Entrepreneurship, Instagram, Social Media

The Instagram Entrepreneur: How To Make Extra Cash Capturing Pictures on Instagram

Are you a broke college student looking to monetize your Instagram?  

If your answer was yes, then I have some good news for you!

You know you can actually sell photos right and make upwards of $60 dollars? Instagram has shed a new light on how people search, share, and purchase photos.

Big publishing brands are now scouting and purchasing photos found on the internet and Instagram is one of the places they look. 

The opportunity to make money selling photos online has never been came easier.

Now there are certain rules you need to understand about styling and marketing your Instagram photos before you can start making money. 

Don’t worry if your account is empty or if you don’t have one because I’m going to walk you thru the steps on how to build a portfolio of photos you can sell. 

Let’s get started!


Consistency is Key

The most important aspect about selling your photos on Instagram is building a brand and theme around your profile. You should have a consistent style and theme around your profile. 

What does that mean?

Instead of looking at photos as a single item on your profile, instead look at account as a campaign. I’m not saying all your pictures should look the same, but your profile’s overall theme should have some consistency.

Also, you should be capturing photos on a consistent basis if you plan on making money selling photos. Selling photos on the internet and particularly microstock (you’ll learn more later) is a numbers game. You should start setting goals for how many pictures you’re going to take on a daily or weekly basis.

RELATED: Step-by-Step Guide: To Launching Your First Blog In College 


Choosing a Niche

Choosing the right niche will enable you to grow your photo business faster. Certain niches are more profitable than others and that’s certainly the case for Instagram. A niche is simply focusing on a small but, profitable segment of a particular market.

Some examples of different niches are:

  • Health & Fitness
  • Beauty
  • Cars
  • Travel
  • Business
  • Fashion
  • Real Estate
  • Jewelry
  • Meme’s
  • Motivation

So how do you find the niche that works for you?

  • Look at your previously liked photos and find  which photos you liked the most
  • Scroll down your explorer page and find a common theme ( The photos you see on the explore page are based off based you liked in the past)

RELATED: 9 Ways To Market Your Small Business on A Shoestring Budget In College


The Right Equipment

Having the right tools for the job will always make the process easier and making money selling photographs is no different. The first thing you do is find the right camera.

What’s the right camera & how much does that camera cost?

If you plan on making money you need a digital camera that has settings you can change. Your camera should be able to take high-quality photos.

Why can’t I use my Phone’s camera?

You can make money using your Iphone’s camera, but you’re limited. There’s an app called Foap and they’ll pay you $5 dollars for every photo you sell. Your photo must be accepted and that’s no easy task. Besides Foap, many companies do not accept photos taken from a phone’s camera.

You don’t need to be a professional photographer or own a $ 3,000 dollar camera to make money on selling photos. If you know how to appeal to brands and publishers you will make money.

For example, knowing that brands and publishers like photos with human subjects will help you capture photos that will sell.


How To Start Making Money Off Your Photos

After you’ve filled your Instagram account with high-quality photos you can now start marketing yourself out to the world.

Remember, there are literally thousands of other people selling stock photos so you have to stand-out without being too out of the box. Capturing high-quality stock photos isn’t easy, but once you know what sells you will have the potential to make over a thousand a month.

Licensing your Instagram Photos to be Sold as Stock Images

With the explosion of the internet and content-driven businesses became the demand for stocks photos. Stock photos are used by small and billion dollars businesses. The process to get started is pretty simple. Start by researching which microstock photo company you would like to partner with and set-up your account.

A microstock company sells low priced images with a royalty-free license which is great for someone just getting started the photo-taking business. 

Below I have listed the best 10 stock photo companies and how much they pay per photo. (Many of the companies listed have requirements and certain standards you must meet before becoming a contributor)

[supsystic-tables id=1]

Things To Know About Licensing Your Photo

  • Don’t just look at a company’s percentage payout. Always do your research about the companies pay plan because a lower percentage doesn’t always mean a lower payout. For example, would you rather have 33% of $300 (Getty Images)  or 50% of $10 (Foap)?
  • Make sure to look at the company’s policy because some companies offer a non-exclusive option, which means you can sell that same photo on other websites.

RELATED: Why College Is The Best Time To Start Your First Business


Key Takeaways

  • Licensing your photos to microstock companies is a great way to earn money by capturing photos on Instagram, 
  • Selling photos on microstock websites is a numbers game so building an extensive portfolio is a must if you want to make money,
  • Choosing the right niche is very important,
  • Your Instagram account should have some consistency, 
  • You can use your Iphone’s camera but you are limited.

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