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Author Topic: Earnings in the 800-1000$ month range, who makes it?  (Read 8620 times)

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« on: June 04, 2018, 08:23 »
0
So, let's say you want to sell (almost) exclusively stock footage. Assume 800-1000$ monthly would be enough for you to live without a day job (either because you live in a cheap country or have other passive sources).

Roughly how many clips (port size) in how many agencies (assume agencies from the top 10...) did you need to upload in order to reach (more or less) that kind of value? How long did it take to reach than monthly average?

Are there many people here in that stage? Is it reasonable to assume those goals, or really a fantasy except if you are a world class videographer?

Beginners like myself do tend to try to see down the road, even in the middle of the thick fog of uncertainty that this business presents at the beginning...  :)

ps - i know the "depends on how good you clips are" will be the obvious (and correct answer), but let's assume a competent portfolio, not genius, but solid.

thanks for the answers?


niktol

« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2018, 08:27 »
+8
800-1000$ monthly is peanuts for some and impossible to achieve for others. Goodness is not a good metric, just like a "car length". Sorry, there is no definitive answer to that.

« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2018, 08:32 »
0
Yeah, i figured some answer like that haha. Thanks!

Also, of course the ocean view or the beautiful mountain only require that you ARE there, and have a camera on you. But the more produced (and potentially more lucrative) clips with models posing and creating some situation will be more expensive to produce. So the 800-1000 should also include the "after paying how much you spent producing the clips)..

Thanks niktol. I would still like to here people's input on this one.

« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2018, 08:33 »
+2
I can sometimes make $800-$1000 a (week)day with 10,000+ clips, but $200-$400 per day is more likely for me.

February, 2018 was my BME, averaging $5,000 per week during that month.

So, it can be achievable with hard work.

« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2018, 08:36 »
+2
It's not possible to make this sort of money from microstock. Some people will claim it is, however most contributors are earning less than $500 a month. At the very best it can earn you a few expenses. Definitely keep the day job and only do micro if you enjoy the hobby of shooting stock.

niktol

« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2018, 08:38 »
0
But the more produced (and potentially more lucrative) clips with models posing and creating some situation will be more expensive to produce. So the 800-1000 should also include the "after paying how much you spent producing the clips)..

Thanks niktol. I would still like to here people's input on this one.

Making illustrations certainly has the benefits of having very few expenses, but I wouldn't plan it around what's expensive, but more around who is going to pay for that and how much.

« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2018, 08:50 »
0
I can sometimes make $800-$1000 a (week)day with 10,000+ clips, but $200-$400 per day is more likely for me.

February, 2018 was my BME, averaging $5,000 per week during that month.

So, it can be achievable with hard work.


That's amazing... 10,000 clips is also a really big portfolio. How long did it take you to build it?

It's not possible to make this sort of money from microstock. Some people will claim it is, however most contributors are earning less than $500 a month. At the very best it can earn you a few expenses. Definitely keep the day job and only do micro if you enjoy the hobby of shooting stock.

That's not an encouraging view, but it's certainly useful to know where the ground if you're trying to climb up.. Yeah, the dayjob is still here for the moment haha

But the more produced (and potentially more lucrative) clips with models posing and creating some situation will be more expensive to produce. So the 800-1000 should also include the "after paying how much you spent producing the clips)..

Thanks niktol. I would still like to here people's input on this one.

Making illustrations certainly has the benefits of having very few expenses, but I wouldn't plan it around what's expensive, but more around who is going to pay for that and how much.

Illustration is a very interesting world. I messed around a bit with it but wouldn't there to go and sell it, i would need to improve really a lot more. For the moment my chips are in footage. And yes, sometimes if in a shooting session you get 10 clips and a total of 3-5 sales you almost paid for the expense, so it probably is a good idea not to be (too) cheap on production.

« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2018, 08:54 »
0
That's amazing... 10,000 clips is also a really big portfolio. How long did it take you to build it?

Thanks.  I'm going into my 10th year shooting stock video.  I average about 1,000 new clips per year.

« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2018, 08:54 »
+6
I can sometimes make $800-$1000 a (week)day with 10,000+ clips, but $200-$400 per day is more likely for me.

February, 2018 was my BME, averaging $5,000 per week during that month.

So, it can be achievable with hard work.


I would take anonymous posters with seven post history comments with a grain of salt.

eta: eight posts :)

« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2018, 08:57 »
0
It's not possible to make this sort of money from microstock. Some people will claim it is, however most contributors are earning less than $500 a month. At the very best it can earn you a few expenses. Definitely keep the day job and only do micro if you enjoy the hobby of shooting stock.
It is possible but very very hard and getting harder. Most contributors don't put in a full shift. For those that work a 50 hour week and focus on what sells rather than what they enjoy its achievable I reckon.

niktol

« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2018, 09:00 »
0
And yes, sometimes if in a shooting session you get 10 clips and a total of 3-5 sales you almost paid for the expense, so it probably is a good idea not to be (too) cheap on production.

Photography isn't my place to give advises, but back in the days when I was a student I was making livable money by selling all sorts of crap on a street market. The most expensive "quality" stuff did not make the most income.  This experience does not translate directly into microstock, because we don't control prices, but still something to think about.

« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2018, 10:52 »
+1
I can sometimes make $800-$1000 a (week)day with 10,000+ clips, but $200-$400 per day is more likely for me.

February, 2018 was my BME, averaging $5,000 per week during that month.

So, it can be achievable with hard work.


I would take anonymous posters with seven post history comments with a grain of salt.

eta: eight posts :)

Why? I would think it's more likely that a non-anonymous poster would feel the need to improve their sales numbers in a forum post.

There are two reasons an anonymous poster would post about sales on a forum:

Ego boost (myself included).
To troll. But posting about good sales would be a very counterproductive way of trolling, so you'd have to be, shall we say, not so smart. It's much more valuable to troll about bad sales, which I think some people might actually be doing (which really is a good thing for all of us).

The first reason is more likely, and there would be no ego boost with made up numbers. The ego boost only comes from posting actual numbers.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2018, 12:53 by increasingdifficulty »

« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2018, 11:47 »
0
Indeed the business is getting harder and much more difficult for the newcomers. When someone makes certain amount with 10,000 clips, it doesn't necessarily mean it will be the same amount for a newer one when you get there. Because the old one would have 20,000 by then and his clips are ranked much higher than yours because of sales and search history.

Of course, if you have unique and good contents, they will rise to the top eventually.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2018, 12:24 by Orchidpoet »

« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2018, 11:55 »
+6
I can sometimes make $800-$1000 a (week)day with 10,000+ clips, but $200-$400 per day is more likely for me.

February, 2018 was my BME, averaging $5,000 per week during that month.

So, it can be achievable with hard work.


I would take anonymous posters with seven post history comments with a grain of salt.

eta: eight posts :)

I would take most of the comments on MSG with a grain of salt.

dpimborough

« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2018, 13:16 »
+1
I can sometimes make $800-$1000 a (week)day with 10,000+ clips, but $200-$400 per day is more likely for me.

February, 2018 was my BME, averaging $5,000 per week during that month.

So, it can be achievable with hard work.


I would take anonymous posters with seven post history comments with a grain of salt.

eta: eight posts :)

I would take most of the comments on MSG with a grain of salt.

Including yours?  ;D

« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2018, 15:54 »
+3
I believe that the size of a portfolio is a very overstated idea.
In the last year I have been uploading only 30-40 clips per month, as opposed to 150-250 before (I have been busy with other projects, as some of you might have noticed :-)), and my sales have actually increased.
Of course, now I don't upload any similar clips and I pay a lot of attention to quality rather than quantity

« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2018, 19:06 »
0
I can sometimes make $800-$1000 a (week)day with 10,000+ clips, but $200-$400 per day is more likely for me.

February, 2018 was my BME, averaging $5,000 per week during that month.

So, it can be achievable with hard work.


I would take anonymous posters with seven post history comments with a grain of salt.

eta: eight posts :)

I would take most of the comments on MSG with a grain of salt.

Including yours?  ;D

Especially mine  :-*


SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2018, 20:51 »
+1
Based on my current/historical stats... I would need about 175 clips, uploaded over roughly a period of one year, to reach an average of $900 a month.

« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2018, 20:53 »
0
I believe that the size of a portfolio is a very overstated idea.
In the last year I have been uploading only 30-40 clips per month, as opposed to 150-250 before (I have been busy with other projects, as some of you might have noticed :-)), and my sales have actually increased.
Of course, now I don't upload any similar clips and I pay a lot of attention to quality rather than quantity

I must start doing this, photos and footage alike. But I always think "what is the buyer wants this slightly different view".
The only question is: is it only a matter of "being more work for me (keywording, post processing, etc)" or does it actually affect sales?
BTW, love your youtube channel!

« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2018, 09:38 »
+2
I can sometimes make $800-$1000 a (week)day with 10,000+ clips, but $200-$400 per day is more likely for me.

February, 2018 was my BME, averaging $5,000 per week during that month.

So, it can be achievable with hard work.


I would take anonymous posters with seven post history comments with a grain of salt.

eta: eight posts :)

Why? I would think it's more likely that a non-anonymous poster would feel the need to improve their sales numbers in a forum post.

There are two reasons an anonymous poster would post about sales on a forum:

Ego boost (myself included).
To troll. But posting about good sales would be a very counterproductive way of trolling, so you'd have to be, shall we say, not so smart. It's much more valuable to troll about bad sales, which I think some people might actually be doing (which really is a good thing for all of us).

The first reason is more likely, and there would be no ego boost with made up numbers. The ego boost only comes from posting actual numbers.

I would describe posting one's financial results/ sales info for all to see 50% Ego boost 50% Stupidity

Tyson Anderson

  • www.openrangestudios.com
« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2018, 14:47 »
+5
It's not possible to make this sort of money from microstock. Some people will claim it is, however most contributors are earning less than $500 a month. At the very best it can earn you a few expenses. Definitely keep the day job and only do micro if you enjoy the hobby of shooting stock.

Not possible?  Definitely is!  If you work hard enough at this industry and jump on opportunities, There's a lot of money to be made.  If you put in lazy work with unrealistic goals, you can end up bitter spending more time posting on this forum then grinding out sellable content.

« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2018, 09:53 »
+1
I'm sure some are doing well.
Many folks around here remember the good old days. I averaged will over your range for a couple of years long ago, and the future looked bright. Anyone remember the iStock feature that would project your future sales? It was fun seeing estimates of my future earnings of $5-6K per month in three years based on my current trajectory.
I was hoping this would be a nice retirement.
In answer to your question, yes many of us made far more than that per month. Now due to competition, lack of fresh content, hard work, and lack of imagination all on my part, plus being unwilling to spend time these days, it is a shadow of the past. Still enough to buy new lenses without my wife complaining and write off some travel through the LLC I set up, but I'm sure I'll never see those numbers again. That probably speaks more about me than potential for someone with talent and drive.

« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2018, 10:06 »
+2
You can also put in lots of great hard work and go nowhere. Nothing is guaranteed to rise to the top. It just gets thrown into the pile with the rest of the work and either gets noticed or doesn't. That's kind of the system that's been built though.

« Reply #23 on: June 06, 2018, 12:38 »
+2
So, my opinion, there are a lot of heroes here. Honestly, don't hold your breath for 1000 usd per month, it's not easy to achieve. Certainly are contributors, top contributors, who earn thousands of usd per month, but it's easy to spot them: they are well promoted, they have account with 20K, 40K, sometimes 80K footage, professional cameras, actors, huge investments in their portfolio etc. More realistic is that you can work 2-3 years, not full time, and earn maybe 400-500 usd. But the market is huge, 11 milions footage already, so either you do it full time, and you add 5000 footage every year, with a large variety of subjects and ideas, or you can do it for passion, and earn enough to buy new gadgets, tools, cameras, etc. This is my opinion, don't hold your breath and dream of huge amounts of income, it's not that easy. I worked 4 years, but not full time, I keep adding material, and now I earn let's say 400 usd average per month.

Hope it helped you, and maybe you see a little bit of reality, how it actually is the stock footage business. Good luck!

« Reply #24 on: June 06, 2018, 13:52 »
+2
so either you do it full time, and you add 5000 footage every year

If you create and upload 5,000 clips in one year, as one person, I can almost guarantee that your sales will be bad. Why? Because your quality will be crap.

Even 1,000 quality clips in one year is a lot! Just buying a camera and walking out the front door and later spraypainting the agencies with snapshots isn't going to get you very far... You might get the odd sale out of 100 clips but it will be a massive waste of time.

Time spent educating yourself, learning exactly what to film, when and where to do it, and how to make it perfect in post will get you much further.

Go to a location where you can film something that's in high demand, wait for the perfect time (that will only be once or twice in one day), and plan ahead exactly where to stand and create one really good clip.

The sky didn't deliver? Then you do a sky replacement with some amazing clouds you shot at another time and location. That is how a perfect clip and a bestseller is created.

I have gone on 4-day trips where I only ended up with 7-10 clips to sell. And they have paid for the trip and much more.

I could have uploaded 400 clips of random stuff walking around all day, but most of them would never ever sell, so it would be a giant waste of upload time.

« Reply #25 on: June 06, 2018, 15:08 »
0
I could have uploaded 400 clips of random stuff walking around all day, but most of them would never ever sell, so it would be a giant waste of upload time.

Don't worry. You'll be a commodity soon like the rest of us and it will all be a waste of time. Hooray! :D

csm

« Reply #26 on: June 06, 2018, 15:13 »
+2
Totally agree.

I'm nearly up to a 1000 clips, that has taken me over a year, of constant thinking of new ideas and then planning and creating them.

People get to caught up in numbers.
I know of some top created who have under 10 000 clips.
I have come across a portfolio with clips of "Dog poo bins" and then they wondering why they aren't selling anything.
Not sure who would buy those... and then complaining about lack of sales or saying top contributors are well promoted.
They are only well promoted because they are producing great work which people want to buy, why wouldn't agents want to promote the best work?
Or should they be promoting clips of "Dog poo bins" instead?

You should make every clip count in your portfolio, is my philosophy.


« Reply #27 on: June 06, 2018, 15:18 »
+1
I could have uploaded 400 clips of random stuff walking around all day, but most of them would never ever sell, so it would be a giant waste of upload time.

Don't worry. You'll be a commodity soon like the rest of us and it will all be a waste of time. Hooray! :D

Sure, if better people (of which there are many around the world) upload enough clips in my area, my clips will stop selling. Absolutely.

What I can do is to continue to improve and learn new things and improve my post processing. Then, and only then, will I stand a fighting chance.

If I sit back and relax, or just continue on like before thinking I know it all (which is what some stubborn people here seem to be doing), sales will surely go down. There will always be someone else more hungry, and there are lots of talented people around the world willing to put in the work.

I can tell you that the stuff I filmed the first 6 months never sold much, and will never sell much, apart from a few lucky shots, because I didn't know what, when, how, and where to shoot. And the equipment was new so it was fun to just point the camera at anything.

5 clips I make today sell more than 200 I made when I first started.

Don't worry. You'll be a commodity soon like the rest of us and it will all be a waste of time. Hooray! :D

By the way, how can it be a waste of time if enough sales to pay for travel, time, and more have already come in? That's the very definition of "not a waste of time", even if they are all deleted tomorrow.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2018, 15:36 by increasingdifficulty »

« Reply #28 on: June 06, 2018, 15:55 »
0
Sure, if better people (of which there are many around the world) upload enough clips in my area, my clips will stop selling. Absolutely.

That's the thing though, it doesn't really matter if it is better. You eventually get drowned in a sea of images and keywords. That guy that shoots 5000 clips of garbage a year might not make much money, but he'll eventually start cutting into your earnings. Maybe not much this year, but they'll be another hundred or thousand people like him next year. I'm not saying this to be bitter, pessimistic or a jerk. It just seems to be the pattern. As an illustrator, I strolled by several photogs that were probably proverbial canaries in the coal mine.

« Reply #29 on: June 06, 2018, 16:15 »
0
Thats something I struggle with. How to know what to shoot ... and thats the million dollar question.
My question to you guys is: Do you choose based on experience of you selling clips, or do you have an external tool to do it? (google trending topics, suggested themes by the agencies, keyword.io numbers, etc)?
Im not asking for you workflow, I know thats trade secret, but where do you look to find "what customers want"?
Thanks!

fritz

  • I love Tom and Jerry music

« Reply #30 on: June 06, 2018, 18:29 »
+1
Thats something I struggle with. How to know what to shoot ... and thats the million dollar question.
My question to you guys is: Do you choose based on experience of you selling clips, or do you have an external tool to do it? (google trending topics, suggested themes by the agencies, keyword.io numbers, etc)?
Im not asking for you workflow, I know thats trade secret, but where do you look to find "what customers want"?
Thanks!

Well, look at commercials,documentaries,TV spots,news,trends....Here's the answer to your question

« Reply #31 on: June 06, 2018, 18:49 »
0
Reiterating what raciro said,

Yea, the "good ol' days" in micro are gone (at least for me) so I'm not sure what it takes to do well anymore. Too many images available and lots of copying. images seem to have a shelf life too, so you're always trying to stay ahead of the wave (the bell curve) of image interest fall off.

I used to make around $1400 per month with about 2000 images. Now I have around 3500 images and don't make anywhere near that. I don't shoot as much as I used to and when I do it exclusively goes to Getty, only what they reject goes to micro. But Getty is not the same agency they used to be. I'm getting mostly "micro" priced sales from Getty nowadays but Getty still overall beats my old micro RPI. (Barely) I just don't have many images on Getty. I'm dabbling in video, did a few time-lapse, but those seem labor intensive to me.

If you're good enough maybe trying to get in with a macro agency like Stocksy might be an alternative but I think they're fairly selective. I've seen some great stuff on Stocksy.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2018, 18:54 by stock shooter »

« Reply #32 on: June 08, 2018, 00:13 »
0
I can sometimes make $800-$1000 a (week)day with 10,000+ clips, but $200-$400 per day is more likely for me.

February, 2018 was my BME, averaging $5,000 per week during that month.

So, it can be achievable with hard work.
Who you are? Quentin Tarantino? Robert Rodriges? or one of The Wachowskis ?


« Reply #33 on: June 08, 2018, 00:19 »
0
Mostly not many people are far to that numbers you've mentioned, but there is tricky moment:
not all numbers work that way (obviously) like we could think. for example if your portfolio mostly vectors is 100 files, could be that it brings you 100$ in three month, or like you have 50 - 100 video files in you portfolio and each one is selling for 160-250$ . so, numbers can get you stacked with math.
But,
the good thing is all-time-working rule.

Work hard
Work a lot
Upload as much as possible
and good luck!


ShadySue

« Reply #34 on: June 09, 2018, 02:37 »
+1
Certainly are contributors, top contributors, who earn thousands of usd per month, but it's easy to spot them: they are well promoted, they have account with 20K, 40K, sometimes 80K footage, professional cameras, actors, huge investments in their portfolio etc.
So far more important is profit, not earnings.
Earnings in the $800-1000 range is next-to-nothing if you have, say, $600 or more pm in expenses.

« Reply #35 on: June 09, 2018, 02:41 »
+2
Certainly are contributors, top contributors, who earn thousands of usd per month, but it's easy to spot them: they are well promoted, they have account with 20K, 40K, sometimes 80K footage, professional cameras, actors, huge investments in their portfolio etc.
So far more important is profit, not earnings.
Earnings in the $800-1000 range is next-to-nothing if you have, say, $600 or more pm in expenses.
Which is why I stopped shooting models ;-). The key metric is really return on investment i.e earnings less cost including your time. Ideally the "opportunity cost" of your time...what would you be earning on your next best activity.

« Reply #36 on: June 09, 2018, 09:30 »
+3
800 dollars is not enough money for living, if you dont live in a country where the dollar is not very valuable. I do not think anyone can live comfortably only with little money if you are not doing an additional job, I am earning less than these amounts right now with around 6000 images. In the last few years, although I have increased my portfolio, my profits are getting smaller and smaller, I think that's the truth and I'm not hopeful for the future. If it continues this way, I will earn around $ 100-200 a few years later. This is a very thought-provoking and annoying situation. Unfortunately we brought ourselves to this situation, our pictures are sold for a few cents, even at the expense of nothing, we allow to do this and we do nothing to change it, while contributors are losing day by day, sales sites are increasing their profits day by day. iStock had good commissions in the past, but thanks to these low priced sites, they also changed their style to survive on the market. not all of what I mention may not seem related to the subject but what I really want to tell you that, starting from zero to earning $ 800 a month is no longer easy.


niktol

« Reply #37 on: June 11, 2018, 09:31 »
0
800 dollars is not enough money for living, if you dont live in a country where the dollar is not very valuable. I do not think anyone can live comfortably only with little money if you are not doing an additional job, I am earning less than these amounts right now with around 6000 images. In the last few years, although I have increased my portfolio, my profits are getting smaller and smaller, I think that's the truth and I'm not hopeful for the future. If it continues this way, I will earn around $ 100-200 a few years later. This is a very thought-provoking and annoying situation. Unfortunately we brought ourselves to this situation, our pictures are sold for a few cents, even at the expense of nothing, we allow to do this and we do nothing to change it, while contributors are losing day by day, sales sites are increasing their profits day by day. iStock had good commissions in the past, but thanks to these low priced sites, they also changed their style to survive on the market. not all of what I mention may not seem related to the subject but what I really want to tell you that, starting from zero to earning $ 800 a month is no longer easy.

There can be only one  8)

« Reply #38 on: July 29, 2018, 21:50 »
0
It's amazing just how many countries will consider that as very lavish income. In india, Pakistan, bhutan $800 is going to be what a graduate with 5-6 years of experience earns. So very very liveable

« Reply #39 on: July 29, 2018, 22:47 »
+1
I can sometimes make $800-$1000 a (week)day with 10,000+ clips, but $200-$400 per day is more likely for me.

February, 2018 was my BME, averaging $5,000 per week during that month.

So, it can be achievable with hard work.
Who you are? Quentin Tarantino? Robert Rodriges? or one of The Wachowskis ?

I would not take the post seriously. Anyone making that much from stock would not be so stupid and naive as to share their financial results even if they had a good size ego.

derek

    This user is banned.
« Reply #40 on: July 30, 2018, 01:22 »
+3
Sean said some years back!  dont do the mistake of thinking Quantity! sure it helps but with the right content!  people can have port of 50K images of just average/mediocre material and still not even reaching payout! others have smaller niched portfolios of a couple of thousand shots earning more then payouts every single month.
Dont forget its the Quantity game that have ruined this business and nowadays in the case of SS any fool with just what we refer to as garbage can be a member.


 

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