How To Make Money With A Drone – 17 Awesome Ways

My husband absolutely loves his drone, he takes it on most of our holidays to take great aerial pictures or videos of the places we stay.

It was while on our last holiday that he asked me if the drone could be used for making money, which of course peaked my interest, so as soon as we got back I began to look into it.

It turns out that there are quite a few options out there, but we are only going to be dealing with what I think is the the top ten ways on how to make money with a drone.

how to make money with a drone

Now in this blog we are not going to get into the rules and regulations regarding the flying of drones, but needless to say you do need to make sure you comply with whatever rules your country has, this includes having the necessary insurance.

We will however go over some fundamentals at the end of this post, but for now let’s dive in to the good stuff..

These are not in any particular order so don’t think that means one is better than the other, one may stand out for you and your circumstances better than others.

how Sharon makes over $5,000/mo from her laptop

Aerial Photos and Video

This is a personal favourite of ours simply because we have actually got some orders for a few of these since we told a few people what we were going to be doing with the drone and they would love an aerial photo of the area they live.

We use a GoPro on our DJI Phantom and that is perfectly adequate for the task at hand. We find you don’t have to go too high to get a great shot or footage of the property or landmark so you can actually keep the drone in full sight.

Here’s a shot of the cottage where we stayed

drone footage

A YouTube Channel

People love to see either pictures or video of places they’ve been and having these on a platform like YouTube where you’d have the chance to monetize via their Partner Program while building up your very own legion of followers is a great option especially when you’re just starting out.

You will need to reach a certain number of subs and watch hours you can start showing ads, but once you have that many subscribers you can let your imagination run wild and the limit to how much you can earn will only be limited by your creativity.

Sports and Events

Sporting events can be a great option for using drone photography or video simply because the organisers don’t generally have the budget for what would normally be needed so that is where the drone comes in.

Any event like football/soccer are perfect for using a drone as is any type of festival especially the smaller village type ones.

Our village has an annual music festival which always has a great turnout and the people there would love a video or photo memento of the occasion.

We live on the coast and sailing is a big thing in these parts. There’s always races going on and being able to cover them and then sell the footage to the competitors themselves especially the winner will be a big hit.

Obviously it’s up to the organisers to let everyone know that a drone will be operating and any purchases can be made either through you or the organisers themselves whichever deal you manage to negotiate.

Real Estate Advertising

Real estate agents are always looking for ways to promote property in the best possible light and make it easier for any potential client to get a good look at it without the need to travel, then if they like what they see then book a viewing to see it in the flesh so to speak.

Doing it this way allows prospective buyers to not only see the whole of the property but the surrounding area as well.

Questions like is it a well kept neighbourhood, are the roads maintained to a good standard can be answered in a way that hasn’t been available before.

The only option to do this type of advertising before drones became widely available was to hire a helicopter and I’m sure the budget for hiring one of those makes it totally financially unviable.

One of the most important parts of a house is the roof, unfortunately you never really know what it looks like, are there tiles missing? Are all the ridge tile in place? Is it clean or full of moss?

These are the type of questions that are no longer an issue with drone advertising.

real estate

Hotels and resorts are another source of income for the drone pilot to capitalise on because there is no way to capture what a drone captures from the air without paying what would be out of the reach of many resorts. This means it’s easier for the resort to put together a comprehensive and professional sales package for a fraction of the cost.

Drone advertising

Moving on from advertising property drones are becoming increasingly popular to carry banners advertising anything from the local pizza place to the local university or indeed advertising pizza to the actual students at the University.

This works great because people are always curious when there’s a drone flying around and when it’s got a banner attached advertising a local business, that business is going to get a lot of eyes on their name which hopefully leads to more sales.


Now if you’re pretty good with a drone and let’s face it you should be, then you can take advantage of the fact that drones can get to places that getting to the conventional way would either be impossible, downright dangerous or just too expensive.

Industrial chimney stacks and roofs for example would be an ideal candidate for drone inspection.

A drone can survey the area first rather than using traditional methods of scaffolding etc. to determine if there is any need for further investigation thus saving what could be thousands of dollars.

Using a drone for the initial inspection will also eliminate the downtime required for erecting the scaffolding which can be a potential loss of income for the company.


Windfarm/Solar Panel Inspection

Although this one could have been placed with the above one i felt that this is worthy of it’s own section. Bear in mind it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, you’re going to be on the water with some of the farms so if you get sea sick you might want to stick to land based wind-farms.

Like the section above, using a drone eliminates the risk factor of injury. For the turbines normally a person has to abseil down each blade from the central hub to inspect them. So not only are you getting rid of the risk, but you can also speed up the whole process. A rope team can only do around 3 large blades a day compared to the 9 a drone could do.

The same goes for the solar panel farms which can be vast, a drone can cover the area much quicker and more efficiently than other methods.

solar panel farm

Of course you would have to invest in thermal imaging equipment in order to make sure all the panels are operating at full potential, or if you didn’t want to invest in that then you simply survey the site for any obvious signs of damage.

HQ Stock Video Footage

Footage of flying past landmarks, over stunning landscape can all add money to your piggy bank. You can sell these to sites like Dronestock, although the money isn’t fantastic it will add up especially if you have a lot of footage.

HQ drone stock footage

If you didn’t want to sell to stock sites you could always sell them yourself (more on that a bit later) look at what a 50 sec clip goes for on these sites

how Sharon makes over $5,000/mo from her laptop

Private Investigation/Surveillance

Using a drone as part of Private Investigation is becoming increasingly popular, but not all P.I’s have a drone let alone know how to use one.

Which is where you come in. You can offer your services on a job to job basis as and when you are needed.

Drones can be used to gather information on a number of cases like anti social behaviour, gang activity.

To catch people fly tipping or even companies, but where drones really come into their own is when agents would easily be spotted if they were on foot.

Another area where drones are becoming increasingly used is the sports industry especially football/soccer. Rival teams love to know what their competition is up to in their training for the big game.

Pipeline Inspection

pipeline inspection

Pipelines can go for miles and miles so drones are being used more and more for leak detection albeit on a smaller scale.

The drone can be used to determine the size of the leak and what actions are necessary to contain it. If you are going to go in this direction you will need a thermal imaging equipped drone, something like the DJI Matrice.

Of course along with pipelines you also have power-lines and these are as you would expect a potential hazard to human life so using a drone to carry out inspections is a lot less risky.

Security Operator

Drones can be used for perimeter security in any number of potential scenarios, instead of walking the perimeter the drone operator simply flies around making use of an infrared camera if at night to pick out any intruders.

Drones can be used to determine the extent of a threat before deploying security personnel or even seeing if it’s a false alarm.

They are extremely fast and the response time is quick due to the drone not facing obstacles that someone responding by foot or car would encounter.

Another good option is to use the drone for the interception of poaching, this can be at fisheries or game reserves.

Drone Pilot

Depending on where you are in the world will determine what rules you are governed by regarding becoming a drone pilot.

Having done your due diligence and adhered to all the regulations needed you’ll be in a position to fly drones for a number of organizations like government agencies or even the military.

Salary for a drone pilot here in the UK is reportedly around 65k per year so there’s good potential for a decent living.

Drone Rental

Another area to take a look at is starting your own drone rental business. Now this will take a bit of capital initially to get some stock, but once you have that you can start looking at getting customers.

Many people like the idea of having a drone but have never flown one before and with the price for one being on the high side especially if you only use it once or twice and then shove it away in the cupboard.

You can rent out a Mini 2 Combo for around $25 for a week where if the customer were to buy one it would cost around $500 so it makes sense to rent one for a week.

Of course that’s the cheaper end of the market, with a Matrice 300 RTK coming in at around $14000 you can rent that one out for around $600 a week.

Give Flying Lessons

Remember when you got your first drone, all nervous about the first flight, not quite sure if you were doing things right, not sure if that was the last time you’d see your new purchase!

If you have a good amount of flying experience good and bad that you can impart to people eager to learn the ropes then you can teach others to fly drones.

The best way this can be done is online via your own website (I can help you with this, see below)

Drone Delivery

Now while deliveries by drones is not wide spread at the moment there are companies that are active in this developing area.

You’ll probably have heard of Amazon’s attempt at drone delivery with their Prime Air service which by all accounts is dead in the water.

According to Forbes, an Irish company, Manna is flourishing doing 2,000 to 3,000 flights a day delivering things like burgers, ice cream, coffee and more.

Then you have Wing which is the parent company of Google no less. They are operating in Australia, Finland and the USA.

Aerial Wedding

Every bride and groom want pictures to remember their big day which is why wedding photography is big business.

Using a drone gives another dimension to the regular photos. You could even team up with an established wedding photographer and offer your expertise as an add on service.

Or you can definitely go it alone offering aerial videos of the bride and groom and the entire wedding party right from the off.

The advantage of teaming up with someone who is already established is you won’t need to actively look for customers.

The downside to that is you won’t make as much money you’ll need to give a percentage to your partner.

Drone Racing

Contracts up to the value of $100,000 are up for grabs if you have the skills to compete in the DRL (drone racing league)

Wearing FPV googles the operator has a direct view of the course as if they are on board the drone and speeds can reach 60mph.

Generally speaking this is more suited to younger people for the simple reason their reflexes are quicker than their older counterparts.

The good news is racing drone are quite affordable and can be modified to give you an edge. The bad news is you will crash so you’ll need a good selection of spare parts!

How Much Can You Earn

Aerial Photos and Video $80 – $300 per hour
A YouTube Channel ????
Sports and Events $70 – $250 per event
Real Estate Advertising $500+
Drone advertising $50 – $100 per half hour
Inspections $500 – $1,500
Windfarm/Solar Panel Inspection $500 – $1,500
HQ Stock Video Footage £250 per 30 sec clip
Private Investigation/Surveillance up to $55,000 per year
Pipeline Inspection $500 – $1,500
Security $39,000 per year
Drone Pilot 65k per year
Drone Rental $29 – $599 per drone per week
Give Flying Lessons $99 – $1,000 – $10,000
Drone Delivery 60k – 66k per year
Aerial Wedding $700 – $1,300 per half day booking
Drone Racing up to $10,000

Let’s Wrap Things Up

So there you have it,17 ways to make some money flying a drone, pretty cool right. Oh yeah that’s right I was going to tell you a bit more on selling your own stock footage and giving flying lessons.

Well to be able to do that you’re going to need your own website and that’s where I come in, I can help you do that with 1 FREE website that you can use.

Not only that, but you’ll also learn the knowledge needed to successfully build that website into an income for years to come.

Now you don’t have to use your website to sell just stock footage, you can also use it to sell any of the options we’ve given you here or just about anything else you can think of, you can even join drone affiliate programs.

If you want to know a bit more on how I can help you and see for yourself what’s actually involved then click the banner below.

Which way do you like best? Do you have any other suggestions you’d like to share? Drop a comment below we always love to hear from you.

About Sharon

Hey everyone, my name's Sharon and I'm the owner of this website. I hope you liked my post. I'm here to help YOU achieve your online ambitions just like I have :) The products I review are sometimes good and sometimes bad, but I will always give an honest opinion of them. You can access my 5 FREE LESSONS along with 1 FREE WEBSITE as well as KEYWORD RESEARCH here:

8 thoughts on “How To Make Money With A Drone – 17 Awesome Ways”

  1. It’s been about 10 years since I’ve seen an article about drones, but I understood that it was only entertaining the eyes of viewers with great videos in places that are difficult to shoot like in YouTube or movies. As in the contents, I now know that there are various ways to make money using drones. Personally, drone delivery is interesting. Of course, it is currently being carried out by big companies such as Amazon, but it is expected that the advantages of delivery will soon arise for small entrepreneurs as well.

    • I think you’re right, just like the many independent delivery vans you see now, drone delivery will probably go the same way, but it has some way to go before we get to that stage.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment 🙂

  2. Hey there,

    I have to say that your post came quite in handy for me and more importantly, at the right time!

    I have been trying to ponder the many ways I could use a drone to make a couple of bucks but it turns out I can actually make more than I ever thought possible.

    I have realized it is all about how you approach the use of a drone that helps you get the many ideas of leveraging it, right?

    My mind was only limited to real estate. 🙂

    • It wasn’t until i started researching that i realised how much more the drone could be used for either, rather than just taking awesome pics of where we stay 🙂

  3. Hey Sharon, nice post! It’s the first time I do realize how useful a Drone could be. My husband likes this kind of things. He bought a drone a few years ago, but he hasn’t thought it would be more than a game, so he gave it away :). I think that if he’ll read your article, he’ll buy another one 😀

  4. This is actually a really interesting list. I’ve wanted to get a drone for some time, but with the purpose of making some money with it. I wasn’t sure how to go about that though.

    The real estate photography or video is a great idea. I used to do this as a business, but not with a drone. Drones would be awesome for those aerial photos and well as video footage if it’s an acreage.

    I also like the idea of flying around the drone with ads dangling from it, like those planes used to do.

    Love your list of ideas…Awesome!

    • Thanks Darren, you’d be surprised, or maybe not, at what sort of shots you can get from 200 ft up in the air, some are really spectacular. 


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