How I Made Money with AI Generated Stock Images

Elevate your earnings with AI-generated images on stock photo sites. Learn strategies, platforms, and tips for a profitable side hustle!

Five months ago, I decided to explore a fun and potentially profitable side hustle by uploading AI-generated images to different stock photo websites. Amazingly, I made my first sale in just 20 days.

How I made AI Images

There are a number of AI Image Generators in the market today. I like to use 2-3 alternatively. One of my absolute favorites are Merlin AI and Midjourney. All you gotta do is give them a vivid description of what you want your images to look like, and voila. You’ll have it in mere minutes.

Now, let me share the earnings from the websites where I uploaded my AI images, but first, I want to point out a couple of things.

Not every stock photo platform accepts AI-generated images, and if they do, you need to label them as “AI Image" for transparency. Also, the review process for AI images takes longer, typically 1–3 months.

Also read Digital Marketing Got me 4 Sources of Income

I used four platforms for uploading my content: Adobe Stock, 123RF, Freepik, and Wirestock. Here's how it went:

  • It only allows me to upload 20 images for free, and I've earned $1 from the referral sales under my account.

  • 123RF, where I uploaded 214 AI images, resulted in 4 downloads of $0.86 in earnings. The review process was quick but sales weren't high.

  • On Freepik, I uploaded 94 images, resulting in 22 and €0.95 in earnings. Although the download rate per image wasn't high, there's a high demand for AI work on this platform.

  • At Adobe Stock, out of 95, 4 were downloaded, but I made $7. This platform has a longer review process of approximately 3 months.

Also read Here's How I Make Money on Amazon with ChatGPT

Also read 3 ChatGPT Prompts You Didn't Know You Needed


Selling photos on stock photo sites is directly related to the quantity of your portfolio. To increase earnings, I'll need to upload many more images, even with the help of AI generators. But since I see potential, I'll make an effort to upload more AI-generated images soon.


1. Why did you choose Merlin AI and Midjourney for AI image generation, and what specific features do you find advantageous in each platform?

There are specific features and functionalities that make each platform a preferred choice for creating vivid and diverse AI-generated images for a lot of people. I personally like the simplicity and feasibility of these apps.

2. What strategies do you plan to implement to increase your earnings from selling AI-generated images on stock photo sites?

The trick is to give it time. You need to give your art and images time to understand what your audience is resonating and relating with. Over a period of time, you will be able to easily tell what’s selling and what’s not to get better results and more proficiency.

Experience the full potential of ChatGPT with Merlin

Kalpna Thakur

Kalpna Thakur

Our marketing powerhouse, crafts innovative solutions for every growth challenge - all while keeping the fun in our team!

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