8 Little-Known Tips to Create Pictures That Sell Well

There are two, equally important parts to photography. The first is the creative aspect of taking gorgeous snapshots for your audience’s pleasure. The second is the business-minded aspect of turning your hobby into something profitable.

If you enjoy taking photos, then you should seriously think about turning your hobby into something that could actually help you earn money on the side. It's easy to take photography classes online and to upload your photos to a popular online marketplace like Creative Market and start earning some money.

Here are killer tips for photos that sell.

1) Remember You’re Selling Your Pictures in an Online Marketplace (Not an Art Gallery)

Consider who’s going to buy your pictures. This is entrepreneurs and creatives like:

  • Designers
  • Small-business owners
  • Writers
  • Bloggers

These are your customers. Put yourself in their shoes to determine what they want from your pictures. They don’t want art-gallery beauty to hang on their walls.

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Image From BusinessEtc

They want functional, practical images they can use to promote and sell their own products. This means pictures for:

  • Blog posts
  • Email newsletters
  • Website banners

2) How to Sell Your Photos by Picking Your Customers

When you upload your photos to an online marketplace, sell them in such a way to specifically target one of your potential customers. We’ve already outlined the use cases above for various customers.

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Image From The Atlantic

Envision a blogger who needs the perfect image for his blog posts. If you design the photo you upload to show it being used on a desktop as part of a blog entry, then that’ll reach the specific blogger who’s your core audience.

3) Research Your Competition’s Presentation

Your competitors will also be showing off their best shots on online marketplaces. The trouble is possible oversaturation of a certain kind of image, thus making it hard to successfully stand out and thereby sell that particular image.

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Image From Feel Grafix

For example, if you want to upload car photos to the marketplace, yet there are already many others who’ve done the same thing, it’s almost impossible for your shots to get noticed.

It’d be better to go with a less saturated image type or present the original image in a unique way to help it stand out.

4) Consider the Need for Text in the Images You Sell

Above, we talked about how the majority of those buying pictures online is designers and creatives. These entrepreneurs need to get their marketing message across, so they’ll appreciate room for copy in the photos you upload for sale.

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Image From Magazine Designing

Leaving room in your photos for text can be as simple as blurring the photo somewhat to create a background canvas for text or just leaving a lot of space up top for a headline.

5) Set the Scene for Your Customers’ Products

Remember that your pictures are powerful tools for your customers’ promotional efforts. Make it easy for customers to drop their own resources into your photos by taking pictures of people using certain devices…but with their screens blank.

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Image From Golf Destinations Online

For instance, pictures of people using tablets or desktops with blank screens can easily be turned into promotional materials when your customers drop their own branded screen shots into those empty areas of your photos.

6) Use a Very Distinct Vibe in Your Pictures

As far as tips for photos that sell go, come up with a unique theme or vibe in your pictures.

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Image From Design Shack

Create mockups that evocatively capture the essence of things like:

  • A vintage, bygone era
  • A modern office vibe
  • A coffee shop feel

Such mockup will help you sell your photos more easily as your design-minded customers will be happy to buy photos that let them show off their own creative work in memorable ways.

7) Find and Dominate Your Own Niche

A niche is something you repeatedly take pictures of and develop a positive reputation for doing. It can be anything from food photography to still-life photography. Better still, find a specific style or area of photography that no one’s doing or only a few are doing, and be better at it than anyone.

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Image From Creative Market

Then, flood the search of your chosen online marketplace with your photo products.

On Creative Market, when you search for “Halloween” in the “Holiday” category of Photos, you’ll see that Zigzag Mountain Art’s photos populate the first page of search results.

8) Use Specific Tags to Help Customers Find You

No matter what online marketplace you use to sell your images, your sales won’t be good if customers can’t find you. Marketplaces generally use indexed tags, descriptions and even titles to help users find your images.

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Image From Creative Market

So to really help your discoverability in a marketplace, use several tags for each picture, and be as specific as you can be to help your images pop to the top of search results! Use conceptual tags as opposed to tags that name items or locations in your picture.

With these tips for photos that sell, you’re on your way to making more money from your photography hobby. Leave us some comments, and tell us what strategies for selling photos online have worked for you!


About the Author: Marc is a copywriter who, fittingly enough, runs Marc Schenker Copywriter. An expert in business and marketing, he helps businesses of all sizes get the most bang for their ad bucks. Head on over to his website to hire him, and don’t forget to make his day by liking his Facebook page!