If you’re a photographer, it’s the million dollar question: “How to sell my photos online?”
This article will show you the 5 best websites for selling your photos online, how much potential commissions you can get, and will also connect you with a great course for selling your photos from your own niche photography site that is an ABSOLUTE MUST for maximizing your sales snd revenue potential.
How to Sell My Photos Online
There are many great stock photography websites where you can feature and sell your photography. Websites like Adobe, Shutterstock, Alamy, Etsy, and 500px are great options. Additionally, you can get the absolute most out of your photography by creating your own niche photography website.
1. Build Your Own Niche Photography Website & Eliminate the Competition
If you want to absolutely maximize your profits, it’s time to sell your photography on your own website!
Wait, but you’ve never built a website before? No problem.
Cut out the middle man (and the competition) by selling your photography on your own real estate. You call the shots. You pocket the profits.
Getting trained on how to do just that along with learning how to drive free, targeted traffic to your site is more straightforward than you think.
When you have your own niche website up and running you COMPLETELY ELIMINATE the competition, plus you can earn revenue in multiple ways.
- Earn consistent commissions by connecting your target audience with all the best photography gear they’re already looking for through affiliate marketing.
- Review your DREAM GEAR and the best high end cameras and GET PAID FOR IT!
- You can even earn consistent monthly revenue just from the web traffic itself without selling a single thing!
Building your own niche photography website while you upload your photography to the traditional photo sharing sites gives your budding photography business the diversity you’ll need to sustain it.
2. Adobe Stock
Royalties: 20-60%, non-exclusive
Topping our list of traditional photo sharing websites is Adobe Stock.
Formerly known as Fotolia, Adobe Stock has been around 10+ years.
With spectacular royalties, this is a definite “must” for photographers looking to sell their photos.
I’m sure you recognize the Adobe name. They are the creators of the immensely popular Photoshop and Lightroom photo editing programs.
This means every photo uploaded to Adobe Stock is available to be used in other Adobe applications reaching millions of users.
Royalties range from 20% all the way up to 60%.
Adobe Stock is also non-exclusive, meaning the photos you upload to Adobe Stock can be sold on other websites as well. And more is better!
Royalties: 20-30%, non-exclusive
Shutterstock is another very popular site for selling stock photos.
They’re in over 150 countries globally with a collection of over 200 million photos and boast $500 million in sales to date!
What does this mean to you? It means people from all over the world are having success selling their photos with Shutterstock!
Royalties are solid, ranging from 20-30%.
Shutterstock is also non-exclusive, so why not add this to your list of sites you’re selling from?
Having multiple sites where you sell your photos is an easy way to get more eyes on your photos.
Royalties: 50%, non-exclusive
Next on our list is Alamy. With over 195 million images in their collection, they are a very popular photo selling site with photographers.
They also give one of the highest commissions to photographers at 50% of each photo sold and, like the other two so far on this list, they are non-exclusive.
Also to be noted is that Alamy determines the price of your photo once uploaded.
With the amount of royalties they offer, this shouldn’t be a sticking point.
High traffic, Full control of price points & display
Etsy isn’t usually thought of a site where you can sell your photos online because in and of itself it isn’t a photo selling site.
However, from a traffic standpoint alone, you should consider Etsy for selling your work.
With over 30 million users, Etsy simply has more traffic than most other photo selling sites.
With Etsy you also have more control over your work.
You set the price point and control how the photos are displayed. Don’t sleep on this high traffic site.
Royalties: 30-60%, Both exclusive & non-exclusive tiers
Last on our list is 500px.
500px allows you to create a portfolio of your images and offers some nice tools as well.
Are you an analytics junkie? Ever wondered how many times a photo was clicked or how any single photo ranks with the competition?
500px offers the Pulse Algorithm which shows how your photos stack up.
Images uploaded to 500px also get displayed in a Discovery page that is viewed by thousands.
Something that makes 500px stand out from the others on this list is they offer exclusive licensing with royalties at 60%.
Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you can’t sell on other websites. It just means that you can’t sell those exclusive photos on other websites.
500px also offers non-exclusive royalties at 30%. So why not add this to your list of non-exclusive websites to sell on while having a small sub-niche of your photos available exclusively at 500px for that higher royalty tier?
Related Article at WorkFromYourLaptop.com!
Check out “Photojobz Review” to know the kinds of shady platforms you should avoid when building your photography business!
There are two main routes you can take for turning your photos into consistent monthly revenue. The best for maximizing your profit potential would be through building your own niche photography website. This option eliminates your photos getting lost in a sea of competition on the screen, and also eliminates you having to share your profits with anyone else.
The second route is through traditional photo sharing websites. With these third party websites you’ll have to share your profits and abide by their terms and conditions, but you also benefit from the fact that these websites are well established and bring in consistent traffic.
If you’re interested in learning affiliate marketing and turning your own website into consistent revenue, check out my top recommendation for training.
Have you used any of the photo sharing websites listed above before? What’s been your experience with them? Ever considered building an affiliate marketing photography site before? What’s held you back?
Leave all your questions and comments in the section below! I always reply and I look forward to hearing from you!
Millie "Pioneer Kitty" Zeiler says
Heh! Thanks to you, I’m now looking at the links you’ve shared regarding how to sell photos online! I may not be as accomplished a photographer as you are, but I do love taking photos! I also know of others who do the same, so needless to say I will be letting them in on what you just shared!
Thank you for providing the information you did. It was also quite entertaining, which is refreshing!
Eric Cantu says
Glad this helped you out! Thanks for the comment!
Your article on “How to Sell Photos Online” caught my eye. My wife has been interested in Photography. She has always wondered how she could sell her pictures online. I will certainly pass your article on to her. Your article is well organized and easy to follow. The colors (red & blue) you used for your pop-ups really jump out to the reader. Great article. Easy to follow.
Eric Cantu says
Thanks so much for the kind words! I appreciate it! Thanks for the comment!
I think you covered a lot of big ones, and lots of things to consider. Sure, you’d definitely have a higher profit margin selling on your own website, but you really gotta bust your rear to get that traffic. Alternatively, using other websites that generate high traffic may be a good place to start out, but you’d have a lower payout. Thanks for sharing.
Eric Cantu says
Yup, I’d say starting out, using a mix of both strategies would be the way to go. Thanks for the comment!
The idea to sell my photos myself from my own site is indeed great. But how will anyone ever find my photos as everyone searches for photos on the usual sites like shutterstock etc.
How do we beat that, I wonder? How do I get traffic to my site? Your suggestion is wonderful, and there’s no point in giving others most of the revenue that you generate.
I have to study this a bit more. let’s see.
Eric Cantu says
Getting traffic to your site regardless of the niche is all about understanding what your audience is looking for. It’s done through keyword research. It’s not about trying to compete with sites like shutterstock, it’s about using as many sites as you can, including your own, to maximize your success potential. Thanks for the comment!
I have a Canon (a Rebel). And I picked it up the other day and started shooting with it. I have always want to learn photography. So I began to search YouTube. And I found a cool guy called Peter McKinnon that has some cool stuff for beginners. But what caught my attention was that he was sharing he started making money selling the pics he took to stock picture platforms. So, now I am here researching about those platforms. Thanks for your help. I think I’ll start by using Etsy.
Eric Cantu says
Photography is the best isn’t it? I wish on my travels it was more feasible for me to carry about a nice DSLR, but it just isn’t. I’d love to have done more “real” photography. Thanks for the comment and best of luck!
Jenni Elliott says
I loved reading your article!. The unique way in which you introduced the reader to setting up his/her own affiliate marketing website was excellent. Then taking us through the other options of where to sell photos online that had good commission rates gave one the best understanding of the alternatives. Thank you.
Eric Cantu says
Very glad you enjoyed this!
Lizzy Stabel says
This is a good article on how to sell one’s photos online. I have a friend who is struggling to sell his pictures as a photographer, so I will pass it on to him. I’m sure that one of these tips or maybe all of them will help him out, so thanks very much!
Eric Cantu says
Glad you enjoyed this and thanks for the comment!