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Author Topic: How many images do I need to have to make say at least $100 a month  (Read 9533 times)

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« on: July 24, 2014, 16:00 »
-4
I want my images to pay for my monthly coffee tab which is at about $100 a month.  Currently I'm a contributor at 4 top microstock places.  How many images do I need to have, between the 4 microstock agencies to start making $100 a month. Right now I only have about 50 images in each microstock. Sales are slow, well because I only have 50 images.


« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2014, 16:02 »
+7
345.5

« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2014, 16:26 »
+4
Why do you think there is any useful answer to such a question?

It depends on your images - more needed if you aren't very good or shoot subjects that aren't in demand, fewer if you're a Yuri clone.

I think you would do better to focus on building a portfolio you are proud of and that might keep providing you income for a while

« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2014, 16:29 »
+13
Take 100, divide it by what you are making now, and you need that many times more images.

« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2014, 16:32 »
+7
You could always start making your own coffee. I have no idea how many images though. My guess would be 50-500.

« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2014, 16:47 »
0
Why do you think there is any useful answer to such a question?

It depends on your images - more needed if you aren't very good or shoot subjects that aren't in demand, fewer if you're a Yuri clone.

I think you would do better to focus on building a portfolio you are proud of and that might keep providing you income for a while

I think there should be an average. I understand there are good and bad exceptions. But in any business model, there is a forecast, growth model that you can look back and see.

« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2014, 16:49 »
0
You could always start making your own coffee. I have no idea how many images though. My guess would be 50-500.
If all else fails, then I agree, but the objective is to make residual income that is enough to cover expensive coffee habit.

« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2014, 16:54 »
+2
In my case around 400 pictures on Shutterstock give me ca. 100 $ per month. But I don't have many people shots, there will be more sales with good people pictures, I believe.

« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2014, 16:57 »
+10
"I think there should be an average. I understand there are good and bad exceptions. But in any business model, there is a forecast, growth model that you can look back and see."

Well, let us know when you have one.

« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2014, 17:11 »
+4
I would say take 100 and divide it by what you are making and you need that many times more images plus about 50% to account for increases at the sites and falloff of sales. Better double it just to be sure. Or you could just make one more image - but make it a super seller.

« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2014, 17:13 »
+7
I think there should be an average. I understand there are good and bad exceptions. But in any business model, there is a forecast, growth model that you can look back and see.

You're assuming that all things are equal in said business, or at least similar enough to generate any sort of average. This isn't that kind of business. It's too subjective. This is a form of art, although arguably not a form of high art. Still the value of each image can vary hugely. It's like asking how many paintings an artist needs to create in order to make $10,000. If you're a great artist, maybe just one painting. If you're working the craft fairs, maybe 1,000.

There are stock images that can generate $2,000 a year and there are stock images that won't make $2 ever. There are photos, vectors, illustrations, paintings, drawings, 3D, all sorts of different image types. Some people do just one type, some do a few, some might even do all of them. There is no way to accurately average all of these factors together to come up with any sort of reasonable number.

dbvirago

« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2014, 17:32 »
+4
"I think there should be an average. I understand there are good and bad exceptions. But in any business model, there is a forecast, growth model that you can look back and see."

Well, let us know when you have one.

Interesting to read this as I was just looking at the two top 50 lists on SS and was amazed. It used to be mostly people; now there are only a handful.

To answer the OP, one really amazing image or several hundred mediocre ones. or somewhere in the middle.

« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2014, 17:33 »
+5
Why do you think there is any useful answer to such a question?

It depends on your images - more needed if you aren't very good or shoot subjects that aren't in demand, fewer if you're a Yuri clone.

I think you would do better to focus on building a portfolio you are proud of and that might keep providing you income for a while

I think there should be an average. I understand there are good and bad exceptions. But in any business model, there is a forecast, growth model that you can look back and see.

That is true for some businesses, not all. How many Broadway musicals do I need to have to make $xxx, or how many rock songs, or how many novels?

I understand why you want to have something concrete and predictable, but you should try a different business for that.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2014, 18:00 »
+7
42.

« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2014, 18:37 »
-3
I fell like some of you guys are beating around the bush.  The fact is, none of you would be in the microstock business if you did not anticipate how many images you would need to upload to make X, and what kind of images you need to upload to reach that goal.

I'm not talking about exceptions where one uploads 100 images and gets 0 sales because he has no clue what he's doing. I hope that's not the case, because if there are some folks who aren't making money from 100 images, they shouldn't be selling stock.  Selling stock is a business, and in any business model you make predictions, those predictions are based on what you already know about the industry, and practical side of business, based on those two factors you anticipate what you need to do to reach your highest potential. The usual suspects who claim microstock is like a blind-folded person throwing darts at a bulls eye, are blowing smoke.  Microstock is not art in the pure sense of being art.  It is about supply and demand rather than art, because it is not done for art's sake, its done to make money.  Sure, better quality stuff is in more demand, and I suppose those guys who already been with microstock long enough, know the gist; what sells, what to expect, what not to do, what has been overdone, where the shifts are happening.  In this sense nobody, who is actively pursing microstock, is doing it blind-folded.

So, since some folks like to speak for other people, I want to ask you, how many images did you upload to reach your first $100 a month goal?


« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2014, 18:50 »
+3
I fell like some of you guys are beating around the bush.  The fact is, none of you would be in the microstock business if you did not anticipate how many images you would need to upload to make X, and what kind of images you need to upload to reach that goal.

I'm not talking about exceptions where one uploads 100 images and gets 0 sales because he has no clue what he's doing. I hope that's not the case, because if there are some folks who aren't making money from 100 images, they shouldn't be selling stock.  Selling stock is a business, and in any business model you make predictions, those predictions are based on what you already know about the industry, and practical side of business, based on those two factors you anticipate what you need to do to reach your highest potential. The usual suspects who claim microstock is like a blind-folded person throwing darts at a bulls eye, are blowing smoke.  Microstock is not art in the pure sense of being art.  It is about supply and demand rather than art, because it is not done for art's sake, its done to make money.  Sure, better quality stuff is in more demand, and I suppose those guys who already been with microstock long enough, know the gist; what sells, what to expect, what not to do, what has been overdone, where the shifts are happening.  In this sense nobody, who is actively pursing microstock, is doing it blind-folded.

So, since some folks like to speak for other people, I want to ask you, how many images did you upload to reach your first $100 a month goal?

I don't think most of us can realistically answer your question. When I started back in 2006, I probably only needed 10 images to make that. I doubt that would work as well today just starting out.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2014, 19:34 by cthoman »

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2014, 18:53 »
0
So, since some folks like to speak for other people, I want to ask you, how many images did you upload to reach your first $100 a month goal?
That's totally irrelevant. Many here started many years ago, and things are very different now. I found it far easier to earn my first $100 than to earn anything with new files, which is admittedly an iS peculiarity.

Honestly, our figures are no use to you. It depends what sort of files you're selling, where you're selling them (which agency your market uses), how strong your opposition is and how easy your files would be to make similars of.


« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2014, 19:14 »
+2
I would say about 150-200 images on Shutterstock would do it. This is assuming you get about the same number of total monthly sales as images in your port with about a 50 cent RPD. In other words, if you have 200 images, then you get 200 total sales, not that all of your images sell. That's about what I've always done there, although the ratio has gone down a little as I closed in on 2,000., but the RPD has gone up. Modify up or down based on that.

With 50 images, are you getting 50 total sales a month on Shutterstock? 
« Last Edit: July 24, 2014, 19:27 by robhainer »

« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2014, 19:23 »
+6
What I did in 2004 and early 2005 with probably 300 images is something you couldn't do today with that many, but I made $136 in March 2005 from iStock, Shutterstock, CanStock and Dreamstime - the other agencies weren't around at that point. I don't know about vectors because I added those later and always sold a mixture.

No one made the blind folded person claims, so I'm not sure why you brought that up. The problem is - for those of us who have been doing this for a lot of years - it's not always predictable what will sell and at what agency, and only part of that has to do with your images and their marketability or quality. Not to mention if you suck at keywording or get caught by some unfortunate best match/default search problems, good images never get found. It shouldn't happen but it does.

The fact that we're not blindfolded doesn't mean we can accurately predict what will happen. Think about volcanoes - people who study them know a lot about them and how things operate but they still have a hard time predicting when the eruption will happen.

No one's holding out on you, we're trying to give you answers. I get that you don't like them, but that's something you'll understand if you keep uploading to agencies long enough

« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2014, 19:27 »
+4
Let me guess.  Accountant?

dbvirago

« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2014, 19:28 »
+4
I fell like some of you guys are beating around the bush.  The fact is, none of you would be in the microstock business if you did not anticipate how many images you would need to upload to make X, and what kind of images you need to upload to reach that goal.

I'm not talking about exceptions where one uploads 100 images and gets 0 sales because he has no clue what he's doing. I hope that's not the case, because if there are some folks who aren't making money from 100 images, they shouldn't be selling stock.  Selling stock is a business, and in any business model you make predictions, those predictions are based on what you already know about the industry, and practical side of business, based on those two factors you anticipate what you need to do to reach your highest potential. The usual suspects who claim microstock is like a blind-folded person throwing darts at a bulls eye, are blowing smoke.  Microstock is not art in the pure sense of being art.  It is about supply and demand rather than art, because it is not done for art's sake, its done to make money.  Sure, better quality stuff is in more demand, and I suppose those guys who already been with microstock long enough, know the gist; what sells, what to expect, what not to do, what has been overdone, where the shifts are happening.  In this sense nobody, who is actively pursing microstock, is doing it blind-folded.

So, since some folks like to speak for other people, I want to ask you, how many images did you upload to reach your first $100 a month goal?

Not sure why I'm wasting time, but here goes. This isn't a production assembly line where if you make X units you make Y in profit. There are way too many variables. And most if not all of us didn't think one day, I need to make some money, I think I'll try out this stock photo thing I read about. We were photographers who explored a new avenue to profit from our craft. And we all have had a variable amount of success at it. I could probably look back and figure out at what point I averaged $100 a month and then look at my port and estimate how many images I had at that precise moment in time, but it would have no meaning. There is also the variable number of images on each site and the number of sites. I make $100 a month off of my top x sellers, my bottom y sellers and my middle z sellers. I should have shot more x and less z, but there you go.

If you enjoy photography and you are good at it or can get good at it and you spend a fair amount of time at it, you may or may not make a $100 a month at it.

You have asked us questions. I have some for you. How many images are currently in your portfolio? How long have you been shooting? What type of photography do you enjoy and/or are good at?

« Reply #21 on: July 24, 2014, 20:15 »
+11
"So, since some folks like to speak for other people, I want to ask you, how many images did you upload to reach your first $100 a month goal?"

I charge $250 an hour for consulting, minimum 2 hours.  Let me know if you're interested. ;)

cascoly

  • Photography, travel & online games at cascoly.com

« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2014, 20:30 »
+4


I think there should be an average. I understand there are good and bad exceptions. But in any business model, there is a forecast, growth model that you can look back and see.

WHY??? sorry, that's completely illogical -- any individual's images have nothing to do with any business plan, etc.  if you READ the forum here & elsewhere you'd see that there is no simple answer. # of photos CANNOT be used to project a $/month figure

cascoly

  • Photography, travel & online games at cascoly.com

« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2014, 20:35 »
+4
..... The fact is, none of you would be in the microstock business if you did not anticipate how many images you would need to upload to make X, and what kind of images you need to upload to reach that goal......


fact is you have NO IDEA why any of us are in the business, and what our personal plans and goals are.  if you seriously want to get any help here, READ the response s to your initial questions before digging yourself a deeper hole

Goofy

« Reply #24 on: July 24, 2014, 21:34 »
+7
E^2 = (pc)^2 + (m0c^2)^2

where m0 =Image Quality, p = γm0v, γ = (1 - (v/c)^2)^(-1/2) and v=Quantity ?

(Of course c=3x10^8 m/s)- DPC 


 

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