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How to make money from a Flickr photostream

Updated on June 17, 2010

Flickr isn't supposed to be a place to make money; officially commercial use of the Internet's biggest photo sharing site isn't allowed. However, this has never stopped buyers approaching the creators of some images they've noticed, and of course once Yahoo took control of Flickr it was always on the cards things were going to change. Then the involvement of Getty Images and their Call for Artists really put Flickr on the stock photography map, and the cat amongst the proverbial pigeons. Getty's offering isn't for everyone but there are other ways to make money from the photos you upload to Flickr.

Here are three things you can do to earn money from your Flickr photostream.

Turn your photostream into your own stock photo store.

Clustershot is a stock photography service that provides photographers with a free route to photo buyers and a very cheap upgrade to have your own branded stock photo site if you wish. One of the cool things clustershot offers is an automatic import of your Flickr photostream. This effectively means you can instantly make all your Flickr photos available for sale! Unfortunately only Royalty Free licenseing is possible; so you need to be careful what you offer. This little niggle aside Clustershot does offer a virtually effort free way of monetizing images you already have on Flickr. Read more on Clustershot here.

Who doesn't love a little passive residual income?
Who doesn't love a little passive residual income?

Earn passive residual income from your Flickr uploads.

Redgage operates in a similar way by synching with your photostream using the Flickr API, meaning everything you upload to Flickr will be automatically added to your Redgage content. On Redgage your images aren't for sale but the site monetizes all content through a revenue share model so popular photos can be earning with no effort. The beauty of this is your images need only be web resolution and  are getting extra exposure. Who doesn't love a little passive rsidual income? The Redgage editors pick content to be awarded bonuses which can quicly boost your balance. Payout is at only $25.

Redgage isn't only limited to photography either, you can add articles, links, blog posts etc and get rewarded for all. Read more on the potential of Redgage to monetize your content here.

Promote your images and yourself on Flickr.

Last but not least if you're serious about your photography and would like to earn from it then being on Flickr should be a promotional tool first and foremost. Flickr is increasingly being used as a resource by photo reseachers searching for new talent and fresh images. It is essential your account is optomised to help any potential buyers find you and your images. This means making sure you make full use of Flickr's tools to help relevant seaches land on your images. Ensure your images have all appropriate tags (keywords) applied and you're making full use of the set tools to bundle similar images together. Find relevant groups to your content and get your images into these for exposure. Finally, make sure you make full use of your Flickr profile page to promote yourself within the limits of Flickr's rules.

For an example of how to use Flickr to promote your work you could do worse than check out photos8 on Flickr, who created the image at the top of this hub. Sam is using the technique of only posting web resolution sized shots on Flickr with links to his own domain where free higher resolution files are available. By doing this he creates a high traffic website, and we know how valuable that can be!


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