8 Best Ways to Make Money with a Drone

Flying a drone and capturing stunning shots is super fun. You can see the world from above and explore places you couldn’t reach otherwise.

You are a passionate drone pilot who is tired of his boring office job – dreaming of flying around with your beloved drone and generating cash while having fun. You are wondering if it is possible to use your drone to earn money. What opportunities are there for you?

Owning a drone offers you a lot of opportunities. There are a lot of ways you can generate income with your drone through a side hustle or a business.

In this article, I will show you the 8 easiest and most effective methods to make a lot of money with your drone.

Can you make money flying a drone?

Yes, there are many ways you can make money with your drone. Of course, like with any other new business venture, it takes a lot of hard work and patience.

Why you should start a drone business

Building a drone business is quite easy. All you need are the necessary skills to operate the drone. You need decent equipment to get started, but of course you can start with less and upgrade later. You also need a license and insurance. That’s it. In comparison to many other business ventures, the startup costs here are pretty low and there is not much that can go wrong. If you own a drone or want to buy one, you should try one of these ways to make money with your drone.

Best ways to make money with your drone

1. Sell stock photos or videos

One of the hottest ways to make money with your drone is to sell high quality stock photos or videos.

You just need to find some cool places where you can take stunning aerial shots and then offer them for sale. The only thing you need is a drone that is capable of taking good pictures or videos.

There are probably hundreds of places near you. Fly around and take as many great photos as you can while you’re in the air. Then you should choose the best shots and edit them till perfection. After that, you can upload them to stock websites for sale.

You’re not limited to selling your photos on just one website. Create a profile on every reputable stock photo website and distribute your photos as widely as possible. After that, you will have an increased chance of generating big cash.

The best part is that if a photo is popular, you can sell it hundreds of times and make pure profit every time. You can earn money while sitting on the couch if you have a large number of photos and videos published on different websites. This kind of income is called passive income.

Here are a few stock websites where you can sell your drone footage:

How to sell more photos and videos:

  1. To sell more photos, of course, you need a capable drone that is able to produce clear, high-quality images. Nobody wants to buy blurry and low resolution images.
  2. You should learn photoshop, because with the proper editing skills, you’ll be able to turn your images into absolute perfection and ensure that they really stand out from the rest.
  3. As already mentioned, sell your images on as many websites as possible to get them in front of the eyes of as many potential customers as possible.
  4. If you want to sell more images in a short time, you should think about putting your images up for sale.
  5. The best way to get your pictures in front of as many people as possible is to take pictures of things that are popular and always in demand. For example, nature pictures or pictures of animals. These images are always in demand and this way you can reach a huge amount of potential buyers.
  6. You can build your own website and sell your photos there. Build a reputation in the drone photography industry and build a brand.

Selling drone pictures and videos on stock websites is my favorite way to make money with a drone. You don’t need much to get started and if you already own a drone, what are you waiting for?
It’s very easy to get started and if you stick with it for a long time and capture quality footage, you have a good chance of building an income online.

2. Become a professional real estate drone photographer

Real estate owners are always looking for ways to make their property look more appealing. You can help with your drone. Offer yourself as a drone photographer for real estate owners.

If you can help other people sell their homes by taking stunning aerial footage that will attract buyers, you will surely be able to make a lot of money.

With aerial shots you can provide potential buyers with a unique perspective of the property.

By focusing your drone photography services on real estate photography in particular, you will have an advantage over the competition. You can send more precise and targeted marketing messages and end up having an easier time finding clients.

How to get started as a professional real estate drone photographer:

  1. Get a drone license.
  2. Buy a drone that is capable of taking crisp, top-quality shots. You should also get some extra batteries, because even expensive drones can’t stay in the air for too long.
  3. Now you just need to find clients for your services. You can promote your services on social media, use paid advertising, or simply contact companies or people by mail who could benefit from your services.

3. Drone Inspection

You can use your drone to inspect things that are difficult to reach and get paid for it.

If you want to learn more about how to start a drone inspection business, click here.

4. Renting out your drone to others

Probably the easiest way to make money with your drone is to rent it out to other people who need a drone. Not everyone has the money to buy a quality drone and some of them would be willing to pay a little less money to rent one.

Drones are becoming more popular every year and more and more people are thinking about getting one. It is not easy to know which drone to buy if you have actually never experienced most of the available models. You can help people to make this decision and offer your drone for a test flight.

5. Affiliate Marketing

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is when you receive a commission for each person who buys a product through your link and your own marketing efforts. You first select a product to promote through an affiliate program, then you are given a one-of-a-kind link. You could, for instance, include this link in your posts on social media or beneath the videos you upload to YouTube. When someone makes a sale through your unique link, you get a commission of typically 5-30%, some programs offer even more.

There are plenty of different ways you can use your passion for drones to make money with affiliate marketing. Find an affiliate program from a drone company and help them promote their products. However, promoting drones isn’t the only thing you can do; you can also promote services or online courses that are related to drones.

You should first think about how you can generate traffic for your affiliate offers. With a drone you have many different options:

  • You can post frequently on social media, you could for example post amazing drone photos and then add a link to the drone you took these pictures with. If a user is impressed by your image, he might click on the link and buy the drone. You will get a commission every time. If you build up a following on social media, you can earn a lot of money.
  • Another enjoyable activity that many people are already doing is filming spectacular content with their drones and publishing it on video-sharing websites like YouTube. When you fly your drone at high speeds through stunning scenery, you can capture breathtaking images that offer a fresh point of view and achieve millions of views.
  • If you enjoy writing or are particularly good at writing, you can also start a blog and share your experience and knowledge about drones with other people. You could write reviews about drones and help people decide which model to buy by providing helpful information.

There are probably many more ways you can make money with your drone and affiliate marketing.

How to find good drone affiliate programs to join?

There are numerous drone affiliate programs. From companies selling drones and equipment, to drone related services or online courses. There are also many different resources on the internet to find affiliate programs.

With the information above about affiliate marketing, you can start producing content and generating affiliate revenue right away. Good luck with that brother.

6. Sell drone courses

You’ve probably noticed that online courses are very popular these days. There are now online courses for every imaginable thing.

You can use your existing knowledge and skills and share them with others – for money.

So, why not create online courses where you teach other people how to properly operate a drone or take better photographs. You could also create a course explaining how to make money with your drone. The opportunities are endless. Many people are willing to spend a lot of money to get this knowledge.

Since online courses are digital products, there is absolutely no limit to how many you can sell. You just need to be good at promoting your course online.

These days, even drones of a high quality can be purchased for a affordable price, which means that drones are becoming increasingly available to a wider range of people. As a result, there are likely many people who could benefit from the courses you offer.

You can also sell your online courses on various online platforms, for example Udemy.

7. Start a Youtube channel and monetize it

Starting a Youtube channel is a good idea. Upload your drone footage from stunning places and monetize your videos. Of course you can also do product reviews and talk about the latest models.

Think about what kind of drone videos you want to make and create your Youtube channel.

As already mentioned, you can monetize your Youtube channel with affiliate links in the video description. You can also apply for the Youtube partner program and get paid depending on how many views your videos get.

You can promote your drone videos on other social media platforms and make your channel grow faster.

8. Sell drones

Buy newly released drone models from a wholesaler and then sell them for a higher price.

You can start a small local store for drones and parts. An online store is also a simple option.

How much does it cost to start a drone business?

It all depends on the amount of equipment you want to start with and how professional you want your first drone to be. If you’re looking for a professional drone, you’ll have to shell out at least $1000 – at the very least. Then you’ll need additional equipment in case you run out of batteries or one of your propellers breaks. You can expect to spend anywhere from $2000 to $20000 depending on how professional your drone and your equipment needs to be.

The best drones to make money with

Here are my favorite drones (suitable for making money):

  1. DJI Mavic 3
  2. DJI Air2S
  3. DJI Mavic Mini 3 Pro

How to make money with a drone – easy steps!

1. Get a high quality drone

You can’t make money with a super cheap $100 drone, not a chance. Nobody buys pictures or videos that look like they were taken by a toaster. But, you can get good drones relatively inexpensively these days.

2. Get a license

In most countries you need a license to fly a drone commercially.

3. Learn photoshop

To make sure your drone photos really stand out from the crowd, you should learn a few Photoshop skills. You can use them to improve your images and bring them to perfection.

4. Pick a drone business idea

There are numerous ways to make money with a drone. Think about what you’d enjoy the most and just go for it.

5. Start your business and work hard

If you want to be successful, you always have to work hard.

6. Build a portfolio

Build a portfolio to show potential clients what you are capable of.

7. Upgrade your drone equipment

Once you have earned some money and gained your first customers, you can upgrade your equipment if necessary. With better equipment, you can achieve better results for your future customers.

8. Stay up to date on FAA regulations

Don’t forget to occasionally check the laws and regulations in your country regarding the use of drones.


I sincerely hope that this article was able to assist you in finding a method by which you can earn money with your drone. There is an unlimited supply of opportunities; therefore, just get started!