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Author Topic: I feel dissapointed so much because...  (Read 8606 times)

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« on: January 06, 2017, 16:57 »
+1
Well i'm not so experienced in micro, have been on for about two years now, uploading on and off. This last 3 months i'v seen lots of progress, increasing amount of dwl, and each month turn out to be bme. This December was the best ever. Then yesterday i read about how things are not really what they seem to be! I read that things are good for newbies only, those of the .25 group. I swear i'm getting sales more than ever every time i increase my port. But....! I'm afraid. Am I losing my time to get nothing in return in the long run? Am I being fooled with those daily dwl? What is the reality of the 'success' i am witnessing daily? Please share with me your experience. I made a resolution to take this business real serious this year. Am I doing the right thing? Some of my vectors are on the first page on shutterstock. I'm more of a calligrapher, I don't really upload photos that are over rated in most agencies like nature, business, etc. I do fonts, calligraphic logo, arabic calligraphy, vectors in general. For the moment my only agency is shutterstock. Should I continue or not. Advice me. Thankxx


« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2017, 17:11 »
+24
Hi there,

Glad to hear you're having a good initial experience in microstock.  I think most of us can remember that early excitement and the dreams that if we just keep working and growing at that pace, it can turn into significant income. 

I remember putting my initial numbers into an Excel spreadsheet, and figuring that if I keep uploading a certian amount every day, and my images keep selling at the rate they sold in those first few months, that before long I'd be paying my mortgage, car payment, etc. with my microstock earnings.

The problem is, my spreadsheet assumed the size of my competition stayed the same size while I grew.  Or at least that it grew at the same pace that I grew.  That's the mistake every microstock dreamer makes. 

Not long ago, there were just a few million images in the agency collections.  Now there's a hundred million.  And the collections (at least SS and I suspect most the others) are growing at a rate of a million a week.

So how does a new microstock contributor make any sales at all?  Most of us here suspect that the agencies are either heavily promoting (showing at the top of searches) newbie work because they pay you the lowest commissions and they make more money, and/or to give you that initial burst of hope to get you hooked as a contributor.  It's like that first free rock of crack.

Some middle-ground contributors (not quite newbies and not quite veterans) may dispute this and say things are still rosy for them.  Maybe they haven't yet hit the wall, when their rate of portfolio growth falls behind the rate of agency collection growth.  That's when things really go south, and it happens to us all.

So, in a nutshell, if you're doing this for fun or for a little extra pocket money, keep on enjoying the ride.  But if you have dreams of supporting yourself and your family, and possibly making this a career, those days are long gone.  Sorry.

« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 17:16 by stockmarketer »

Noedelhap

  • www.colincramm.com

« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2017, 17:23 »
+4
Eventually you'll hit a plateau in your growth. Depending on the quality of your material and the quantity of your uploads, this plateau may be reached sooner or later. It doesn't mean you won't be able to generate a good income , but it's certainly no get-rich-quick thing.

There's more competition every day, collections grow much faster than your own portfolio, but your images are new and fresh, so perhaps new contributors get some kind of push.

I'm by no means a big player, but I happen to rely on other income streams as well. For me, this is merely some extra pocket money. I wouldn't dare to rely on microstock income alone.

But don't let that discourage you. It's a great extra stream of revenue, also in the future. Some images may even earn you money years down the line, so it's not all for nothing.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 17:33 by Noedelhap »

« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2017, 17:47 »
0
Thanks a lot, i'm glad to hear these...And yea, i'm not depending in MS as my sole revenue...of course not lol!
What do you do other than MS btw?(Things that are linked to photography and designing)

angelawaye

  • Eat, Sleep, Keyword. Repeat

« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2017, 23:29 »
+5
Someone mentioned if you become an Emerald at FT your income drops. It happened to me... I wondered why it dropped so much. I would have rather stuck with the old ranking and earn more.

I think once SS opened the floodgates with 1 out of 10 acceptance, things changed... I wish you the best of luck just be careful ... put your eggs in many baskets!

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2017, 00:35 »
+3
It's all to do with your rate of upload being higher than the rate of decline in sales. There's a hell of a lot more too it than that, but it has a big influence on your sales.

Look at it this way... if you upload 100 images in your first year and 100 images in your second, then that's a 100 increase in your portfolio. If you then upload 100 images in your third year, that's only a 50% increase, and in your fourth year it's a 33% increase.

At some point, the percentage increase in your portfolio, will start to get beaten by the percentage increase in the overall portfolio of the stock site you're selling them on. So whereas at the beginning, you might have had (for example) a 1 in 100 chance of selling one of your image... before long it;s going to be a 1 in 150 chance, or 1 in 200, or even 1 in 1000.

That doesn't automatically mean you'll start earning less in your third or fourth year. Most people who do well on 100 images in their first year, will probably upload more than 100 images in their second, and probably more than that in their third... for as long as things are 'looking up'. Which means it will be further down the line when things start to head south.   

That's 'all things being equal'... you can improve the odds by having decent keywords, titles, descriptions, and most important, uploading great stuff. But it's an inevitable factor that is going to impact your sales at some point. You will (most likely) have large increases in sales month on month until you gradually start to plateau and then hit a wall. The larger the stock site's quantity of images, the more you'll have to upload to just to keep a consistent level of sales.

I could be entirely wrong, but that's the way I see it!   

« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2017, 04:11 »
0
Hi there,

Glad to hear you're having a good initial experience in microstock.  I think most of us can remember that early excitement and the dreams that if we just keep working and growing at that pace, it can turn into significant income. 

I remember putting my initial numbers into an Excel spreadsheet, and figuring that if I keep uploading a certian amount every day, and my images keep selling at the rate they sold in those first few months, that before long I'd be paying my mortgage, car payment, etc. with my microstock earnings.

The problem is, my spreadsheet assumed the size of my competition stayed the same size while I grew.  Or at least that it grew at the same pace that I grew.  That's the mistake every microstock dreamer makes. 

Not long ago, there were just a few million images in the agency collections.  Now there's a hundred million.  And the collections (at least SS and I suspect most the others) are growing at a rate of a million a week.

So how does a new microstock contributor make any sales at all?  Most of us here suspect that the agencies are either heavily promoting (showing at the top of searches) newbie work because they pay you the lowest commissions and they make more money, and/or to give you that initial burst of hope to get you hooked as a contributor.  It's like that first free rock of crack.

Some middle-ground contributors (not quite newbies and not quite veterans) may dispute this and say things are still rosy for them.  Maybe they haven't yet hit the wall, when their rate of portfolio growth falls behind the rate of agency collection growth.  That's when things really go south, and it happens to us all.

So, in a nutshell, if you're doing this for fun or for a little extra pocket money, keep on enjoying the ride.  But if you have dreams of supporting yourself and your family, and possibly making this a career, those days are long gone.  Sorry.
i agree..

« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2017, 05:01 »
+1
It's all to do with your rate of upload being higher than the rate of decline in sales. There's a hell of a lot more too it than that, but it has a big influence on your sales.

Look at it this way... if you upload 100 images in your first year and 100 images in your second, then that's a 100 increase in your portfolio. If you then upload 100 images in your third year, that's only a 50% increase, and in your fourth year it's a 33% increase.

At some point, the percentage increase in your portfolio, will start to get beaten by the percentage increase in the overall portfolio of the stock site you're selling them on. So whereas at the beginning, you might have had (for example) a 1 in 100 chance of selling one of your image... before long it;s going to be a 1 in 150 chance, or 1 in 200, or even 1 in 1000.

That doesn't automatically mean you'll start earning less in your third or fourth year. Most people who do well on 100 images in their first year, will probably upload more than 100 images in their second, and probably more than that in their third... for as long as things are 'looking up'. Which means it will be further down the line when things start to head south.   

That's 'all things being equal'... you can improve the odds by having decent keywords, titles, descriptions, and most important, uploading great stuff. But it's an inevitable factor that is going to impact your sales at some point. You will (most likely) have large increases in sales month on month until you gradually start to plateau and then hit a wall. The larger the stock site's quantity of images, the more you'll have to upload to just to keep a consistent level of sales.

I could be entirely wrong, but that's the way I see it!
You are right of course. I would also say to the poster look at your own progress and build on that and be aware there are some VERY negative people on here who may not be all they appear ;-)

Noedelhap

  • www.colincramm.com

« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2017, 11:11 »
0
Thanks a lot, i'm glad to hear these...And yea, i'm not depending in MS as my sole revenue...of course not lol!
What do you do other than MS btw?(Things that are linked to photography and designing)

Illustrations and explainer animations for businesses.

PaulieWalnuts

  • We Have Exciting News For You
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2017, 12:00 »
+2
Well i'm not so experienced in micro, have been on for about two years now, uploading on and off. This last 3 months i'v seen lots of progress, increasing amount of dwl, and each month turn out to be bme. This December was the best ever. Then yesterday i read about how things are not really what they seem to be! I read that things are good for newbies only, those of the .25 group. I swear i'm getting sales more than ever every time i increase my port. But....! I'm afraid. Am I losing my time to get nothing in return in the long run? Am I being fooled with those daily dwl? What is the reality of the 'success' i am witnessing daily? Please share with me your experience. I made a resolution to take this business real serious this year. Am I doing the right thing? Some of my vectors are on the first page on shutterstock. I'm more of a calligrapher, I don't really upload photos that are over rated in most agencies like nature, business, etc. I do fonts, calligraphic logo, arabic calligraphy, vectors in general. For the moment my only agency is shutterstock. Should I continue or not. Advice me. Thankxx

Nobody can predict how you'll do. You may hit a wall or you may learn enough along the way to keep growing your income. The business changes rapidly and you'll need to overcome the constant obstacles.

I started in micro and have been selling photos for 10 years. I was just about doubling micro income every year for the first few years and I started seeing signs of growth stalling after about five years. After six years growth was a struggle. But it's different for everyone.

If you're in this for the long term and are hoping to make a living I'd suggest starting to diversify now and see if you can add places to sell your work like prints, products, etc. Or start branching out into offering services like family portraits, etc. That way if you hit a wall in micro it doesn't impact your overall income as much. I still do a little micro but I've branched out into other things and am making more money now than I probably ever could with just micro alone.

Good luck!


« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2017, 13:09 »
+1
The other thing to consider is that even if you hit a wall and just keep submitting more without increasing your income if your level of work and return are something you are happy with, that is fine. If that isn't the case you can switch to something else and your stock sales should at least provide a bit of a cushion to let you get started doing that.

Don't put all of your eggs in one basket since you never know when a site might Istock and crush your income.

Depending on your skill and luck your hourly return might be pretty pathetic though.

« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2017, 14:01 »
+1

The other thing to consider is that even if you hit a wall and just keep submitting more without increasing your income if your level of work and return are something you are happy with, that is fine. If that isn't the case you can switch to something else and your stock sales should at least provide a bit of a cushion to let you get started doing that.

Don't put all of your eggs in one basket since you never know when a site might Istock and crush your income.

Depending on your skill and luck your hourly return might be pretty pathetic though.

I can relate to your profile pic tho lol


died from overdrawn

niktol

« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2017, 14:27 »
+1
Well i'm not so experienced in micro, have been on for about two years now, uploading on and off. This last 3 months i'v seen lots of progress, increasing amount of dwl, and each month turn out to be bme. This December was the best ever. Then yesterday i read about how things are not really what they seem to be! I read that things are good for newbies only, those of the .25 group. I swear i'm getting sales more than ever every time i increase my port. But....! I'm afraid. Am I losing my time to get nothing in return in the long run? Am I being fooled with those daily dwl? What is the reality of the 'success' i am witnessing daily? Please share with me your experience. I made a resolution to take this business real serious this year. Am I doing the right thing? Some of my vectors are on the first page on shutterstock. I'm more of a calligrapher, I don't really upload photos that are over rated in most agencies like nature, business, etc. I do fonts, calligraphic logo, arabic calligraphy, vectors in general. For the moment my only agency is shutterstock. Should I continue or not. Advice me. Thankxx

Things are exactly what they seem to be, if you know where to look. Taking business seriously and taking it to the right direction is not necessarily the same thing. What is your target income?

BTW use more than just a single agency, that's common wisdom IMO.

FlowerPower

« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2017, 14:27 »
0
Someone mentioned if you become an Emerald at FT your income drops. It happened to me... I wondered why it dropped so much. I would have rather stuck with the old ranking and earn more.

I think once SS opened the floodgates with 1 out of 10 acceptance, things changed... I wish you the best of luck just be careful ... put your eggs in many baskets!

Really, can you show a survey or something that emrald get lower income? Did you make this up or just believe a coupole of sour negative people? Show me the proof.

What difference does allowing new artists make with 7 passing or 1 passing? Tell me what difference? They all have to pass review to get pictures accepted. What's the test for FT or DP or 123 or DT or the rest, to be a contributor. What test is no test. Why do you blame SS for leaving the reviews to reviewers?

iStock just dropped the requirements for exclusive in Oct I don't see much talk about that. Anybody notice? Talk about lower standards. No minimum no acceptence ratio, just apply and youre an exclusive on IS.

Somebody show me where SS forces 25 cents people to the front and blocks 38 cent people to the back. Show Me! Otherwise it's just bitter crying negative talk on a forum, making excuses.

« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2017, 17:06 »
0
Well i'm not so experienced in micro, have been on for about two years now, uploading on and off. This last 3 months i'v seen lots of progress, increasing amount of dwl, and each month turn out to be bme. This December was the best ever. Then yesterday i read about how things are not really what they seem to be! I read that things are good for newbies only, those of the .25 group. I swear i'm getting sales more than ever every time i increase my port. But....! I'm afraid. Am I losing my time to get nothing in return in the long run? Am I being fooled with those daily dwl? What is the reality of the 'success' i am witnessing daily? Please share with me your experience. I made a resolution to take this business real serious this year. Am I doing the right thing? Some of my vectors are on the first page on shutterstock. I'm more of a calligrapher, I don't really upload photos that are over rated in most agencies like nature, business, etc. I do fonts, calligraphic logo, arabic calligraphy, vectors in general. For the moment my only agency is shutterstock. Should I continue or not. Advice me. Thankxx

Things are exactly what they seem to be, if you know where to look. Taking business seriously and taking it to the right direction is not necessarily the same thing. What is your target income?

BTW use more than just a single agency, that's common wisdom IMO.

z
« Last Edit: January 07, 2017, 17:12 by salaaaah »

« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2017, 17:13 »
0
Well i'm not so experienced in micro, have been on for about two years now, uploading on and off. This last 3 months i'v seen lots of progress, increasing amount of dwl, and each month turn out to be bme. This December was the best ever. Then yesterday i read about how things are not really what they seem to be! I read that things are good for newbies only, those of the .25 group. I swear i'm getting sales more than ever every time i increase my port. But....! I'm afraid. Am I losing my time to get nothing in return in the long run? Am I being fooled with those daily dwl? What is the reality of the 'success' i am witnessing daily? Please share with me your experience. I made a resolution to take this business real serious this year. Am I doing the right thing? Some of my vectors are on the first page on shutterstock. I'm more of a calligrapher, I don't really upload photos that are over rated in most agencies like nature, business, etc. I do fonts, calligraphic logo, arabic calligraphy, vectors in general. For the moment my only agency is shutterstock. Should I continue or not. Advice me. Thankxx

Things are exactly what they seem to be, if you know where to look. Taking business seriously and taking it to the right direction is not necessarily the same thing. What is your target income?

BTW use more than just a single agency, that's common wisdom IMO.

Well since
I'm not so oldie in this i cant target big things for the moment. So let's say a $500 monthly would be great. Yea it would be great but is it attainable Today, let's say several agencies combined? Share your experience.

niktol

« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2017, 21:11 »
0
Well i'm not so experienced in micro, have been on for about two years now, uploading on and off. This last 3 months i'v seen lots of progress, increasing amount of dwl, and each month turn out to be bme. This December was the best ever. Then yesterday i read about how things are not really what they seem to be! I read that things are good for newbies only, those of the .25 group. I swear i'm getting sales more than ever every time i increase my port. But....! I'm afraid. Am I losing my time to get nothing in return in the long run? Am I being fooled with those daily dwl? What is the reality of the 'success' i am witnessing daily? Please share with me your experience. I made a resolution to take this business real serious this year. Am I doing the right thing? Some of my vectors are on the first page on shutterstock. I'm more of a calligrapher, I don't really upload photos that are over rated in most agencies like nature, business, etc. I do fonts, calligraphic logo, arabic calligraphy, vectors in general. For the moment my only agency is shutterstock. Should I continue or not. Advice me. Thankxx

Things are exactly what they seem to be, if you know where to look. Taking business seriously and taking it to the right direction is not necessarily the same thing. What is your target income?

BTW use more than just a single agency, that's common wisdom IMO.

Well since
I'm not so oldie in this i cant target big things for the moment. So let's say a $500 monthly would be great. Yea it would be great but is it attainable Today, let's say several agencies combined? Share your experience.

$500? Sure, it's doable, if you do what market wants. You don't need to give up your day job for that.


« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2017, 06:07 »
0
Well since
I'm not so oldie in this i cant target big things for the moment. So let's say a $500 monthly would be great. Yea it would be great but is it attainable Today, let's say several agencies combined? Share your experience.

$500? Absolutely. I think people here are more talking $5,000 being a reasonable goal to be able to do this a bit more seriously.

memakephoto

« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2017, 13:03 »
+2
There are contributors living in places where $500 US per month is a living wage, able to support a family and other places where that much is merely a drop in the bucket. It's not just how much you upload but how far the US dollar goes in your part of the world that determines "success".

« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2017, 13:54 »
0

There are contributors living in places where $500 US per month is a living wage, able to support a family and other places where that much is merely a drop in the bucket. It's not just how much you upload but how far the US dollar goes in your part of the world that determines "success".

Yup true.


died from overdrawn

« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2017, 13:55 »
0

Well since
I'm not so oldie in this i cant target big things for the moment. So let's say a $500 monthly would be great. Yea it would be great but is it attainable Today, let's say several agencies combined? Share your experience.

$500? Absolutely. I think people here are more talking $5,000 being a reasonable goal to be able to do this a bit more seriously.
5000 seriously? Are there even microstockers making this much monthly.


died from overdrawn

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2017, 14:15 »
+2
I make $2750 to $3750 without that much effort. More if I do freelance work. If I could be bothered, then I'm sure I could put a bit more effort in and get up to around $5000 after six months or so.

niktol

« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2017, 14:27 »
0

Well since
I'm not so oldie in this i cant target big things for the moment. So let's say a $500 monthly would be great. Yea it would be great but is it attainable Today, let's say several agencies combined? Share your experience.

$500? Absolutely. I think people here are more talking $5,000 being a reasonable goal to be able to do this a bit more seriously.
5000 seriously? Are there even microstockers making this much monthly.


died from overdrawn

Yep

« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2017, 14:36 »
+4
I make $2750 to $3750 without that much effort. More if I do freelance work. If I could be bothered, then I'm sure I could put a bit more effort in and get up to around $5000 after six months or so.

This is the kind of bragging that leads to 1,000,000+ new uploads from contributors PER WEEK.  It puts dollar signs in the eyes of potential new contributors and sets unrealistic expectations.

I don't doubt that you are earning this.  You have a great, lucrative niche and surely do great work.  But it's stuff that the average newbie contributor cannot hope to produce.   Even if they could, you already have a strong foothold in your niche which newbies would have a tough time matching or displacing.

Some here may say that $5,000 a month is possible.  There are a very small number (in relation to the number of microstockers out there) seeing that kind of revenue.  But check back in a year and that number will be even smaller as we reach 2 million uploads per week.  Anyone setting out today to make $5,000 a month will have to double their efforts every single year to chase after a number like that. 

This business is just unsustainable for contributors.  And I wonder when we reach the point where image buyers have such a terrible time wading through the enormous volume of new images that they resort to free image searches on Google.  They're buying today because it's somewhat cheap and easy to do so.  The moment it becomes a big hassle for them, they won't bat an eye at simply stealing images from Google searches.  Clearly it happens all the time now, but we've all been counting on the conscientious minority to continue to pay for images.  My gut tells me that minority is shrinking every day as the agencies can't effectively serve search results that meet customers needs.

« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2017, 15:45 »
0
encrenciel,

You can succeed but it's hard work.  Here is the formula:

- Focus on industry specific concepts;
- Research your concepts completely - competition, trends, industry, etc;
- Create with essential keywords in mind;
- Fly with eagles. In other words, try to surpass the best examples you can find because mediocre work doesn't sell and creating it is a waste of your time;
- Go exclusive with Getty /  iStock;
- Have fun or don't bother.

Cheers, -m
« Last Edit: January 08, 2017, 15:54 by Kokkoros »


 

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