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Reach Larger Audiences: Sell Stock Photos

With the potential to reach audiences around the globe, the type of images you can sell online is really limited only by your imagination. If you'd like to reach a larger audience while building a brand with broad appeal, though, deciding to sell stock photos may be your best option. Stock images are used for everything from blog posts to advertising print copy, and anything in between. Adding visual interest to blocks of text grabs readers' attention and keeps them reading, something everyone who provides text-based content knows. Considering the near-universal need for stock photography, this may be a better branding choice than more artistic images for some merchants.


What You Should Know to Successfully Sell Stock Photos

In order to brand and sell stock photos, you should first understand what sets this particular type of image apart from the pack. First and foremost, they're almost always sold on a royalty-free basis. This means your customers will not pay per use; a single image can be reused as often as the buyer sees fit. Because you'll be running and managing and independent web store yourself, you'll be able to set your own Terms of Service and usage conditions. It's wise to keep in mind, however, that particularly restrictive terms can deter art buyers from purchasing your content.


These images can be photos you shoot and edit, clip art or even computer generated graphics. Another perk of maintaining full control over your career through independent sales is the ability to work directly with your buyers to provide exclusive rights to images. Your client base can include bloggers with small budgets, book cover designers willing to spend top dollar for exclusive rights, and everything in between.


The Key to Selling Stock Photos

Your product catalog should be diverse, and eventually should be quite robust. Working to keep your catalog fresh while adding new content can ensure you're able to reach the widest possible segment of the market. Keep in mind, too, that somewhat generic is a goal for which you should be shooting. You can never use a logo or recognizable brand in stock images, and it's important to be sure you have the proper releases from any models in your stock photos.


Ideally, you'll continue adding a variety of images to your portfolio throughout your career. Try to focus on a number of subjects and settings while maintaining a commitment to quality.



Spend some time looking through your favorite blogs, news websites and print media, paying careful attention to the use of stock images. Selling stock photos requires you to understand how and where particular types of images are being used across a variety of media applications. How many of the images in your current catalog have the broad appeal necessary to sell as stock?

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