Skip to Content

Use That Drone You Bought to Make Some Cash

Use That Drone You Bought to Make Some Cash

I became aware of the commercial use of drones when I realized a full-time traveling family was getting free hotel stays in exchange for filming aerial video clips. Later, my husbands role in managing the budget for the local fire department made me realize drones are also being used for rescue missions and inspection jobs. The ever expanding list of ways to make money with a drone shouldn’t be ignored.

Being an early adopter of new technology is one of the most common ways to earn extra income. The best drones are in high demand and allow you to earn an hourly rate that will far exceed the initial investment.

If you’ve been considering buying your own drone but have been hesitating because they cost a lot of money, you’ve come to the right place. This guide will help you not just offset the cost of your new drone but turn that purchase into a much money as your time allows.

Skip to:

how to make money with a drone

Why Drones Are a Great Investment

The drone industry is rapidly expanding, and your interest in how to make money with a drone places you at the forefront of a lucrative trend. Aerial vehicles are no longer just for hobbyists. They’re becoming more popular in various business operations and business purposes. The services provided by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are in high demand across industries such as real estate, agriculture, and film production.

Drone technology has advanced significantly, making drones more accessible and user-friendly. This technology equips you with the tools to offer aerial photography, surveys, and inspections. These services cater to the growing demand for unique perspectives and detailed aerial data only drones can provide efficiently.

Investing in a drone can be a great way to tap into a market that’s only getting bigger. Your drone could be the key to a new stream of income for weddings, commercial construction projects, or mapping. With forecasts predicting a continuous rise in drone applications and their economic value, starting your own drone business today could mean substantial returns tomorrow.

Explore 41 Residual Income Ideas for Nomads for sustainable earnings that continue to flow in, even when you’re not actively working.

Getting Started by Knowing What You Need

To embark on the journey of how to make money with a drone, there are some essential steps to consider.

Choose the Right Drone

When selecting your drone, consider your specific needs and budget. Here’s a quick guide to get you started:

  • Entry-Level Drones – Like the DJI Mini 3, these are affordable and suitable for beginners.
  • Advanced Drones – These offer higher resolution, longer flight times, and more features but are worth the investment if you’re serious about becoming a commercial drone pilot.
how to make money with a drone

Obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate

You’ll need a Remote Pilot Certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Follow these steps:

  • Study for and pass the initial aeronautical knowledge test.
  • Apply for a Remote Pilot Certificate.
  • Pass a background check.

Understand Regulations

As drone operators, familiarize yourself with FAA regulations to ensure compliance. Key points include:

  • Register your drone with the FAA.
  • Always fly within visual line-of-sight.
  • Avoid restricted airspace.

Drone Pilot Essentials

To become successful drone pilots, consider the following:

  • Invest in extra batteries and accessories.
  • Practice flying to enhance your skills.
  • Understand basic maintenance and repairs.

Arming yourself with the right drone, a legitimate drone license, and a good grasp of FAA rules will set a solid foundation for your drone business. Remember, the unmanned aerial vehicle you choose today can be a stepping stone to expanding your drone empire.

Making Money with Drone Photography and Videography

Diversify Your Services

To leverage your drone for income, start by offering aerial photography and videography services. Your drone gives you an edge by providing a unique perspective that ground-based photographers can’t capture. Think of selling high-quality aerial footage to real estate agents who need compelling images to market properties. You can also use those images to sell on stock photo sites.

how to make money with a drone

Build Client Relationships

Network to find potential clients in various sectors. Event organizers, agricultural firms, and construction companies often seek out skilled drone photographer. Present a portfolio that showcases your best work. This visual proof can help secure contracts for weddings, inspections, and sports events.

Monetize Online Content

Creating a YouTube channel could be another avenue on how to make money with a drone. Share engaging drone footage and monetize through ad revenue and sponsorships. Moreover, uploading your content as stock photos to online platforms can yield a continuous source of passive income.

Offer Custom Packages

Lastly, tailor packages to clients’ needs. Offer bundled photography and videography services to capture both stills and motion in a single event. Unique perspective, coupled with your storytelling skills, could turn a hobby into a lucrative venture.

Drone Piloting in Specialized Industries

In the evolving world of technology, your skills in drone piloting open lucrative avenues in specialized industries. Here, we focus on how to make money with a drone in real estate and construction, as well as inspection and monitoring, sectors that increasingly rely on aerial capabilities.

how to make money with a drone

Real Estate and Construction

Real estate companies find drones invaluable for capturing attractive aerial photographs and videos, which enhance property listings and attract potential buyers. Construction Companies, on the other hand, use drone footage to monitor project progress, obtain permits, and conduct site surveys with heightened efficiency. Your drone piloting can offer a fresh perspective and significant value in the real estate industry, by providing a bird’s-eye view that ground-level photography simply cannot match.

Inspection and Monitoring

In various industries, drones provide critical services by conducting inspections with minimal risk and high efficiency. Applications range from roof inspections in residential areas to surveying power lines for utility companies, thus preventing potential hazards. Your drone piloting can contribute to safety and maintenance, particularly in the construction industry, where regular site inspections ensure compliance with safety standards and project specifications. Your expertise in navigating drones can help construction sites maintain rigorous oversight with ease and precision.

Innovative Uses of Drones for Income

Drones have revolutionized the way you can earn income. With their unique aerial perspective, drones provide services that were once costly or nearly impossible to achieve.

Aerial Photography and Videography

You can offer your services for events, emergency services, and commercial advertising. High-quality, 4K aerial shots add immense value in these sectors by showcasing properties and landscapes from dynamic angles.

Drone Deliveries

E-commerce giants are exploring drone deliveries, which means there’s potential for you to get involved in this cutting-edge service. Whether through direct employment or subcontracting, drone deliveries are poised to be a game-changer in logistics.

Drone Racing Entertainment

You can participate in drone racing competitions, which not only offer prize money but also the chance to be sponsored. As a skilled drone racer, you can attract a following and potential endorsements.

Emergency Services and Rescue Operations

Your drone can be essential in search and rescue operations, helping locate lost individuals in challenging terrain. You might partner with local authorities to provide these life-saving services.

Surveying and Inspection for Commercial Purposes

Commercial industries need drones for surveying landscapes and inspecting structures such as wind turbines or telecommunication towers. You provide a cost-effective solution for tasks that require detailed aerial surveys, like monitoring construction sites.

By finding your niche in these innovative areas, you can discover how to make money with a drone while offering valuable services that cater to modern demands.

how to make money with a drone

Marketing Your Drone Services

Effectively marketing your drone services is essential to turn your skills as a professional drone pilot into a profitable venture. You can leverage various online platforms to showcase your work and attract potential customers. Start by creating a compelling portfolio that highlights your best aerial photography and videography.

Build Your Online Presence

Ensure your social media accounts reflect your professional brand. Regularly post high-quality content and interact with your audience to boost engagement. Utilize platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn where visuals are key, and connect with local businesses that could benefit from drone services.

Optimize Your Website

  • SEO Practices – Incorporate keywords like “drone for hire” to drive traffic.
  • Showcase Your Work – Feature a gallery of your drone footage.
  • Clear Contact Information – Make it easy for clients to reach you.

Network with Industry Professionals

Attend trade shows, join drone pilot networks, and engage with other professionals. Word of mouth is powerful, and fellow pilots can provide referrals.

Offer Unique Services

Stand out by offering services that go beyond standard aerial shots. Think about adding 3D mapping, thermal imaging, or agricultural surveillance to your repertoire.

Remember, your success hinges not just on your ability to operate a drone but also on your skill in promoting your own business. Be friendly, be professional, and let your passion for flying drones show through your marketing efforts.

How to Grow Your Drone Business

Networking with Local Businesses

Your drone business can truly flourish by forging robust connections with local businesses. Whether it’s real estate agents needing property showcases or construction sites requiring progress reports, your drone skills can solve unique problems for these clients. This not only opens doors to recurring business but also builds your reputation locally.

Marketing Your Services

Don’t be shy to advertise your expertise. Use social media platforms to showcase your drone footage and highlight the breadth of services you offer. It’s a good idea to create a professional website where potential clients can see your portfolio and contact you.

Local Marketing

One of the most important part of offering such services is to attract the eyeballs of people within driving distance. Remote areas are often ignores but yet farms, industrial buildings, and local businesses in those areas still need drone services. Make sure you target keywords such as “drone services in Corvallis” “hire a drone in Albany” which are the types of search queries people in those areas might put into Google.

Diversify Your Offerings

Keep your services dynamic by staying abreast of the market needs. Offer specialized photography, mapping, surveys, or inspection services. By diversifying, you remain competitive and show your versatility in the lucrative business of drones.

how to make money with a drone

Invest in Skills and Technology

Continuous improvement is critical. Invest in training to refine your drone skills and keep up with the latest drone technology. Upgrading your equipment from a good camera to a great camera will impress your clients.

In recent years the demand for drone-related services has increased. With hard work and smart strategies, you can tap into this growing market. Remember, learning how to make money with a drone takes dedication, but with the right approach, it can become a profitable venture.

Tips for New Drone Entrepreneurs

Starting a drone business offers you various opportunities to earn income. Drones provide an aerial perspective that can be compelling for many industries. First, research drone courses or consider an online course. Becoming a certified pilot boosts credibility.

Best Ways to Enter the Market:

  • Real Estate Photography – Capture expansive outdoor scenes to help agents sell properties.
  • Surveying and Mapping – Offer services to construction and land development firms.

Broaden Your Skills

Taking a drone course can open up different ways to monetize your drone. You’ll learn not just to fly, but also how to capture and edit high-quality footage. Being well-trained is a profitable way to stand out.

Good News for Growth

Your drone business can become lucrative with effective marketing. Emphasize the unique perspective your drone services offer. Use social media to highlight your most impressive work.

When considering how to make money with a drone, remember to stay updated on the latest drone technology and regulations. This knowledge ensures your services remain competitive and compliant. Success comes with staying informed and adaptable in this rapidly evolving field.

Challenges and How to Overcome Them

When exploring how to make money with a drone, you’ll inevitably face certain challenges. 

1. Regulatory Compliance

It can be one of the first hurdles. You need to adhere to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules, which govern drone operations. To overcome this, make sure you’re certified through the FAA’s Part 107 process and stay up to date with any legal changes.

2. Insurance and Liability

These are also challenges worth noting. Flying drones professionally entails risk, which is why having drone insurance is essential. It protects against potential damage or accidents. Secure insurance specifically designed for drones to safeguard your business activities in different industries.

3. Skill Level

The skill level required shouldn’t be underestimated. If you’re servicing the real estate market or providing inspections, a high skill level is imperative for success. To address this, invest in training and practice regularly to enhance your expertise. Be mindful of the demands in various industries. Each might require specialized skills or equipment to thrive.

Overcoming Challenges:

  • Obtain FAA certification
  • Secure tailored drone insurance
  • Invest in continuous skill development

By confronting these challenges head-on, you’ll build a strong foundation for your drone business across different industries.

Turn Your Drone Hobby into a Profitable Venture

Embracing the world of drones opens up a spectrum of opportunities for you to generate income. If you’re keen on photography, aerial photos and drone videos can be your ticket to a profitable side hustle. Sites dedicated to stock photography, such as Shutterstock and iStock, allow you to showcase and sell your captivating drone photos.

Utilizing stock photo websites not only monetizes your content but also broadens your reach to potential clients worldwide. Your skill in capturing stunning aerial shots could meet the growing demand for high-quality imagery in various sectors. It’s an effective way of mastering how to make money with a drone.

Remember, the path to success involves continuous learning and networking. Engaging with drone pilot communities online can provide valuable insights and help you stay updated with market trends. Stay persistent, innovative, and your drone could be more than just a hobby, it could be your business ally.

FAQ: How to Make Money With a Drone


  • Veronica Hanson

    Veronica Hanson blogs from whatever country she happens to be in at the time, currently she's hanging out in Japan. She's been living as a nomad remote entrepreneur with her family since 2020.

    View all posts

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge