pancakes

MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Author Topic: How to earn $1,000/month from video?  (Read 7334 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

« on: November 16, 2020, 15:44 »
0
Hi all, before you all laugh at me for the title of this thread - Please understand it is a candid question and I am searching for some experience-backed answers.

I currently earn around $10,000/month selling stock templates for Photoshop & Illustrator (on my own sites, CreativeMarket, GraphicRiver, Adobe Stock etc). I have been selling templates now for more than 10 years, so I'm no newbie to the world of "stock" itself. However, I have zero experience with image and video.

It's my wife & I's 30th birthdays next year and we are planning a year of travel to celebrate. It got me thinking that it might be worthwhile to pickup a camera and take some stock footage throughout our travels. We'll be covering a wide variety of countries and terrains (from the Nepalese Himalaya down through India and over to Africa), so I figured it'd be an ideal opportunity to build out a varied portfolio of footage.

Typically, when I consider uploading a new type of content, I like to set myself a monthly income goal, and to make it worthwhile carrying a camera with me, I think $1,000/month is a good starting point.
 
So, to get to the meat of my question: How many uploaded items do you think will be required to earn $1,000/month from stock video?

Also, some sub questions:

  • What type of videos sell best in your experience?
  • Is a new Go Pro good enough to shoot stock-worthy video, or should I take a DSLR? (I would like to avoid the bulky DSLR if possible)
  • How long should stock footage be?
  • Where are the best marketplaces to sell stock video?

Thank you in advanced, I appreciate any insights you experienced pros can give me!


« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2020, 18:38 »
+16
Ye gads, stick with your specialty, which youre doing awesome at, and just enjoy your vacation :).

« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2020, 19:15 »
+6
if you earn 10000$ a month with templates keep doing it,you are doing a great job...you won't earn it by selling video,maybe if you started 10 years ago...

« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2020, 03:00 »
+6
Tough question because talent is always the most important success in any creative approach. Next is subject matter and as you would already know researching many posts around here nature and travel are the most oversupplied subjects in stock and also the ones with the lowest returns. That doesn't mean you can not achieve success in than camp but it will be a lot harder and 1000$/month is hard nowadays if you are starting now.

I was making over 10k a month a few years back only from stock photography (not anymore) but when the quick declines accelerated I moved to video (2 years ago) I mainly do now drone video and stills with some footage from the ground and today I am hoovering from 500 to 800$ months from video alone so it is tough (around 3500 clips). It is true that I don't longer supply neither Shutterstock nor Istock at the moment because their rock bottom prices and royalty percentage to contributors so that number would probably be a little higher if I was submitting to them to but I am in for a longer term and sustainable business and those two don't tick my policy.

Templates, music and 3D are much more profitable because the access line is harder. Every Joe and Mary shoots stills and video nowadays with reasonable good quality. The bar has lowered a lot in video and with a 1000 mirrorless camera you can do wonders so as a business point of view I would definitely keep going with templates. If you travel and want to shoot something for the libraries go ahead. A few hundred clips will start to give you a picture of what you can expect from your clips but as I said with travel material don't rise the expectation to high.

And about the question:
What sells best: People doing stuff if in an office environment better. Keep it real.

The new GoPro s are good enough for video but if you want to improve your quality a small mirrorless will give you much better results. The newest fujis have amazing quality and are not that big.

How long: It depends: with drone footage I try to max out my minute but when doing still life, lifestyle etc 10-15 seconds is enough.

Best marketplaces: Pond5 and Adobe at the moment for the big known names. Istock I am not in but hear too many stories about under 1 dollar sales and only 20% is not very enticing.
Shutterstock was before I left my best seller with P5 but their new ultra low prices, subs and with a 15% commission at the start of every year is not very alluring either.
I also have some clips in Envato market (not Elements) and sales are not bad although not at the same levels as P5 and Adobe.
I also submit recently now to Artgrid but still don't have any meaningful number as they pay only twice a years if I am not mistaken.

Enjoy your journey and film and take stills of course but don't get the shooting limit your travel-life experience in any way. I think from an economical point of view it will be not worth it. With a few good templates you will make much more than with hundreds of clips.
I wish I was in your shoes now as I also travel a lot but right with all the countries in lock down mode I have to do studio shots which I really don't enjoy that much.

So all the best and good luck with your trip.


MxR

« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2020, 10:45 »
+8
Ok, but first, answer.... How to earn $10,000/month from templates...?

« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2020, 19:14 »
+4
i made my first template on ph today
10 000 a month
here i come :) :)

« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2020, 21:48 »
+1
i made my first template on ph today
10 000 a month
here i come :) :)

Let us know when you get there, okay?

Good luck!

« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2020, 22:09 »
+7
Going to that places and expect to earn 1000/month nowadays its hard.

Best advice: 1) enjoy vacations with your wife.
                    2) During trip shoot moments with both of you.
                    3) edit an film of your trip and give to her as gift.

those are priceless! ;-) 
     

« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2020, 23:47 »
+5
Going to that places and expect to earn 1000/month nowadays its hard.

Best advice: 1) enjoy vacations with your wife.
                    2) During trip shoot moments with both of you.
                    3) edit an film of your trip and give to her as gift.

those are priceless! ;-) 
   

Now that is the very best answer that you, dear CoffeeShopCEO, will ever get to your question.

And I say that as a 74-year-old woman with a husband of 53 years who is not doing well these days. Among our most treasured possessions are the photo albums of our decades of travel together. You will never regret having such things as you grow older.

« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2020, 06:10 »
0
Thank you all for the replies! I was under the impression video might be a bit less saturated than photos but I guess the real money right now is to stick with our template websites.

« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2020, 06:14 »
+1
Ok, but first, answer.... How to earn $10,000/month from templates...?

@Mxr, most of our money comes from our own websites. We have our own online stores with the option to purchase an individual template, or join as a monthly/yearly subscriber.

Then we upload to Adobe Stock, CreativeMarket, Envato etc. CreativeMarket and GraphicRiver are not what they once were, and Covid hit them particularly hard, but Adobe Stock is a good marketplace to sell on right now.

We're also experimenting right now by extracting illustrations from our works and uploading individually to places like ShutterStock, but so far we've made less than $10 lol

But if you're going to sell templates, you should definitely consider your own website as well. If you have specific questions, please feel free to ask :)

« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2020, 06:21 »
+2
@everest, thanks so much for this detailed response. Some stuff I didn't want to hear, but I guess that's why I knew I should ask first!

...it will be a lot harder and 1000$/month is hard nowadays if you are starting now.

I was making over 10k a month a few years back only from stock photography (not anymore)... I am hoovering from 500 to 800$ months from video alone so it is tough (around 3500 clips)...

Yikes, I was hoping this wasn't the case with video but oh well. Still, $800/month is nice!

What sells best: People doing stuff if in an office environment better. Keep it real.

Ah, so Yuri Accurs has been right from day one then! lol


Best marketplaces: Pond5 and Adobe at the moment for the big known names. Istock I am not in but hear too many stories about under 1 dollar sales and only 20% is not very enticing.

Never tried Pond5 will give it a look. Thanks for the suggestion. On Adobe Stock, our lowest earnings are around $0.38 per download, but the volume more than makes it up for it in my opinion.

Enjoy your journey and film and take stills of course but don't get the shooting limit your travel-life experience in any way. I think from an economical point of view it will be not worth it.  So all the best and good luck with your trip.

Thank you! And again, thanks for the advice!

« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2020, 06:23 »
+1
Going to that places and expect to earn 1000/month nowadays its hard.

Best advice: 1) enjoy vacations with your wife.
                    2) During trip shoot moments with both of you.
                    3) edit an film of your trip and give to her as gift.

those are priceless! ;-) 
   

Now that is the very best answer that you, dear CoffeeShopCEO, will ever get to your question.

And I say that as a 74-year-old woman with a husband of 53 years who is not doing well these days. Among our most treasured possessions are the photo albums of our decades of travel together. You will never regret having such things as you grow older.

Indeed, thank you folks! 🙏

« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2020, 17:31 »
+1
I'm not trying to put you down, but learn how to shoot high quality video first. It's not about "Gopro or DSLR", even tho the competition you are facing are using pro level video and cinema cameras.

« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2020, 00:48 »
+2
Pro level video and cinema cameras mean nothing nowadays. Today cameras are good enough for stock footage by a large margin. It is the right subject and style what matters the most and not if you shoot with an Arri Alexa or a Panasonic Gh5.

I'm not trying to put you down, but learn how to shoot high quality video first. It's not about "Gopro or DSLR", even tho the competition you are facing are using pro level video and cinema cameras.

« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2020, 05:44 »
+1
Try carrying an ARRI ALEXA with capture drives on your shoulder climbing the Himalayas!
Who says a mobile phone records better video than a big camera?
You cant zoom on a mobile.
Well, you can but video deteriorates even on models that have optical zoom.
You cant save highlights like you do with manual knee setting on a big Sony camera for example.
Mobile phones are replacement cameras and you can rec in some kind of log, using Filmic Pro on Android & IOS or some other programs in Android only.
You always have a mobile with you and can use it (not in secret) to places where a big camera is not allowed.
People tend to react less when filmed in public with a mobile, than with a big camera.
It is somehow accepted.
Where do you see the recorded result with each equipment?
At your small laptop?
On a sub 500 euros 4K monitor?
On a 10 bit 4:4:4 critical reference monitor that costs more than your average car price?
Mobile phones by the big manufacturers in Android and IOS offer HDR and with 3rd party aps can record at higher bitrates, from 80 - 200 Mbps in 4K.
This gives a result close to the latest GoPro.
I own both an iPhone and a Samsung S 20.
Some notes about the S 20.
I find the S20 useless in 8K.
I cant do a proper pan and sky appears with too much compression that I usually cant even save in post with Neat Video.
On the other hand, it gives a great 4K 60 fps, stable, with smooth pan and no visible noise.
Is that because it crops heavily form the 8K sensor?
If someone knows, I would like to know.
For iPhone only supporters, yes, the iPhone also goes very good with Filmic Pro.
I just personally think that S20 goes better in 4K (not in 8K).
As for sales, I had some even enhanced sales in Pond 5 with material shot with a 4K Samsung mobile, probably because I was at the right place the right time and the content was less offered.


« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2020, 06:16 »
0
Of course it means. You don't get the same look from a gopro as from an Alexa. (And my main point was still about shooting skills)
There are some DSLRs that are "okay", and many more mirrorless ones, but he didn't mention those.

I have downloaded some stock videos that have been just too bad quality, luckily they were on a subscription based site so no financial damage was done.

Pro level video and cinema cameras mean nothing nowadays. Today cameras are good enough for stock footage by a large margin. It is the right subject and style what matters the most and not if you shoot with an Arri Alexa or a Panasonic Gh5.

I'm not trying to put you down, but learn how to shoot high quality video first. It's not about "Gopro or DSLR", even tho the competition you are facing are using pro level video and cinema cameras.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2020, 06:21 by Perry »


« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2020, 06:37 »
+3
Travel at the time of Covid-19? Not a good idea. (Covid won't disappear by 2021)
Shooting travel? Not a good idea. Travel, as a genre is extremely popular and heavily competed. It isn't doing well these days.
Keep working on the templates, you've got a good thing going, and enjoy good times with your wife.
Travel - not a good idea at the moment.

« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2020, 09:41 »
+5
I think you already can figure it out why 99% of stock suppliers don't shoot on Arri or Red. Those mentioned subscription sites pay a video a dime, so contributors go for 1-3k equipment, not camera plus lenses that costs 20k+ Same with aerial footage. Drones shots are done with a mavic pro 2 at best. You rarely find footage shoot on Inspire 2 or above. It does exists but it is really a minority as income would not cover expenses.

I shoot with Blackmagic 4k as it gives nice quality with good Dynamic Range and excellent codecs but again it is a 1300$ camera. I would not dare at the present times to plunge heavy on camera equipment when clips are paid in single or two digits now, or even less when you are talking about subs.

Of course it means. You don't get the same look from a gopro as from an Alexa. (And my main point was still about shooting skills)
There are some DSLRs that are "okay", and many more mirrorless ones, but he didn't mention those.

I have downloaded some stock videos that have been just too bad quality, luckily they were on a subscription based site so no financial damage was done.

Pro level video and cinema cameras mean nothing nowadays. Today cameras are good enough for stock footage by a large margin. It is the right subject and style what matters the most and not if you shoot with an Arri Alexa or a Panasonic Gh5.

I'm not trying to put you down, but learn how to shoot high quality video first. It's not about "Gopro or DSLR", even tho the competition you are facing are using pro level video and cinema cameras.

« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2020, 18:26 »
+3
Travel at the time of Covid-19? Not a good idea. (Covid won't disappear by 2021)

I am marking off the days like a prisoner in a cell 😂  ;D

« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2020, 09:42 »
0
However there are lots of people that already have invested in the equipment for other reasons than stock (for example shooting videos for clients or some narrative projects etc.). It doesn't cost them even a bit to grab their Red or Ursa mini etc. since they already have it.

I think you already can figure it out why 99% of stock suppliers don't shoot on Arri or Red. Those mentioned subscription sites pay a video a dime, so contributors go for 1-3k equipment, not camera plus lenses that costs 20k+ Same with aerial footage. Drones shots are done with a mavic pro 2 at best. You rarely find footage shoot on Inspire 2 or above. It does exists but it is really a minority as income would not cover expenses.

I shoot with Blackmagic 4k as it gives nice quality with good Dynamic Range and excellent codecs but again it is a 1300$ camera. I would not dare at the present times to plunge heavy on camera equipment when clips are paid in single or two digits now, or even less when you are talking about subs.

Of course it means. You don't get the same look from a gopro as from an Alexa. (And my main point was still about shooting skills)
There are some DSLRs that are "okay", and many more mirrorless ones, but he didn't mention those.

I have downloaded some stock videos that have been just too bad quality, luckily they were on a subscription based site so no financial damage was done.

Pro level video and cinema cameras mean nothing nowadays. Today cameras are good enough for stock footage by a large margin. It is the right subject and style what matters the most and not if you shoot with an Arri Alexa or a Panasonic Gh5.

I'm not trying to put you down, but learn how to shoot high quality video first. It's not about "Gopro or DSLR", even tho the competition you are facing are using pro level video and cinema cameras.

« Reply #21 on: December 05, 2020, 05:27 »
0
No doubt about that. There are producers that are very successful and shoot with high end gear and those as you said that make soma small side money with it but get their bread and butter from paid gigs. But I can tell you that 95% of the stock submitters are phone, mirrorless,  dslr users and agencies give usually no technical problems to accept those files unless some phones were they are a little more picky.

However there are lots of people that already have invested in the equipment for other reasons than stock (for example shooting videos for clients or some narrative projects etc.). It doesn't cost them even a bit to grab their Red or Ursa mini etc. since they already have it.


« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2020, 06:33 »
+5
How many uploaded items do you think will be required to earn $1,000/month from stock video?

Short answer: 200 very good clips, or 200,000 bad clips.

Long answer:

My latest payout (for October sales) was $2,600, and I have an average of 600 stock video clips up. Less on the sites I make more from, and more on a few sites where I still have my bad beginner content that doesn't sell. I should remove those clips.

Stock footage is a side thing for me - music is my main income - and this year I have spent about a week every three months on stock footage, so about a month in total. I did spend much more time before, however. Now, it is a very passive income.

---

Since you are not new to stock, you know that on every forum, most of the people who are active are the ones who don't sell very much. It is a way to let out frustration and feel better about low sales. I would guess this reflects reality - 90-95% of stock sellers don't sell very much, and 5-10% do really well.

I'm sure you read the template forums and see all the "you can't make any money", "they just reject everything" comments there, while you're looking at your own sales and know it isn't true.

---

Regarding the content. What sells? Everything, as long as it's good.

I have exactly 0 clips with human faces in them, and very few with humans in them at all. It's almost all travel, which is basically anything in the world except inside offices, industrial settings and medical stuff.

I mean, travel is literally any city exterior, landscape, animal in the world. So to say that "travel isn't worth doing" is pure nonsense.

---

Regarding cameras, I would recommend a small mirrorless camera with a zoom lens over a GoPro. If you only have a GoPro, make sure you film situations only a GoPro could capture - on your head, POV shots, under water, on the side of a bicycle.

Landscapes and other "normal" things tend to look quite disappointing on a GoPro.

For example, a Panasonic GH5 with their 12-60 mm (2.8-4) lens would be an excellent choice. Or buy a used GH4 for the price of a GoPro or less. MUCH better quality.

---

You mentioned you are completely new to filming, which means it will take some time to learn. Usually, the first trip will be a harsh learning experience and you can't use most of the clips, at least not from the beginning of the trip. My advice is to start filming LONG before the trip so that you can start at a higher level when it matters.

All the information is on YouTube, but it takes time to stumble upon all the challenges. You need to do that in real life.

---

It is MUCH better to focus on getting a few really good clips, rather than uploading the entire memory card from your drone filled with anonymous landscapes and "variations" that do nothing but clutter up your portfolio and the search results = less sales.

I did this in the beginning, and I'm sure most do. Now I only try to upload "power clips" that I spend hours, sometimes 1-2-3 days, on.

---

Learn After Effects. Capture the raw material in the real world and enhance, improve, and manipulate to make a "perfect" stock clip.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2020, 06:53 by increasingdifficulty »

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2020, 06:57 »
+2
Learning After Effects is good advice. Not sure if you do this already, but animating your illustrations could be pretty lucrative. Icons and the like, business style graphics like animated trendlines, infographics etc. Stick together some packs... icon packs, infographic packs, HUD packs, animated social media icons, like/comment/subscribe animations etc etc. 

« Reply #24 on: December 08, 2020, 15:46 »
+2
I have over 250 animations/3D renders uploaded on Adobe Stock, Pond5, Shutterstock, Envato, iStock, Dreamstime, VJLoops.com, YouTube, Patreon and others. I'm earning between $500 and $1200 a month between all of those places combined. To rank which ones I earn the most from:

YouTube AdSense > Envato > Shutterstock > Adobe Stock > Patreon > VJLoops.com > iStock > Pond5 > Dreamstime

Sometimes YouTube, Envato, and Shutterstock trade places. Occasionally Adobe Stock beats Shutterstock. I've tried other sites as well (Dissolve, Canstockphoto, Pixta, 123RF, Depositphotos), but the earnings there are so bad I don't even consider them anymore. 123RF doesn't allow video uploads anymore anyway.

I've been doing this since summer 2019.


 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
200 Replies
51415 Views
Last post March 04, 2010, 02:37
by sharply_done
35 Replies
32687 Views
Last post November 20, 2018, 10:27
by cthoman
14 Replies
5894 Views
Last post October 07, 2014, 22:26
by zstoimenov
8 Replies
3782 Views
Last post January 07, 2017, 08:20
by Justanotherphotographer
26 Replies
10595 Views
Last post February 23, 2017, 12:18
by WindyTai

Sponsors

Mega Bundle of 5,900+ Professional Lightroom Presets

Microstock Poll Results

Sponsors

3100 Posing Cards Bundle