Are you a photographer looking for ways to sell your photographs? Maybe your’re an amateur enjoying your new camera, and everyone keeps telling you your photos are great enough to sell. Have your ever thought of selling your photos online? There are many ways to do this. Stay with me, and we’ll discuss how to sell your photographs online, or follow me here to learn right now.
Photography is big business these days. Businesses need photos for their advertising and marketing. Webmasters rely on stock photos for web designs. People buy photographs as artwork for their homes and offices. And it all starts with the photographer. Wouldn’t your like an online presence to attract the largest customer base? With over 3 billion people on the internet, your can sell more than a few!
Is It Safe To Sell My Pictures Online? What About Theft….
Theft is common but many people do it unknowingly. The best thing your can do it to watermark all your photos before your upload them. You can do this in photoshop, or use an online watermark generator tool.
If your find some “borrowed” photos being used, first try to contact the user and ask that they either pay you for the photo rights or take it down. If they choose to pay, ask them to give you the credit. Providing people with a link back to you might help you sell additional images. If they choose to ignore you, you can slap a “cease and desist” order on them which usually does the trick.
So Where Can I Sell My Photos?
There are a few ways to sell pictures online. The first and most traditional way is to sell your images as stock photography through third-party microstock sites. As more businesses, bloggers, self-publishers, and webmaster services advertise online there is more demand than ever before for stock photography.
These people are all looking for affordable images for website design, blog articles, flyers and posters, company reports, your name it….they need it. If you can provide a large portfolio of quality images, it can provide a decent side income for you. Visit the stock sites and determine which photos are most downloaded. Then you’ll get an idea of the more popular shots, be it nature, people, cities, animals, etc.
Using these microstock sites can be both easy and quick, and the bonus is that they do all the advertising for you. And I can only imagine how many people visit their sites each day. One word of caution though. Please read the fine print when looking into each site. Some will take as much as 70% commission on your sales, leaving you with about 30%.
Some companies will want you to be exclusive to them. This is OK if you’re making a decent commission and considerable sales. If not, then your hands are tied as you can’t branch out to other companies. Please do your research into these contracts.
You will also need to experiment with a few sites to see where you can make the most money. Some sites will sell low resolution images for as little as $1 but at a higher volume. Other sites will charge more, but their sales volume is reduced. As this could result in pennies per sale, you’d need to sell quite a few to make any money this way.
Below is a list of the more generous microstock companies.
- Alamy – You get 50% of the sale price. Non-exclusive.
- Fotolia (Adobe Stock) – You get 20 to 46% depending on volume sold. Full, partial or non-exclusive with additional benefits.
- Shutterstock – You get 20 to 30%. Non-exclusive.
- Istock Photo – You get 15 to 45% depending on an optional exclusivity contract.
- Dreamstime – You get 25 to 50%. 10% bonus for exclusivity.
- 123RF – You get 30 to 60%.
The downside to selling images through microstock sites is not being able to attract and retain that potential customer. Most people searching online for pictures will browse many sites and many photographers. Ideally, your want a customer to look at your portfolio and choose an image before they move on.
Another way to sell your photos is using “print on demand” services. There may be others who enjoy your work and would love to own a framed print. Still, others love prints on pillows, phone cases, coffee table books, and more. With companies like Printful, they not only print the article, but pack and ship it to your customer as well.
A third way to sell your pictures online would be from your very own website!
But I Have No Idea How To Build A Website….
Many photographers put off the idea of having their own independent website because they lack the knowledge to set up an e-commerce site with the appropriate payment gateways. While this used to be true, it’s now very easy to set up your own site to sell your pictures. Especially if you use WordPress. I’m not kidding! Watch this video to see how it can be done in 30 seconds….
There are many plugins available, like Sell Media, which are designed to sell photos, prints and artwork from your website. They are easy to install and set up, so that you can immediately take online payments. You can also sell a variety of licenses, and place watermarks and passwords on your photos to protect them.
Your website not only showcases your photography, it can be profitable selling your own prints and merchandise, as stated above. Using a drop shipping company like Printful allows you the variety of merchandise without having to store inventory. It’s the best of both worlds!
Having your own website gives you the freedom to set your own prices. Though you will have to be careful to remain competitive, you have the benefit of getting 100% of your sale price.
To have a successful, profitable website, your will need to direct your online customers to your site. For a photography site, blogging is probably the most effective way to attract customers. You would write keyword-relevant articles to engage your audience. And Google loves this type of content. It’s also easy to share your blogs with all the social media sites for that extra branding.
Are you still nervous about setting up your own site? I can help you there. I have found the perfect online platform to learn how to set up your own business online. It’s called Wealthy Affiliate University, and you can join for free.
Wealthy Affiliate offers extensive, updated education to get you set up and on your way to success. Their certification course is easy to follow with step by step interactive lessons. There are extensive, additional training sessions in both text, video, and live video once per week.
Wealthy Affiliate has a website building tool for easy setup (that was their platform your saw in the video) and a powerful hosting platform to host your site. With the free membership you get two free websites. They also provide all the tools you’ll need to do keyword research and write your content to publish.
And of course I’ll be there to help you as well. You can personally contact me whenever your wish.
So why wait? You have nothing to lose with a free membership, and everything to gain. Over 1 million members would agree with me.
I hope this article has shown you how you can sell your pictures online, with your own business and website. If you have any questions or comments for me, please leave them below. I’d love to hear from you.
And if you know any other photographers who could benefit from this article, please share.