Are you thinking about how profitable it is to sell photos online? Do you want to discover the platforms dedicated to hosting this kind of business?
Well, I have got you covered (as always).
Knowing the websites that specialize in selling photos and having some skill in photography can allow you to gain substantial amounts of money on the side or even start a whole new career. And it doesn’t take a high level of photography skills.
Photographers of all levels can find their place in this market as the demand is getting higher more than ever before. Big organizations, small businesses, or even graphic designers, publishers, marketers, and bloggers buy photos frequently online to use them for various reasons.
What we’re going to talk about today are the five best platforms on which you can sell photos online and, in doing so, earn money. We’ll also show you how to get started on those platforms.
Without further ado, here’s the ultimate guide on how to sell photos online.
What Types of Stock Photos Sell Best?
You’ll find that most of the population of stock photo buyers is made up of small to medium businesses and bloggers.
The most popular types of images being sold:
- Travel: Pics showing the world is something that’s always in demand.
- Nature: The beauty of planet Earth is never something to pass on.
- Cities: Buildings, skylines, crowds of people.
- Tools: Think of screws, bolts, nuts, hammers, and Gears. A lot of people find value in pictures of these things.
- Food: Both tasty to eat and to look at. This also includes shots of unwashed plates.
- People Working: Some of the most popular stock photos are of working people. In a meeting, writing or using a laptop.
- People: as general as it is, it’s in very high demand. From kids to old folks, from all around the globe, take pics of people, and people will buy.
Have a look at the categories provided by the websites we’re about to discuss to have a better idea of what people look for.
Now, here are the top platforms to use to sell photos online effectively:
How to Sell Photos Online: Top Platforms to Try
This is basically the best host for stock photos out there. And that’s due to several reasons:
- You’re free to set your own terms and conditions
- You choose how to display the photos
- All the money goes to you
- You set the price
- Basically, you are completely in control
If you don’t have a website, then you shouldn’t worry about it too much because it’s not that hard to create. You can find out how to make a website through WordPress and jump right into it. The fact is, most professional photography sites are made through WordPress.
Here’s a detailed guide on how to create a WordPress website:
For hosting, I recommend going with Siteground because of their quick support and affordable plans.
After the website is all set and ready, you’ll have to choose how to display your photos. You have to find a layout that will attract as many buyers as possible. One of the best WordPress plugins that you can use for this is EnviraGallery.
The customization options that Envira Gallery offers will even allow you to display your photos with Lightboxes that highlight your pics among the competitors.
Adobe Stock is a marketplace created by the powerhouse of photo editing software, Adobe, to be a hub to sell photos online. It’s been active for over a decade, and it’s the first of all the online photo marketplaces.
What you’ll come to like about this website is the royalty share that exceeds any other when compared to other websites.
What’s also great is that all photos that were uploaded before Fotolia became Adobe stock are still available. So, you’ll have a very extended library of both old and new photos.
Seeing how big Adobe is today, it’s highly unlikely that it’s going away any time soon. It will remain a big attraction for both sellers and buyers alike.
This is a website that you’ve at least heard of. It has been around a kicking for more than 15 years, and its popularity hasn’t dropped. You’ll find here over 200 million pictures, music tracks and videos for anyone to get royalty-free. This, of course, has contributed to them earning millions of frequent customers.
Joining the ranks of photographers on Shutterstock will earn you substantial money in the long term. The site claims that sellers have been able to make more than $500 million globally.
You’re free to keep the copyrights of your photos on this platform, so you’ll get to choose the kind of rights to associate with your products. You also get credit for the images you sell, allowing you to protect your ownership of your product and further promote your name at the same time.
Becoming a site contributor will get you to a level where you’ll make a profit on every purchase and download of one of your pics. Contributors make around 20 to 30% of the money that comes from selling their images.
Shutterstock will not prohibit you from selling on other platforms while using it at the same time (same goes for Adobe Stock), so don’t hesitate to open several galleries on different platforms to maximize your reach.
Here we have another awesome website for selling stock photos for its flexible and friendly rules.
It may not get the same number of users as Adobe Stock or Shutterstock, yet it remains a formidable platform that offers a good source of income. It allows photographers to upload images without copyrights or licensing problems. Up until this moment, users have come to earn as much as $180 million from selling.
Something else to keep in mind is the fact that sellers on Alamy will get 50% of revenue from the total price of the sold pic. This is pretty significant compared to other stock photo websites.
Well, Etsy isn’t a website dedicated solely to selling stock photos. It’s a platform for selling handmade goods. Still, it remains a good option for starting a stock photo selling business as it has more than 30 million users free to choose from several distinct ways of selling pictures.
What it has that other platforms do not is the larger audience since it’s made to sell and buy various different things. The demographic is also suitable for selling stock photos, so you don’t have to worry much about attraction. And beyond selling digital photos like all other websites, you can even expand into selling physical prints thanks to the nature of the website (keep the costs of printing, packing, and shipping in mind).
The price that’s set for the photos is something that you have complete control over. In addition to that, you get to choose how your photos are displayed to gain maximum attention. All these features without having the need to make your own website is a bit hard to pass on.
How to Sell Photos Online: Getting Started
This is a very easy and simple process, but let’s talk about it for a minute.
1. Choose a Stock Photography Site to Sell Photos Online
We hope that with all the details that we’ve provided, you got a better idea of what the market provides and now you can decide with more clarity which website fits you most. But if you’re still unsure, here’s a tip:
Start with the platform that seems most suitable.
Just because you chose Shutterstock at first doesn’t mean that you’re stuck with it forever. If you grow bored with it or find a better platform for what you need, you can always transition from one to the other as you please. Or maybe even just opt for a personal website altogether.
2. Create an Account
Just click the button and create the account; it’s as easy as that. Type in the essential information with accuracy and maybe even submit the application required for joining the stock photography network if it’s needed.
If a review system is implemented on the website, you might want to take a second to breathe before moving to the last step.
3. Start Producing and Sharing Work That Has the Potential to Be Used by People
This could seem like a given to some, but it’s something that everyone needs to be reminded of in case it’s not working out so well at first as a seller. Photos are not the same.
It’s advisable to keep a watchful eye on stock photo websites to determine what people want and what they’d be willing to buy and download.
How to Sell Photos Online: Conclusion
Hopefully, you got all that we tried to transmit through this guide, and a clearer image has been shaped for your future as a stock photo seller. Now with this newly acquired knowledge, you’re ready to try it for yourself.