Make Money with Instagram: How to Sell Your Instagram Photos for Extra Cash  

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Instagram is one of the hottest social media platforms across the globe, with more and more active users signing on each year. 

The visual aspect of the platform sets it apart from the many other text-based social media apps that exist. 

As such, Instagram has become a pioneer in visual storytelling for millions of influencers that use it. 

They show off their beautiful homes, fashion, travel spots, and more, and people follow them to keep seeing all of their newest photos. 

Whether you have 1,000 or 100,000 followers on Instagram, you can use your awesome photos to make money – and this is one income stream that talented photographers won’t want to miss out on. 

Can I Sell My Instagram Photos for Money? 

Yes, you can! 

Although, perhaps, not in the way you were thinking. 

People can’t just head to your Instagram account and start buying your photos, but they can buy them in other ways. 

And this guide explains how to do it. 

Whether you want to sell your Instagram pictures as stock photos for others to buy as they need them, or you want to make prints from your Instagram pictures to sell, we’ve included several possible ways to make money with your favorite Instagram photos. 

How to Sell Your Instagram Photos 

The following methods are ones you can use to sell your Instagram photos to your audience. 

And, you can even combine a few of them to give you multiple avenues for making money from your Instagram feed. 

Sell Photos Through Stock Photo Websites 

The first way to sell your Instagram photos is also probably the easiest way: stock photo sites. 

These are sites that sell stock photography from artists like you to people who want to buy photos to use in advertising, on websites and more. 

The beauty of selling your Instagram photos this way is that, in most cases, you can sell your pictures over and over again, granting buyers a license to use your pictures. 

You don’t have to just sell one exclusive photo that no one else can purchase and use, which means you’ll have multiple opportunities to keep earning revenue. 

Here are a few stock photo sites that let you sell Instagram pictures: 

Foap 

Foap is an app for iOS and Android devices that lets creators complete a profile, upload their photos, and start selling them. 

Anyone who wants to buy your pictures can do so, and you can sell each one repeatedly. 

When a picture sells, you’ll earn 50% of the sales price, while Foap takes the other half for being the middleman. 

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Foap also has other ways that you can earn, including direct contact with brands who want to use your photos and contests where you can submit a picture for a brand’s consideration based on the kind of stock photo they’re looking for. 

Direct sales to companies can potentially earn you the most money, but contests can also work well too. Of course, you’ll need to win one first! 

Check the app for new contests and challenges that you can enter daily with relevant Instagram pictures from your feed. 

Twenty20 

Twenty20 is another app that helps you sell pictures. 

It’s currently only available for Apple devices, but there’s a Google Play version in the works. 

As a photo seller on Twenty20, you can upload any pictures that you want to make money from, including those that you’ve added to Instagram. 

You’ll keep all the rights to the photos that you submit. 

People can order pictures from you directly, or you can submit photos for entering challenges. 

Challenges can pop up whenever an individual or brand needs new pictures. 

They’ll give you details about the kind of pictures they’re looking for, and you can respond with any photos that fit the bill. 

When you win a photo challenge, you’ll get to keep 100% of your earnings. 

The direct sales pay is a little different, though. 

You’ll get a commission based on what subscription plan the person who bought your photo signed up for. 

The actual compensation plan is a bit confusing, but you can earn more the more one person buys from you. 

For example, if one subscriber only buys 5 photos one month, but 3 of those photos are yours, your commission will be higher than if that person only bought 1 out of 5 photos from you. 

You can see some examples of the pricing structure here

You’ll need a PayPal account to get paid, and you can get your payment near the 15th of each month. 

Getty Images/iStock 

One question I see a lot about selling photos is about how to sell your photos on iStock or Getty Images. 

This seems to be a popular spot for stock photography, but it may be a little more selective and confusing to get started with. 

Unlike other sites, you’ll need to use the Getty Images app to sign up as a contributor. 

Then, upload some sample images, like those that you use on your Instagram feed, and the company will let you know if you’ve been accepted. 

You need to be at least 18 years old to apply. 

You’ll keep all copyrights to the photos you submit, but customers can pay for and download your photos to use for a variety of purposes. 

500px 

500px is another place to sell photos. 

You can sell them directly to others and get feedback on your work as soon as you start uploading them. 

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There are also contests to enter that can help you win prizes. 

Anything you sell directly will give you 60% royalties on the selling fees. 

Your photos that you upload do go through a reviewing process by 500px, so it’s possible that some may be rejected, and you’ll need to edit them before resubmitting. 

The reviews are based on originality, quality, and other factors. 

The plus side of this is that you know your photos are going into a pool of solid pieces of photography, which can reflect well on you and your work. 

Sell Photos Directly to Brands 

If you spot a brand on Instagram that you think might be interested in buying your Instagram photos for their use, you could always message them about it through Instagram or their website. 

Just be aware that most brands will want exclusive rights to your photos so that they can use them in advertising and other areas of their business. 

If that happens, you may need to remove the paid-for photos from Instagram to avoid any copyright issues. 

Require Payments for Reposts 

Instagrammers often ask others on the platform if it’s okay for them to repost one of their photos to their feeds. 

Many people allow this for free as long as the person asks and tags them in the photo because it can give the photographer more followers and Instagram traffic. 

However, you always have the right to ask for a small fee for doing this. 

Although some people will probably pass on the idea, that doesn’t mean that everyone will. 

Your photos are yours, so you are allowed to get paid for their use elsewhere if you want to. 

Link Your Bio to Your Prints 

You might decide to sell prints of your Instagram photos somewhere else, like on your website shop or Etsy. 

If that’s the case, then use your Instagram account to link to wherever it is that you sell your photos. 

You can always remind your followers in your post captions to click the link in your bio if they want to purchase the photos they love. 

Instagram only lets you have one link in your profile, though. 

If you want to link to more than one place, you can use a service like Campsite to help you link to more places. 

Campsite gives you an off platform linking spot which you can link to from your Instagram profile, keeping all links you want to share with your followers in one place. 

That means you can also link to individual photos if you’d like. 

Work with Brands on Sponsored Content 

Do you work with brands on sponsored content for your blog or Instagram account? 

If so, don’t pass up the opportunity to potentially make some money on the photos that you took for the campaign. 

Many sponsored opportunities require you to take at least one or two photos to add to your blog post, Facebook page, Instagram stories or feed, etc. 

These will be included in whatever fee you negotiated for the project. 

However, some brands are willing to pay extra for rights to your photos if they really love them and want to use them in their marketing. 

It’s common to see these rights sell for $300 or more, just for one photo! 

Before you work with a brand, you might want to check to see if buying the rights to your photos is a possibility if they really like them. 

If so, negotiate a fee for it before signing a contract. 

Make Prints from Your Instagram Photos to Sell 

You can actually turn your Instagram photos into real prints to sell or let others do it themselves! 

Places like SmugMug and Instaproofs let you do just that. 

Upload the photos you want to offer people, and they can browse through what you have and pick what they want to print. 

The services offer several different sizes and types of prints, and you’ll never need to hold inventory or worry about printing your pictures yourself to ship to your customers. 

Sell Other Products with Affiliate Links 

Are you good at taking pictures of products? 

If so, you could do that for Instagram to make money. 

Take beautifully styled photos of your favorite products. 

Then, link to those products for other people to buy them. 

Except, you won’t place a regular link; you’ll place an affiliate link so that you can earn commissions if someone buys the product from your post! 

You can put the links to your affiliate products in the linking service (like Campsite, which I mentioned before) page or add them to your photo captions, although linking them is much more convenient for your followers. 

Sell Your Photos on Products 

Rather than just letting people purchase your photos, you might decide to cater to more people by putting your best Instagram pictures on other products. 

Companies known as print on demand companies let you upload designs or pictures for other people to browse and place on the products they want. 

For example, Cafepress has t-shirts, mugs, bags, and a bunch of other products for people to buy. 

You won’t have to keep any inventory yourself; the company takes care of that, the printing, the shipping, and the payment collection for you. 

You’ll get a commission that depends on the final sale. 

There’s also ZazzleSpreadshirt, and Createspace, which are similar to Cafepress. 

Make Money with Your Instagram Account 

When you’re popular on Instagram, it could become easier than you thought to sell your photos to your followers and others who enjoy your pictures. 

The ideas above are just a few you can use to springboard your new side gig, potentially earning you a decent amount of money each month. 

The more you grow your Instagram account, the more you can stand to earn from your photos. 

Generally, accounts with more than 100,000 followers are the ones that get the highest-paying influencer opportunities. 

But it’s also important to remember that engagement can be more important than the number of followers. 

The better your engagement, the more people see your photos, and the more brands will want to work with you! 

Keep working on building that Instagram account, and you might find yourself with a solid income stream. 

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