Stock Images: Sell Photo Files and Earn Money

selling pictures online

When you look at almost any piece of web or print content, do you notice the one thing they generally have in common? Whether it’s a news article, a blog post or a print ad, most text content will feature a stock image to provide visual interest. Text content providers know they need to grab readers’ attention, which is why so many photographers are able to sell photo products to a variety of clients. If you have a digital camera, simple photo editing software and an eye for photography, you too can get in on the action.

Where to Sell Photo Files Online

There are a number of options when it comes to where you can sell photo products on the Internet. For many photographers new to online sales, a stock image clearinghouse site is the first choice. Microstock sites can generate income, but they can also limit your earning potential and control over your business. Each site has its own terms and pay structure, but most will restrict your ability to offer the same image on other sites. You may be paid a percentage of the proceeds each time a photo sells, or you may be paid a one-time fee for the rights to your photo in perpetuity. Either way, you’re only able to reach potential customers who use a particular site. In many cases, establishing your own web store is a far better option.

Using a dedicated eCommerce platform makes it easy and inexpensive to get started. When you work with a service like, you don’t need an expensive website with complex sales features built by a highly paid professional. You can use a free blog site, a simple template site you build yourself, or even a social networking platform. Built-in tools and services designed to help you become a successful online business owner are included, and your entire business is streamlined for optimum efficiency.

How to Sell Photo Images Yourself

There are some things you’ll need to either provide for your customers or access yourself as an online business owner. These include safe and reliable payment processing, secure file hosting and a system for automating download delivery. It’s simply not feasible to monitor sales alerts around the clock in order to manually share download links. Because you can’t make a sale to customers who don’t know your products exist, you’ll also need a marketing plan to help sell photo files. High-quality eCommerce platforms will include access to valuable marketing tools, like affiliate networks.

You don’t have to rely on microstock sites to earn money. With a solid, well-built business plan and the willingness to promote your brand, you can count yourself among the many successful photographers who sell photo files to content providers around the world. Get started today, and establish a brand with the potential for long-term success.

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