Did you know that you can make nice side income just by selling your photos online? Have you ever thought that there’re some people out there online that want to buy what you own on the hard disk of your computer?
Well, if you think that I’m talking about something like professional photography or some type of freelancing that professionally makes a living on photography, yeah that could be right too. But what I really wanted to focus on here is a way how to make money on the side for just “common people” like you and me on hobby basis or amateur photography.
If you still think photography and monetizing photo stocks is only within professional’s area, I would want to say “No that’s wrong! :)”.
Photographing something that somebody else might need and pay for can be for everyone able to do as long as they like and enjoy photographing no matter how professional they may be. In fact, many moms and boys and girls and even my 60 year old mom if I go a little bit personal, makes money on photos she takes of the nearby things like gardens, parks, flowers, sky, mountains, color leaves mostly in nature theme(niche).
Photographing has long been her hobby since she got her first DSLR camera a few years ago and she without professional photographing skills has constantly got $100 to $200 monthly side income passively out of what she just enjoys in her daily life.
Her hobby and joy constantly monetized encourages me to write this article today and I’d be starting to share some more about it for you also to start making money with your photos while you’re enjoying your hobby!
Are you ready?! Let’s give it a go!
How It Starts and Works – Selling Photos Online
There’re mainly 2 ways selling photos online:
- First, have got your own website with e-commerce(online store) function to showcase and sell.
- Second, use a photo stock(Microstock) marketplace to sell your photos just by uploading on it.
We’re here just in the focus on the second method since it’s more beginner friendly and no headaches to quickly start out your selling! 🙂
- Choose your best marketplace you’d love to work with in consideration with commission/royalty rates, site traffic and earning potentials.
- Sign up on its contributor’s page and process your sign up there. It’s usually a 5 to 10 minute process just like when you sign up on Facebook or Amazon or any other regular sites. But there’s a plus of what you should expect to process: your identification would have to be proven by submitting a photo of either, your ID card or Driver’s license or equivalent when necessary.
- After singing up, you would get your own seller’s account and dash board, being able to start uploading your photos to be reviewed.
- Photos of yours that pass their reviewing process will be automatically listed on their marketplace that millions of eyeballs are browsing though to find their photos to purchase.
- Every time your uploaded photos are downloaded you get paid in applied percentage of the sale prices for your intellectual property on the photos. Paypal is the primary payout method for most of cases.
What To Sell The Best – Selling Photos Online
It first needs to set some specific theme and niche in what you’re photographing to appeal to people in need of certain themes and styles.
Photos in any kind of niche or theme can be marketable because the need for certain type of photos is actually diversified and also it differs on what type of customers they are, such as webmasters, bloggers, media companies, marketing firms or any type of businesses.
That being said, however this is also true that there’re some ever green popular niches in photo stock marketplaces that help you sell better and easier with higher market demands if you consider it.
So These are generally the most popular niches in the market that may boost your selling photos online. (Hopefully 🙂 )
- Stock Photography
- Fine Art
- Outdoor Activities e.g., Camping, Fishing, Biking, Climbing etc.
You can also do your own research before choosing your specific niche for your photographs, there’s a big tip right here for you:
Using “Google Keyword Planner” or “Link Research Toolbar” can be helpful for your reference to figure out what niches are popular and most demanded at the moment by checking monthly search volumes on Google search engine with the input of your keywords.(your niche)
What Devices To Prepare For Selling Photos Online
- DSLR Camera: You couldn’t expect the marketable quality of your photographs without a quality digital camera. It should be a worthy investment if you decided to jump into this job! 🙂
- Photography Kit:
a. Multiple lenses for photograph styles and effects
b. Tripod you’d need for stable shots.
c. Memory Cards to store your photo stocks in. Multiple cards makes more sense just in case of losing your hard earned photos or some accidents that might happen.
d. Other Accessories as optional. e.g., Camera Bag or..
- Cloud Backup Service: This is just optional but helpful for safe-storing your photo stocks by backing up on their storage.
Biggest Marketplaces to Sell Your Photographs – Selling Photos Online
ShutterStocks pays their contributors 20% up to 30% of the sale price for every photo paid to download on the marketplace. It’s one of the most renowned microstocks globally along with Getty Images. It’s currently ranked 290th in Alexa worldwide traffic rank. So you can expect higher exposure of your photo stocks to their extremely high traffic (a lot of visitors and shoppers) and make better sales from their marketplace.
There’re 2 types of rates Getty Images offers to their contributors: 15% Royalty for the Non Exclusive, 25% to 45% for the Exclusive stocks depending on which level you stay at. Every member starts from non exclusive and can become an exclusive contributor by the application process.
It’s one of the few biggest photo stock marketplaces in the world.
It’s a microstock owned by Getty Images. It has the almost same payout structure as Getty Images has. 15% to 45% depending on whether non exclusive or exclusive. To be a contributor and start selling photos on iStock, you will have to sign up though on ESP Getty Images page.
Alamy has fairly lucrative commission rate: 50% of the sale prices, just split it down the half, different from most of other micro-stock agencies. They also have quite a big community on their site with 110,000 buyers and 60,000 contributors from all over the globe.
Can Stock Photo
This is the one also offering 50% royalty rate to contributors when their photos are sold. What’s great using “Can Stock Photo” is that all your photo stocks uploaded to “Can Stock Photo” are also to expose on “Fotosearch”, their partnered photo stock agency.
This is also a well known microstock site that pays contributors 25% to 60% depending on the license type of photos you upload and whether non exclusive or exclusive according to the pay structure table. Alexa traffic rank on this site is globally 1,300th, meaning Dreamstime would be quite a popular marketplace for photographs with a great number of buyers.
This is another giant photograph stock site that everyone in the world would know well of by the remarkably renowned brand, “Adobe”. Adobe Stock offers 33% commissions for photo sellers(contributors) this is a great place selling your photos online. Photos on Adobe marketplace also gets exposed to on Fotolia, a photo stock agency site which had been purchased by Adobe Stock.
Fotolia owned by Adobe Stock has two different pricing models to their buyers: purchase-on-demand basis(called “Pay As You Go”) and subscription basis. Along with this, 2 different royalty percentages are applied to contributor’s commissions depending on which type of membership of the buyer who purchases your photos: 20% to 63% for Pay As You Go, 33% flat payout for subscription purchase.
Free Digital Photos
Free Digital Photos offers free image stocks as well as premium paid images. Every free image downloaded doesn’t help you earn a cent. But with any premium stock purchases which is for high resolutions and business/commercial purposes, contributors earn lucrative 70% commissions cut down from the sale prices.
500px is more like a social community based photography site where photographers from the globe interact other fellows in the photography world. You can follow and also be followed by other photographers and grow your influence with your fans in the community. Also you can, of course, upload your photos on the marketplace, every purchase on your stock, it pays you 30% for non exclusive, 60% for exclusive photos.
Just One Fundamental Key To Selling Photos Online In Better Way
I am actually quite surprised that I pretty often find photos on market with poor keywords and tags in SEO wise. (Search Engine Optimization)
For the both, to get more eyeballs in the on-site marketplace or even on Google search engine, filling with SEO friendly keywords are the first thing you should make sure to get better sales.
Putting just a single or few keywords on description will just keep your photos far down at the bottom on the search results and you would not even have a chance to show your great art works to your potential buyers that could so deadly love what you made!
So I couldn’t just leave without mentioning this small thing, but most powerful thing: SEO Friendly Description & Tags.
It’s actually just simple how to make a SEO friendly description. You can put as many keywords as you come up with on the description and tag. But keep in mind that it should be relevant to what it stands for, what your buyers would search for with rich focus keywords that allow any single piece of relevance to your photos as much as possible. Put on the tags also the same way just as many relevant or highly searchable tags as to the limit!
(Long Tail keywords which contain of multiple keywords over than 3-letter phrases also be great to reach out to people on a specific search.)
If you’ve got no idea what to put? Then use keyword research tools. They are the stuff that most accurately help you figure out what you use as your killing keywords for your photos. Repeatedly, Link Research SEO is a great stuff to analyze search volumes on each keyword or Mangools Keyword research tool is also quite recommended to use to see what are popular keywords on search engines. They truly help you a lot!
Speaking once again, right-keywording is the most fundamentally basic, but also the most powerful weapon to get your photos right there to thousands of eyes. Your photos can be even indexed on the first page of the Google Images where tons of your potential buyers browsing around at each time, just as well as the on-site marketplace. It sure is a way that boosts your selling photos online. 🙂
Final Words – Selling Photos Online
This was a truly interesting topic – “Selling Photos Online”. Maybe the funnest writing experience I ever had, all the while writing on this!
I thank my mom, my 60 year old enthusiastic amateur hobby based photographer for encouraging me to write this article and to let all others know about this fun job that can turn to a real way of earning money!
This really makes me feel like “just get out with a camera and go-adventure kind of feeling! God, this is so irresistible!
So time to end it today, I truly appreciate all of you reading up “Selling Photos Online – Best 10 Places To Sell Your Photos“. And I’d always love to hear from you for any question or feedback!
Thank ya all!! 🙂