Conduct Research - You can’t just upload whatever images you please to stock sites. Instead, you need to do a little research to learn what sort of images are in high demand. Having a clear understanding of what people want will help you tailor your images to the needs of consumers.
Sizing Appropriately - Stock photography websites have strict sizing restrictions, which, if not met, will result in your images being rejected. As a rule, the larger the file size, the better, as it opens up a wider variety of applications for the end user. For example, uploading images at the highest possible resolution allows buyers to shrink it down or blow it up based on their specific needs. Having that kind of usability will lead to more sales for you.
Tagging Images - Once you have your images uploaded, you need to use keywords to describe the image such that potential buyers can find them. This can be a tricky task, however, because using the wrong keywords might mean buyers that are interested in your image can’t find it. Alternatively, using too many keywords or adding keywords that have nothing to do with the image as a way to draw more attention to it might cause your image to be removed.
Maintaining Your Collection - Your stock photography collection must be maintained, just like your website or your portfolio. Old, outdated images should be removed and fresh ones added on a regular basis.
Creating a niche - Though it might seem like a better idea to cast a wide net and try to have images in your stock photography collection to fit every need, doing so will only muddy the waters and probably lead to a lot of subpar images. Instead, creating a niche in which you cater to one or two specific and popular needs will often get you more sales.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve been discussing image copyrights. In previous articles, we hit on the facts about copyrights and myths about copyrights. We’ve also discussed how to protect your images from being stolen and what to do in case someone uses one of your images without permission.
Now we move on to the subject of monetizing your images. In the past, amateur and enthusiast photographers relied on stock photography sites or selling prints locally to make money off their photos. But now, there’s a new way for you to make money off of your images that could prove to be quite lucrative. Let’s look at each avenue of selling your images in more depth.
Stock Photography Sites
It used to be that stock photography sites were really only for professional photographers. For the everyday amateur, the professional-level gear and training needed to take top-notch stock photos was simply out of reach. But that simply isn’t the case anymore. There is an insatiable need for stock images in today’s image-heavy world, so stock photography websites have opened their doors to all levels of photographers with all sorts of cameras, from iPhones on up.
Obviously, you first have to take high-quality photos. Otherwise, they won’t be accepted by stock sites. What’s more, there is stiff competition for buyers, so even if an image is accepted, it still needs to stand out from the crowd to catch a buyer’s eye.
In that regard, trying to sell images on a stock photography site can be a daunting task. Consider all the crucial steps needed to make it more likely that your images will be purchased:
If it seems like making money on a stock site is a lot of work, it is. Consider as well that stock sites take a cut, paying you only a commission for each sale that might be pennies on the dollar. That means you have to sell a lot of photos just to make it a worthwhile exercise.
An alternative to selling your photos on stock photography websites is to sell prints on your own. This can be done in many ways, including from your own website or online portfolio or by selling physical prints in your studio or office space, at local art shows, or by partnering with local businesses to sell your prints.
The advantage of selling prints yourself is that you reap all the proceeds from those sales, unlike with a stock photography site. Furthermore, you get to determine the price and adjust it as needed based upon the sales you make. Better still, you have the power to decide where and with whom your prints are sold, giving you additional control over the process.
Of course, the drawback of selling prints yourself is that it is an active process, rather than a passive income that is received from stock sites. You can’t just upload the photo to your website or place a few prints in a shop downtown and leave it be. Instead, you have to process sales, add new inventory, set up displays, and so forth. This can be an especially time-consuming process if you’ve got partnerships with multiple businesses or offer your digital prints for sale on multiple websites. The time it takes to organize and process these sales can add up quickly.
The Best of Both Worlds
Fortunately, there is a way for you to reap the benefits offered by sales on stock sites and selling prints yourself. That solution is Copypants.
Copypants is known for protecting images and giving photographers control over where and how their images are used. By signing up for their service, you get immediate access to their tools that help prevent theft. Copypants searches your online collections for your images, then inspects the internet for copies of those images. If copies are found, you’re notified and given several options for recourse, from allowing the image to remain to asking the publisher to give you credit to issuing a takedown notice.
But Copypants also allows photographers to monetize their images. Taking a cue from the convenience of stock photography, Copypants does all the work for you in terms of identifying when someone has used one of your images. You don’t have to spend hours searching online for people that have used your photos - Copypants does it all for you, automatically.
Even better, one of the methods of recourse you have when Copypants finds one of your images being used is to request that the publisher pay you a license fee. Using the Copypants platform, you can send a request for payment in just a couple of clicks. Copypants will even make recommendations to you regarding what the license fee should be. Copypants also manages the payments for you and will collect fees and transfer your earnings to your bank automatically. That’s the kind of convenience you need so you can place your focus where it should be - on your work!
What this means for you is that you get the best of both worlds. Copypants is a convenient way to earn money off your images without having to be that active in the process, allowing you to earn passive income like that from a stock photography site. On the other hand, you also get to decide the pricing as well as who gets to use your images, much as is the case when selling prints yourself.
In this regard, you can put your best work up online without the fear that someone is going to steal your images and cause you to lose income. By using a service like Copypants, you can rest assured that your images are protected and that you are maximizing your income at the same time. It’s truly the best of both worlds!