MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Author Topic: best to upload to 20 microstock sites or only the best ones ?  (Read 13384 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

« on: September 23, 2013, 09:25 »
0
What is you opinion on this topic. It doesn-t matter if you have a big team, small team or it's only you, the photographer.



ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2013, 09:38 »
0
20 people, 20 opinions.
As things are changing so fast, it's probably best right now to spread your work around, starting with the top ones from the list on the right and working down as long as time allows and see which work for your work.
It's getting the balance between shooting & processing new work and uploading to many sites, though I understand there is software which makes the latter easier.
And what works for you now might change in the next year or month.
It also depends on whether you care about almost giving your work away on the cheapest sites, possibly undercutting yourself on the others. Whether you think it's best to get higher money or a higher percentage of the selling price.
There are so many imponderables, and rapid changes that there's no correct answer, only what works for your personality and work.

« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2013, 09:39 »
0
My own view is that I will never earn back in $ the time I spent uploading images to any of the agencies that appear below Veer on the list to the right of this screen. I only ever upload to them these days if I really am twiddling my thumbs, hungover or down with flu.

edit: the only exception being Stocksy. They're too young to have found their rightful place in the list - but that will change.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2013, 09:41 by Monty-m-gue »

stocked

« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2013, 09:45 »
+2
Upload only to a few! Only to a few ones that have a good work/sales-ratio and maybe one or two fair sites and use the spared time not dealing with the unsubstantial ones to create your own site!

« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2013, 09:46 »
0
Which are the best ones? I think experimenting is the only way to find that out.

« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2013, 10:28 »
+3
If you want to be part of a grand effort to reduce prices to dust,  upload all your photos to every site you can find - large or small -  and let them compete on nothing but price.   If any of the small new sites actually start to develop significant market share and pull customers from the big sites, the big boys will just cut their prices to match.  Round and round we go, and  in a couple of years it will all be over.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2013, 10:32 by stockastic »

« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2013, 10:42 »
+4
If you want to be part of a grand effort to reduce prices to dust,  upload all your photos to every site you can find - large or small -  and let them compete on nothing but price.   If any of the small new sites actually start to develop significant market share and pull customers from the big sites, the big boys will just cut their prices to match.  Round and round we go, and  in a couple of years it will all be over.

And then you'll learn what 'professionals' do :)

« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2013, 11:56 »
0
Upload only to a few! Only to a few ones that have a good work/sales-ratio and maybe one or two fair sites and use the spared time not dealing with the unsubstantial ones to create your own site!

You'll probably will start to work faster, produce more and the probability will that earnings will rise, because you already earn more on those websites, instead of the smaller ones.

Even if the smaller ones, earn you 10% of income, that loss, is compensated with the increase to product to the bigger ones.

Did you guys tried this approach ?

ACS

« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2013, 12:45 »
0
If you have a ready to upload portfolio with at least 1000 photos, upload to 20 sites. But if you are at the beginning, spend your time to produce more and upload them to big 5-6 sites.

Some may say that while you are already uploading to 5, you can also upload to 20 with a little extra effort. This may be true. But don't forget it may take years for you to reach your first pay out from low earners with a small portfolio.

« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2013, 12:49 »
0
Hey guys,
what is the downside of uploading to 20 sites instead of just uploading to the top tiers?

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2013, 13:02 »
+4
Hey guys,
what is the downside of uploading to 20 sites instead of just uploading to the top tiers?
  • Time spent uploading isn't time you can spend creating content.
  • That could be wasted time if a site doesn't perform for you.
  • You could be undercutting yourself. It used to be said that buyers didn't shop around, but now we more and more hear that they do, and with tools like Google Reverse Image Search, it's easy to find the same image on other sites.
  • The more sites an image is on, the more difficult it could be to chase up infringements.
  • More hassle when it comes to filling in your tax form

OTOH, your images might match with the buyers at one of the smaller sites, and you wouldn't know unless you tried.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2013, 15:52 by ShadySue »

« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2013, 13:09 »
+1
It is different for everyone but think if your time is best spent dealing with smaller players. Right now for me return roughly like this:
Shutterstock - 70%
Fotolia,Dreamstime,123RF - 20%
The Rest - 10%

I only actively upload to Shutterstock, 123RF and Dreamstime. The rest of sites are dormant and what ever I got is without any time investment. Even if you got automated upload process submission will always take some time. Some sites have efficient workflow but some like iStock or Fotolia are just too cumbersome.

lisafx

« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2013, 14:04 »
+3
I say the answer is somewhere in the middle. I agree with ACS that if you are just starting out it is better to concentrate on the top 4 or 5 agencies.  If you have a large portfolio, it's worthwhile to expand the list to the well performing low earners. 

AFAIK there aren't 20 sites that provide enough income to be worthwhile uploading to.  I'm at 13 and some of those are pretty much a waste of time.  At least IMO. 

With 7k images I don't think it's unreasonable to expect at least a payout a month per site, and some of them are performing way under that. 

« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2013, 14:34 »
+3
If you are an illustrator you need to test some of the other sites. For me Shutterstock is the only Big 4 agency in my top 4.
For what it is worth I have 12 sites with a better RPD than any of the Big 4. I can't really view these downloads as "cannibalizing" my sales from the big 4.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2013, 14:57 »
0
.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2013, 15:51 by ShadySue »

EmberMike

« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2013, 15:32 »
+2
If you are an illustrator you need to test some of the other sites. For me Shutterstock is the only Big 4 agency in my top 4.
For what it is worth I have 12 sites with a better RPD than any of the Big 4. I can't really view these downloads as "cannibalizing" my sales from the big 4.

Agreed 100%. That list on the right is pretty useless as a checklist for illustrators if you want to go from the top and work down. There are companies not even on that list that earn very well.

« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2013, 17:16 »
0

If you are an illustrator you need to test some of the other sites. For me Shutterstock is the only Big 4 agency in my top 4.
For what it is worth I have 12 sites with a better RPD than any of the Big 4. I can't really view these downloads as "cannibalizing" my sales from the big 4.

And @ embermike, I am an illustrator too, what sites do you guys upload to, I recently found a new site: "toonvectors"


« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2013, 21:09 »
+1
Consider if you just uncovered a shiny new one - how many buyers have found it?

What would motivate buyers to leave the large well know sites and try this new one?  Image quality? Price?   Novelty?

Stick with the sites that actually produce sales and treat contributors fair.

« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2013, 23:37 »
0
I'm not looking for a bunch of new ones, I just uploaded to give them a try, I am interested in well performing illustrator sites the two before you were talking about :)

« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2013, 23:50 »
+1
What is you opinion on this topic. It doesn-t matter if you have a big team, small team or it's only you, the photographer.

I only upload on the sites that sells; 6 microstock agencies and Alamy. The rest is not worth my effort.... I prefer to shoot and pp the files in that time.

gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2013, 00:54 »
+3
I started out very enthusiastic and uploaded to a lot of different sites. Now I am deleting my port everywhere but the top 5. it's just too much hassle for so little return.

ShadySue's comments about chasing up infringements is a good one. at least if you have the image on only one or two sites, you feel more in control.

EmberMike

« Reply #21 on: September 24, 2013, 08:59 »
+1
And @ embermike, I am an illustrator too, what sites do you guys upload to, I recently found a new site: "toonvectors"

I'm not going to give away all my secrets. :) But here's one: I make more money every month at GraphicRiver than I do at Dreamstime and Fotolia combined.

Just keep in mind that most of the people on this forum are photographers, so the poll on the right is always going to be skewed towards companies that have greater success for photographers. It's a different story for illustrators. Shutterstock is still the big one, but after that, it can be very different than what you see here.

Uncle Pete

« Reply #22 on: September 24, 2013, 21:10 »
+3
Because you are competing with yourself, based on price and supporting the parasites that drive down prices, and pay you almost nothing. This dilutes the sales and makes the best agencies weaker. That, and I feel that for the returns, it's a waste of time and energy. Take the best earners, if your personal high point is ten, then fine, you like working long hours for $100 a year? Better might be, four, that's a nice diverse group, with a proven track record. {opinion}

But if you want numbers, add the five top agencies on the right and then the next 16 (all the rest that have numbers) and see how much the  bottom 16 earn, added together.

Lets see bottom 16 = 57. Hey look, SS does that by themselves? Top five = 146 is almost triple.  HOLY COW!

So why did you want to work and upload to the top 21 sites?

That and with less sites, you might have better control over who's selling what and where things are being partnered from.

Personally? Top Two and Alamy because of what Alamy handles in the way of Editorial. But some people are on 50 sites and quite happy.


Hey guys,
what is the downside of uploading to 20 sites instead of just uploading to the top tiers?

« Reply #23 on: September 24, 2013, 22:36 »
0
Thanks a bunch EmberMike! ;)

« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2013, 23:39 »
0
Because you are competing with yourself, based on price and supporting the parasites that drive down prices, and pay you almost nothing. This dilutes the sales and makes the best agencies weaker. That, and I feel that for the returns, it's a waste of time and energy. Take the best earners, if your personal high point is ten, then fine, you like working long hours for $100 a year? Better might be, four, that's a nice diverse group, with a proven track record. {opinion}

But if you want numbers, add the five top agencies on the right and then the next 16 (all the rest that have numbers) and see how much the  bottom 16 earn, added together.

Lets see bottom 16 = 57. Hey look, SS does that by themselves? Top five = 146 is almost triple.  HOLY COW!

So why did you want to work and upload to the top 21 sites?

That and with less sites, you might have better control over who's selling what and where things are being partnered from.

Personally? Top Two and Alamy because of what Alamy handles in the way of Editorial. But some people are on 50 sites and quite happy.


Hey guys,
what is the downside of uploading to 20 sites instead of just uploading to the top tiers?

If your future is anything like my present at Shutterstock, then you may want to prepare for it. I'm just saying.

« Reply #25 on: September 25, 2013, 04:36 »
0
Because you are competing with yourself, based on price and supporting the parasites that drive down prices, and pay you almost nothing. This dilutes the sales and makes the best agencies weaker. That, and I feel that for the returns, it's a waste of time and energy. Take the best earners, if your personal high point is ten, then fine, you like working long hours for $100 a year? Better might be, four, that's a nice diverse group, with a proven track record. {opinion}

But if you want numbers, add the five top agencies on the right and then the next 16 (all the rest that have numbers) and see how much the  bottom 16 earn, added together.

Lets see bottom 16 = 57. Hey look, SS does that by themselves? Top five = 146 is almost triple.  HOLY COW!

So why did you want to work and upload to the top 21 sites?

That and with less sites, you might have better control over who's selling what and where things are being partnered from.

Personally? Top Two and Alamy because of what Alamy handles in the way of Editorial. But some people are on 50 sites and quite happy.


Hey guys,
what is the downside of uploading to 20 sites instead of just uploading to the top tiers?

If your future is anything like my present at Shutterstock, then you may want to prepare for it. I'm just saying.

My future is I keep getting more money and more downloads every year from SS. What's wrong with that?

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #26 on: September 25, 2013, 05:03 »
+2
My future is I keep getting more money and more downloads every year from SS. What's wrong with that?
Nope, that's your present.
"Present performance is no guarantee of future growth" as many people have found for a while on iS, and the same is starting to be reported now from some SS contributors.
When some people started to report falling-off sales at iS, they were greeted by a lot of, "I'm selling fine - you can't be uploading the right stuff/enough stuff/high enough quality stuff" by some of the same people who have either now left exclusivity there or left iS altogether.
Those who don't learn from history (which could be SS, vide the changes to TOS thread, or their contributors) are condemned to repeat it.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2013, 05:47 by ShadySue »


« Reply #27 on: September 25, 2013, 09:25 »
0
I'd start with the Big 4 and the Middle Tier shown to the right of the page, then choose from the Low Earners based on what kind of images you're producing.

« Reply #28 on: September 25, 2013, 10:30 »
0
My future is I keep getting more money and more downloads every year from SS. What's wrong with that?
Nope, that's your present.
"Present performance is no guarantee of future growth" as many people have found for a while on iS, and the same is starting to be reported now from some SS contributors.
When some people started to report falling-off sales at iS, they were greeted by a lot of, "I'm selling fine - you can't be uploading the right stuff/enough stuff/high enough quality stuff" by some of the same people who have either now left exclusivity there or left iS altogether.
Those who don't learn from history (which could be SS, vide the changes to TOS thread, or their contributors) are condemned to repeat it.

Exactly! Things may continue to go well there, but if they don't... What's the saying? Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

« Reply #29 on: September 25, 2013, 11:59 »
+2
Hey guys,
what is the downside of uploading to 20 sites instead of just uploading to the top tiers?

I'd say you should stick with the top and middle tiers unless there's someone new that you think has a good strategy.

The big disadvantage of spreading your work everywhere is that many of the agencies behave very, very badly. It is in our best interests to keep an eye on them to know what they're doing, who they're partnering with and what changes in terms/prices/something else we need to be aware of. It's just too hard to keep a close eye on so many agencies, and given the largely useless returns from the smaller sites, I don't thing they're worth the time to keep an eye on.

You can read through threads at MSG about shenanigans from the agencies - this isn't some sort of paranoia on my part, but having lived with the ugly experiences since fall 2004.

For the small agencies you do choose to contribute to, (1) make sure you can delete your own work (so that when they don't reply to support requests and you want out you can get out), (2) make sure you know who you're dealing with - they have your valuable content and you don't want them shipping it straight to a torrent site, and (3) only go with those who have easy uploading and low payouts - you want to minimize the time you spend given the low likelihood of making anything significant.

Uncle Pete

« Reply #30 on: September 25, 2013, 12:11 »
+2
Oh? So your insurance against a drop at SS is invest your time and effort into 20 other sites that already stink and are destined to fail even worse? Is that it?  :o

Of course there are no promises, that's why people are so disgusted with IS. Levels rescinded, continued falling sales, income, promises, lies and then they changed everything, pulled BS commission changes, added RC levels, started the ThinkStock site and were selling subs for 28c commission, the partners gutted the agency resources and finances, the ability to have enough working capitol. Then dumped it. Not only are commissions down, sales are too. Best thing they did was removed exclusives from ThinkStock and gave those people back some integrity. More income, less sales. The indys can claw at each other and grub for pennies on the subscription grounds.

What history from Microstock are we to learn from and avoid? You're an exclusive at IS Sue.  :)  Is there anything anyone here can honestly do to avoid the same in the future? It's like any other business. When the profits fall, the companies will fail and the thinning of the herd. I wish it would start to happen faster.

I'm bored (and rather insulted) with promises and hope that's being marketed to people by the foundering microstock agencies, when the race to the bottom is gaining momentum. If IS can sink, so can all the rest under them on the right. I don't see SS having any serious competition anymore to harm them. The SS model is working and the rest are trying to find a way to compete and stay alive.

Ride on the ocean liner, not in lifeboats.



My future is I keep getting more money and more downloads every year from SS. What's wrong with that?
Nope, that's your present.
"Present performance is no guarantee of future growth" as many people have found for a while on iS, and the same is starting to be reported now from some SS contributors.
When some people started to report falling-off sales at iS, they were greeted by a lot of, "I'm selling fine - you can't be uploading the right stuff/enough stuff/high enough quality stuff" by some of the same people who have either now left exclusivity there or left iS altogether.
Those who don't learn from history (which could be SS, vide the changes to TOS thread, or their contributors) are condemned to repeat it.

Exactly! Things may continue to go well there, but if they don't... What's the saying? Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

« Reply #31 on: September 25, 2013, 12:52 »
+1
Oh? So your insurance against a drop at SS is invest your time and effort into 20 other sites that already stink and are destined to fail even worse? Is that it?  :o

I don't have an answer that will work for everyone. I'm focused mostly on my own site. I also have two other agencies that I really like and trust. I've tried to work hard for those 3 places to be the definitive places to buy my work. Unfortunately, that only makes up 56% of my total, so I still have to rely on the major agencies for the rest.

I still look out for new agencies, but I'm pretty particular about what I want from them. I've seen my own site grow from nothing, so I think it is possible for other sites to spring from nowhere as well.

That said, there is nothing wrong with just sticking to the big guys. It just scares me when people start talking about the large percentage of their earnings from SS. Especially since mine have been dwindling for a few years.

« Reply #32 on: September 26, 2013, 01:03 »
0
Because you are competing with yourself, based on price and supporting the parasites that drive down prices, and pay you almost nothing. This dilutes the sales and makes the best agencies weaker. That, and I feel that for the returns, it's a waste of time and energy. Take the best earners, if your personal high point is ten, then fine, you like working long hours for $100 a year? Better might be, four, that's a nice diverse group, with a proven track record. {opinion}

But if you want numbers, add the five top agencies on the right and then the next 16 (all the rest that have numbers) and see how much the  bottom 16 earn, added together.

Lets see bottom 16 = 57. Hey look, SS does that by themselves? Top five = 146 is almost triple.  HOLY COW!

So why did you want to work and upload to the top 21 sites?

That and with less sites, you might have better control over who's selling what and where things are being partnered from.

Personally? Top Two and Alamy because of what Alamy handles in the way of Editorial. But some people are on 50 sites and quite happy.


Hey guys,
what is the downside of uploading to 20 sites instead of just uploading to the top tiers?

If your future is anything like my present at Shutterstock, then you may want to prepare for it. I'm just saying.

My future is I keep getting more money and more downloads every year from SS. What's wrong with that?

Watch out for the SSTK shares crash (they can't grow forever... at this rate at some point they will crash)  :-\ just saying...

Uncle Pete

« Reply #33 on: September 26, 2013, 02:42 »
0
I don't have "The Answer" for everyone either. Just what works for me. I am in total agreement with you. What is best for one person or one collection, may not be what someone else sees as their direction or what pays them back for whatever effort the invest.

What's odd is someone who was on 50 or more sites, suddenly drops them and goes exclusive with IS. While a number of people who were exclusive on IS are happily diversifying and expanding outlets.

Nope I don't have an answer for anyone else, just what I feel is best for me.

SS for me just keeps growing and I don't add one photo a month during the Summer. So much for the old feed the beast. I find nothing that makes new or old photos stand out for DLs, by age alone. Older images that I have had since the start are not doing as well as they once did, but I still get DLs. Some four year olds are getting first DL. New images seem to run hot and cold. I blame the buyers for needing or not needing what I have to offer.  ;D

Last of all, I'm high pointing the top two, because I'm lazy and want the best return for my work.

Oh? So your insurance against a drop at SS is invest your time and effort into 20 other sites that already stink and are destined to fail even worse? Is that it?  :o

I don't have an answer that will work for everyone. I'm focused mostly on my own site. I also have two other agencies that I really like and trust. I've tried to work hard for those 3 places to be the definitive places to buy my work. Unfortunately, that only makes up 56% of my total, so I still have to rely on the major agencies for the rest.

I still look out for new agencies, but I'm pretty particular about what I want from them. I've seen my own site grow from nothing, so I think it is possible for other sites to spring from nowhere as well.

That said, there is nothing wrong with just sticking to the big guys. It just scares me when people start talking about the large percentage of their earnings from SS. Especially since mine have been dwindling for a few years.

« Reply #34 on: October 05, 2013, 22:48 »
0
I used to just upload to just istock and shutterstock. I didnt feel like I was getting the kind of traffic I should be getting, mostly because those sites are oversaturated. I've come to realize that spreading your material out is the best way to go.

For instance, I have a specific image that has only had 8 visits on istock and no sales in the past 3 months. However on Stockopus.com [nofollow] that same image has already been sold twice in only 2 months. I know thats not a big deal but it is one of many examples of how uploading to the biggest sites isn't a guarantee.

If you have the time, I'd say upload around and see what sticks.

Cheers,

Click

gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #35 on: October 05, 2013, 23:03 »
0
a lot of smaller sites can be good if you find what sells well there. I sell more outback stuff on 123rf than anywhere else.

« Reply #36 on: October 06, 2013, 01:39 »
0
my prime sites are ss & dt and my symbio site -- after that, I only upload to sites that make it easy to submit - that means I eliminate any other site that requires editing individual images

for me, right now, that 2nd list is foto, 123, photodune, pond5, most, alamy   -- none of the others are worth the hassle

your mileage may vary

 
« Last Edit: October 06, 2013, 01:42 by cascoly »


« Reply #37 on: October 06, 2013, 05:56 »
0
It's a matter of being practical.  If you have a large commercial portfolio, smaller sites would provide a return, otherwise stick to the bigger earners that will provide a regular payout.

« Reply #38 on: October 06, 2013, 06:33 »
0
I upload to the sites with best earnings, and also to all low earners that have a easy upload (only a few clicks to get my monthly batch uploaded).

The funny thing is, that agencies go up and down, and to bet on the right agency can be a very difficult task. For example one particular agency has made me about $5 or $10 per month, but for the latest months it has for some reason generated me between $100 and $150 per month. I find it a good thing to be submitting my work there...
I won't be saying here what agency that is, I don't want you all to rush uploading there :)

Now I have three "secret" sites :) http://www.microstockgroup.com/general-stock-discussion/do-you-have-%28microstock%29-secrets/


 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
2 Replies
2567 Views
Last post December 03, 2007, 01:18
by redfig
17 Replies
5462 Views
Last post February 05, 2009, 00:00
by Randy McKown
14 Replies
7979 Views
Last post October 24, 2009, 04:53
by eyeCatchLight
15 Replies
3039 Views
Last post April 15, 2013, 07:18
by rubyroo
3 Replies
3210 Views
Last post August 06, 2014, 08:05
by gimages

Sponsors

Mega Bundle of 5,900+ Professional Lightroom Presets

Microstock Poll Results

Sponsors

3100 Posing Cards Bundle