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Turn your photos into cash

Instagram & Flickr have already made you a popular photographer. So why not take it one step further and make money from your favorite hobby? Great idea, right! Lobster offers you the ideal opportunity to monetize your recreational picture taking. As digital media has continued to develop, the demand for stock photos has skyrocketed. The…

Instagram & Flickr have already made you a popular photographer. So why not take it one step further and make money from your favorite hobby? Great idea, right! Lobster offers you the ideal opportunity to monetize your recreational picture taking. As digital media has continued to develop, the demand for stock photos has skyrocketed. The opportunities for individual photographers today are endless. So, here are 5 points that can help grow your online popularity while also selling images.

1. Make your profile public

Although it may seem obvious, let’s first speak about profile options. Don’t forget that your account should be public, as it is the key to make photos available to be licensed through Lobster marketplace. Check your status on Instagram on the settings page. Under “Privacy” make sure the “Photos are Private” toggle is set to OFF. This will allow other users to follow you and view (and maybe buy) your photos without your authorization. On Flickr make both your profile and the photos which you want to share for sale public. You can do this as you upload photos on Flickr using the form or Uploadr. To make photos you’ve already uploaded public, use one of the two options: change the privacy level in the Owner settings section under the Privacy heading, or batch them in Organizr, then click “Permissions” and select “Who can see, comment, tag?”

2. Use popular hashtags and expand your audience

Hashtags will certainly help you attract many people to your photos. People are often looking for photographs of specific places or events, so describe your photos by hashtags as detailed as possible. Also check for the most trending tags of the moment so your photos will show up alongside others on the page for that tag. Tagging your photos gives them the best opportunity to be discovered and purchased. Even if a photo has already been published, you can add on some of the more popular hashtags in the comments (Instagram) or through Add tags functionality (Flickr). You will immediately start attracting new likes, follows and, ultimately, sales.

And don’t forget to expand your audience by connecting your profile to other social networks and use relevant hashtags to make it easier to find your account. The more social networks you connect to your account, the more you can promote your photos and boost your following and sales.

Whenever it comes across your mind that a certain photo can be sold, don’t forget to add #ilobsterit tag to instantly stream it into Lobster and make it visible to all the buyers out there. Do so, if you are at a popular event, that a famous blogger might be writing about right now. However, if you decide to sell any of your previous photos, just add #ilobsterit tag anytime to place them on the marketplace.

3. Geotag your photos

Geotagging is one more important action to make your photos popular. People are always interested in photos from familiar locations. They might see your pictures of places they visited or saw and follow them. While most importantly, this will make your photos potentially attractive for buyers. For example, a blogger or electronic media may need a picture of a specific place or event held at a specific location for a certain news article or blogpost. Geotagging will make it easier for them to locate and purchase your photo. Finally, by using geotags you can help create an extensive database of visual representations of different locations and create new opportunities to attract followers and buyers with affinities for those specific locations.

4. Keep an eye out for trending themes

To get a better idea of what content works well, you can use some tools. First, regularly check what tags places accompany photos that are most popular on Lobster. You’ll notice certain trends that you may follow to meet the demand on Lobster. Most of these images share similar attributes in terms of quality: bright colors, unique angles or an interesting use of contrast. Even a good sense of humor has value. Adopt these principles and watch out for the trends to make your own original and creative pictures which can became popular and sell widely.

5. Make commercially successful photos

Statistics indicate that the most popular Instagram photos are lifestyle oriented: cool cars, beautiful homes and other attributes of the so-called “good life.” This connects well with statistics from photo stock libraries. So popular Instagram images have the potential for commercial success, too. The biggest demand category for stock libraries are real-life scenes of people in their natural surroundings. Do note also that some customers still prefer studio shots of people isolated against white backgrounds. And don’t forget to make a signed release form from those who you unwittingly shoot as well as for private properties, except where the images are newsworthy and can be used as editorial material. For details and advise on getting releases, please read our Terms and Conditions carefully

Stock libraries also need conceptual images that show ideas such as wealth, fear, health, success, anxiety, heartache, joy or surprise. Many of the best-selling images at the libraries show people at work. Images that illustrate vacations, leisure and luxury concepts also continue to be big sellers. As are favorite food shots, so your foodstagrams are also in scope! These need to be well-styled and appetizing. Selling photos is also affected by seasonality. The Christmas and New Year holiday season is practically a category of its own.

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