Print-on-demand & microstock can be a fun way for photographers to make extra money from their work. The more I do this type of work, the more I realize how similar their workflows are. If you do one, it's a good idea to do the other.
Why They Work Well Together
POD and microstock work well together because of the way you have to prepare your media to be uploaded to the web.
Both require title/description/tags. This time-consuming process only needs to be done once for it to be replicated across POD and microstock. This essential process provides the data that search engines use to index your work.
Tools & Automation
Both can use the power of automation to save you time and make you more money. Keeping your POD and print-on-demand tools open together allows you to copy and paste your title/description/tag data across both tools.
Common financial advice says to diversify your income and investments. Using both POD and stock photography puts you in a place where you are more protected from market fluctuations. You provide a service for people looking to buy physical AND digital merchandise.
Physical Products - Print On Demand
Digital Products - Microstock
Why You Should Sell POD & Microstock
it's easy to get started
POD marketplaces handle printing, customer service, order processing, shipping, returns, etc. All you do is provide the image files.
it's free to get started
If you already have the photography gear, it doesn't cost anything to join and upload your work to microstock or POD marketplaces.
anyone can do it
It's not particularly difficult. Stock photography and POD can be done at your own pace. You work as little or as much as you want.
The microstock photography industry was valued at 3.3 billion in 2020. It's expected to be worth 4.8 billion by 2028.
eyeballs on your POD work
The largest POD marketplace gets over 30 million views per month, possibly bringing many eyes to your photography.
eyeballs on your stock photography work
The largest microstock marketplace gets over 55 million views per month. There are always people looking to buy photo rights.
passive income for life
After you upload your photos to these marketplaces, you will receive passive income from them for life.
You are marketing yourself as an artist and getting paid at the same time. Every artist knows that marketing isn't easy. Microstock & POD gets your art seen by millions of people.
How Do I Get Started?
A good starting place is my Detailed Guide to Stock Photography. I'm also in the process of writing a detailed guide to print-on-demand work, and I look forward to posting that in the future. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions.