One of the things that really amazes me is how much money-making opportunities there are online. Even selling photos of yourself, a.k.a. selfies, can make you money. When I heard of it, I knew I had to learn more about it and write this post. Sharing ideas like these is one of the reasons why I created this blog. I wanted to help people find flexible income opportunities that work for them.
Now, let’s talk about how to make money selling photos of yourself. Yes, all those photos that you meticulously took just to get the right angle, lighting, and expression can bring in some cash. If you are interested in how to make money selling photos of yourself, then read this post!
The Market of Selfies
How and when did selfies start? A lot of us have probably started taking selfies as soon as we got ahold of our first camera phone. Those self-taken photos soon flooded social media. In 2013, the word “selfie” officially debuted in the Oxford Dictionary.
But selfies aren’t just taken for vanity’s sake. There is a real market for it. According to Digital Marketing Institute, selfies are used to promote brand engagement. For instance, the hit TV show The Walking Dead did a selfie campaign on Instagram using #deadyourself. This tactic significantly boosted the show’s engagement with the audience.
Last year, Volvo also conducted a selfie campaign using #selfieforsafety which aims to encourage drivers to take a selfie with their car seatbelt on and emphasize the importance of safety while driving. The campaign helped Volvo rake in more buyers and was able to use the photos to assess whether drivers are wearing their seatbelts correctly.
As you can see, selfies do have a massive impact on brands and businesses, and that’s exactly the reason why companies and agencies are willing to pay for them. So if you can take really good photos of yourself and identify the best places to sell them, you could very well make money by selling photos.
Tips For Taking Selfies That Sell
Improve your skills in photography
Taking the perfect selfie doesn’t happen out of luck. It takes some understanding of photography to take the best photos. You can’t expect to take the best selfie by clicking the shutter 50 times without getting the right angle or lighting. Improving your skills in photography by taking online courses or training under a professional can go a long way in helping you take better self-portraits.
Consider your photography gear
Improving your photography skills is one thing, having the right equipment to take great pictures is another. You don’t always need the most expensive or advanced cameras; however, if you want to really make some money from selling selfies online, you need to spend some money on the right gear. Fortunately, you can find lots of smartphones with fantastic camera features at a decent price. And while you’re at it, consider getting a great selfie stick as well.
Use an editing software
Let’s say you’ve taken a beautiful selfie, but if only you could crop a portion from the photo to make it perfect. Then do so! Professional photographers use editing software to enhance their images, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t.
How To Market Your Photos Online
Okay, so if you want to learn how to make money selling photos of yourself, you should at least have a basic marketing plan for this venture. You don’t have to be a professional photographer or marketer to make money selling photos online but knowing how and where to sell them will go a long way.
Sell through stock websites
Selling through stock websites is a popular option to make money from your images. Thanks to the demand of self-publishing in the forms of e-books and blogs, stock photos have likewise become popular. Stock photos are used for a variety of purposes, such as posters, flyers, book covers, and more, and stock websites are often the go-to place to source out images for these.
Sell via your website
Additionally, you can make money selling photos online by putting them up on your website. Whether or not you are a professional photographer, having a website can go a long way with exposure and branding. You can post your stock photos on your website and allow customers to download and purchase them directly. It’s also good to make sure that your website is search-engine optimized to draw more traffic and attract more buyers.
The good news is that you can start your own website with Hostgator for as low as $2.75 per month. It’s what I used for two years when I started out and I can highly recommend them. If you need tutorial on setting up your website with Hostgator, read my simple, step-by-step tutorial here.
Market through blogs
Starting a blog is another great way to market your photos. You can put your photos up on display on your blog. You can also optimize your text to win the favor of search engines, increase audience exposure, and encourage shares.
Run a giveaway/contest
Running a giveaway or contest is also an effective way to attract new customers and engage with existing ones. These also help in increasing brand awareness for your brand and generating more leads.
How to Make Money Selling Photos of Yourself – Best Apps and Websites
Scoopshot is one of the best apps to make money selling photos online. The app acts as a marketplace where you can upload your photos, and people will have to pay to use them. The app sends you a notification that someone has purchased your images, and your balance will be adjusted accordingly. Scoopshot also uses your photos of advertising, and you will also get paid when someone sees your photos. Scoopshot also runs contests wherein winners get paid for their images as well.
Stylinity is an online community that gathers brands, influencers, and consumers in one place. But how can you make money selling photos on Stylinity? Stylinity pays you to take a selfie wearing the clothes from Stylinity’s partner shops. Each pic comes with a link that directs the visitor to the shop where she can purchase the products. Each purchase will earn you points that you can redeem as cash or products.
Another interesting app that made it to this list is Foap. Foap is an app and also a marketplace where you can upload photos or videos. When someone makes a purchase of your photos from the app, you get to split the earnings with Foap mid-way. Additionally, you can participate in Missions, wherein brands and advertisers send out a brief about specific photos they need. You can send your entry for these missions, and if selected, you’ll get $100-$500 in cash prize.
Another reputable site that pays for your photos is the 500px. People from all sorts of businesses come to 500px to access a variety of photos for their needs. Once you sign up for 500px, you can start uploading your photos. You can add relevant keywords to your images to help them appear more prominently in searches. Your photos are going to be royalty-free, and 500px will manage licensing for you. How much you earn per photo depends on the file size. However, according to most sources, you can earn as much 60% in royalties for exclusive photos, and 30% for non-exclusive ones.
Another popular app that allows you to make money online is Pay Your Selfie. You will have to follow the instructions provided in the app, take your selfies, and load them up in the app. The shots aren’t complicated at all. It could be a selfie with you posing a certain way or posing with a particular product. Each selfie pays between $0.20 to $1, and you can redeem your earnings once you’ve reached $20.
SmugMug is a website that allows you to showcase, share, and sell your photos. Whether you’re fond of taking photos as keepsakes, an enthusiast, or a professional photographer, SmugMug gives you the platform to build a beautiful portfolio and help you turn these images into cash.
However, unlike other apps and websites that are free to join, SmugMug has a monthly subscription plan that costs $12.50. But the good news is you’ll get 85% of the markup price. Plus, you can keep people from stealing your work because you can put custom watermarks on them, limit display size, and retain copyright.
How to Sell Photos of Yourself Using Stock Photo Websites
Apart from apps and websites that allow you to make money from selling photos, you may also consider putting them up on these popular stock photo websites.
One of the most popular websites where you can make money selling stock photos online is Shutterstock. It has a massive library for every image category you can imagine, so if you like taking photos apart from yourself (nature, arts, beauty and fashion, people, etc.), then Shutterstock is a good place to upload your photos. The site has a specific pricing structure for each image or video you submit according to level and licensing, but you can earn up to 40% in commission for each download.
Another reputable stock photo website where you can upload your images and make money from them is Dreamstime. It has been around for the past 20 years and provided businesses and private individuals with high-quality images, clip arts, and illustrations. Dreamstime offers substantial payouts to contributors, depending on factors like the number of downloads, licensing, and exclusivity of the images. Exclusive files generate about 27.5%-55% in commission for the contributor, while non-exclusive files earn around 25% to 50% in commission.
Most people think of Etsy as a marketplace for crafts and handmade items, but it can also be a great place to make money selling stock photos online. You can set up your own photo prints on the Etsy store quite easily and set your price. Etsy only takes 5% as a transaction fee off the sale. Apart from physical prints, you may also opt to sell digital prints, particularly if you’re not keen about taking care of logistics.
BigStock operates in an almost similar fashion with Shutterstock and Dreamstime. But what makes it quite unique is its credit system, which allows the contributor to make more money as the number of downloads increase. With the credit system, customers can make their purchases as usual, but they also earn credits in the process. These credits can then be used for the next purchase. With such a set-up, customers are more inclined to purchase your stock photos with their credit, while also increasing your images’ number of downloads. This effectively ramps up your opportunity to make money.
Ready to Make Money Selling Selfies?
Whether you have a penchant for taking the perfect selfies or are fond of taking and collecting stock photography, you can make money selling photos online if you know the best places to sell them.
The best thing about making money from selling photos online is that it can be a passive income. Once the images are uploaded on these sites, all you have to do is optimize them and do some marketing.
Have you tried making money selling your selfies or stock photos? If yes, how did it go? Let’s connect in the comments.