Article — 5 minute read

How To Make Money By Selling Videos On Stock Footage Market

Why not make money by doing something you like anyway?

Imagine this: you’ve got a great smart phone, camera, DSLR, good ideas and locations. All you need to do now is film everything, send it to the right website and the money starts flowing like a flash flood in Arizona. But before you quit your job earning with stock footage, here’s a friendly warning: selling stock footage is a marathon not a sprint. It takes discipline and persistence in order to build a wide ranging portfolio of clips.

Do you like to make videos with your phone or camera? Did you make a lot of videos already? Then you are most likely sitting on a gold mine of video clips that could net you a great passive income.

Your videos can sell for a great price. All you need to make sure is that the clips have a good visual quality, which means a clear picture without grain or choppiness. Another important point is that they have value to be bought, be it a child playing, flooding, racing, socializing, timelapse, animals, etc. There is virtually no limit what sells as long as it would be interesting enough for someone to buy it.

And the best part about stock footage market? You don’t have to be a big professional video producer to record video content!

Stock footage market is a large database of diverse videos used by influencers, television companies, agencies, businesses and video productions to save time and money. Who contributes these recordings? Anyone who wants to make money by selling their short video clips.

You are probably wondering “How much can I earn?” It all depends on the type and number of videos, the quality and the niche in which you will shoot. Earnings can be at $50 per month at the beginning. When you build a quality and comprehensive portfolio, you will see much larger numbers. For some, it will be from a few hundred to several thousand dollars a month, but the more enterprising contributors will be able to make a good living. But as with all things, making good money on stock market does not happen overnight, it takes effort and perseverance. However compared to a traditional job, stock footage will earn you money even when you are not working. It becomes a truly passive income that lasts for years.

Can anyone make money from stock footage?


The Internet requires more and more video content. More and more companies are using Stock Market for their videos. And in the age of great smartphones and accessible cameras, now is a great time to generate extra income by shooting what makes you happy and get into the stock market game.


To give you a closer look at what the stock market is all about and how you can make money by shooting simple short videos, be it with your phone, action camera, DSLR, or even a professional camera, we’ll explain where these videos are used. You have probably already seen a lot of stock market footage being used in videos on social networks. For example: motivational speech video where a whole bunch of different clips are being shown during speech. Most likely, those clips were purchased from the internet by the video maker.

The purpose of Stock Footage is to save time and money for video makers. Instead of filming a specific shot of say Machu Pichu, a travel agency from US can simply buy it from someone who has just made that shot thus saving them time and money.

Primer posnetka na Pond5


When you first start uploading your clips to web services, you won’t earn much. But whatever you make will still be a nice incentive to continue doing it. For starters, you can make your entire portfolio in your spare time and therefore make money. As you go about it more methodically, so will your earnings increase. But now you may be wondering if it’s not too late to start recording and selling your videos. it’s never too late! It’s still a great time to find an interesting niche, start recording, build your portfolio and make money doing what you love doing anyway.

Not to mention technology is on your side. You can start recording with your smartphone and invest in a gimbal that will stabilize your video as you move. Cameras and lenses are getting better and cheaper. While cameras used to require selling all your earthly possessions and sacrifice your firstborn to the devil, with cameras without lenses and accessories alone costing more than $25,000, today there is an extremely large range of cheap (but high-quality built) cameras starting at $1500. In order to have excellent recording equipment (at least for stock footage), you would have to spend between $3,000 and $6,000, which is still not too expensive if you feel like you will continue doing it for years.


For anyone who wants to make money! Here are three great reasons to start right now (if you haven’t already):


It doesn’t matter if you are a professional or an amateur and what gear you have. You can start by shooting on your smart phone! What’s important is to make quality recordings and make money with them.


If you have been using your camera for some time and have been shooting various shots, then you have money sitting in your computer’s hard drive. Why not make money with it by selling your unused clips to online stock footage websites?


Your clips will sell no matter where you are, even while you sleep. And do we not just love some sweet passive income?


What’s most important is that you find your niche. At start what matters most is that you shoot as often as you can. After you get a feel of shooting, you can start experimenting what footage makes you happy and then experiment what sells best inside your niche. Maybe you live in a beautiful place and have beautiful sunsets every evening or Aurora Borealis every night. Perhaps one of your friends is a rising Hollywood star and loves to be filmed. Maybe you work on a farm, or working with wood, etc. Even your profession can be a great niche from which to make good money. Record, upload and test what content works.

And we will reveal an additional hint of what sells best a bit later!

  • Basic technical knowledge. There are tons of tutorials and guides on Youtube about technical shooting skills, such as frame rate, aperture, ISO, recording angles, editing and color correction. It may sound complicated when you start, but in reality basic knowledge is not that difficult.
  • Think what your clip is about before shooting. Each clip should have a story or an interesting feature. Do not shoot randomly, but if you do make sure it makes some sense. Think about what your video expresses. For best results, shoot in slow motion to get more stock material from one shot. When recording, keep in mind that you need to make at least 5 seconds of footage and a maximum of 59 seconds. The average is between 10 and 20 seconds.
  • Good lighting. You’d be amazed what great lightning can do for you video. If you do not have the fancy expensive equipment (which is handy to have), you can use sunlight from your windows or buy a really cheap camera reflector with continuous light which will do wonders. By using light properly, you can set the mood of the video you’re making which will help with how your want the mood of it to feel.
  • Maximize Recording. Repeat the same recording from multiple angles to maximize the number of clips from one spot, thus saving you time.
  • Slow motion. Newer cameras practically all have slow or super slow motion recording mode. It is a great option to use in high speed environment such as sports or to easy your movement while shooting. Slow motion recording enables you get more clips from one shot, maximizing your shot count and earning potential.
  • Aerial drone shots. Drone shots are highly popular. More and more people have the ability to buy a drone and flying with them is very easy. All you need interesting places, inspirational landscapes and a drone in the air. But be careful and follow legislation which requires you to take a drone exam and comply with the law.
  • Persistence. Record and upload daily, every two days, or at least weekly. Don’t wait for your uploads to be approved. Record, upload and earn. Don’t worry if should a clip be rejected. It’s only important that you upload as many videos as possible.

BONUS TIP: If you have the ability to include people in your clips, do it. Clips that have people in them are by far the best selling ones. But be careful: when you film people, you also need to get a statement from them that they agree to being filmed. If you can’t get their form release and you filmed people in a public space, you can still sell the footage under “editorial” but we’ll get to that later on.


There are quite a few websites where you can sell your footage, but we mainly suggest Pond5 and BlackBox. You can join for free and upload your own footage. The difference between them is mainly in:

On Pond5, as an exclusive provider, you get higher sales percentage.

On BlackBox you upload your footage which is then sent to 4 websites, such as Pond5, Shutterstock, Vimeo Stock and Adobe Stock. Please note that if you are uploading to BlackBox, you should not upload the same footage to the 4 services that we just mentioned. Why use BlackBox? So you don’t have to upload the same clip to several stock footage sites.

Sample clip on Pond5

Primer posnetka na Pond5

Pros and cons:

Which service to go to is your choice. Plus, Pond5 is designed to give you more sales as an exclusive stock footage contributor. BlackBox saves you a lot of time by automatically sending your clips to 4 stock footage markets, but they will also take a small commission from you when a clip is sold.


When you submit a download, you send it to Blackbox in maximum inventory. If you are selling mail products that you have with your site, Blackbox has taken its job in paying you a nice monthly and paying through Paypal every month.

If you want to spread your portfolio, you need to upload your clips with all their metadata to each stock market provider separately (if you’re not an exclusive contributor). Blackbox saw an opportunity in this and created a platform on which you upload a clip, put in the metadata and release forms (if there are any) and they automatically distribute your clip to different stock services. That ultimately enabled users to save on time and increased the chances of a clip being sold. Once you do sell a clip, you get a simplified PayPal payment each month on the same date.





Pond5 review

We made an in depth review of what’s it like being on Pond5, if you’re on the fence which one to join.

BlackBox review

We also have an updated BlackBox review, if you’re on the fence which one to join.

Primer posnetka za Stock footage market


Of course you can! The more you shoot footage, the better it is. While you’re on vacation why not make the most of it and film it. You get to record your memories and at the same time make money. If you go to an interesting location film it. Something cool happens? Film it! Don’t we all want to get payed for going on vacation? That should be the ultimate goal of any person.


As we said before, you can start with a smartphone. If you want something more, there are plenty of very cheap and accessible cameras that will get the job done. But if you’re wondering in which resolution to record, you need to shoot in at least Full HD which is 1920×1080. It is encouraged to shoot in 4K simple because 4K clips can be sold either as Full HD or 4k and will last for a longer time, making you more money in the long run. Not to mention 4K clips sell for more money. Who doesn’t want more money, seriously!?


Every clip has to have a title that briefly describes what’s in the clip. This description serves as SEO (search engine optimization) when someone searches for a clip through outside searches, such as Google.

Next is Metadata. These are key words that form as a detailed word for word description of what is in your clip, what emotions they elicit, colors, people, everything. Metadata is used to provide people who search for clips an accurate search result. For this reason, you must put extra effort in your metadata so it purposefully describes your clip.

Last are Release Forms. When you film people, business or historic buildings, you need a written and singed form that gives you permission to have filmed it. If you don’t have the chance to get a release form, worry not. You can still sell the clip as Editorial but it’s price will also be lower and not usable for commercial purposes.


Start filming today so you’ll have a better tomorrow!