With the literal explosion of websites offering stock photos for sell it can be difficult to make money in this market. Of course this can be solved stock photos by approaching the problem armed with an effective strategy. In this case we will take a look at such a plan that can help you spend your time taking the most profitable photos for a specific stock photo website. If done properly this means you can spend more time taking the right kind of photos. This means you will make you more money in the long run. The rest of this article will discuss this important strategy of…

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Understanding The Stock Photo Sites You Will Put Your Photos On

There may be a number of you wondering what we mean by the word “stock photo website”. For the purposes of this article we are referring to a website that allows you to sell your digital photos. The key to making this work for you consistently is to have an understanding of who is actually in the market on the other side of the transaction for a specific stock photo website.

As a general note it should be observed that when it comes to these sites most of the buyers will not be professional photographers. This means in the absence of other information they will be looking to purchase photos that are bright, vibrant and have strong simple compositions.

Our goal will be to determine through market research who is using these sites the most and then use that information to allow us to make more precise planning for our photo projects and compositions.

Here Are The 4 Action Steps You Need to Implement

Step 1) Decide what stock photo sites you will be working with.
Step 2) Determine their ideal user.
Step 3) Prioritize this user’s wants and desires.
Step 4) When planning and taking pictures focus on the themes that this user would want.

Implementation Problems

Issue #1
Some of the biggest issues people have had in the past comes with Step 1).

Solution To #1
One of the ways you can get past this is to answer the following three questions:

Q1) What photo sites will you work with?

Q2) Who are they known to cater to?

Q3) Do you have the ability to take the needed type of picture?

Issue #2
Another big issue people have had with implementing this is trying to determine the ideal user’s demographics.

Solution To #2
One of the easiest ways to get the answer to this issue is to use to free websites that can provide you the needed information. The first site you can use is Google Insights. We can use this to get the regional preferences for people that would use stock photo sites. This can help us determine what they will and will not like in the type of photos they are looking for. For example, if we found that the people that would frequent the sites your pictures are going on are states that border the ocean then we can use that information to think they will favor ocean background perhaps over non ocean backgrounds. Of course you will have to use your lateral thinking abilities for this to get the best results.

How To Use Google Insights For This Purpose

  1. Google search and type in “stock photo sites”.
  2. Click on the link That says “Google Trends”.
  3. In the resulting search bar type in “Stock Photo Sites”.
  4. Under the section labeled “Regional interest” click the United States. (i.e. if you’re in the US or click the region you are interested in)
  5. Under the same section click the List button. This will return with a list of the top ten regions that have searched the search string you initially typed in.

So now you know where the searches have come from for these type of websites. You can use this to start refining your photo taking plan of action. The second site we will be using to get more demographic and psycho-graphic information is Quantcast. This site will tell us some specific information about the users of a website. Here you can expect to find out the following useful bits of knowledge

Quantcast Demographics

  1. Gender.
  2. Age Range.
  3. Kids/No Kids.
  4. Income.
  5. Education Level.
  6. Ethnicity.

How To Use Quantcast For This Purpose

  1. Go to
  2. In the resulting search bar on their site type in the site you want data on.
  3. Click on “Search” button.
  4. Record the demographic information that is returned.

If you know that the typical user of a site like this who is looking for pictures has kids then you have been given a clue. If you know that they are married and went to college then you have another clue. The idea is to use this information to come up with an ideal version of a customer for your photos. Then you will validate your best guesses by taking a look at the number of downloads that existing pictures in the genres you have come up with have been getting. The stock photo sites will also provide the upload date so then you can use this to determine a downloads per day number. This can also be used to gauge the general profitability of a type of photo since you know the retail price to purchase and that most sites will pay the photographer at least 15%.

In this article we looked at the concept of using simple market research to increase your chances at making money fro stock photo sites consistently. If you are able to follow the steps we outlined then you can expect a much more efficient use of your photography time. You will also be giving yourself a greater ability to make money on the stock photo sites. The strategy we have outlined will be most effective when you are able to gather key demographics about your prospective customers. Conversely, it will be of little to no help when you are not able to get the requisite customer demographics.

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