Imagine being able to fly your drone wherever you want, capturing beautiful footage of landscapes, buildings, or events.
It would be the perfect way to make extra money on the side or even as a profitable small business!
Keep reading to find out the ways we found to make money with a drone:
Before we get into our drone side hustles list and give you some pointers for starting a drone business, here are our top picks for the best side hustles to start with a drone:
13 Legit Ways To Make Money With A Drone
Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles that can capture amazing footage and photos that people love.
People use them for many hobbies, like bird photography, but there is potential to monetize your hobby!
You can offer your services as a drone operator for hire or start a business that uses drones for advertising or delivery work.
But that’s not all; the possibilities are endless!
Let’s take a look at these ideas and more to see how you can make money with a drone.
1. Sell Stock Photos
If you’re looking for a fun and profitable way to use your passion for photography, give drone photography a try!
With the rise of drone technology, aerial photography is increasingly popular, and there’s a growing demand for unique shots that ground photographers can’t match.
Drones give you the ability to capture stunning landscapes and views from above, making them perfect for sellable stock photos.
Whether you focus on general aerial shots or specialize in a specific niche like weddings, there are plenty of opportunities to make money with your drone camera.
Once you’ve built up a portfolio of impressive shots, sign up with stock photo sites and let them sell your work.
2. Take Feet Pics
If you’re looking for a weird way to make money with a drone, consider taking pictures of feet.
That’s right – feet! Feet pics are popular, and with the right angles and props, you could make easy money selling feet pics.
With a drone, you can capture aerial photos of feet from angles and heights that aren’t possible with a traditional camera.
There are a few different ways a drone photographer can make money with a drone and feet photography.
You can start your own business, offering your services as a drone pilot to clients who want aerial shots of their feet.
Or, you can sell your drone photos to stock image websites or businesses that need unique aerial images of feet, like Fun With Feet.
If you have a good eye for composition and are willing to do the work, there’s money to be made from drone foot photography.
3. YouTube Videos
YouTube is a great way to earn some extra cash, and with a drone, you can take your video production to the next level.
Your YouTube channel can make money with a drone by filming events, tutorials, or everyday life. Your vlog could be more detailed and better quality with the right drone work.
Flying drones allow you to get creative with your shots and give your viewers a bird’s eye look with aerial recordings of your surroundings.
How do you get started with YouTube? Take the Mastering YouTube course to find out how to monetize your channel, create engaging content, and make thousands of dollars every month.
4. Film Making
Drones are becoming increasingly popular with filmmakers, and for a good reason. They offer a unique perspective that can add production value to films.
As a drone operator, you could help a filmmaker save money on their production costs and get paid for doing something you love.
Or you can create your own short films and become a filmmaker yourself! Either way, you can create high-quality videos.
5. Property Photos For Real Estate Agents
Real estate agents always look for new and innovative ways to market their listings and get eh best and most inclusive images of the properties.
But sometimes, it’s hard to get that perfect shot, especially if the property is large or has some unique features.
That’s where drones come in to help real estate photography. With a drone, you can take pictures and videos from any angle and show off a property in all its glory.
Getting started with drone photography is easy, and you can charge a reasonable rate for your real estate photography services and make money with a drone.
Close-ups of essential features, wide shots of the property, and aerial shots are all great options. And remember to edit your photos before you deliver them to the client – first impressions matter!
6. Aerial Maps
You can make money by using your drone flying skills to capture aerial maps and aerial surveying.
Aerial maps are in high demand, and mapping drones provide the perfect platform for capturing them.
Businesses and individuals use aerial maps for various purposes, including planning construction projects, tracking land use, and studying the environment.
There’s a growing demand for aerial surveying and maps, so you’ll be able to find work quickly. And if you deliver high-quality maps, you could build a loyal client base in no time.
7. Business Ad Photos
If you have a drone and some basic photography skills, you can start offering your services as a drone operator to businesses in your area.
Aerial shots can be used for everything from real estate listings to product catalogs, and businesses are always looking for new and creative ways to showcase their products and services.
With a bird’s-eye view, you can capture unique and eye-catching shots that will stand out to potential customers.
And best of all, drone operators can do it without spending much money on expensive equipment.
8. Drone Delivery
With the rise of online shopping, there is a growing demand for fast and efficient delivery services.
And what could be faster than drone deliveries?
If you have a drone and some basic piloting skills, you could start your own drone delivery business in no time.
Of course, there are a few things you will need to consider before starting your drone delivery business. For example, you must ensure that you operate within the legal limits set by your city and state.
But once you have all that business stuff sorted, you could make money by making drone deliveries in no time!
9. Building Inspections
One of the most important aspects of any build is the inspection process. Checking for foundation cracks, shoddy quality, and loose nails is crucial to ensuring a structure is safe and sound.
However, traditional inspection methods can be time-consuming and dangerous, mainly when working on condemned or old buildings.
That’s where drone operators come in. Team up with a building inspector and offer your drone services.
Using a drone to conduct inspections, the building inspector can save time and money while still getting thorough aerial surveys at the property.
10. Take Wedding Photos/Videos
If you’ve ever been to a wedding, the photographer is always running around, trying to get the perfect shot. But what if there was a way to get even better photos without all the hassle?
Take photos and videos with a drone and capture aerial footage of the perfect moment from any angle high above the wedding ceremony and reception.
Think of all the weddings, parties, and other events where you could be the official aerial photographer.
We recently went to a wedding where the videographer used a drone to get an eagle-eye view of the lake, the wedding guests, and the beautiful cottages on the property.
It all adds to the wedding video, giving a feel for the whole Vermont experience, and I’m sure you could do a fantastic job doing the same!
11. Take Event/Party Photos
People always want to add a unique and special touch to their events and parties. One way to take a party to a new height is by capturing unforgettable moments with a drone.
And you can provide the photos with your drone!
You can get aerial shots of your client’s guests dancing the night away or photos of the entire group smiling and enjoying themselves.
Research what other drone photographers are charging for similar drone flight skills and services in your area.
A freelance drone pilot usually charges between $75 – $200 for aerial photography.
12. Resell Use Drones
Reselling used drones may be the perfect option if you’re looking for a fun and easy way to make extra money.
Thanks to the growing popularity of drone technology, there is a growing drone market for gently used drones.
To get started, find a reliable source of used drones. Once you have a steady supply of drones, you can begin listing them for sale online to other drone enthusiasts.
To maximize your profits, be sure to price your drones competitively. You can quickly turn your love of drones into a lucrative business venture with a little effort.
13. Rent Out Drones
Do you have a drone that you’re not using? Why not make some money by renting it out?
Thanks to the rise of the sharing economy, platforms now make it easy for drone pilots to connect with people looking to rent drones.
There are a few different ways to rent out drones. You can list your drone on a site like Droners.io. And because demand is high, you can charge premium prices for your rentals.
You can also start your own business renting out drones. This can be a great way to earn extra income, especially if you have a fleet of drones.
Advertise your drone rental on Facebook, Craigslist, or by word of mouth. You can also list your business on drone rental directories.
Try renting your drones out as disaster relief drones in search and rescue operations.
So if you’re looking for a way to earn extra cash, why not try drone rental? You might be surprised at how much money you can make.
5 Steps To Start Your Drone Business
Drone flying can be a fun hobby, but drone owners know it can also be a great way to make some extra cash.
If you’re thinking about starting your own business, here are five steps to help get you started and use your drone professionally!
1. Buy A Drone
The first step is to purchase a drone. But with so many drones on the market, it can take time to decide which one to choose.
Here are a few things to consider when making your decision:
- What is your budget? Drones can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand.
- What do you need the drone for? What kind of business are you starting?
- What are the regulations for drone pilots in your area? If you’re planning on flying drones commercially, you’ll need to make sure you’re familiar with the local laws and regulations.
Once you’ve researched this, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices and select the perfect drone for your new business.
Which drone to pick?
Once you’ve researched this, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices and select the perfect drone for your new business.
We’ve been looking at a drone, and the drone we like is the Holy Stone HS 720 Foldable GPS Drone.
It has many features that we think would be great for drone pilots to use. For example, it has a follow-me mode which is great for getting shots of people doing things.
It also has an obstacle avoidance system which is important for safety when you fly drones. And it’s foldable so it’s easy to transport.
Here’s a list of a few more features it has that drone pilots like:
- Less vibration- 5GHz FPV transmission and 90° adjustable lens will allow you to see the world from different angles
- It’ll automatically return to you when it has a low battery
- 2 intelligent batteries that work for 26 minutes each, giving you a total of 52 minutes of flight time
All these functions work together seamlessly so that even beginners can find it easy to control with features like one key start/stop, emergency stop, altitude hold, and electric fence.
2. Get Your Drone License
Before starting your new drone business, you’ll need to obtain a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) license.
Once you have your drone pilot license, you’ll be able to operate a drone for commercial purposes legally.
Getting your commercial drone license is relatively simple and requires that drone pilots are at least 16 years of age and pass a written exam.
The exam will test your knowledge of aviation rules and regulations. Then once you pass, you’ll need to register your drone with the FAA before operating it.
The registration process is quick and easy, and it will ensure that your drone is labeled correctly and identifiable- plus, it helps if someone steals and tries to sell it.
Once you have your license and registration, you’re ready to start your new drone business!
The FAA requires that all drone pilots maintain a current license and complete online training every 24 months.
3. Insure Your Drone (And Other Equipment)
You’ve finally done it. You’ve started your own drone pilot business. Congratulations!
But before you start flying high, there’s one more thing you need to take care of: drone insurance!
Just like any other business, your business is vulnerable to risks like theft, damage, and liability.
Insuring your drone and other equipment is the best way to protect yourself from financial losses in an accident.
Remember a few things when choosing an insurance policy for your own drone business.
- Make sure that the policy covers all of your equipment and you as a drone pilot
- Get enough coverage to replace your equipment if lost or stolen
- And finally, make sure you are comfortable with the deductible amount in case you have to file a claim
By taking these steps, you can ensure that your drone business is protected against any unforeseen risks.
4. Get Editing Software For Your Photos & Videos
Both programs are industry-leading editing software that will give your drone footage a professional look.
Plus, they’re easy to use, even if you’re not a video editing pro. If you need help deciding which program to choose, we recommend starting with VideoProc.
It has all the basic editing features you’ll need to get started. So what are you waiting for? Get started on your drone business today!
5. Get Your Business Started!
So you want to start a business? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Getting your new business off the ground (pun intended) can seem daunting, but we’re here to help.
First, you’ll need to choose a focus for your business. Will you be providing aerial photography services as a drone pilot? Offering drone racing courses? Or maybe you’ll be selling drones and drone accessories.
Once you’ve decided on your niche, it’s time to start marketing your business and find drone pilot jobs so you can make money with a drone.
Create a website and social media accounts, and make sure to include plenty of photos and videos of your drones in action.
You should also consider attending trade shows and other events to network with potential customers, partners, and other drone pilots.
And, of course, always operate your drones safely and responsibly to ensure your business has a good reputation.
You can make your drone business take flight with a little hard work and some creative thinking!
In this blog post, we discussed the basics of how to make money with a drone and gave you some helpful tips to help get you started.
Whether you want to provide photography or video services or use your drone to help with other businesses like agriculture or construction, plenty of opportunities are available to those willing to do the work.
So what are you waiting for? Start exploring the possibilities and see how you can turn your drone into an income-generating machine!