Monday, November 30, 2009

November 2009 Earnings aka "I love iStock"

November has been an interesting month. It seems that my big earners for October were not even contenders this month. And all of the hard work on getting accepted to iStock has paid off! Only 12 uploaded files and 5 sales! I earned much more per image than all of the other sites combined.

Now onto my goals. I didn't meet either one of them. I originally wanted to add 40 approved images to each site and make $20.00 overall. I'm finding that some of the agencies are a little more picky than the others, so it has made that goal pretty hard to attain. Also, with the holidays this month, things have been slightly hectic and I didn't get a chance to shoot as much as I normally would.

Despite not meeting my first goal, I was very close to reaching my second goal. I was only a few short dollars away!

Before getting to my numbers, I thought I would give my thoughts on the agencies so far, now that I've had a few months to get familiar with them:

ISTOCK: I LOVE ISTOCK! It took me a few tries to get accepted, but now that I'm in, I'm getting a great amount of sales for such a small portfolio. I must admit that I was a bit skeptical of the new keywording requirements (since I was cutting out the majority of keywords to get my images approved), but I'm continually getting views and sales. Couldn't be happier. The only downside would be the monotonous uploading process, but if you download the free DeepMeta, that takes care of that problem.

FOTOLIA: This is by far the hardest agency for me to get images approved. As you can see in my stats, my portfolio is still really small (even though I submitted the same number of images as the others). The upside is that I'm having a few steady sales, so I definitely see the potential. Also, FT has the fastest review time (at least for me). So that's always good!

DREAMSTIME: DT is another one of those agencies that has surprised me. I have a smaller portfolio, but I seem to get consistent sales. This shocks me since I heard that DT will put your images at the end of the search queue if your approval rating is low (which mine is). From now on, I will be submitting my images to other websites first to get a feel for what is getting accepted before submitting to DT. Hopefully this will help raise my rating. But so far, so good! The only downside would be the review time. It usually takes about a week to get images approved.

BIGSTOCK: I don't really have much to say about BSP. I received my first sales this month and they seem to be making a decent amount of money, so again - I see the potential. My approval rating has gotten better over the last month and their review time is usually pretty good - a few days at most.

STOCKXPERT: This was a huge earner for me in October, but not so much this month. Last month I also noticed that I was getting regular views. I can't say the same for November. Perhaps November isn't the best month for buyers. I'm hoping this will pick back up.

123RF: I just recently had my first sales at 123. I was starting to think that it would never happen! My earnings have been decent compared to other sites, so hopefully I'll start to see more activity. They seem to approve most of my submissions, so I have my largest portfolio on this site.

CANSTOCK: So far, I'm not impressed. This website also has my largest portfolio, but I rarely get any views and haven't yet made a sale. I will continue uploading until I hit the 6 month mark and then decide if it's worth the time. I keep telling myself that I'm still new at this, so maybe it will pick up in the next few months. I'd like to at least report something each month!

So here are my numbers:

Hope everyone had a good month!


Luis said...

keep up the good work :) I will report my earnings this night, less than October.. :(


Licht und Blindheit said...


Use the forums on Shutterstock for advice before uploading your next 10. They were great for me when I tried to seek acceptance.


Curtis Johnson said...

Wow. $16.16 you'll be able to retire soon. Microstockers are single handedly killing the stock industry. You don't understand the disservice you are doing to the industry. Yea, I understand, I know it's what everyone is doing. I have too much respect for my work and the industry to go royalty free. I stay with rights managed. Quality over quantity.

northwestern5 said...

well done , ihave 59 images with rf123(dazzonway)and 3*36c sales, i mainly shoot from my 15th floor flat window, i have a cannon450 with a 55-250 IS. 21photos on BSG no sales , dreamstime 3 photos 2 sales. been shooting uploading approx 20per month per site since april uptill oct .winter break, would love to get in istock though, steep learning curve keep going

BJS said...

Curtis, I've been reading about Rights Managed lately and I understand your concerns. Do you sell your images through a place like Alamy, or privately on your own websites? At any rate, thank you for reading my blog and I wish you the best.

Darren, Sounds like you're off to a good start! Keep working on iStock - it's worth it once you get in!

I tried to locate your portfolio on 123, but could not find it for some reason. Do you have a link? I'd love to see your work!

Keep me posted and good luck!

Brad C said...

Re: you comment on DT and acceptance ratio - I think it is true that you'll do worse that someone else if your AR is lower than theirs but only if everything else is the same. Title, description and keyword relevancy (or downloads) and exclusivity trumps everything else... A low AR should only really hurt you if you focus on truly well convered subjects.

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