How To Make Money With A Drone

drone agriculture

If you own a drone or plan to buy one and are looking for ways to make extra money, you are likely wondering where you should start to get the most from your effort. You can try several things to earn additional income without trouble, but keeping a few tips on hand will boost your results. The following guide provides you with a range of great money-making ideas.

Finding the Right Drone to Make Money


Some people decide to make money with their unmanned aerial vehicles after they have already bought one, but you don't want to make that mistake. Doing so limits your options and prevents you from getting the best results possible. Review the drone businesses you can start, and make a list of the ones you are considering. You will then narrow the list down as much as you can and research the type of drones you need to buy for each business type. You will want to think about a these things and a few others as you start your drone business.

Keep your budget in mind when you make your decision so that you can set realistic goals, and staying on the path to success will be easy. If you have a personal drone and want to use it for your business, reconsider. Having a dedicated drone you only use for business ensures you get the most from your investment. Also, you could break your personal drone on accident, but doing so won't affect your business if you are prepared. Let’s face you can’t make money with your drones until you find the right ones.

The determining factor for choosing a drone to make money depends on what you want to do with the drone. There are many use cases such as drone photography, real estate video, power line tower inspection and inspecting cell towers. You can also shoot wedding video, do aerial photography, monitoring and surveillance or private investigation. You can do drone racing or put your drone videos on your YouTube channel.

As you can see there lots of drone jobs that you can make money flying a drone which can be a real business opportunity for you.

 For most of these drone jobs you will want to look for a drone with a 4k camera, obstacle avoidance, long range and a gimbal. The DJI Phantom series is a good place to start researching. The Phantom 4 Pro V.2 is an outstanding drone for most jobs, but research needs to be done to determine the type of drone to obtain.

Drone Certification

When you want to fly a drone to make money, it's vital you comply with the Federal Aviation Administration if you don't want to end up on the wrong side of the law. You must register your drone and complete a test before you begin. The remote pilot certification test will make sure you are ready to hit the skies with your business.

The test ensures you are updated on the most recent FAA laws and regulations and that you know how to operate a drone safely. In addition to allowing you to stay compliant with federal law, getting your drone certification also puts your customers' minds at ease and gives them confidence in your abilities. They will know that you have taken the right steps and are serious about your profession.

When you decide to get your certification, studying for the test is the best starting point. Although everyone is different, most people take about 20 hours to prepare for and pass the test. Be certain you are ready for the test before taking it because you must pay a fee. You can study at home on your own time, but you must take the test at an approved testing center. Plan to spend up to two hours at the testing center so that you will have plenty of time to complete it. You can take the test as many times as you need, but you have to pay the fee each time you do. Depending on your skill level you will also want to practice and be sure to fly your drone safely on the job.


Don't even think about starting a drone business until you have enough insurance to stay out of harm's way. Depending on the type of business you plan to run, your drone won't be cheap. You can expect to spend between a few hundred and several thousand dollars on a quality drone that won't let you down. Even when you plan everything and take every possible step to keep yourself safe, the unthinkable could happen at any time.

Whether you crash your drone or encounter unexpected weather problems, you want to have coverage. Getting drone insurance lets you know you are in good hands no matter the situation. Your insurance policy will cover damage and get you back in the air in no time. In addition to getting insurance for your drone, you must also obtain a policy to protect your business. Your drone could crash and cause property damage or hurt someone, and you don't want to get stuck with the expenses. A solid insurance policy safeguards you from the unthinkable and gives your customers confidence. Insurance companies such State Farm do offer coverage for drones.

Market Your Services

Social Media Marketing

Even with the best drone business in the world, you won't get far unless you have a good marketing plan in place. You need a way to get your service in front of people who need the solutions you provide if you don't want to fall behind and leave money on the table. You can begin by creating social media accounts and listing your services, which gets the ball rolling. Placing samples of your work on your profiles will likely entice prospective customers to contact you for more information.

Using pay-per-click ads is also an excellent way to get exposure so that you can grow your business and get the results of which you have been dreaming. This approach lets you display your ads to people who search for terms related to your business on the major search engines. To get the most from each marketing dollar that you spend, limit your ads to people who live close to your location. Also, meet with other businesses in your area to see if they are interested in partnering with you in exchange for a small commission.

Make a Business Plan

Business Plan

When you are first getting started, you might not think you need a business plan, but you do. It's vital you know how much running your drone business will cost and how you will reach your target audience. Write down how much money you plan to earn and the steps you will take to stay on track. You may also want to consult with a financial advisor. If you are like other people who are ready to start a drone business, you are not sure how you should draft your plan. Rather than being static, your business plan will evolve when you grow and acquire new information. You must create the best strategy you can and be open to change as you see your plan play out.

Sell Aerial Photos and Video Footage

Offering aerial photos and videos is a nice way to put some extra cash in your pocket each month. Many people have seen aerial images of homes, lakes, oceans, theme parks and more, but they don't know how to find someone to capture aerial shots of their property.

They often believe hiring an airplane or helicopter pilot to do the job is the only way to reach their goal, but that option is so expensive that not everyone can afford it. You can reach out and fill the gap by offering to take aerial videos and images with a drone. Since keeping a drone in the air costs much less than keeping a plane in the air, you can charge less than the competition and still earn a respectable profit.

Aerial Surveying

Drone Work

Don't overlook the power of becoming an aerial surveyor when your mission is to earn extra money with your drone. People buying or selling homes need to hire a team of surveyors to map the property before closing the sale. Surveying the land gives the buyer an idea of how much property is included and how it looks from all angles. If you have ever hired or worked with a land surveyor, you know they are not always cheap.

While looking at a map of the property can give buyers an idea of what to expect, aerial photographs take it to another level. You can offer to take aerial surveys of land for real estate agents and anyone else who wants a clear image of their property's boundaries. Many people will be thrilled to take advantage of your offer, and you can provide your services at a fair price they won't be able to ignore. Getting a little more money in your bank account won't be hard once you are going down the right path. You will need to get a good commercial drone in most cases depending on the type of surveying.

Wedding Photography

Since it's one of the most important milestones in their lives, people want to remember their wedding day forever. Capturing the moments of a wedding with personal cameras and smartphones is possible. The downside is that taking their own photographs won't give people the best results, so they often turn to professional wedding photographers to get the job done.

Although wedding photographers can snap breathtaking pictures from a range of angles, they can only shoot images from the ground. Using your drone to take high-quality pictures from the air gives you an incredible advantage over other professionals. You can capture images of the bride and groom walking out of the church, but you can also take impressive pictures from the beach, a park and a range of other locations. A lot of people will jump at the chance to get such images, and you will be pleased with the outcome.

Earn Money Reselling Drones

When people think of using drones to get extra money, they often picture many ways to reach their goal, but they often overlook the retail market. Drones are becoming more popular than ever, and a lot of people don't know how to find the right one. You can fill the gap and earn a profit if you are willing to invest a little money to get started.

Buy drones from China to get them at a wholesale price that still gives you room to make a profit. You can then resell those drones locally or online, and you will see money going into your bank account in no time. This path requires you to buy at least three or more drones to get the best possible deal, but you can earn your investment back before you know it if you are serious about your business. If you look hard enough you can save money on the best drones on the market.

Perform Inspections

Doing inspections is another excellent way for anyone to make money with drones, and it can be a profitable venture if you use the right approach. Businesses and homeowners will need to look at their roofs on occasion, and some companies need help inspecting towers and other places that are hard to reach. Doing those jobs once required people to climb to the top and take pictures of each spot, which is a dangerous and time-consuming task.

If you know any local businesses that need help with inspections, speak with them about the services you offer and provide a quote. With the right drone and a little skill, you can do inspections faster and more safely than most of the competition. Some of your clients will ask you to check for weather damage or other signs that a roof needs a repair, but others will want you to take pictures for insurance reasons.

Create Marketing Photos and Footage

Drone Photography

No matter their size, most companies need help promoting their products and services to the public. Many of them already know the value of aerial footage when it comes to attracting new clients. The problem, though, is that not all companies can hire a pilot to fly around the property to complete the task, so they view this option as out of reach. You can fill the gap and offer breathtaking video footage and photographs of resorts, hotels, theme parks, restaurants and more.

Before you get started, make a list of the top ways your clients can use your footage to improve their bottom lines. For example, they can post the videos and pictures on their websites, social media pages and other online platforms. Let them know that people will be much more interested in buying when they see high-quality images and videos taken from the sky. You can highlight the best features of each business that enlists your help, and the income might impress you.

Start a Delivery Service

drone delivery

People are always looking for faster ways to get the products they order online, and many of them are willing to pay a hefty price. Standard delivery services get stuck in traffic and experience many other problems that delay their service, and customers want a way to avoid those roadblocks. Some companies in large cities now offer drone delivery services, but not every location has them. If you don't have drone deliveries near you, take advantage of the opportunity to fill a need in a growing market.

Partner with local businesses that offer takeout meals and other similar services. When customers place an order, you can use your drone to deliver it for a reasonable fee. Not only can you work with other businesses, but you can also work alone. Place ads to promote your service to those who live near you, and you will be thrilled by how much cash you can earn.

Video Monitoring and Security

Drone video monitoring

It does not matter where you live. You can find companies that need help keeping their properties secure from a range of threats. Almost all modern drones come with high-definition cameras that stream video footage to smartphones, computers and portable devices. Some drones even have facial recognition features that allow them to detect and follow people. Find companies in your area that need video monitoring and security services to discourage criminal behavior and to collect evidence if liability issues appear.

Rather than driving the drone the entire time you are providing the service, you can set the drone to fly around the property and monitor everything that happens in the area automatically. Computers and servers can collect the video footage and store it on a database for later retrieval if needed.

The companies that hire you can use the footage to pursue criminal action and to protect themselves from baseless lawsuits. If you can communicate the short- and long-term value you can provide, you will have no problem getting customers. They will not hesitate to spend their money because doing so helps them save even more over the long run.

Search and Rescue

If the unthinkable happens, people can find themselves in dire situations when they least expect it. If you enjoy helping people and want to make the world a safer place, you can use your drones to perform search and rescue operations. Flying your drone over open water can help you save people who are stuck without much hope of getting back to dry land.

These operations normally require helicopters or planes, and keeping large aircraft in the air costs a lot of money, but you can fly a drone for a fraction of the cost. You can even use drones to fly over wooded areas and the wilderness to look for people who have gotten themselves lost. Promptly getting a drone airborne could be the difference between life and death, and few things compare to the feeling of saving someone from dying. Doing the search and rescue operations is an excellent way to generate income, but it also gives you a sense of purpose.

Precision Agriculture

drone agriculture

Planting seeds and spraying them with fertilizer requires a precise touch to get the job done right. Farmers can minimize pollution and optimize their resources when they use specific techniques to grow their crops. Evenly distributing seeds and other materials across a field with a tractor, however, is challenging for even the most skilled experts. Rocks and uneven parts of the field disrupt the way tractors spread seeds, and this problem can create issues with the crops that grow.

Help farmers defeat that roadblock by offering precision agriculture, and you will earn an excellent income for your efforts. Your drone can spread the seeds with enhanced speed and precision to provide results that will put a smile on any farmer's face. Farmers can even increase their marketing by mentioning the use of drones in their promotional material. Bringing up those points can help you improve the number of sales you get.

Final Thoughts

No matter your current skill level, you can find creative ways to bring extra money home each month if you use a proven plan. You can generate supplemental income or start a full-time business depending on your needs and future goals. Getting started will take a little time and effort, but the rewards can last for years to come.

Acting as soon as possible is the best move because drones are only going to grow in popularity over the next few years. Doing so lets you get ahead of the competition and take advantage of the rewards before other companies saturate the market. Some people get discouraged if they don't make as much money as they had hoped.

Rather than giving up if things don't go as you planned, review your methods and try a new approach. You can also try different niches to see which ones work the best for you. Even when you are happy with the success you are getting, never forget to run tests and make small changes. This process lets you continue to improve your profit and build your customer base. Keeping these tips in mind as you move forward gives you powerful tools for making money by doing something you love. There are lots drone business opportunities out there for the hungry entrepreneur out there.

 As recap here is a list of just some the ways to make money flying your drone.

  1. Inspecting cell towers or tower inspection
  2. Drone Photography
  3. monitoring and surveillance
  4. Capturing aerial video footage to make beautiful wedding video
  5. Real Estate Video
  6. Power Line Inspection
  7. Capturing Sporting Events
  8. Aerial Inspections in general
  9. Drone Racing
  10. Youtube Videos
  11. Drone Operators for Disaster Relief
  12. Drone Pilots for Security and surveillance
  13. Land survey
  14.  Capturing aerial video footage

What are your best ideas on how to make money with drones?