8 Places to Make Money Online With Digital Photos

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by Nindo Mom on November 11, 2010

This isn’t the typical work from home job that you typically come up with when you search on Google. That’s because it’s not what people think about when they think about a job. You don’t have to drive to an office every day, hit the streets in a hot dog costume

  • Bigstockphoto – you get .50 for each of your photos that is downloaded, plus possible bonuses
  • Shutterstock – you get paid .25 for each of your photos that is downloaded
  • 123RF – you get paid 50 percent of the net proceeds for each of your photos that is downloaded
  • Dreamstime – you receive 30 – 60 percent commission of the sale price of your photo, depending on whether you are using them as an exclusive vendor for that photo
  • Fotolia – commission
  • iStockphoto–royalties amounting to about 20 to as much as 40 percent
  • Corbis Images
  • Gettyimages

BE CAREFUL. There are lots of sites out there that may charge you for the honor of uploading your photos, and thus acting as a kind of paid portfolio site. This is not the kind of site you want to do business with, as they make most of their money by charging photographers and artists to host their images rather than actually expending effort to sell those images (and make the photographers and artists money.)

This isn’t a fast way to make money, as there’s a lot of effort that goes into creating good usable stock images that the various sites will accept (and that customers will want to buy.) But if you have some talent and enjoy taking photographs, go for it!

Starting a business selling digital images to image stock sites is similar to starting out blogging–it’s going to be slow-going at first. You’ll want to set yourself a daily (or weekly, or monthly) goal for yourself in terms of how many photos you want to take and submit to various sites. Not all of them will be accepted, especially when you’re learning the ropes and learning how to take photos according to the specifications each site sets. But if it’s something you really want to do, then keep at it. Keep learning more about what is popular by doing research: reading forums can be very helpful, as can researching which photos are most frequently downloaded from the various sites. Also, some sites have resource sections with lots of great tips for what they’re looking for in a great photograph–some even have free “training manuals”.

One thing you can do to set yourself–and your images–apart is to develop a style all your own. Think about what makes you unique, and focus on that. When your photos don’t look like all the rest, you’ll be able to more easily capture the attention of customers who will be deciding which photos to purchase.

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