Online websites can be one of the best ways to sell your photography, whether you’re a professional or just a beginner. Websites are some of the most popular markets for selling photographs because you can connect with buyers all over the world, instead of just locally. You can sell on well-known websites that buyers visit every single day.
You may think selling your photography online means low profits, but most sites let you set your own pricing. If you’re ready to start making sales, then you need to check out these five great sites for selling photos online.
Shutterstock is basically a digital marketplace where you can display your photography. Photos are displayed much like in the style of a portfolio. Visitors to the website can view all of the pieces you are selling, and purchase what they want. Shutterstock also has the advantage of being a well-known website, meaning more traffic and even more buyers.
In most cases, you keep up to 30 percent of the sale price as profit. On the downside, typical payout ranges from less than a dollar to $28, depending on the price of your photograph. However, a benefit to this website is that you get to keep the copyright of the photograph, a feature some other sites don’t offer.
SmugMug lets you sell numerous photos in a sleek and profession portfolio-style view. You can sell digital downloads, prints and even greeting cards. This site allows you to get more creative with your photos.
This website lets you set your own rates and even earn a royalty of 85 percent. There is both a free version and a “pro” version. While the free version itself is a great tool, the “pro” version has even more features. You can create your own storefront, incorporate galleries and even enable single-click shopping. SmugMug is the perfect website if you want a lot of flexibility in your pricing and royalties.
If you want a well-known website with a good history behind it, then iStockphoto is one to keep in mind. It’s been around since 2007, and it considered one of the best for selling photography. This website is easily one of the best options for selling photography online. Not only does this website get more visitors than most others, but it also has a high purchase rate.
This site will ask you to send in three samples and complete a quick quiz before registration. The process may seem like a hassle compared to other market websites, but the benefits are worth it. In the end, you will keep 20 to 40 percent of profits from all downloads received.
If royalties are the deciding factor on which website to use, then Fotolia deserves a look. The website gives photographers 64 percent of sales. The site is also known for accepting numerous photographs and having a wide audience.
Fotolia is a little different in that it consists of different subscription plans. If this is ultimately the site you choose, you can decide which subscription level works best for your needs. Each level comes with different features and accessories.
Dreamstime is different in that the pay works on a sliding scale based on how many downloads a photograph receives. Better selling photos have a higher price tag while less popular photos are cheaper. In the end, the photographer gets 50 to 60 percent of the total sale price.
Dreamstime is one of the best to use for beginners because it is easier to meet requirements. You will have to submit sample photographs for the website to review, much like with other websites. Oftentimes these reviews are paired with constructive criticism to help you improve and boost your sales.
If you’re ready to start selling your photography online, these five websites are the best place to start. Not only is selling online extremely simple, it saves you time. Some professional photographers even utilize online websites as their sole markets.
6. Bonus – Your Own Website
If you’re thinking one of using any of the above websites, I assume that you already have your own site. If not, wait no longer, and create your own website to sell your photos. The advantages of having your own site include:
- Control on the price of your photos;
- Online portfolio that you control;
- Easy to reference anyone to your own website;
- No competition from other photographers.