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Author Topic: Does it worth to upload to low earners agencies?  (Read 10670 times)

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« on: August 05, 2012, 13:40 »
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Hello, everybody!


I started with Fotolia, then Shutterstock... and actually I am thinking to upload to low earning agencies. I put in balance the + and the - and I think the only problem is the needed time to upload. Otherwise, it's a try and why not doing it?

Although, It would be interesting to see some oppinions about it. Does it worth to upload to smaller agencies or do you think it's more efficient to focus on top agencies?

Thanks.


traveler1116

« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2012, 13:43 »
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Depends how much your time is worth to you?

« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2012, 13:48 »
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It depends! Having a full-time job already, I can't spend more than 2 hours per day to microstock, as I also have already a lot of other things to do, as everybody else...

By the way, this would be another interesting subject to discuss about: how much time do you allocate to microstock?

I mean: if I allocate 2 hours per day to microstock, could I expect to earn millions?  ;)

« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2012, 14:17 »
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It depends on your results. Some of the agencies in the low earners section aren't really low earners.

« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2012, 15:02 »
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If you are not making a decent amount from the big ones, low earners will just be a waste of time..

Microbius

« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2012, 15:07 »
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I'm really suprised by how different accounts of earnings are on these smaller sites. You never know what will work for your portfolio till you try.

« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2012, 15:20 »
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I'm really suprised by how different accounts of earnings are on these smaller sites. You never know what will work for your portfolio till you try.

the thing is some of them are not low earners :) That's why you see different results..

The list of low earners is more accurate for photographers, rather than vector artists because there are not many of us to influence the poll results..

If it was vector voting alone some of them would jump to top/middle tier..

« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2012, 15:30 »
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I see, interesting anyway... The idea was something like that: if I have today two hours, should I make an illustrations and upload to all stock agencies, including low-earners or should I rather make 3 illustrations and upload them only to the first top agencies? :) To be or not to be?  :o

« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2012, 15:45 »
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I see, interesting anyway... The idea was something like that: if I have today two hours, should I make an illustrations and upload to all stock agencies, including low-earners or should I rather make 3 illustrations and upload them only to the first top agencies? :) To be or not to be?  :o

I like to take a wait-and-see approach.  I have the rest of my life to upload my portfolio to new places, so I don't bother with the smaller sites anymore, unless they offer something the others don't (like Mostphotos, which allows contributors to download their own images and acts almost like a backup service).  I'd much rather spend my time creating new work and uploading it to choice agencies and POD sites with proven results than spending it uploading to unproven sites.  Once in a while I'll take a chance on a site like Skreened and Spoonflower, but that's very rare.

« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2012, 17:15 »
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It is really really important to get your images keyworded in the IPTC data.
When first the pics are ready you can always upload a bunch here and there overnight and then is not really much time you spend.
I use to test the agencies with 30-40 average well selling pictures from different genres. But not the best pictures i have. Im very carefull where they go.

If the test uploads sell to a reasonable degree, I take the time and give them a few hundred more.
Then I forget.

After a couple of weeks I probably remember and check the site, and if im bored enough, I sit and fix captions and press buttons or eventually delete the whole batch.

Else I let my pics sit and gather pennies, and try to remember to get the money down, if there is any.
If an agency annoys me I might actively delete my port and profile there.

« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2012, 17:28 »
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good for now! I thought I'm the only one to not have patience with uploading... Sometimes I feel uploading on different agencies' websites is harder than the creative process!  :D

RacePhoto

« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2012, 18:00 »
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If you have 500 or less, good images that sell regularly on the top sites, no.

Roughly you'll make 1/10th of what you do now on SS (according to the chart on the right) from all the sites under the top seven.

You can expect to earn 25% and down compared to what you make on FT.

Example, you make $25 a month on FT, you might make $6 a month, and down, on the low earners.

We don't know who responds to the survey? I assume it's the same as the active people here on the forum, which after a few samples and forum surveys, represent The Top 5% of all Microstock  contributors. The people here are the cream of the industry and represent the top performers. Many have 3000 - 5000 top quality images.

For anyone who considers this, the answer is above. Always imbed the metadata in all your photos. It's much easier since the time consuming work is done. Also images that are refused by the top four are often accepted at the rest. Acceptance and sales, are not a direct correlation to profits.

Best person to answer that would be someone with The Bridge to BigStock, who has virtually all the same images on both. And they can tell us if BS is consistent 13% of SS? That would be interesting to know.

I personally don't spend time on the low earners. I think they are parasites, they lower the value of our images and take away from the top of the market. I'm sure there are others who disagree and feel that competing with their own sales, and making $50 a year doing it, is worthwhile? ??? The low earners compete with the rest of the market based on price and nothing else. They offer the same images that everyone else above them offer, what else can they claim to bring in customers?

« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2012, 18:39 »
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Race. I agree on that, you should not spread yourself too thinly and undermine yourself.

« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2012, 22:03 »
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I see, interesting anyway... The idea was something like that: if I have today two hours, should I make an illustrations and upload to all stock agencies, including low-earners or should I rather make 3 illustrations and upload them only to the first top agencies? :) To be or not to be?  :o


I think it is always better to create first and upload later. However, if you dont suck it up and upload fairly frequently it doesnt matter how many images you have.  As far as low earners I uploaded the same 100 vectors  to all of the sites and tracked the results. After about two months it became real easy to see which sites worked best for my port. Every port is different but my results do not match the table at the right very closely at all.

EmberMike

« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2012, 22:41 »
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...Every port is different but my results do not match the table at the right very closely at all.

Which is exactly why asking people which sites to upload to is pointless. As you mentioned, everyone's portfolio is different and will perform differently, especially as it relates to mid and low tier sites. The only way to know which ones are worth the time is to try to them out.

« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2012, 04:01 »
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If you have a large enough portfolio and a low-performing microstock site gets you $50 a month, then 4 such sites will get you $200 a month.

Choose the sites that require little effort to upload and publish.

« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2012, 20:58 »
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I have just deleted my port from desposit, zoonar and canstock. It felt good.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2012, 02:36 by JPSDK »


Poncke

« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2012, 06:14 »
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I think I have a very LCV port. Some good points were made here. And to me it seems true. My port on SS is not roaring with 225 dls per month.
 and so the low earners only get me 6-10 downloads per month. Middel tier about 25 dls per month
But I am shooting what I like and not really stock orientated.

At the moment:
SS 380 photos - 225 dls month
FT 250 photos - 25 dls month
CanStockPhoto 430 photos - 6 dls month
DP 490 photos - 8 dls month
123 460 photos - 25 dls month

« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2012, 07:38 »
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Best person to answer that would be someone with The Bridge to BigStock, who has virtually all the same images on both. And they can tell us if BS is consistent 13% of SS? That would be interesting to know.


My port at BS is through the Bridge system and yes I usually make about 13% at BS than I do at SS. 

microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2012, 08:26 »
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if I have today two hours, should I make an illustrations and upload to all stock agencies, including low-earners or should I rather make 3 illustrations and upload them only to the first top agencies?

For photos, I'd say: why choose if you can have both? Just use Lightburner and avoid sites without FTP and with categories, and you can upload to all sites at once.

For vectors, the upload is probably a bit more difficult.

« Reply #20 on: September 03, 2012, 09:30 »
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I think I have a very LCV port. Some good points were made here. And to me it seems true. My port on SS is not roaring with 225 dls per month.
 and so the low earners only get me 6-10 downloads per month. Middel tier about 25 dls per month
But I am shooting what I like and not really stock orientated.

At the moment:
SS 380 photos - 225 dls month
FT 250 photos - 25 dls month
CanStockPhoto 430 photos - 6 dls month
DP 490 photos - 8 dls month
123 460 photos - 25 dls month


I guess my port is even more LCV :).

SS 460 Photos and only 160 downloads ;(

here a link http://www.shutterstock.com/cat.mhtml?gallery_id=796441&safesearch=1&prev_sort_method=popular&sort_method=newest&page=1

EmberMike

« Reply #21 on: September 03, 2012, 09:44 »
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...For vectors, the upload is probably a bit more difficult.

Yes and no. Some sites make it almost as easy to upload vectors as it is to upload photos.

The big difference when it comes to middle and low tier sites is that, going based on the MSG poll, vector artists need to keep in mind that the poll results are probably heavily influenced by photographer results. There are sites that do far better (or far worse) for vector folks than for photographers, so doing a little more of your own trial and experimentation with lower tier sites is necessary if you work with vectors.

For example, my #2 earner last month behind SS was GraphicRiver. GR is barely a blip on the radar in the poll results. So if I only chose sites to work with based on the poll, I'd be missing out on some good earners.

stan

    This user is banned.
« Reply #22 on: September 03, 2012, 10:09 »
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I'd say no, I stopped ULing to the non top 4 sites after a few months. Not only you're wasting your time, but also support agencies that compete only with the lowest prices and lead the race to the bottom. And that is bad for all of us. They also never earned me more than 10-15% and I'm talking about 10 agencies or so, not just a couple. Besides most of those agencies put your files on dozens of partner sites, you can't even track where your content sells and there is often a problem with deleting those files. OTOH FT do that as well.

And one more important thing; mid/bottom tier agencies are usually all sweet when you're joining them, but show their dark side when you want to remove your images. DP only deactivates them, not deletes them and someone reported they haven't even deleted them, since he got payed for the period of his absence.

lisafx

« Reply #23 on: September 03, 2012, 10:38 »
+1
I'd say no, I stopped ULing to the non top 4 sites after a few months. Not only you're wasting your time, but also support agencies that compete only with the lowest prices and lead the race to the bottom. And that is bad for all of us. They also never earned me more than 10-15% and I'm talking about 10 agencies or so, not just a couple. Besides most of those agencies put your files on dozens of partner sites, you can't even track where your content sells and there is often a problem with deleting those files. OTOH FT do that as well.


I'm glad I didn't follow this advice^^.  I have seen my income at two of the top 4 agencies drop by more that 50% in the past year, thanks to search engine changes that penalize top selling (read expensive) contributors.  Thank goodness I am on some of those "low sellers" because they are the only thing keeping my numbers to a tolerable level. 

EmberMike

« Reply #24 on: September 03, 2012, 10:42 »
+1
I'd say no, I stopped ULing to the non top 4 sites after a few months. Not only you're wasting your time, but also support agencies that compete only with the lowest prices and lead the race to the bottom. And that is bad for all of us...

This is such an overgeneralization based on the bad behavior of just a few sites. The fact is, there are more smaller sites pushing for higher prices than there are big ones. On top of that, smaller sites tend to pay greater percentages to contributors.

I can understand people not doing well with mid and low tier sites. Not everyone's portfolio will perform the same across the different agencies. But to say that any company below the Big 4 is contributing to this "race to the bottom" is completely false.

« Reply #25 on: September 03, 2012, 11:00 »
+1
I'd say no, I stopped ULing to the non top 4 sites after a few months. Not only you're wasting your time, but also support agencies that compete only with the lowest prices and lead the race to the bottom. And that is bad for all of us. They also never earned me more than 10-15% and I'm talking about 10 agencies or so, not just a couple. Besides most of those agencies put your files on dozens of partner sites, you can't even track where your content sells and there is often a problem with deleting those files. OTOH FT do that as well.



I'm glad I didn't follow this advice^^.  I have seen my income at two of the top 4 agencies drop by more that 50% in the past year, thanks to search engine changes that penalize top selling (read expensive) contributors.  Thank goodness I am on some of those "low sellers" because they are the only thing keeping my numbers to a tolerable level.
Totally agree, the smaller sites are at least helping to plug the gap left by the other 2.

stan

    This user is banned.
« Reply #26 on: September 03, 2012, 11:28 »
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I'd say no, I stopped ULing to the non top 4 sites after a few months. Not only you're wasting your time, but also support agencies that compete only with the lowest prices and lead the race to the bottom. And that is bad for all of us. They also never earned me more than 10-15% and I'm talking about 10 agencies or so, not just a couple. Besides most of those agencies put your files on dozens of partner sites, you can't even track where your content sells and there is often a problem with deleting those files. OTOH FT do that as well.


I'm glad I didn't follow this advice^^.  I have seen my income at two of the top 4 agencies drop by more that 50% in the past year, thanks to search engine changes that penalize top selling (read expensive) contributors.  Thank goodness I am on some of those "low sellers" because they are the only thing keeping my numbers to a tolerable level.

But you can lower your prices at FT. DT aside, the prices are the same. And DT doesn't seem to sell much for anyone, so you're not the only one hurt.


« Reply #27 on: September 03, 2012, 11:37 »
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But you can lower your prices at FT.
I doubt that would work for me as most of my images that sell are level 2 so I would risk the possibility of halving my earnings.

stan

    This user is banned.
« Reply #28 on: September 03, 2012, 11:42 »
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But you can lower your prices at FT.
I doubt that would work for me as most of my images that sell are level 2 so I would risk the possibility of halving my earnings.

Well then the theory that your images are too expensive just doesn't hold water, now does it? ;)

« Reply #29 on: September 03, 2012, 12:19 »
+1
If low earners provide 15% of your total microstock income:

15% of $100 = $15
15% of $1000 = $150
15% of $10000 = $1500 ...

Now, you just need to estimate the value of 1 hour of your time spent on microstock and it is pretty clear if it is worth to upload there.

It is worth for me.

http://microstock.pixelsaway.com/payout-structure-from-microstock-agencies-in-2012/

lisafx

« Reply #30 on: September 03, 2012, 12:35 »
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But you can lower your prices at FT.
I doubt that would work for me as most of my images that sell are level 2 so I would risk the possibility of halving my earnings.

Well then the theory that your images are too expensive just doesn't hold water, now does it? ;)

Right.  Nobody's saying that the images don't sell because the IMAGES are too expensive.  We are saying the images are deliberately buried in the search because the CONTRIBUTORS are too expensive.  If I make 37% and someone else makes 25%, who provides the bigger profit margin for the site? 

stan

    This user is banned.
« Reply #31 on: September 03, 2012, 15:10 »
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But you can lower your prices at FT.
I doubt that would work for me as most of my images that sell are level 2 so I would risk the possibility of halving my earnings.

Well then the theory that your images are too expensive just doesn't hold water, now does it? ;)

Right.  Nobody's saying that the images don't sell because the IMAGES are too expensive.  We are saying the images are deliberately buried in the search because the CONTRIBUTORS are too expensive.  If I make 37% and someone else makes 25%, who provides the bigger profit margin for the site?

That indeed makes sense. But without this explanation of yours there's room for a couple of interpretations.

It looks like that's the case at IS and especially FT. However looking at Aug sales thread at IS, it seems that things improved for many diamonds, a few had BMEs or 2nd BMEs. Still, some top contributors like Sean are down, but not as much as they were in some of the prevoius months (30% instead of 10).

lisafx

« Reply #32 on: September 03, 2012, 15:41 »
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It looks like that's the case at IS and especially FT. However looking at Aug sales thread at IS, it seems that things improved for many diamonds, a few had BMEs or 2nd BMEs. Still, some top contributors like Sean are down, but not as much as they were in some of the prevoius months (30% instead of 10).

I hope that is a trend and that it continues.  Sites need to wake up to the fact that they are actually hurting themselves by burying some of their best content in favor of short term boosts in profits. 

stan

    This user is banned.
« Reply #33 on: September 03, 2012, 15:57 »
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It looks like that's the case at IS and especially FT. However looking at Aug sales thread at IS, it seems that things improved for many diamonds, a few had BMEs or 2nd BMEs. Still, some top contributors like Sean are down, but not as much as they were in some of the prevoius months (30% instead of 10).

I hope that is a trend and that it continues.  Sites need to wake up to the fact that they are actually hurting themselves by burying some of their best content in favor of short term boosts in profits.

But if you put yourself in our (small fry) shoes, then you'd see that it's just fair for us to get a chance of getting some premium search positions as well. For a long period of time there was a lot of old files with a ton of DLs, that just weren't up to today's standards anymore, getting all the sales. That's not fair either, after all it's 2012, not 2005. Everybody should get a fair chance. It's gonna be a small window of opportunity anyway, given how saturated the market is

lisafx

« Reply #34 on: September 03, 2012, 16:17 »
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But if you put yourself in our (small fry) shoes, then you'd see that it's just fair for us to get a chance of getting some premium search positions as well. For a long period of time there was a lot of old files with a ton of DLs, that just weren't up to today's standards anymore, getting all the sales. That's not fair either, after all it's 2012, not 2005. Everybody should get a fair chance. It's gonna be a small window of opportunity anyway, given how saturated the market is

Stan, I am not advocating only putting old best sellers in front of searches.  I am suggesting that PENALIZING successful contributors as a group is the agencies shooting themselves in the foot. 

Bottom line is the search should never be about what's "fair" to contributors, nor about padding agency profits.  It should be about getting the best content in front of the buyers.  A good mix of new stuff AND best sellers would accomplish that, and the sites that consistently do it, like SS, are the ones that have not seen either buyers or contributors leaving in frustration. 

stan

    This user is banned.
« Reply #35 on: September 03, 2012, 16:27 »
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But if you put yourself in our (small fry) shoes, then you'd see that it's just fair for us to get a chance of getting some premium search positions as well. For a long period of time there was a lot of old files with a ton of DLs, that just weren't up to today's standards anymore, getting all the sales. That's not fair either, after all it's 2012, not 2005. Everybody should get a fair chance. It's gonna be a small window of opportunity anyway, given how saturated the market is

Stan, I am not advocating only putting old best sellers in front of searches.  I am suggesting that PENALIZING successful contributors as a group is the agencies shooting themselves in the foot. 

Bottom line is the search should never be about what's "fair" to contributors, nor about padding agency profits.  It should be about getting the best content in front of the buyers.  A good mix of new stuff AND best sellers would accomplish that, and the sites that consistently do it, like SS, are the ones that have not seen either buyers or contributors leaving in frustration.

I wasn't saying you were. But sometimes you top seller sound like conspiracy theorists ;)

Indeed, that's what I've been saying all the time. It's just that if there's 19 mio crappy images out of 20, it's hard for the search engines to deliver.

lisafx

« Reply #36 on: September 03, 2012, 21:55 »
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But sometimes you top seller sound like conspiracy theorists ;)


LOL.  I can't argue with you on that one.  Give it a year or two and you may find yourself joining the rest of us wearing our tinfoil hats ;D


« Reply #37 on: September 04, 2012, 02:20 »
+1
A part of the Big 4, I submit to other low earners, but drop by drop, every month is a good amount of money. I contribute with low (medium) earners such as 123RF, Deposit, Photodune and Canstock.

If you are not exclusive to one agency, I think the best idea is submitting to as many agencies you can.

EmberMike

« Reply #38 on: September 04, 2012, 08:26 »
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I make over 30% of my income each month from middle and low tier sites. I'd say that 30% is worth the effort to upload to smaller sites.

My #2 site last month was on the low tier list.

I couldn't imagine choosing sites to participate in based solely on the poll results. Sure it's a good starting point, and the Big 4 are generally good earners for just about everyone. No doubt everyone should be on SS, and at least try istock, DT, and FT. But beyond that, I'd hate to leave it up to other people's results to define my roster of sites I contribute to. If I did that, I know for sure that I'd be missing out on some good earners that may not be great sites for everyone but happen to work well for me.

As much as it's a pain to have a really long list of sites to check and maintain, I'd still say that it's good to start with a long list and then cut back based on your own personal results. Who knows if one of those middle or low tier sites could be one of your Big 4. You'll never know unless you try them.


tab62

« Reply #39 on: September 04, 2012, 10:51 »
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my lower earners banged in 22% of my total revenue in the month of August and currently are the highest percentage this month. The few sales that I do get have av very high RPD compared to the top tier companies where they have the volume. It sort is like dinner- the steak is the main course (SS, iStock) where the side dishes are the lower earners.  ;)



« Reply #40 on: September 05, 2012, 00:41 »
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Hi ... and hi to everyone (this is my first post here, I've discoved only now this big community!)

Ok so... before start I'm just telling you that microstock is my main job and I create everyday something and I used to upload every week from 10 to 20 new vectors and I have a big portfolio now.. considering that this is my 4th year in this business.

I can tell you that at the beginning (for the first 2 years) the low earner sites used to earn so low (Compared to SS)that I didn't want to spend too much time about uploading on such sites...
After 2 year.. I've started to produce much more quality works and at the same time I've decided to upload my vectors almost everywhere ... so TODAY I can tell you that low earner agencies all together can earn something that you wouldn't like to lose.... So even if a website earn as low as 200 or 300 dollar a month ... if you think about 3 or 4 low earners .. they can go over a 1 thousand and it's not a bad number to add to the best seller agencies...
Of course if on a low earner you earn only 5  10 or 20 dollars ....maybe you are not sure if deserve you effort ..BUT .. trust me ..if one day you'll have on your best agencies 3000 or 4000 and then you'll decide to upload your files in other agencies.. you're gonna be crazy to upload such a number of images...

So my suggestion is start TODAY to upload everywhere, even if you earn the money to go one or two times to a good restaurant then do it! Something is better than nothing....

And we should be honest, once you attach the keywords to your images and you upload by FTP your images on all agencies then you only have to submit the images on site... It's nothing so paintful and complicated:

For example if you upload 20 images a week then in 20 minutes you can keyword all the images (you have also the microstock keywording tool...). Then open the FTP client and setup the uplaod in all agencies, time for this? almost 20 minutes.. do it before go to sleep and the pc will work for you at the night.
The day after you only have to do the submit after the categories selections..if you have 10 agencies... 1 or 2 hours are enough for sure...so.

At the end ... My advise is: find 1,5 or 2 hours every monday (for example) and submit everywhere..

Set up a work flow... at the end you'll do it automatically even without think about it!! :-D
:-D


 

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