When you take photos, what do you do with all of them? Do you keep them on your hard drive never to be seen? What about if you’re a guitar player? What do you do with all those chord progressions you put together? If either of either of these two questions is “nothing”, then you might be missing out on a chance at passive income through licensing your royalty free music and stock photos.
Even if neither of these two things applies to you, please scroll down to the end of this post to enjoy some of my guitar-playing recordings!
What Is Royalty Free Music and Stock Photos:
You know when you hear a song on the radio or in a commercial? Usually the artist of that song is paid a “royalty” or a small, ongoing payment EACH TIME the song is used. In contrast, the terms royalty free music or stock music implies that instead of a reoccurring royalty payment the artist is paid a one-time licensing fee.
Photos work the same way. Usually the photographer is paid a small fee for each use or publication of the work. To go royalty free or make your photos available as stock photos means you would simply receive a one-time fee.
Why Would People Prefer Royalty Free Music or Stock Photos?
In the old days, if you wanted a photo or song for your product or commercial, your options would be to pay royalties to an already established artist for use of the photo or song (cumbersome and expensive), or to hire a free-lance artist for a custom photo or song (also cumbersome and expensive).
If you’re an advertiser, would you rather pay a one-time fee or an agonizing, ongoing series of royalty payments? Royalty free music and stock photos just make it quicker and easier for marketers and advertisers to get access to a large selection of options.
Where to Sell Your Royalty Free Music and Stock Photos:
If this sounds like something you’d like to do, then you have a lot of resources to use on the Internet. Probably one of the most popular sites for royalty free music and stock photos is iStockphoto.
What they do is act as a platform for artists to upload their work. The people who need royalty free music and stock photos can then download them for a small fee. iStockphoto keeps a percentage of the earnings and rest goes to the artist.
This is a win-win for everyone! You get paid for the creative works that would never otherwise be found. iStockphoto gets a commission for brokering the deal. And the consumer easily gets exactly what they were looking for. Anyone from a true advertising professional to a college student looking for a quick photo for their PowerPoint presentation is a potential candidate to purchase from this site (and you)!
Signing up for an account is free. You begin by auditioning some samples of your work to make sure you meet their standards! Once you’re been accepted, you submit your songs and photos for review and voila! They are up on display for the world to purchase.
But don’t be afraid – your art remains yours. The license is simply iStockphoto (and you) giving the consumer legal permission to use the work for a small fee. You will always remain the owner.
I’ve been a member for a few years now. All it took to get started was buying some inexpensive recording equipment and a decent starter guitar (click here to check out a few good ones to try). Although I don’t make an incredible amount of money using iStockphoto, I have made a small passive income from my small assortment of recordings. It doesn’t take long to notice that other members of the site are really using it to the full extent with enormous portfolios and hundreds of downloads logged into their history – meaning they are likely seeing a pretty decent return! If I was really ambitious, I could probably really rev up my musical selection and generate even more passive income from my craft.
Check It Out – Listen to Me Play the Guitar!
Okay, so you got me – perhaps I actually wrote this post to share with you some of my musical talent! As many of you know, I’ve been a guitarist for many years. Here is a short selection of songs that I’ve written, recorded, and am currently licensing on iStockPhoto. I hope you love them!
Photo Credit: MMD