Many of us love to take photographs. We’ll take a picture any place, any time. It can be a fun and creative way to spend time. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to make money doing something you’re already willing to do for free? If you have a hard drive overflowing with images, you might be sitting on a goldmine.
There are several ways to make money online with your photos. Pictures you’ve already taken, as well as the pictures you take in the future, can all be a potential source of income. Many people need great photographs for content, and they’re willing to pay to use them.
Try turning your photos into profit with these online strategies:
1. Create a portfolio website and sell advertising space. Google AdWords is probably the most common example of this strategy. While people are looking at your beautiful photographs, they will also be presented with advertisements from Google. Anytime someone clicks on one of these ads, you will receive money.
2. Post your photos to a stock website. There are many stock photography websites. Just set up an account and begin uploading your photos. When someone falls in love with one of your photographs, they frequently have the option to purchase it outright or to merely license it.
- The options vary from website to website. If you desire, you have the ability to maintain ownership of your photographs and stick to providing licensing rights.
- Some of the more popular stock websites are Shutterstock, iStockphoto, and Fotalia.
3. Use your images to create products. You could put your photos on coffee mugs, calendars, greeting cards, or t-shirts. You could even sell physical copies of your photographs. All you need is a website to get started.
- There are several businesses online that will do the actual printing for you. You just make the designs and your chosen printer will put them on whatever products you want to offer.
4. Put your photographs on Flickr. This is a great way to show off your work to others. It’s not unusual for someone to offer to purchase your photos. Be sure to watermark your photos so they can’t be used until you’ve been paid.
- There are several software packages that will allow you to apply a watermark to your photographs. Adobe Photoshop, Watermarker.com, WinWatermark.com, PlumAmazing.com, and Digimarc.com are a few of the options available.
How much is a photograph worth? It depends.
It might be just a few cents. Some websites give you the option of choosing a price for your photographs.
There are several factors that determine the pricing structure:
- Are your photos exclusive to the website? Many stock photo sites will pay higher commissions if you agree to only post a photograph to their website. The difference can be as high as 200% for exclusivity.
- The size of the photo. Many websites provide the option of purchasing different size photos. The larger the photo, the greater the cost.
- How many times it’s been sold. Some websites increase the price after the photo has been purchased a certain number of times. Popular photos are simply worth more money.
Getting paid is a snap. Most stock photo sites have a minimum payout level, usually $100. You can be paid via several methods once you’ve reached the payout minimum. Paypal, check, and bank transfer are the usual options.
What Types of Images are Popular?
Photos of you and your friends probably wouldn’t sell well. You can’t just post any old photograph on most websites. The photos are reviewed and can be rejected if they don’t think there is a market for your photo.
Think about the types of photographs that appeal to or are useful to a large number of people.
Landscape photos are always popular. Simple photos on white backgrounds are also popular. Remember that many people like
to use Photoshop. A photograph of a Porsche on a white background can easily be moved to another background by the purchaser.
How to Sell More Photographs?
There are a lot of people out there trying to do the same thing, sell photos. How can you get your photos noticed and purchased instead of the next guy’s?
Increase the visibility of your photographs and sell more with these strategies:
- Give the people what they want. Many sites specialize in certain types of photos. In time, you’ll be able to figure out which types of photos sell well. You can then develop a portfolio around what people are buying.
- Link to your photos on social media. This is also a great way for your friends and family to see your work and spread the word.
- Edit your photos. Unless you’re using raw photos, your camera is processing the photograph for you. It determines
- the best tint, contrast, and more. You can likely do better for various effects!
- Get feedback. When your photos are rejected, you’ll usually be told why. Take that information to heart and do better next time.
- Take a photography class. Improving the quality of your photos is sure to increase your sales. If you’re attempting to make a profit from your photography, the class should be tax-deductible.
- Purchase better equipment. While it’s possible to take nice pictures with a $50 compact camera, a $1,000 camera has far more options and capability. Consider taking some of your earnings and upgrading your equipment.
- Tag your photos. When people are searching for a photo like yours, be sure they can find it! Use relevant keywords to tag your photos.
- Consider offering a few photos for free. This can be a good way to get people familiar with your work. Charge them the next time around.
It’s possible to make a good second income from your photography hobby. But to really make a reliable income will take consistent work. Build up your portfolio and you’ll be able to generate a consistent passive income. Imagine how great it would be to sell your photographs while you sleep!
It’s even possible to parlay your exposure into photography gigs. Selling to private clients can be especially lucrative. You might get hired by someone local to take photographs or hired by someone online to provide specific types of photos.
If you love to take photos, why not see if you can make some extra money from your hobby. Having a good time and boosting your income can be the best of both worlds.