A Complete Guide on How to Make Money With Pexels

Founded in 2014, Pexels is a well-known site that provides individuals and organizations with videos and photos they can use for commercial or personal purposes. But are you aware that besides downloading images and videos from the platform, you can make money from the site? Continue reading to learn how to make money with Pexels. 

How to make money with Pexels

There are three different ways that you can earn money with Pexels. But we’ll explore the most direct and easy method in this post, and provide you an overview of how much you can make with Pexels. 

Becoming a Contributor

The first and most direct way to earn cash with Pexels is becoming a contributor. As a Pexels contributor, you’ll earn money through donations made by downloaders.

The video and image sharing platform has a system that prompts downloaders to appreciate photographers by making donations through PayPal. Here are the steps to follow to become a Pexels contributor:

  1. Visit the Pexels official website and click on the “Join” button.
  2. Next, click on the “I Want to Contribute” button to continue. 
  3. Register an account by providing the photo and video sharing a few of your personal information. You can simply register with Facebook, Apple, Google, or fill out the registration.

You can upload images and videos once you successfully create your Pexels contributor account. However, remember that your uploaded content will be reviewed and approved before it can be visible for users to download.

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How to upload photo on Pexels

Uploading content on Pexels is pretty simple. Below are the steps to share your creative materials on Pexels.

1. Login to Your Pexels Contributor Account

In order to contribute on Pexels.com, you must first login into your account. After signing into your Pexels account, the next step is to click the  “Upload” button on the top right-hand side of the website to get started with the upload process.

2. Select the Content 

Once you click the “Upload” button, you’ll be taken to the platform’s upload page where you’ll need to drag and drop the file you want to upload. Besides dragging and dropping the file, you can as well click on browse to find it from your device.

3. Add Title, Tags, and More 

Now that you have selected the file you want to upload, the next thing is to add tags and a title. It’s actually not mandatory to add these things, but they’re essential.

They help you standout and be discovered. Next, click the “Submit Content” button to submit your creatives for review. After submitting your content, you’ll need to wait for the Pexel team to review and approve it. 

Reasons Pexels may not show your content on the search

Pexels allows you to upload almost anything on the platform. However, there are a few things that could make the video and picture sharing not display your media property on the search. Below are the five many reasons, your content may not be approved. 

  • Copyright problem — You uploaded videos or photos that you didn’t create yourself or have the copyright to. 
  • Duplicate issues — You upload videos or photographs that you have already uploaded on the platform. 
  • Graphics — violence, nudity, or gore
  • Offensive media content

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How much can you earn with Pexels?

As mentioned earlier, Pexels contributors earn through downloaders donations. The amount that you’ll earn will depend on how much donations you receive.

Since donations are done out of love and appreciation, you can’t really say how much you can earn on Pexels. However, you’re sure to receive a good amount of donations so long as you are putting out great content. 

Other benefits of being a Pexels contributor

Besides making extra money, there are other benefits that come with being a Pexels contributor. However, one of the main benefits is exposure. Your creative works (videos and photos) can reach plenty of people across the globe.

This actually increases the chances of your work being featured on major publications. The good thing is that Pexels will show you the top brands where your work is featured.

Pexels alternatives

If you would like to use other video and picture sharing platforms instead of Pexels, read through this section of the post. In this section we’ll look at the 3 best Pexels alternatives. 

1. Flickr

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, and owned by SmugMug, Flickr is the biggest site for photographers to showcase their works to the global audience. Flickr is a good alternative to Pexels.

With Flickr, you can start making money from your creative works. If you’ve a Flickr account, you can licence your pictures via Getty Images. So, when users see the photos, they can pay to use them and you make cash. 

2. Unsplash

This is an industry top virtual platform that’s dedicated to proprietary stock photography. Unsplash is powered by a wonderful community that has gifted tons of their own images to inspire creativity across the globe. 

As a photographer, you can make money with Unsplash. All you have to do is to apply to be an Unsplash contributor. Once your application is reviewed and approved, you’ll have access to plenty of creative briefs and get paid for every image accepted into the Unsplash+ library.

3. Pixabay

Pixabay is a free stock photo and royalty-free media website. The platform is used for sharing illustrations, photos,  film footage, vector graphics, and music, completely under the custom Pixabay.com licence. The pixabay licence permits the free use of creative works from the platform with some restrictions. 

As a media creative, you can make money on Pixabay by becoming a volunteer. Pixabay has a donation button that’s hidden in the  form of a “coffee” button. Every time someone downloads your media property, they will be prompted to donate a cup of tea to you, the creator. 

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Final thoughts

Pexels is not only a great site for finding free stock videos and photographs, but it’s also an excellent platform to make extra income from. As a Pexel.com contributor, you can make money through people who download your content.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that being a Pexels contributor will not make you rich overnight. But it’ll add to your income stream. 


  • Uchenna Agwu

    Uchenna Agwu is a seasoned professional with six years of industry experience creating finance content. He's a skilled SEO copywriter and content manager who tailors his content to meet the needs of his target audience. Uchenna Agwu simplifies complex financial concepts to help readers make informed decisions about making money, budgeting, saving, and investing. His content combines expertise with a knack for SEO and analytics to deliver measurable results.

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