How to Make Money When Posting Your Images Online


How to Make Money When Posting Your Images Online

Selling photography and photography related products is key to a successful photography business. These days we have a wide range of options to promote, market, and get paid for our photography.

Social marketing is very important to that success of promoting your work and getting paid when images are consumed in one form or another. It is a widely known fact that images marketed in social media circles have been misappropriated by a few and used without permission. In fact, we might all know a professional photographer (besides ourselves) whose images have been used without permission.

While it is so important to keep marketing aggressively these days, using the social media apparatus is one of many methods, promoting protecting our photography is for many working pros, a big concern. Fortunately, new technologies are emerging that help you earn money from your photography that is posted online and protects your online images from unauthorized use.


The first product that may interest photographers is IMGembed. While there are several tools already available that allow you to watermark and embed metadata to keep an eye on your images, IMGembed has a slightly different approach. Photographers can upload images to the site and set permissions for FREE use or pay-per-use. This is pretty cool! While someone reading your blog might like your image and want to use it, they can often ‘lift’ the image without permission. But if your image is part of IMGembed and that same user clicks on your image they see that is is part of IMGembed and can decide whether their desired use is free (with credit) or paid. They can signup for an account and then use your image and pay only for the impressions generated. It should be noted that you receive no payment for the first 10,000 impressions, but you do when impressions exceeds 10,000.

imgembed-Now while this sounds cool and perfect way to get a little extra cash, there are Terms you need to review and make sure they fit your best interest. I am no lawyer and dont understand a few of their terms, so I wont act until I clarify those. You can read their Terms of Service before agreeing to use the service here. Most photo sharing sites have not had photographers financial well being in mind and it’s possible that is the case here, but it sure appears to me to be a site worthy or exploring further.

Permission Machine

A similar service has launched that offers much the same: licensing your online and social media images. Permission Machine looks to me more like a social media stock agency and I found their approach promising as well. Like IMGembed, you can license your photos in two ways: sharing and commercial. Sharing is for sites with under 5000 views and is exactly what it’s called: permission to share your photo with attribution. Commercial of course means you get paid.

There are no membership fees and the Sharing license is 10 Euros while the commercial license fees are 50 Euro (about $69 USD) for a Royalty Free license and that is close to what Microstock fees are these days. permission machineThe site also mentions that you can control pricing for some uses, but I did not see how you did that. One promising feature is the file sizes. Since I usually only upload screen resolution sized images to my blog and social sites, the license granted to clients does not require creators to supply high resolution files to clients. The Commercial license only promises the screen sized image and what this means if the client licenses an image for online use and then later wants to print a brochure for example, they would contact the creator for the high res file and of course, that use being a usage of higher value opens the door to negotiate for more revenue.

At the moment, Permission Machine’s service creates a JavaScript ‘buy now’ button that shows in all your posts indicating the images are copyrighted and must be licensed for use. There is no option yet for postings on Facebook, Google Plus, or Twitter. When I contacted PM they did tell me that they are developing additional features that might at some point allow embed code to be attached to the images themselves. That sounds great and I can only hope means if an image is clicked on any social site the license and buying options will appear. That sounds much better than a buy now button next to every image I post on this blog. If they create it, I am on-board for this service.

Both of these services offer promising new features for not only protecting our online images, but ideally creating additional revenue from them.

Have you monetized your shared online images?