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How do ‘Image’ Sites Make Money?

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There are many websites out there that just have images and cartoons and pictures for articles, also many websites run the business of hosting images.Ever wondered how these sites earn money?Here are a few ways by which they make money.


Some of these Image sites such as 9Gag and 8Gag use Adsense as an advertiser, some of these sites may have to take special permissions from the Adsense team as their site does not contain much written content.Other advertisers similar to Adsense can also be used.Chitika, Adbrite, VideoAds and some other Image Ads seem to be very popular among these websites.

Adsense for Images, Pixazza.

Pixazza is unofficially called as Adsense for Images, this site provides ad codes so that you can show ads on images as a overlay, another similar service is Luminate Ads.

Selling Images

Many sites sell images on a royalty price, this is one of the most profitable ways to earn from an image site.Millions of people buy stock photos and rare photos from online image stores.People also have the option of renting the images, but with a water mark of the website that owns the pictures.

Charging for Hosting Images

Some websites ask for a small fee, so that you can upload tons of pictures onto their servers, this is also a good way to make money from image sites, but these kinds of sites are becoming rare as more and more sites are now offering free image hosting, like Photobucket.

Shared Revenue

Some sites also offer people a place to showcase their copy righted images, with the offer of revenue sharing.The website splits the profits from Advertising around the copy righted pictures, with the owners of the pictures.Adsense is a popular choice for this kind of revenue sharing system.


Many image websites are affiliates for Image Hosting websites, photography websites etc.They make a ton of money by referring their visitors to other websites and products.

So these are the different ways in which Image Sites make money online.

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3 comments… add one
  • DW

    This doesn’t seem to add up. These sites can contain many petabytes of information. That’s 1000 Terabytes – 60,000 blu-ray discs of information. If you look at cloud based hosting the price for storage is quite expensive (0.15/GB). If you get into purchasing and managing your own equipment (Co-Hosting) you manage to get your cost down to about $0.01/GB .. You’d still be spending tens of thousands each month. The only way these sites stay in business is by selling yearly membership to cover their monthly costs. As soon as the expodential growth slows .. the bubble bursts.

  • Thanks it was quite informative. Image ad networks add extra bit of money other than adsense, Thanks howdy for sharing this information with us. 🙂

  • Hi Gautham,

    Nice review about image sites and hosting. However, I wanted to know now that Amazon, Google and wordpress have started to provide image hosting free of charge ‘Photon’, is it possible to use these services for hosting proprietary images? Since, so I am confused if my images will be used without my permission?

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