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Author Topic: How to judge what site is worth your time? (other than sales)  (Read 3095 times)

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« on: March 12, 2011, 03:20 »
What markers are you looking for on a new site you joined to see if it will be worth your time?  Obviously downloads, but sites' searches work differently, and they have different types of buyers, so what do you guys base it on:

Is there a number of images that you want to be at before you judge a site?  Or, a certain period of time? 

FYI - I have one site - SS that is earning for me - whereas the others (6 of them) have views only - no sales, though only a month has gone by, and it's a small port of 50 images.  (I want to know what parameters to use in the future to see if they are worth staying with.)

« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2011, 03:32 »
Generally the Top tier sites will give you better sales followed by the middle tier then the lower tier.  Some of us upload to them all; some only to the sites that actually make money.

The big consideration for me is: will I ever make enough to reach payout.  Many sites, make that most sites, will not issue a payment until you reach a payout amount, usually around $50 or so.  Translated, if you do not make enough money in a year or more to reach payout, you are working for free and giving your money to the agency because you will never be paid.

« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2011, 03:39 »
When I started, I just stuck with what was the big 6 in the earnings poll until I had a a portfolios that was over 1,000 images and I was making regular monthly payouts.  Then I added other sites, uploading as much of my portfolio as I could and just leaving it there.  There's around 15 sites that I think are worth using now but only when your portfolio is working well on the big sites.

If you upload a small portfolio to some of the smaller sites, it could take years to reach a payout.  If I was starting now, I would start with Shutterstock, Dreamstime, Fotolia and alamy.  When your sales are good with them, try some of the sites with lower sales 123rf, CanStockPhoto, Veer, BigStock and Graphic Leftovers.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2011, 03:41 by sharpshot »


« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2011, 04:02 »
FWIW,  I stayed away from Shutterstock and iStock for a long time before I felt brave enough to upload to 'the big two'. 

I really regret waiting so long, as things didn't really take off until I uploaded to them.

As has already been said, that chart on the right is your best measure of which sites are successful for contributors.  Each has it's own idiosyncracies, for example, Shutterstock are much more particular about focus issues than any other site.  Dreamstime want you to try hard not to repeat what they already have in their collection.  iStock appreciate more creativity.  Fotolia are really difficult to figure out - I 'get it' now, but I can't explain it in words - it's more a feeling of what they'll like and what they won't. 

IME (others may hold different opinions), best treatment of contributors probably comes from SS, Dreamstime, Veer and Canstockphoto (I don't sell much at Canstock, but they're a delight to deal with).

A month is in no way long enough to make an assessment.  Some agencies are slow burners.  I'd give it a couple of years before you really see how your pattern unfolds with different agencies.

Good luck!

« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2011, 06:03 »
One thing to consider is how easy the upload process is. I really hate "low earner" sites that make you click trough each image, selcting categories etc.

To the original poster: I think you should concencentrate on building your portfolio and getting accepted at "top tier" and "middle tier" agencies ->
« Last Edit: March 12, 2011, 06:05 by Perry »

« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2011, 08:12 »
other than sales,

1. I check - to the best of my possibilities - that they are trustworthy (not meaning that I trust they will respect TOS, will pay me in time, will not reduce %: that's beyond hope in microstock - but at least that they are a real company and will not steal my ID)

2. I check that they have FTP and an easy submission method: no categories, no useless fields to fill

3. Upload and forget. Except the top/middle sites, no site is worth your time unless you really spend no time with them; with low (no) earners, it's useless to care for acceptance %, resubmit, etc...; will see in a year if it was worth or not; in the very likely case they aren't, I didn't lose any time/bandwidth with them as I ftp at night or using lightburner; in the very unlikely case they will turn into a worthy site, my port is already there
« Last Edit: March 12, 2011, 08:21 by »


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