Did you know that if you just possess a drone and the basic skills of operating it, you are much more capable than any average guy in the market? You read that right!
Even a few years back drones were just some hobbyist things for the rich. Thanks to the ever-evolving technology, now you, I, and anyone else can utilize the lucrative opportunities that miraculous machine provides.
So, if you are obsessed with drones like I am, hop on this journey to learn some easy and proven ways to make money with a drone, either as a side hustle or a full-time profession!
Ways to Make Money With Your Drone
- Selling Stock Photos and Videos
- Aerial Photography and Videography
- Event Photography and Videography
- Surveying & Mapping
- Search and Rescue
- Precision Agriculture
- Drone Inspection Service
- Drone Pilot Jobs
- Drone Video Blogging
- Rent Drones
- Teach Others to Fly
#1 Selling Stock Photos and Videos
The easiest and most commonly practiced drone business is simply selling the photos and videos that you capture. Just combine your aesthetic sense and technical knowledge, take some well-composed images, and set them up for sale.
Many websites allow you to showcase your drone footage for sale, some options might be Getty Images, Drone stock, Shutterstock, etc. You may check these Best Websites To Sell Drone Stock Footage!
Of course, there are many competitors in the field, but if you assure some high-quality footage, there’s no stopping you from generating loads of cash. Try to shoot your videos in 4K, use a gimbal and bring variety to the footage you take, such as time lapses, and panoramic or long-exposure shots.
#2 Aerial Photography and Videography
Many industries and individuals are in search of aerial photographers and videographers, such as real estate companies, energy services, roofing companies, and others. If you keep an eye out for these job openings, you might just find one that suits you right from your local area.
You might also create a profile on freelancing websites to get aerial photography and videography projects. All you need is the eye of a photographer and a hand stable enough to shoot some amazing footage.
#3 Event Photography and Videography
Be it a small-scale event like a wedding, or a concert with a huge crowd, nowadays all the organizers ask for birds-eye views of the event. Drones have added a whole new dimension to event photography, and you can definitely grab this chance to make hundreds of bucks per project.
Either team up with some established event photographer or offer an independent service to your local event planners.
#4 Surveying & Mapping
A drone survey is crucial to many businesses, like construction, architecture, real estate, insurance, etc. Drones can easily provide 3D maps of otherwise hard-to-reach areas, and if you specialize in drone mapping, you are likely to never lack job opportunities. You also get to learn more about geography while you fly your toy!
However, aerial mapping requires more technical knowledge and safety prevention, and if you plan on taking this up, you better get trained by some professionals.
#5 Search and Rescue
If you care about serving yourself and humanity, search and rescue jobs are just for you.
Your drone skills can come in aid during disaster relief and rescue operations for both humans and animals. Search and rescue groups are always in need of drone pilots, but these positions are often voluntary and unpaid. Nevertheless, if you are skilled enough, you do have a chance to join one of the non-profit organizations as an instructor.
#6 Precision Agriculture
For drone pilots residing in or near rural areas, precision agriculture offers a vast area of drone business. It is a job where you monitor the farmlands through your drone camera to help the farmers determine the condition of their crops. It lets them detect any infestations and put fertilizers and pesticides where needed.
Precision agriculture is still a booming concept, but it has already been proven to be helpful for both food production and climate change. If you decide on pursuing this field, now is the time to start!
#7 Drone Inspection Service
Drones are used for inspecting structures that are too high or risky for humans to reach, such as a tower, power plants, etc. As drone inspection saves money and increases the efficiency of business corporations, they would be happy to hire you for their projects.
To land on a drone inspection job, cooperate with the local inspection services or get the certification of a property inspector yourself.
#8 Drone Pilot Jobs
Various companies hire drone pilots for delivering goods, inspecting assets, or even for assessing drones themselves. In many cases, the company will provide you with a drone and other accessories for the job. Your skills in flying a drone are all that will be needed.
As a drone pilot, you will be responsible for the proper flying and landing of the drone. The company may provide a specific route and flying plan that you will follow.
Drone shots are now inseparable parts of filmmaking, and if you can produce some breathtaking footage with your drone, you might as well start telling stories with it.
Sure, being a filmmaker wouldn’t instantly start bringing you cash. But if creating art is your hobby, then following this path will reward you in the long run. You also have the option to join other production companies as a drone cinematographer.
#10 Drone Video Blogging
Your drone footage could bring in millions of followers, turning you into a social media influencer. So, start posting exciting videos of you flying a drone, or the shots you take on TikTok, YouTube, and other social media. Even you may create your own website for your drone video posting! The number of your audiences may not grow overnight, but if your videos are compelling, you will soon get there.
Then you can start partnering up with sponsors and receive some tempting PR products in return!
#11 Rent Drones
Want to make some passive money? Renting your drones is the easiest drone business idea and you can earn money. The best thing about this business is that you won’t need to have any flying skills or work on any set schedules. The initial investment is also lower than the average business, owning one high-range drone would be enough to get started.
To start a drone rental service, familiarize yourself with the industry, conduct plenty of market research, and register your drone for the business.
#12 Teach Others to Fly
As drones become more and more affordable, many people are now opting for becoming drone pilots, either for a simple hobby or as a profession. If you have already mastered flying a drone, why not make some bucks by teaching others?
You can start by taking up a small group of students for private sessions. Or even better, create your own course and sell it on learning platforms like Udemy, Coursera, or your local platforms as such. Keep your course engaging and easy to follow, and you could generate millions of sales in no time!
Owning a drone opens many new doors of exploration and earning, as we have discussed above. However, flying a drone isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. It takes hours of patience, dedication, and hard work to be the master of flying drones, and that is what you should put your efforts into. Cash will follow.
One last tip, make sure to learn all the drone regulations of your locality and strictly adhere to those to avoid any conflicts with the law. Most regions ask for a commercial license before you can start earning with your drone, so do clear that up first. Other than these, flying drones can often cause property damage and injuries. Thus, be fully insured!
Finally, spend time with your drone, get to know it better and your hobby of flying drones will soon turn into a profitable business!