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Author Topic: Greetings, all - and a question about new sites  (Read 5152 times)

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« on: May 28, 2008, 11:50 »
I am very curious about the advent of new sites in light of recent speculation that the microstock industry is saturated, or old news, or in some way less attractive to buyers.  Is it really worthwhile to even consider jumping on-board with some of the new sites - especially since we're all pretty much elsewhere as well?

I'd love to know everyone's thoughts on that.

« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2008, 12:01 »
The only criteria I use whether to get on a new site or not is their Alexa.com traffic ranking. Bigstock and 123RF have ranks of ~8,000 and ~7,000 respectively. I get a decent income from Bigstock and 123RF is right at my threshold for a decent income. So if another site has a ranking worse than these two I won't join them (Crestock for instance is has a ranking of 31,000).

However, the size of your portfolio plays a part too. I only have 65-290 images in each site. If you have a huge portfolio then the smaller sites might give you a better return.

« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2008, 12:03 »
How quickly does Alexa start picking up the traffic report for new sites?

« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2008, 12:30 »
That I don't know - I would imagine their rankings are picked up as soon as people start going to their site.

Periodically I'll get on there and type a bunch of emerging micros to see if their rankings have improved. Snapvillage - 117,000, Mostphotos - 421,000, Featurepics - 35,000. Pretty dismal traffic ratings if you ask me and I won't waste my time uploading to them until they improve.

« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2008, 12:32 »
Here's some info on the Alexa rankings:


« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2008, 12:39 »
same here...I stoped submitting to micros that rank under 123rf  in Alexa...  I have from 50 to 340 pics in the big 6...if some day I have a couple of thousand pictures...
I`ll submit to some more sites...since only the upload process will make some money with that many pictures.

« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2008, 15:28 »
yeah i am surprised that snapvillage still has such rotten traffic ratings.  Fotolia was up and running a lot quicker that they are and they didn't have the backing of a major stock company (or maybe they did and I didn't know)


« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2008, 00:21 »
My main interest is sales, and sometimes there's a curiosity factor with new sites that can get them looked at when they aren't producing buyers. I guess I prefer to hang out in forums and try to catch the buzz about sites that are really making an effort to get going.

I am much more cautious now after the fiasco with Albumo. I falsely assumed that the fact they were paying for uploads (and I did get my upload bonus paid out as it went over the minimum payment threshhold) and said they'd be marketing the site once they got to 200K images meant that they were serious. Their pricing scheme was a little unusual, but it seemed potentially a good way to get buyers interested at lower prices and then have them go up as sales picked up. They have done nothing to promote the site and given that there's a commitment of time that went with the upload bonus, we can't remove our images beyond the 1 per day.

SnapVillage has seemed (to me) like a complete non-starter from the beginning, Corbis notwithstanding. Lame name, weak contributor tools, and I think they hired Microsoft's ad agency - I thought their print ads were dreadful. I do keep checking to see if something might be changing, but I've heard nothing about surging sales so far.

I'd advise anyone to focus on building a portfolio at the top 4 to 6 agencies - that's where the bulk of the money comes from each month for most of us anyway. Unless a new site has something really special - some way to snare a new pool of buyers the way Fotolia went after the non-English speaking market - how are they going to benefit us as contributors?

Commission percentages or prices mean nothing if you can't generate business. To paraphrase a blunt speaking marketing executive, "40% of f_#* all is still f_#* all"


« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2008, 00:36 »
Riffmax -

I don't think microstock is over saturated with images, anymore than Alamy is over saturated with 12 million images and growing.

Yes, the competition is tougher at the major microstock sites.  But those are the sites with the sales.  Take a look at the earnings percentage breakdowns from contributors each month at MSG.  You'll see that the small sites you are talking about barely contribute 1% of the earnings to a contributor's portfolio. 

Put another way, for every $1 you make at a small site, you would likely be making $99 if you were at the major 6 or 7 sites.  So do you really want to focus your efforts with the low earners?

This isn't like financial stocks where you try to buy at the bottom and ride the wave to the top.  Either a microstock company has sales, or it doesn't.  Whether you are the first online with your portfolio, or the last, doesn't mean much.  You need strong images, which are marketed by a strong agency.

« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2008, 07:53 »
I guess my question was more from a perspective of "why do the new sites even start?"   I would think that it would be difficult for them to even draw attention from top submitters.  I understand the attraction of a new agency to new submitters, as oftentimes it seems that when an agency is new, it's standards are somewhat loose as they work to build their library.

As I look at the Big6, I see 4 of the 5 agencies I submit to.  I have a great amount of diffficulty getting anything accepted at Istock, where I'm actually amazed that I've earned a couple of hundred dollars in 18 months on only 5 or 6 images!  At Dreamstime, my gallery is only 40-some-odd images....I have not really concentrated on them very much.  I have earned $150 in about 3 years.  I forget about Fotolia entirely, StockXpert won't have me and I don't think I've tried 123RoyaltyFree.  Then, of course, Shutterstock is my best performer with almost 900 images and payouts everymonth ranging from $125-$150.  And then BigStock has made me almost $400 in 3 years - my gallery is a little under 400 there, I think.

I'm getting off the original topic here - but wondering if I should concentrate more on Dreamstime and Fotolia?  It's difficult for me to justify taking time away from Shutterstock, as we all know continuous uploading is key.  Does that also apply elsewhere?  I want to be able to build and diversify and I'm trying to determine my best course of action to do so without sacrificing my performance at Shutterstock.


« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2008, 08:36 »
Summarising your earnings per site:

DT ----- BS ----- SS ----- IS
$50 -- $133 -- $1500 -- $133 Annual Total circa $1800

It looks like you would be much better spent concentrating on SS as its over 80% of your earnings.

As you should be spending time in proportion to the earnings.

If I were you I would try and understand why IS is rejecting so much of your stuff as this seems to be the 2nd earner for most people who contribute to multiple agencies (assuming that they have been accepted at all of them)

« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2008, 08:45 »

If I were you I would try and understand why IS is rejecting so much of your stuff as this seems to be the 2nd earner for most people who contribute to multiple agencies (assuming that they have been accepted at all of them)

I have only 2 rejections reasons that I ever get - either noise or overprocessed.  I am actually amazed that I have gotten the very few accepted that are there.   I guess I'll just keep trying though!


« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2008, 08:55 »
could be a couple of things

overediting jpegs - better to edit raw or tiff and export jpg as the last step

jpg output not set to highest quality 12 in PS or 10 in Aperture for example

excessive level adjustments or post processing - many say that IS prefer a more natural / less processed look than say SS

« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2008, 11:18 »
Yes, I have just recently begun to change my workflow to edit in tif.  Will check on the less processed look.  Hmmm -hadn't considered that.  But then, I'm spending double time doing two edits, right?


« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2008, 11:39 »
Ideally you find a happy medium that works for both ;-)


« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2008, 12:14 »
Yes, I have just recently begun to change my workflow to edit in tif.  Will check on the less processed look.  Hmmm -hadn't considered that.  But then, I'm spending double time doing two edits, right?

Adjustment layers are your friend :)

In the past I have done some edits that I knew would fly at SS (where they actually prefer the whack you in the eyes look versus iStock's more natural preference) but with adjustment layers it's easy to either turn them off or reduce opacity on them to produce two versions from one set of edits.

It really is worth it to get to the point that you can upload most of your stuff to iStock as they are one of the big income producers for most of us.

« Reply #16 on: May 29, 2008, 14:02 »
Yes, it would.  Even for a piker like me, it could make a difference!

Thanks for all the input!


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