Drones are one of the most exciting pieces of technology to become mainstream in the last few years. They’re fun to use and great for capturing photos and videos, but unfortunately, high-quality drones don’t come cheap. If you’re someone who owns and loves flying a drone, then you should be keen to make a little money back on your pricey toy investment.
We may be able to help you start making a little money flying drones and even start your own drone business. Some gigs can make you up to $200/hour and a drone business can be a very passive option as well. Below are the 10 most popular ways you can make money flying a drone.
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Another great way to make money with your drone is to rent it out to people who don’t have their own drone but want one.
As you will know if you’ve already purchased a drone, they’re not always cheap and that means that not everyone has access to one.
In particular, videographers and college students who only need a drone for one or two shots may pay you a fair few dollars to rent your drone for a limited period of time.
This is a particularly easy way to make money as once the drone is in the renter’s hands, you don’t really have to do much more than wait for them to bring it back.
You can list your drone for on sites like Fat Lama. Fat Lama is a peer-to-peer rental site which is the first off its kind to offer insurance for items that are rented through the platform. This is great for people with expensive drones as you don’t have to worry about your drone getting damaged or stolen.
Alternatively, you could list your drone on Craigslist in order to connect with customers in your local area.
The price you charge will depend on what type of drone you have, but high-quality drones usually cost around $250 to rent.
If you do choose to rent your drone privately, make sure to take a deposit from the renter to ensure it’s safe to return. It’s also a good idea to take out some sort of insurance that will cover the rental, especially if your drone is one of the more expensive models.
Ever watched those YouTube videos with the really awesome views of beautiful locations? Well, they were made with drone footage.
Despite drone footage being commonly used in high-quality videos, a lot of YouTubers and videographers don’t have the time to shoot their own drone footage, or they don’t have the money to invest in their own drones.
As a result, there is a huge market for selling stock footage of different location across the world.
All you need to do is find great locations to shoot using your drone and upload them to be purchased by aspiring videographers. Beach shots and videos of popular tourist locations are particularly popular with travel vloggers.
You can sell your self-recorded wares quickly and easily on sites like Shutterstock, AdobeStock, and iStock. Most of these sites specialize in stock images but they have recently begun broadening their output, as stock drone footage is becoming more popular.
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Much like you can with video footage, you can also sell stock images that you take using your drone. Without a drone, it can be really difficult for creators to get their hands on landscape and cityscape shots.
As a result, these type of stock images is really popular and really easy to take if you have your own drone. If you want your images to sell well, you could also consider editing them to improve the quality.
Using programs like Adobe Lightroom, you can improve the clarity and colors of your images so to make them more appealing to people looking for high-quality images to use in their blogs and other content.
There are many different sites offering stock image sites like GettyImages and Pexels which are always looking for more pictures to add to their portfolios. However, there are also a lot of photographers who sell their surplus photos so competition for sales can sometimes be high.
Despite this, it can still be a decent side hustle if you’re just looking to make a bit of extra cash.
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4. Start A Youtube Channel
If you’re interested in getting creative with your drone business, then creating a YouTube channel is a great way to showcase your footage. Vlogs and travel videos that make use of drone footage are extremely popular and can be really fun to make. YouTube is also a good money making option, as successful channels can be extremely lucrative if you commit enough time to growing your subscriber base.
There is also a market on YouTube for tutorial videos, so you could even make a channel in which you focus on teaching people how to use drones or reviewing different types of drones and explaining their uses.
This type of channel can be particularly lucrative, as you can use Amazon affiliate links to get a percentage of any purchases that are made as a result of your videos.
Not only this, but popular review channels also receive their fair share of freebies for reviewing, which means you could even end up getting to test and review the newest drones for free!
5. Work For a Travel Company or Vlogger
If you don’t have the time or inspiration to start and maintain your own YouTube channel, you could still make money flying your drone and filming footage for another YouTuber. All you would need to do is do a bit of research on YouTube to find channels that are operating in your local area.
You could also offer your services to vloggers and creators remotely, but it might be a bit harder to collaborate and deliver the specific shots that they require. When searching for potential creators to connect with, it’s best to look for new YouTubers that have a small fan base that they are looking to grow. This type of creator may be less likely to have their own drone and will probably have an interest in improving their videos with your help.
If you have some photography skills and you own a drone, you could make some extra money (or even a full-time income) as a wedding photographer.
As most weddings take place on the weekends, it’s also easy to offer this service alongside a regular working schedule.
Drone shots are becoming more and more popular at weddings, especially with couples that have spent a lot of money on a particularly glamorous location.
For people getting married at venues like castles, stately homes, and iconic churches, drone shots are essential for capturing the full beauty of their chosen venue.
Starting out as a wedding photographer might take a bit of work, but not all freelance photographers have access to a drone, which can give you the edge over your competition.
If you’re interested in using your drone to make money as a wedding photographer, but you need to improve your skills, you could also consider taking a photography course to help you learn more about taking great photos.
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7. Learn Drone Business Photography
If you’re not keen on snapping photos of happy couples at weddings, but you’d like to put your drone photography skills to the test, you could also consider offering promotional photography services for businesses in your local area. Businesses like hotels, event spaces, and real estate agents often need great drone shots to use for their promotions.
You could offer photos or video images or packages which include editing and video making skills. Prices for services like this can vary, but it may be best to price your services low to begin with whilst you build up a portfolio of work to show to new clients.
8. Teach Others to Fly Drones
If you’re new to drone flying or you’ve had one for a while then you probably know that learning to fly a drone can be a little difficult sometimes. However, if you’ve mastered the art of drone flying then you might be able to monetize your skills by teaching others to do the same.
Due to how much high-quality drones cost, some drone owners can be nervous about learning to fly their drone for fear of damaging it, which means there’s room in the market to make money selling drone lessons.
You could also consider teaching kids interested in drones how they work and how to fly them as not all parents are willing to buy their kids such an expensive gadget.
To advertise your services, you can list your lessons on craigslist or in local papers. Alternatively, you could create a website to share with potential customers or use Udemy as your own platform to teach others passively how to use or fly a drone.
Teaching online is a good overall drone business to get into, it doesn’t just stop at flying but building drones and maintenance as well.
9. Get Involved in Drone Deliveries
A lot of large delivery companies are currently looking into ways to use drones to complete deliveries and some are already trialing it. Getting involved in drone delivery isn’t all that easy, but it’s a potential option if you’re looking to make drone flying into a career.
The most well-known company that has already begun making deliveries via drone is Amazon. They run a delivery service called PrimeAir in countries across the world and are currently employing pilots and drone experts into their ranks.
Although this isn’t a way to make money using your own personal drone, it is still an interesting idea if you’re a drone enthusiast and your keen to turn your passion into a real job.
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10. Work For a Surveillance Company
Another possible career option for drone owners is surveillance. Lots of different surveillance companies are now turning to drones to make their business processes more efficient and affordable. Drones can be used for anything from site security to investigations of dangerous terrains.
Careers in drone surveillance are becoming more popular and skilled drone pilots can earn $50,000 a year or more depending on their role. Although it’s not exactly a side hustle, it’s worth considering if you love flying your drone and want to make some real money out of it.
Whilst there are only a few opportunities to use your drone as a way to make a consistent income, there are a lot of different ways to make a little extra cash from your drone excursions. Drone flying is also a great skill to have, as it’s likely that drones will have many more commercial uses in the years to come.
Well, that’s enough of me droning on, get out there, have fun and stay merry!
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