothing. If you want to be a pro, be prepared to work hard, to work smart, and to adapt your preferences to what actually sells.