A Guide to Selling Videos Online
Photo by CineDirektor FILMS

A Guide to Selling Videos Online

Published on October 6, 2021

Almost all of us know what video marketing is, but have you ever thought about making passive income simply by selling stock videos online?

Videos have become an effective way to connect with people, build a satisfying, trustful and stronger relationship between you and your target audience. It has been estimated that recently videos have been shared 1200% more on social media compared to images and text posts altogether.  Each year mobile video consumption is increasing by 100%.

Stock footage is another great resource for uploading your videos and monetizing them. You might have heard about selling videos online on stock footage. All you need is to shoot video content on your phone or on a professional  DSLR camera that can be sold. The important factors of considering whether your video content can be sold is to examine the visual quality (whether there is grain or choppiness) and the subject value. Any interesting and relatable clip can be sold. Video clips of ceremonies, family meals, pets, open-air markets, and with people and children are great.

Photo by Dragan Bozic

What is Stock Footage

Stock footage is a pre-filmed stock video that can be purchased and used in different projects without breaking copyright rules. Stock videos are most likely licensed and save filmmakers a lot of time and money of shooting their own original video content. 

The most common stock video types are animal clips, videos of families and friends, nature or sport videos, food videos or slow-motion ones… there is no limit here. 

Influencers, marketing agencies, and businesses are always looking for authentic video content to use in different campaigns. You might have seen these video montages during the superbowl and on other nationally televised programs. The needs and desires of these businesses are infinite, so don’t get stuck wondering if your clip can be sold, just shoot your surroundings and get to uploading. You can upload and sell stock footage on various websites including Wirestock. Wirestock is one of the fewest services that allows the submission of both photos and stock videos without any flat fees. The company is basically an intermediary between you and suggested marketplaces for selling your video files on your behalf. With the help of Wirestock, you get the chance to upload your stock videos and see them represented in significant marketplaces, such as Shutterstock or Pond5.


Ways to Use Videos to Generate Passive Income

When you have that huge desire to build a passive income  based on stock videos you have to figure out the right type of videos for you, come to the determination on which items are best for you to offer your target audience videos that will likely be purchased. It’s not as easy as you think, if you imagine taking a short video of what you have had for breakfast and selling stock videos online then that’s not how this works. Think about selling a product, useful information, about the target audience. Ask yourself. “What am I good at?” “What videos can I make?”, “Do I have the right equipment for my own small business?” “What would make me buy my own stock footage?”.

Here are some ideas on how you can use your stock footage to generate money.


Use stock footage as B-roll

B-roll is a secondary footage that is used in films, news broadcasts and tv shows. It is usually for tying or intercutting different parts of shots together. You can

  • Take the videos of animals in the farm
  • Shot the scene of trees when the wind plays with its branches and leaves
  • Children happily jogging in the field
  • Time-lapse of a flower to show the passage of time between days or months
  • Sunset
  • A beautiful woman with mesmerizing eyes

The rest is up to your imagination. 


Stock Video Backgrounds

Think about selling stock videos for news broadcasts. There can be many scenarios here. Think about European Union flags waving in front of the European Commission in Belgium. That can be a perfect background for the channel announcing some news on this topic. What if you like to travel and have the opportunity to make videos of panoramas of the cities you have been to. There can always be a filmmaker that will want to use your video in one of his films. Don’t miss the opportunity just because you don’t believe in luck. 

Photo by  Michael Turner

What type of footage sells the best? Commercial and Editorial stock footage.

Editorial stock footage is created for news outlines, broadcasters, maybe for some bloggers. The word “editorial” itself speaks about educating an audience or documenting a newsworthy story. It usually involves no staging and rehearsals. There can be documented scenes such as a protest march, the footage might be rough but it does not have to be perfect as you will be documenting the event. Editorial footage can also illustrate or demonstrate some concept. If a videographer can caption market data, graph on the stock exchange trading screen or crash concept background that would be a perfect fit as a background for financial news broadcasting. 

Commercial stock footage is used for advertising a particular product or service. You will find this kind of footage in ads, marketing videos or in TV commercials.
Both editorial and commercial footage must meet certain standards. Any commercial footage requires permission from every recognizable person captured in the video, permission for every recognizable private property, artwork or graffiti from the owner to commercially use the content. There can’t be any visible trademarks,logos, intellectual property infringements, restricted events in the videos.

Unlike commercial videos editorial ones can contain logos or trademarks, however many people and business owners have specific restrictions and you have to take them into consideration.

Now let’s come back to the question: “What type of footage sells the best?” This question does ot have a certain answer. Your videos will most probably be sold if you do a quality job. 

Photo by Miguel Angel Junquera

How do you make stock footage?

If you have a camera or a phone that takes high quality videos, then gig in the process of making videos and after searching for the perfect platform to sell stock footage online. Keep in mind: quality matters. If your footage does not hit the certain grade, don’t give up, it will take some time to hone your skills and become a pro in stock videography. Here are some tips on how to make your perfect stock footage.

  • Keep your resolution to at least an HD. For all dummies out there, this means nothing lower than 1920X1080.
  • Natural light is all you need. Especially in the case of editorial footage, the natural light is more realistic.
  • Learn how to use your camera’s settings such as aperture, frame rate or ISO for your own advantage. Automatic mode is not always the greatest solution.
  • Concentrate on your niche. Doing multiple types of videos can not always give quality. Make your life easy and focus on quality. If you have a drone and are fond of scenes, shoot aerial sweeps, big cities, skylines or if you are numb to fear, dive in for the shot of whales. 

Photo by Michael Turner


What quality should my stock footage have?

When it comes to selling stock videos the higher the quality the better are the chances to be noticed. 

  • As we have mentioned before you have to keep your resolution at least to HD. It would be more perfect if you switch to 4K quality. 
  • Colors and subjects are also very important. They are the essential key of selling stock footage. The preferable color space is REC 709. 
  • Make sure your video is smooth and your hand was not shaking while taking the shot. 
  • The duration has to be between 5 to 60 seconds, the size can not exceed 4GB.
  • Stock footage must be in the following file formats: QuickTime, .MP4, .mov. There are special tools that can convert your files into one of these formats.
  • Footage must not contain any audio unless it is enhanced to the clip or considered an editorial content.
  • Videos recorded on mobile devices have to be in HD format and don’t forget that your front-facing cameras have a much lower resolution than the back camera. 


Where should I sell my stock footage


Wirestock is another viable option - a platform that does all the keywording/captions for you and distributes your content to major brands, marketing agencies and stock content marketplaces such as Pond5, Adobe, Depositphotos and Shutterstock. You can easily track your sales from various channels from your single dashboard. Wirestock acts as an intermediary, selling images on your behalf, and you keep 100% of your copyrights.Wirestock is also a perfect marketplace for those who shoot photos on budget with their mobile devices.



Shutterstock is one of the largest content marketplaces in the world. Because of this, their interface is extremely easy-to-use. Their royalty varies from 15-40% for each clip sold. Shutterstock’s payment structure changed recently and has been controversial amongst its Users. Payment is now based on levels depending on the amount of content you have previously sold. Shutterstock is connected to the highest number of buyers due to its subscription service, so it is a better option if you have a lot of video footage to submit.


Vimeo & Youtube

You can also monetize your content on Vimeo and Youtube. Video monetization on video streaming platforms works through a paid advertisements and subscription basis. For additional customization and branding, explore the YouTube intro generator, which can help you create appealing introductions for your videos, contributing to a more polished and professional content presentation.

This is a decent option as well, if you are making a series of engaging longer videos, rather than short clips.

Photo by Skye Studios

How much can you earn by selling your videos?

Of course you are wondering “How much can I earn from selling stock images?” It all depends on the type, quality, niche of your video. Earnings can start from 50 USD per month and then rise up to 5000 and more. 

Making good money on stock won’t happen overnight, it takes effort, consistency, patience and perseverance. But unlike other jobs selling stock footage can truly become passive income and unlike other traditional jobs, it will earn you money even if you are not working. Sometimes it takes a while to see money flowing into your account. But, you can rest assured that if you are disciplined, and continue uploading, you will receive a new source of passive income.