Many free image hosting companies work like this – they host your images for free, and they pay you when your visitors view your images. How much you can earn depends on how many views you get.
Basically, they all follow a similar business model, the rate is about $5 / 1000 views, different regions different rates. Let’s take a look at Imgtiger, one of the popular free image hosting services.
Imgtiger – Group A: $5, Group B: $1, Group C: $0.2, Group D: $0.1, 10% referral commission, $5 minimum payout.
A: United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada.
B: Italy, Netherlands, Ireland, Denmark, Austria, Spain, Belgium, Finland, Switzerland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Greece, Sweden.
C: Russia, Japan, Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, Hungary, Israel, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic.
D: All Others
Other providers like Imagetwist, Imgchili, Imgdino, Imgserve all follow a similar payout structure.
You might ask, if you can make money with these service providers, can you make more if you run your own free image hosting service? Well, everything is possible, your best bet is to follow what others are doing, use a similar payout model, and most importantly check out which advertising networks they are using. There are several ways to set up a free image hosting service.
1. If you hire a freelancer, that will cost you roughly $200-1000 for the project.
2. Codecanyon has a script called ImgShot Image Hosting Script ($18, Last Update: 4 October 12), but that script hasn’t been updated for a while, and you need to find an add-on for the affiliate part, which is the module to manage how much money you should pay to your users, and etc. The feature list is quite comprehensive, if you like what you see, you can give it a try, edit things here and there, or maybe you could contact the coder directly for some customized work.
3. Another option is the XImageSharing image hosting script, which already has the affiliate payout features included, i.e. Partner profit system (Attract posters to your site paying them for each image view), Profit tiers (Specify custom profit for each list of countries), and Profit limits (Limit max daily profit per single IP or Image). The basic script costs $130, many optional modules are available, e.g. payment mod, GeoIP mode, social mod…
4. Imagetize is another script similar to XImageSharing, their pay per view affiliate module is extra. You are looking at $127 for a one domain license + link removal fee, and $47 for the pay per view module.
5. If you are looking for an open source image hosting script, try Chevereto 2.6.0. The latest version Chevereto 3.3.2 is no longer open source, but you can still get it for free if you purchase a web hosting service from their partner, Arvixe (hosting fee starting at $4/month). Regular one domain license is a one-time payment of $70. An affiliate payout module is not yet developed, but I see that some of their users are requesting that feature in their forum.