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Author Topic: How many photos you need to to have $300 a month  (Read 8419 times)

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« on: January 25, 2011, 14:07 »
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I was wondering how many photos (statistically) one needs to have $300 a month.
Now mind you (before you start lecturing me that the numbers are not important, but the subject is ;)) I do understand that some photos sell better some sell worse and there is also good time for a specific photos and bad time for them.

It's just a statistical wondering - maybe you already got this moment when you have $300 a month, maybe more.
(I picked the number $300 because it's more or less how much I did already earn on stocks, and because I spent this very money on a compact camera for a friend).

So, what do you thing - how much photos one need to have in the portfolio in for example shutterstock to earn $300 a month?


« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2011, 14:10 »
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1 really, really good one.  Or 1,000 really poor ones.  Or something in between. ;)

« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2011, 14:13 »
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1 really, really good one.  Or 1,000 really poor ones.  Or something in between. ;)

hehe yeah this is exactly how statistic works :D so how about a bit more 'standard' or medium ones? ;)

« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2011, 14:28 »
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Total or per site?

Standard ones do not work any more. I got over 2K on some sites which generates maybe 15-20$ per month. Obviously they are not good enough.

« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2011, 14:30 »
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1 really, really good one.  Or 1,000 really poor ones.  Or something in between. ;)


I've seen the "1000 poor ones" strategy, but is anyone working on the "selling just 1 amazing image" strategy.  ;D

I'd say 300 or $1 per image is a fair goal to shoot for, but I going with this...

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZ0epRjfGLw[/youtube]

« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2011, 16:57 »
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That's a tough one to answer. I think on average my IS portfolio generates around 40 cents per image per month.  Maybe more, maybe less, depending on the month.  Of course, most of that income is generated by just a handful of images.  So again, it really depends.  However, using just that number would dictate an exclusive portfolio of 750 images - but then, you won't be at the same royalty rate as me, so you'll likely need more images.  How about a 1,000 images, no maybe 1,200,...

« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2011, 17:37 »
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That's a tough one to answer. I think on average my IS portfolio generates around 40 cents per image per month.  Maybe more, maybe less, depending on the month.  Of course, most of that income is generated by just a handful of images.  So again, it really depends.  However, using just that number would dictate an exclusive portfolio of 750 images - but then, you won't be at the same royalty rate as me, so you'll likely need more images.  How about a 1,000 images, no maybe 1,200,...

Odly enough, I have the same numbers +- (40c an image).
So yeah, your numbers do seem to be in order, but as said this varies greatly from port to port.

WarrenPrice

« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2011, 18:01 »
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I was wondering how many photos (statistically) one needs to have $300 a month.
Now mind you (before you start lecturing me that the numbers are not important, but the subject is ;)) I do understand that some photos sell better some sell worse and there is also good time for a specific photos and bad time for them.

It's just a statistical wondering - maybe you already got this moment when you have $300 a month, maybe more.
(I picked the number $300 because it's more or less how much I did already earn on stocks, and because I spent this very money on a compact camera for a friend).

So, what do you thing - how much photos one need to have in the portfolio in for example shutterstock to earn $300 a month?

I'm not there yet so it is more than 500.   :P

« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2011, 18:12 »
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I've got 500 to 700 images on the 3 top sites.

IS is yielding a .28 per image per month
DT .... .22
SS .... .11

The downside to doing this type of calculation is realizing that the overall trend, at least with my images, is decidedly, unquestionably, inexorably, despondently, and suicidally DOWN. Have a nice day.

PaulieWalnuts

  • You talkin' to me?
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2011, 18:34 »
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From what I've seen posted here over the years I'd say the average person is at about .25 so around 1,200 images to get $300 per month.

« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2011, 18:36 »
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If you look at the average of people's average I would say you should plan around $10.00/picture/year

In the 2009 poll results (the 2010 results are coming soon) the average images online was 1156, while the average income was $10,654 pretty close to $10/image.

That is the average though.  If you can compete with the best you should expect $50/image/year, if your images are hobby snaps then expect $1.00/image/year

So that would mean you need 400 good images.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2011, 18:39 by leaf »

« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2011, 18:38 »
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The downside to doing this type of calculation is realizing that the overall trend, at least with my images, is decidedly, unquestionably, inexorably, despondently, and suicidally DOWN. Have a nice day.

Well the calculations are just for something to talk about when the photos are uploading. ;) The trend is something to cry aloud. ;/

« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2011, 19:52 »
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What I should have added is that most of us have lots of crap from the early years that we probably would never upload today. Plus stuff that wouldn't pass the quality test today. I cringe when look at some of them. I'm just too lazy to remove them and too greedy to miss out on a (maybe) once-a-year sale.

« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2011, 21:57 »
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If you look at the average of people's average I would say you should plan around $10.00/picture/year

In the 2009 poll results (the 2010 results are coming soon) the average images online was 1156, while the average income was $10,654 pretty close to $10/image.

That is the average though.  If you can compete with the best you should expect $50/image/year, if your images are hobby snaps then expect $1.00/image/year

So that would mean you need 400 good images.


Thanks for the link to this survey.  I have been on DT for just shy of a year, now have 800 images online and total income of about $1.00/image/year.  As my portfolio has grown and as my image sales have increased, also my monthly income has increased.  This month will be first month over $100.  In a couple days, my exclusive agreement contract end with DT and be uploading to the other sites.  I would be satisfied with $10/image/year from microstock and a bit additional from POD, Zazzle, Business Cards, etc.

According to the survey, DT represents about 4.6% of persons average sales whereas SS is 36% and IS is 22%.  Getting your images on these two sites appears to account for over 50% of revenue or 10X the revenue of DT.  I understand there is problems with IS and the compensation lowering but it still seems to be outperforming the lower rated microstock sites.

« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2011, 02:07 »
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If you look at the average of people's average I would say you should plan around $10.00/picture/year

In the 2009 poll results (the 2010 results are coming soon) the average images online was 1156, while the average income was $10,654 pretty close to $10/image.

That is the average though.  If you can compete with the best you should expect $50/image/year, if your images are hobby snaps then expect $1.00/image/year

So that would mean you need 400 good images.


That is the average for the people who replied to your survey, every one of whom is probably in the top 1% of the contributors. In the bottom 50% you probably wouldn't get 5c per image per year. The top 1% is not easy to get into. Sean's idea of the earnings potential of good and bad images is severely warped by the perspective he gets form being in the top 0.00001%..

Uncle Pete

  • Evidence please...

« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2011, 03:09 »
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Not to be picky and I don't disagree with the concept or conclusion but from observing the forum, which is a very good representation of the same people who answer the survey, it's roughly the top 5% of Mircostock Artists.

Yes, it's easy to paint a positive outlook if the majority of the people who answer the survey are the ones who are a success. But I also would defend the survey as a pulse of the successful people, and not the Microstock market in general.

Last I took the time to do some calculations, 67% of the people who are contributors on IS have made 100 sales or less. There's a nice number from the site that's hardest to get in as a contributor, so the image quality should be higher than anywhere else Micro. Honestly I got paid the first time with around 90 downloads, but picked 100 downloads as a nice arbitrary number, nothing else. There's no way to know if these people have or haven't ever gotten paid.

That being said, from the bottom of the barrel. 2010 I got 58c per image annually from IS and 37c per image from SS.


If you look at the average of people's average I would say you should plan around $10.00/picture/year

In the 2009 poll results (the 2010 results are coming soon) the average images online was 1156, while the average income was $10,654 pretty close to $10/image.

That is the average though.  If you can compete with the best you should expect $50/image/year, if your images are hobby snaps then expect $1.00/image/year

So that would mean you need 400 good images.


That is the average for the people who replied to your survey, every one of whom is probably in the top 1% of the contributors. In the bottom 50% you probably wouldn't get 5c per image per year. The top 1% is not easy to get into. Sean's idea of the earnings potential of good and bad images is severely warped by the perspective he gets form being in the top 0.00001%..

« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2011, 03:25 »
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 Sean's idea of the earnings potential of good and bad images is severely warped by the perspective he gets form being in the top 0.00001%..
I don't agree with you here. You don't need to be at the top to have one or two good images that sell all the time.   I guess that I am near the top 1% but at the moment just one of my images is accounting for about 30% of my sales at the moment at IS.  If I had uploaded that image in the early days I'm sure it would have done just as well.


« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2011, 03:39 »
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At least 1,000 really good photos featuring people in their 30's, very low on the duplicate/similar images side of things, high on subject matter variety. If you can do that, and you are decent with keywords, $300 a month off shutterstock alone is pretty "easily" accomplished.....

« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2011, 04:27 »
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According to the survey, DT represents about 4.6% of persons average sales whereas SS is 36% and IS is 22%.  Getting your images on these two sites appears to account for over 50% of revenue or 10X the revenue of DT.  I understand there is problems with IS and the compensation lowering but it still seems to be outperforming the lower rated microstock sites.

Careful how you read the results - the part of the survey that pegs Dreamstime at 4.6% is the number of people reporting that site as their top earner, not a percentage of total sales.

« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2011, 04:41 »
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Im about 500 pictures and earnings are somewhere around $80/month. Its fact that the return gets better and better for larger ports, however some insane results like $1-2/picture/month ARE NOT average! It could be for old-timers and large portfolios which are online since 2005 or so.

With normal pictures (NOT vacation snaps - you will not get accepted those nowadays!) and being "just" average photographer like many others, you could expect real income about $1-3 PER YEAR. To cover $300/month you need 1200 pictures with yearly RPI $3 and up to 3600 (!!!!) with yearly RPI just $1. My opinion is something between 1200-1700 should work. I do count myself as being "normal" photographer and my yearly RPI is aprox $2 with 500 pictures - larger portfolios perform little better so yearly RPI between $2-3 is realistic.

To those  reposting huge RPI etc. - it very strongly depends on WHEN you started! Numbers are very different for those who did in 2005 and those in 2008. Just check istockcharts how many sales do have small portfolios from 2005 and same sized after 2008 - you will be very surprised.

« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2011, 04:48 »
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Try and aim for around 500 to 700 high quality original stock oriantated Files and that should do it 

You will find that regrdless of the all of the above merits that most proberly around 25% or less will bring in the bacon ;)  

« Reply #21 on: January 26, 2011, 05:17 »
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 Sean's idea of the earnings potential of good and bad images is severely warped by the perspective he gets form being in the top 0.00001%..
I don't agree with you here. You don't need to be at the top to have one or two good images that sell all the time.   I guess that I am near the top 1% but at the moment just one of my images is accounting for about 30% of my sales at the moment at IS.  If I had uploaded that image in the early days I'm sure it would have done just as well.

What I meant was that when Sean says good or bad he is judging by higher standards than almost anyone else.
I have a number of high-selling (by my standards) images from the early days. Some of them are not great but still sell very well. In several cases I have shot much better versions of the same thing since and they have hardly ever taken off. They vanish into the sea of similars from everyone else, while the poorer, older image carries on selling.
I'm sure you are in the top 1% and almost certainly in the top 0.1%. There are probably a million people who have signed up at one micro or another (Shutterstock has had about 700,000 applications) so if you are in the top 1,000 you are in the top 0.1%. If only one application in 10 is approved, the top 1,000 are still in the top 1% of submitting photographers and that 1,000 account for the overwhelming bulk of the earnings.

« Reply #22 on: January 26, 2011, 05:26 »
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If you look at the average of people's average I would say you should plan around $10.00/picture/year

In the 2009 poll results (the 2010 results are coming soon) the average images online was 1156, while the average income was $10,654 pretty close to $10/image.

That is the average though.  If you can compete with the best you should expect $50/image/year, if your images are hobby snaps then expect $1.00/image/year

So that would mean you need 400 good images.


That is the average for the people who replied to your survey, every one of whom is probably in the top 1% of the contributors. In the bottom 50% you probably wouldn't get 5c per image per year. The top 1% is not easy to get into. Sean's idea of the earnings potential of good and bad images is severely warped by the perspective he gets form being in the top 0.00001%..


The survey is a pretty even spread of people who are 'active' in microstock.  By active I mean people who are online in forums and actively uploading anywhere from a few images a year to several thousand.  The median portfolio size was 600, meaning 200 people had less than 600 images in their portfolio and 200 had more than 600 images in their port. 

WarrenPrice

« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2011, 11:20 »
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I'm trying to follow this but getting more and more confused.  It seems the answer is somewhere between 500 and 1000, but, are the responders talking about over one site, four sites, or many sites?

« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2011, 13:18 »
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You'll need 1,000 this year, 10,000 next year and 100,000 the year after that.  And then it will end because the archives of 'free' images will be large enough to satisfy the needs of 80% of buyers, and stock sites will be making it from ad income off of their search results pages.


 

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