7 Ways to Make Money on Flickr (+ Bonus Tips)

flickr.gifI love Flickr. It’s not perfect. In fact, I have a long wish list when it comes to this service – including better protection for photographers and artists. But, in spite of its shortcomings, I’ve been a loyal customer since 2004 – long before it was acquired by Yahoo (and paying for a Pro account every year since ’06).

And, while there are no direct ways to make money online with Flickr, there are ways you can use the site to help you in your business/career. Here are some ideas:

Day 125 - Project 365 - 4th May 08 : NEW BOOKS

1) Take a photo of a product and put a link to your affiliate link via notes function. To see a sample of this idea in action, click on the photo of books on the right hand side. You will then be taken to the image’s Flickr page. Once you’re there, put your cursor over the books and you’ll see notes with affiliate links to Amazon.

2) Make your picture available as stock photo and put a link to your sales or downloads page. If you use a service like Tradebit, for example, you can mention in your photo description that a higher resolution/non-watermarked version of your photo is available for download.

3) If you sell on eBay, Etsy, or your own shop, you can take a photo of your product and put a link to your store front. Many Flickr crafters tend to use this approach. Flickr then helps to introduce your products to people. One example is artist and designer Elsie Flannagan: when she has a new piece available for sale, she uploads an image like this and mentions that it’s available as a print or original in her Etsy shop. Another example is Mahar Dry Goods, run by Robert Mahar who tend to upload new product photos on Flickr, and his profile reflects the fact that he is the owner of craft gift shop for kids (with a link to shop front).

4) Build your portfolio and market your service/business. Even if you don’t have products to sell, but you have a service to offer, you can use Flickr as one of your online portfolios. This especially useful for artists, photographers, illustrators and designers. Many folks have claimed to have gained new clients based on their Flickr account. One such person is author/illustrator Debbie Ohi. You can see that her profile reflects the nature of her work and that she accepts commissions.

5) When you use a photo on your blog that you uploaded on Flickr, add a link to your blog post or portfolio site. If your blog runs ads, product sales and/or affiliates, then you might get new customers too.

6) Sell them as prints. You can either use a third party service for creating high quality prints, or you can do the printing yourself if you have the equipment and knowledge to do so. Mention that your photos are available as prints in the description and/or your profile.

7) Create products off your photography. Flickr, for example, has a partnership with Qoop, where various products like mugs, keychains and photobooks may be created based on your Flickr photos. You can create them there and resell those products. Another option is making your own image-based products available on Cafepress. Again, you can mention the availability of these products in the description and/or your profile.

Some Bonus Tips:

1. Make sure you upload a good quality image. Otherwise, it will not encourage people to buy your products or use your services.

2. Adding good titles and descriptions are always helpful.

3. Don’t forget to add tags! Tagging helps to get your images to show in relevant searches.

4. Never ever oversell. Flickr users will know if you’re just using the service to peddle your products/services. Don’t plaster “for sale” signs.

5. Join groups and participate in them. Send some of your good images to these groups (within the group rules). Communities help!

6. Add friends and leave comments. Being an active participant is a good thing.

7. Promote your Flickr photos on your blog, your email signature, and anywhere else you can think of.

8. There are 2 versions of Flickr – a Free and Pro version. With the Free one, you have limited number of uploads in a month, plus a few other restrictions. But, it’s still worth using. The Pro version has unlimited uploads and a few other perks – like getting your photos organised in several sets and collections.

So, do you use Flickr at all? And, do you have any other money-generating ideas with the use of Flickr?

Image credit: Shai Coggins


  1. really good tips on flickr, I have used the pro version for a while but have tried to figure out a good way to make the images I load into sales for my photography. Thanks, Scott

  2. Thank you very much sir. This is really an useful post. I blogged it. Please read it here:

  3. Note: Flickr do not like people promoting their external money-making photo-galleries within flickr. Recently I was asked to remove all wording that said (and linked to) “Check out my Redbubble Gallery to see better/full version of this image”. I suspect they would have the same attitude to many other similar sites.

  4. Thats a very useful information.
    But I was looking for getting good traffic.

  5. Appreciate the blog and information. It’s good to know what other people are using flickr for.

  6. Wow! I didn’t know there’s so much you can do with Flickr. Specially about earning money. This is really good stuff. Thanks for the great info!

  7. Well i didn’t look at flicker an a route to advertise and draw some prospect but i will of to give it a try. Thanh for the INfo

  8. Very good tips. I have my own pictures hosted on my own site. For someone doing what I am doing, does Flickr have any point?

  9. “Don’t use Flickr for commercial purposes.
    Flickr is for personal use only. If we find you selling products, services, or yourself through your photostream, we will terminate your account. Any other commercial use of Flickr, Flickr technologies (including APIs, FlickrMail, etc), or Flickr accounts must be approved by Flickr. For more information on leveraging Flickr APIs, please see our Services page. If you have other open questions about commercial usage of Flickr, please feel free to contact us.”
    Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/guidelines/ on 01/16/2010

  10. Some great tips here, well worth investing the money in the pro account as it gives you a much wider scope to other groups and multiple sets. I have been publishing my photos on my website and on facebook also to get further circulation, would also like to offer an online shop so people could eventually purchase my shots.

  11. You mentioned at the start of the article that you had a long wish list for flickr improvements. Just out of interest what may be on this wish list? Thank you.



  12. great ideas – also create accounts on deviantart.com and sell prints and swag there. I’ve heard of a few artists that have been contacted by image buyers directly thru their DA profiles.

    My digital infrared photography course has had many inquiries from people who saw the examples on DA.

  13. nice sharing, flickr sources, i like it…great job. especially for 2 option really it works…

  14. good sharing, love point number three and i use it to upload my product photos :)

  15. Yo, I got stock photos of my abdominal muscles and sold them for lots of money.

  16. It is in breach of Flickr’s terms of service to use their site for “commercial activity”

  17. can i use Flickr
    adsense domain.

  18. Thanks for Sharing those kind of tips…it will help to boost up photographers and photo lovers efforts…good stuff…good work…

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