Open an Online Stock Photography Business to Sell Images

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Before the Internet and the boom in online sales, entrepreneurs were faced with a series of obstacles on the way to establishing an online business. For photographers, Internet-based sales not only removes many of the stumbling blocks associated with starting a traditional business, but also creates a wealth of sales opportunities which may previously been out of reach.

Sell Images and Meet a Growing Need

Text-based content can come in a variety of tones and fill many different genres, but there’s one thing that almost all successful and popular content providers know: visual interest is key. In order to encourage readers to click on a link, and to keep their attention after driving traffic to a site, it’s of vital importance that web designers and content creators keep readers engaged. One of the most reliable ways of grabbing –and holding– a reader’s interest is through the use of strategically placed stock photographs or graphics.

Enterprising graphic designers and photographers with a goal of making money by selling images they create can cash in on the need for their work, which grows with each new blog posting, news article or web sales copy.

How to Start Selling Images

There are clearinghouses for stock images online which will purchase the rights to your images, but the majority of the proceeds from licensing fees when they’re used will typically go back to the website. For some of the larger distributors, you may actually be paid one initial rate at the time of sale, never collecting royalties or usage fees again. For many stock image content creators, both newcomers and more established ones, the best and most lucrative avenue is selling images through your own webstore.

Choosing to host and sell your own content independently gives you far more control and a greater share of the proceeds from each sale, but you will lose a bit of the exposure which comes with being listed at a go-to stock image clearinghouse. One of the best ways to combat the potential for a diminished audience is to join an affiliate network, which makes it easier to expand the scope of your reach dramatically.

Because you’ll need to spend time creating and perfecting new content, you’ll also want to automate as much of your daily business operations as possible. Otherwise, you’ll be saddled with the responsibility of processing payments, manually fulfilling orders and monitoring sales alerts. A great ecommerce solution like allows you to outsource all of these tasks while gaining access to a built-in affiliate network which can help to drive more sales and generate greater revenue.


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