If you are passionate about videos, surely you have considered dedicating yourself professionally more than once.
Imagine it for a moment.
Recording videos of the things you like the most, while you travel around different locations, enjoy life, and on top of that, you earn money with it!
It seems difficult to make it happen, but nowadays it is possible.
Video is the most widely used content format on the Internet, and it is still in full expansion.
In fact, according to data provided by the WordStream portal, marketers who use video increase their revenue 49% faster than those who do not.
This effectiveness of video as a marketing tool and its growing demand make your dream of selling your videos online more real than ever.
Now, I’m sure you have a lot of questions on your mind:
- What do I need to sell my videos online?
- What are the best platforms to do it?
- What advice can you give me to make it happen?
Don’t worry, because all these questions and more will be answered throughout the article.
But let’s start by answering one of the most important ones.
Can you make a living selling video content online?
The answer is yes.
As we mentioned previously, video is content in constant expansion.
The Internet increasingly requires more and more video content. And to prove it to you, we will share with you some statistics that will not leave you indifferent.
If you put these forecasts and the returns that video offers to companies together, you can understand that a lot of original footage will be needed in the coming years.
And you’ll agree with us that, if you create the unique and engaging content that companies need, you can make a pretty good living selling your videos online.
That said, let’s look at what it takes to sell stock footage on the Internet.
What you need to start selling videos on the Internet
Basic technical knowledge
We don’t know if you are an experienced video maker or a beginner, but one of the most important things, before you start, is to have some basic technical knowledge about video recording and editing.
If you don’t know how to shoot and edit well, it will be more difficult for end clients to buy your videos.
Ideally, you should have this knowledge before you start recording and editing, but if you don’t, don’t worry.
You won’t need to invest a lot of money in courses and training.
There are plenty of free tutorials and guides on YouTube on things like frame rates, shooting angles, and color correction.
And while it may seem a bit complicated at first, the truth is that it’s quick and easy to learn.
Camera & equipment
The camera is the cornerstone of the content creator.
That’s why you’ll need one that can shoot high-quality videos.
However, don’t worry if you don’t have a professional SLR camera from Sony, Canon, or Nikon.
Nowadays, almost everyone has a smartphone with a camera that records at a more than decent quality.
The important thing is that, whatever camera you use, it can record content in HD quality, which is the most demanded format along with 4K.
On the other hand, you may also need tripods, stands, batteries, hard drives, or even a drone.
All this will depend on the type of video you want to create, so think carefully before purchasing your accessories.
Once you have recorded and compiled your content, it’s time to edit it.
To do this you will need a program or application that allows you to edit the video.
The most common ones used by content creators are:
- Final Cut Pro (for Mac)
- Adobe Premiere Pro
- DaVinci Resolve
- Adobe After Efects
All of them are paid and offer a very professional response.
However, if your budget is tight at first, you can also use the following free video editors:
- iMovie (for Mac)
- Windows Movie Maker
- VideoPad Video Editor
Of course, you will also have to make sure that your computer, laptop, or tablet meets the requirements of the software you want to use.
Stock video platforms
With all of the above, we would already have the video recorded and edited.
Now we would need to sell it, and this is mainly done on stock video platforms.
We won’t spend too much time on this section because we will share with you the best sites to sell your stock videos below.
The best platforms to sell stock footage
Artgrid is one of the platforms that has grown the most in recent years in the stock video industry.
Despite its short life, Artgrid has become one of the industry benchmarks for both its end customers and video creators, something that shows its seriousness and professionalism.
WHY SELL VIDEOS ON ARTGRID?
First of all, being one of the newest platforms in the industry, they offer quite generous commissions.
On the other hand, it has a very simple and intuitive control panel, which allows you to upload your videos quickly and easily.
HOW MUCH DO YOU EARN AT ARTGRID?
Unfortunately, the platform does not answer this question.
What they ask of anyone who wants to participate as a video creator on this platform is a small portfolio of 4-6 videos.
Subsequently, if the video creator meets the level required by Artgrid, they contact him/her to provide the conditions of the collaboration, including price scales.
However, it must be said that the vast majority of video creators who have tried Artgrid tend to stay with them, among other things, because of the profits generated.
Envato Elements is one of the longest-running digital goods marketplaces on the Internet.
They have a monthly subscription system through which their users can download archival material such as:
- Stock music
- Video templates
- Sound effects
- Stock images
- WordPress Templates
- Stock videos
- And much more!
WHY SELL VIDEOS ON ENVATO ELEMENTS?
The main reason to sell stock videos on Envato Elements is the visibility you’ll have compared to other similar platforms.
Because tens of thousands of users pass through this ecosystem every month, something that other similar websites can’t boast.
HOW MUCH DO I EARN AT ENVATO ELEMENTS?
As a monthly subscription platform, earnings for content creators are based on the subscriber participation model.
With this model, the author’s earnings are directly related to the money collected from each subscriber at a rate of 50%.
In other words, 50% of each subscription goes to pay back the content creators from whom the subscriber has downloaded content.
For your understanding, let’s give you an example.
A subscriber pays approximately $29 per month and downloads articles on the platform worth 20 article points (each article on the platform has a certain article value).
Of that $29, Envato Elements allocates 50% to pay the content creators, i.e. $14.50.
Now, imagine that one of the articles downloaded by that subscriber is a video of yours, valued at 3 article points, i.e. 15% of those 20 article points downloaded by the subscriber.
In this case, the amount you would earn for that video would be as follows:
3/20 (article points) x $14.50 = $2.18 from this one subscriber in this month.
This brings up other assumptions:
- If the subscriber downloads many more videos with a total value of 100 article points, but only one of yours with a value of 3 article points, the profit would be $0.43 (3% of $14.50).
- If the subscriber only downloads videos from you, you would get 100% of the item points, so the profit would be $14.50.
- If the subscriber does not download any of your videos, you would not earn any profit.
Important! The applicable taxes should be deducted from any profit.
ENVATO ELEMENTS AUTHOR FEE
Envato Elements charges an author fee on sales that are generated.
This fee varies depending on whether your content is exclusive to Envato Elements or not.
For non-exclusive creators, the fee will be 55%, while for exclusive creators the fee will be between 12.5% – 37.5%.
And this percentage, in turn, also varies depending on the amounts generated by the total sales you have made on the platform, as you can see in the following image:
Although Envato Elements’ commissions may leave a somewhat reduced income at the beginning, if you are consistent in publishing quality content on its platform, the enormous visibility that you acquire on this portal compensates for these commissions in the long run.
Another platform that belongs to the giant Envato Market is PlaceIt.
Upon entering you will notice quite a few similarities with Envato Elements, since, as we say, it belongs to the same ecosystem.
However, the way they trade their content is different: they bet on individual digital asset sales instead of platform subscriptions.
Therefore, profits are calculated differently.
WHY SELL VIDEOS ON PLACEIT?
One of the reasons to sell on PlaceIt is that you can use your uploaded content on Envato Elements.
That is, if you’re already generating results with your videos on Envato Elements, they can be added to PlaceIt so you can sell them on this platform as well, further increasing your visibility and revenue.
By contrast, you can’t apply to sell on PlaceIt as an author directly, but must first become an author on Envato Elements, so that your videos can then be considered for individual sale on PlaceIt.
If Envato Elements chooses some of your videos for sale on PlaceIt, you will be notified by email.
And likewise, if you prefer your items not to appear on PlaceIt, you can fill out a form to be noticed.
HOW MUCH DO YOU EARN AT PLACEIT?
On PlaceIt, 20% of the net revenue from each purchase is usually given to the authors of the videos.
In other words, if you sell your video for $50, you would get $10 (to which taxes will have to be applied later).
Other platforms to sell your stock video
- Shutterstock. Another of the big marketplaces for digital goods is Envato. They have a video selling system like PlaceIt, whose prices usually range from $69 to $199. Commissions for creators are usually 30%.
- Pond5. They offer contributors the flexibility to price their content and earn an industry-leading commission on all sales. Contributors of exclusive videos receive a 60% revenue share. Non-exclusive video contributors receive a 40% revenue share.
- Adobe Stock. This is the service integrated into Adobe applications, which provides thousands of royalty-free files including stock videos. The percentage that the creator of the video usually takes is 35% of each sale, however, this amount varies depending on the customer’s subscription plan and the quality of the video.
- VideoHive. Another platform belonging to the Envato Market ecosystem. Its service is practically the same as PlaceIt’s. In fact, the earnings policy depends on whether you pre-sell your videos on Envato Elements and your earnings from your registration on the platform.
- iStock. Owned by the giant Getty Images, a global provider of royalty-free images and videos. Any video that is licensed on the platform and downloaded will receive financial compensation, which will be 20% for non-exclusive contributors and between 25% and 40% for exclusive contributors.
12 Tips for successfully selling your videos on the Internet
Now that you know several platforms where to sell your stock videos, we’re going to give you up to 12 tips on how you can succeed as a freelance video creator.
1. Use what you have already recorded
A good way to start selling your footage is to offer for sale what you already have recorded.
Surely, if you like to record videos, you have a lot of interesting pieces on your hard drive.
Uploading them to one or more of the above platforms will allow you to make the first contact with them, as well as internalize the process to carry it out on future occasions.
It will also allow you to test which of your recorded material sells and which does not.
In this way, customers will give you clues about what they like the most and you will be able to create similar pieces or pieces with the same theme.
2. Give importance to a good resolution
Just as you appreciate the quality of a video, so will your customers.
And we don’t just mean the technical quality of the shot, but the resolution.
Some time ago, the resolution supported by the screens of our computers, televisions, or smartphones was quite limited.
Today, however, almost all devices have HD, 4K or even 8K resolutions.
Therefore, if you record videos in these resolutions, you are more likely to sell.
3. Record what you like
If you are going to record videos professionally, one of the best tips we can give you is to record what you like.
Shooting videos solely and exclusively for money will end up demotivating you and you will most likely end up quitting.
On the other hand, shooting videos that you like or about subjects that you are passionate about will not only seem more fun, but you will be able to better express what you want to convey to your potential clients.
4. Find out what stock footage is for sale
As the previous point said, you must follow your tastes when recording, but you will also need to know what material sells.
Many content creators have spent hundreds of hours recording only what they liked without receiving a single sale, which is very frustrating.
To avoid this problem, it’s best to have a balance between what you like and what sells.
One of the best practices is to go into the stock platforms we have shown you above, and search for what you want to record.
For example, imagine you want to shoot a sunrise. If you enter the platforms and search for “sunrise” you will get all the videos they have available on this subject.
This way you will be able to know how those videos are filmed so you can get inspired and offer something better.
You will also be able to see the ones that have had the most sales, as well as the quality in which they have been recorded and a lot of information that will be of great help to you.
5. Plan a story
Shooting single videos without any connection between them may be fine, but creating several separate videos linked by a story is even better.
This will allow you to capture all the details and emotions of that story, covering the essential shots, such as the wide shot and close-ups.
When you treat each of your videos as a part of a narrative, you give your potential client much more creative freedom to use them in their productions.
In fact, stories are among the most requested content among users of Artgrid, one of the platforms we mentioned above.
So, before you start recording, imagine and plan a story about what you want to record.
6. Control the duration of the video
When the goal of our video is to be sold as a stock video, we must take into account its length.
If the videos are too long, it is possible that what you want to transmit will be lost.
On the other hand, if they are too short, they may not even convey what you are looking for.
In addition, many platforms with stock videos put limits on the length of their videos, precisely to avoid this type of problem.
Taking into account that the average length of videos is between 10 and 20 seconds, a good practice is that they should be no shorter than 5 seconds and no longer than a minute.
7. Maintain good lighting
Anything you shoot with insufficient lighting will be virtually unnoticeable.
To avoid this, you’ll need to be sure that what you’re recording has the light you need to help you get the mood you want.
The most sophisticated cameras have special lighting options, and even the latest smartphones have night mode or low-light video recording options.
However, depending on the type of video you want to shoot, you may want to have a professional camera reflector, or if you don’t have much of a budget, you may be able to use the sunlight coming through your windows.
Either option is fine as long as it provides the lighting your video needs.
8. Maximize recording and shooting
Professional video creators know that it is complicated to reflect in a single shot what you want to convey.
In addition, having only one shot limits the creativity of the piece to the maximum, as well as the possibilities of obtaining economic benefit from it.
In this regard, it is best to shoot the same footage from different angles, maximizing the number of clips recorded.
Another good practice is to add different camera movements for each shot.
This way, you get not only more videos that you may be able to sell, but also other perspectives that can be very interesting for the potential client.
So now you know: unleash your creativity and shoot a lot of different shots.
9. Tag your videos accurately
Stock video platforms work with tags and search engines.
Although it may seem a minor detail, if it is not done correctly, your video will lose a lot of visibility and as a consequence, you will not get sales or profits.
To avoid this, it is best to be very descriptive in the title of your video, adding the subject, the action being performed, the place, and the most important keywords.
On the other hand, add as many relevant tags as possible.
Put yourself in the customer’s mind, think about what they would look for to find your content, and add it to both the title and the tags. You will multiply your chances of success!
10. Obtain signed authorization forms
If there are no people in your videos, you may not need to have these forms signed.
However, if people appear in your videos and they are recognizable, you will need their consent for the video to be released.
This is expressed through a release form, which must be signed by all the people who appear in the footage (including any background people who may appear).
In Artgrid they make available a template, so you can download it for free.
It should be noted that some historical monuments also require authorization from the municipalities, as well as the payment of a fee for permission to film.
Therefore, before recording and uploading your video to the platforms with stock footage, make sure that all legal aspects are perfectly complied with.
Not only will you be doing the right thing, but you will also gain peace of mind.
11. Take taxes into account
When it comes to selling your stock videos on the Internet, no matter which platform you use, to get paid you will have to fill in your personal and fiscal data correctly.
In fact, it’s practically the first thing you should do before you even put your videos for sale on the platforms.
If you don’t, the law will most likely require each platform to tax your earnings at a higher rate than you would be entitled to, or to withhold part of your earnings for remittance to the relevant tax offices.
So, if you do not want part of your winnings to be withheld or you do not want to be taxed more than you should be, fill in the tax details as soon as you register on a platform.
12. Be persistent
It sounds cliché, but this is one of the keys to success, not only as a stock video creator but in any other area of life.
In persistence, you will find the key to professionally dedicate yourself to sell your videos.
And here the recommendation is clear: record and upload daily, every two days, or at least, every week.
Perhaps the platforms may take a while to approve your uploads, or even reject some videos.
Don’t worry, just keep uploading as many videos as possible, taking into account the resolution and technical quality.
The more videos you have uploaded to the platform, the more chances you will have to monetize them and the higher your profits will be.
Selling videos over the Internet is something that many people around the world already make a living from.
They are all aware of the high demand for stock videos on the web, and that this demand, far from decreasing, will increase in the coming years.
Now, selling stock video is more than just shooting any video and uploading it to a platform.
It requires several things you need to count on:
- Technical expertise
- Quality camera
- Accessories to make your work easier
- Video editing software
- Stock video platforms
Regarding the latter option, you already know the best ones (Artgrid, Envato Elements, and PlaceIt), as well as some alternatives.
And now you can also boast 12 tips that will help you on your way to success as a video maker. We’ve listed them all below:
- Use what you have already recorded
- Give importance to a good resolution
- Record what you like
- Find out what footage sells
- Plan a story
- Control the length of the video
- Maintain good lighting
- Maximize footage and shots
- Label your videos accurately
- Get signed release forms
- Be aware of taxes
- Be persistent
Of course, you must keep in mind that, like any other way to generate passive income, this form also requires time, learning, and patience.
The results do not usually come with the first video you upload to a platform.
But if you take into account everything we have seen throughout the article, it will be difficult for you not to make a profit selling your videos on the Internet.
Put it into practice now and start your career as a professional video creator.
FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions on how to sell video and footage on the Internet
This question has a very relative answer.
The amount of money you make from your videos depends on a lot of factors:
- The quality of your videos
- The number of videos you have for sale
- The demand of the niche they belong to
- The platform you upload them to
- The number of platforms you upload your videos to
- The number of users that are on those platforms
- The commissions that these platforms have
- And many more things!
We can’t give you an estimate, because there will be people who generate thousands of euros with their videos, and others who generate nothing.
Ultimately, despite all the above variables, it will depend on you how much money you end up receiving.
It’s hard to settle on one good niche, as there are several that work very well.
Currently, hyper-lapse, aerial shots, and lifestyle videos are tremendously popular.
However, not so long ago, the most popular videos were time-lapses.
This depends on many factors, such as fashion, supply, demand, how saturated the market is, and so on.
Also, the best niches tend to be temporary. By this, we mean that a niche may be booming for a few months, or a few years, but then it will cease to be in demand in favor of other new niches.
Therefore, we believe that the best niche is the one that you like and that has a minimum demand. If you record things you don’t like and you only do it for money, it is quite likely that you will get tired of it sooner or later.
There are a large number of cameras on the market, which is increasing every year.
But the cameras that are most commonly used to record stock video are:
- Canon EOS 800D
- Nikon D7500
- Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III
- Sony A6600
- Sony A7 III
- Nikon Z6
- Fujifilm X-T4
- Panasonic Lumix GH5S
As with cameras, there are a large number of smartphones on the market.
In addition, each year several models are released that further improve their predecessors, so it is difficult to make a list that is maintained over time.
However, the smartphones with the best camera today are the following:
- Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
- iPhone 12 Pro Max
- Oppo Find X3 Pro
- Google Pixel 5
- Xiaomi Mi 11
- Huawei Mate 40 Pro
- Sony Xperia 1