A Complete Guide to Selling Stock Photos, Videos & Music

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photo, ASTA Concept ,Shutterstock,

while the idea of The term “passive income” sounds great is usually misleading, such as establishment Passive income flows in often Lots of work required. While most passive income plans involve starting a business or putting some capital into investments, there are also Ways to take advantage of your creative and artistic impulses: If you are a fan of music, photographyor shooting video, for example, You can turn those passions into income—Even if you’re not necessarily a professional—By selling your work to stock media sites.

inventory The sites have huge collections of media that people pay to license for use in their podcasts, videos, websites, book covers, video games – basically any product that uses musicsound effects, images, or video that heavily uses stock media (see photo above as an example). And whenever a photo or piece of music is licensed from a stock site, somewhere, a creator is getting paid—and that might be you. If you’ve got a library of high-quality media sitting around on your hard drive doing nothing, here’s how you can turn that around in real money.

how do you sell stock media?

Of course, the first question is whether it’s worth the effort. How much can you really earn from a photo or drone video you clicked while on vacation?

There are many factors that go into the value of a piece of media—quality, how unique it is, and the popularity of the category it falls into, for example. Stock media is largely a volume business – stock sites expect you to upload very of content, and the more you upload (and the more regularly you upload fresh content) the better you’ll do in their search algorithms, and as a result, The better you do in sales. if you are not very active When adding content, your work may be excluded from search results.

Assuming you are prepared to upload a lot of media and keep at it, how much can you really make?

How much can you earn from stock photography?

Photos are the easiest piece of media to sell, and they don’t pay much: on average, you can make Between $0.02 and $0.25 per image per month, Actual per-image earnings vary by site site, ranging from $0.10 to $200. However, the higher paying sites tend to do smaller amounts, so you don’t necessarily want to do more with them—and there are other reasons you might want to forego the highest possible payout, as we’ll see. you can also earn bonus a few dollars per image If your photos are newsworthy—if you capture images of major events and upload them in a timely manner, sites will pay more because of the demand.

How much can you earn from stock videography?

Selling stock footage can net you anywhere from $11 to $400 Depends on how many videos you upload, how much stock you upload to the site, the price you set, and of course, the popularity of your clip.

How much can you earn from Stock Music?

IStock sites can make money for you if you are a musician who composes songs anywhere from $8 to $15 per track-And tracks can often be sold multiple times, because you’re selling a license to use the music, not the rights. But if you’ve registered your work with a performing rights organization (PRO) like ASCAP or BMI (more on that below), you’ll be paid every time your music is broadcast somewhere—this is a separate fee from the initial licensing fee. . And you can get paid that performance fee every time your work is aired, so if someone licenses your song for an ad you can earn a significant amount—as much as $30,000 To $40,000 annually, Of course, most stock music doesn’t make that much, but if your songs get licensed a few times a month, You can still earn a few hundred bucks.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • no guarantee. It should be obvious, but you are not guaranteed to make money with stock media. You can upload 1,000 photos and sell none of them, so take these Possibility as earnings forecast very Possibility,
  • upfront cost. If you’re renting a studio, hiring models, or paying any other upfront costs, your actual profits from stock sales are small as opposed to just uploading 4K drone footage or a batch of old songs. Will happen.
  • Licensing Options. You’ll be paid more if you work exclusively with certain stock sites, and you’ll often have a choice about how your work can be used once it’s licensed. Which can also affect the amount of money you can earn. You’ll need to review the terms of a specific site and make some decisions before estimating how much you can actually earn.

how to sell stock

Hence! You have a catalog of media that you have created and you want to convert those digital files into digital gold. how exactly do you do that? First, if you’re going to license the music, consider joining a performing rights organization (PRO), America has three mainascap, bmiAnd SESAC, If your music is used in a broadcast or performed live as part of a production, registering your work with a PRO can earn you more money.

Now that you’re ready to sell your stock media, the first step is to choose which sites you’re going to sell on. There are several sites that you can work with:

There are lots of other places, but these are the major places that anyone can join and start selling stock media. There are also aggregator sites like black box, Which lets you upload your footage to a single platform and then farm it out to other sites. It reduces the number of sites you have to deal with One, simplify the process.

There’s no reason not to join as many of these platforms as you want—you are License Not selling them directly, so you can have the same clip, song, or photo listed on multiple sites. Some sites will offer you to pay more for exclusive content, which may be worth considering, and some sites have a Continuously License—which means that once you upload media, you can’t remove it later.


To make the most of your stock sale, consider the following:

  • quality over quantity. While high volume can improve your search results and fetch more money, a flood of low quality garbage sites will get you nowhere. Consider that part of the algorithmic stock sites use to track how often your work actually sells, so a bunch of lousy photos that no one buys on the site will slowly bury you in the listing, which will means that your chances sometimes Sell Anything will go down. Be tightlipped, and remember that higher-resolution photos and videos will always perform better.
  • Find a niche. If you go to shutterstock now and search for “babies” you’ll find more than 5 million ResultSo if you’re trying to sell some pictures of babies, You better have a hook that makes your content unique. Better yet, try to find a category that isn’t oversaturated – the more specialized and niche your work is, the better chance you’ll have. Crowded ground
  • Do metadata. When you upload stock, you need to enter metadata like keywords and other descriptors. Don’t skimp on it—the more keywords you use, the better you’ll perform in searches, and the more specific you can be, It’s just as easy for customers to find exactly what they’re looking for. That being said, don’t “stuff” keywords in there that have nothing to do with your media, just to show up in searches – it won’t work, and could put you at a disadvantage with the site’s algorithms.
  • Be emotionally prepared. If you’re the creative type, selling your work as stock can be a surprisingly emotional experience. It is largely anonymous, and once licensed, People can do pretty much what they please with your work—editing it, transforming it, and using it in ways you might not have imagined. Make sure you’re ready.

If you’re prolific, talented and committed, selling your photos, music and footage as stock can turn into a decent income. Like all passive income, it can take a lot of work to keep going—but it can also be Happen worth it.

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