General HTML/Web Design Programming Q`s/Download Links
Hi, I want to start a photography blog where visitors can readily download my pictures for a small fee. However, I have no idea how to insert a download link on a blog, where, with every download, a fee is charged. I've found instruction for how to place just a download link, but I haven't found any that elaborate on restricted download links (links where a payment must be made before they receive the download). I have not started the blog yet, because this is the whole purpose of the blog, and I have no clue. Please explain to me how to do this, and, if this specific purpose is better suited for a blog or an actual website.
Well technically a blog is an actual website. Its just a website with a 'latest new or posts' section on it. But I recommend doing this either one of two ways.
One way is to use wordpress. Then install a plugin called "woocommerce" that allows you to run an ecommerce site on that blog. This ecommerce plugin has the ability to offer virtual products (aka: downloadable content) where a download link is provided to the buyer after completing the payment. You simply use watermarked images or low quality images for display and then zip (winzip) the largeer better quality photos for them to be downloaded when purchased. Both WordPress and WooCommerce is opensource (Free) software. You just may need to hire a developer to set them up for you unless you are familiar with wordpress already or are very good at following onscreen instructions. This requires a hosting account that has both PHP capabilities (as does any paid hosting account) and at least 1 MySQL database (as does nearly all paid hosting accounts).
Another option is to use an existing online service to sell your works. I recommend Photodune for this. Sign up there for free and then sign up to be an "author" under the 'make money' tab. They will require to to take a little online test to make sure you are aware of the Author rules and so forth but that is free as well.
Once you have completed that and know all the rules then you'll be able to pretty much take it from there on your own. But the reason I recommend Photodune is because they already et thousands of visitors a day from all over the world looking for products that you have to offer. You don't have to do any advertising or anything. Once each item that you upload is approved, you start making money instantly (well, assuming that what you have is great). They do manage to set the prices as they see fit according to the quality of the work and it may seem to you like it is low but keep in mind two things.
1. The price they set is for individual use (meaning that the same person would have to buy over and over again to use it on other sites or projects of theirs)
2. You can often set your own extended liscence price for those who buy it for use on anything they do with just one single purchase.