Selling Stock Photos to the Largest Market of All

Selling Stock Photos to the Largest Market

The largest market for stock photography is one that most photographers would not immediately think of.  The largest market for stock photography is the consumer.  Tapping into this huge market can be done with a simple three-step process.  You have to have images that the consumer wants and or needs, you need to make those images available to the consumer, and you have to promote the pictures.

Do the Research

The Internet is key to all of those steps.  Using a program like Wordtracker you can find out what searches people are making on the Internet that apply to the kind of pictures you make.  In my case I found that of the various stock photos that I create, the funny animal pictures are the ones consumers are most interested in.  Among the terms that Wordtracker indicated people searched for frequently:  Funny cat pictures, funny dog pictures and funny cow pictures.  Further research indicated there is also significant interest in imprinted merchandise like coffee mugs, T-shirts, baseball caps, mouse pads, barbecue aprons, tote bags and a whole lot more. 

Make Your Stock Pictures Available

Once you determine which of your pictures are important to the millions of people searching on the Internet, then it is a simple matter to find ways to make those pictures available to them.  Put your photos on your web site.  Keyword them well and make them easy to search.  Use thumbnails that can be seen quickly and efficiently and that can be clicked on to see larger images at least 500 pixels on the long dimension.  If a potential user of your work likes the image, make it easy for them to make a purchase or license the image.  In my case I provide links to the agency that handles the licensing, or to CafePress for imprinted gift merchandise, or to ImageKind for prints.

Optimize Your Site

The final step in the process is to promote your images and/or products.  Key to this is Search Engine Optimization.  There is a huge opportunity right now because so few people are doing a good job of optimizing their sites.  Optimization can require a lot of time, but there is no shortage of information on how to do it.    The trick is to actually do the work, and allow the time for it to take effect.  It takes six months to a year for Google to index your information and move you up in the rankings. 

Make Your Site a Quality Site

Find out what kinds of your images are in demand, get those images online on your own site and available in appropriate ways, and optimize your site.  If you make your site a quality one that helps people find the images they are looking for, you will inexorably rise in the search engines, your traffic will increase correspondingly, and, as they say, the money will come.