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Author Topic: Microstock tug o' war  (Read 30135 times)

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wilddingo

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« Reply #100 on: September 09, 2009, 05:36 »
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After one year of microstocking, he's making 365 x 2 x .10, or $73 per day, or $71 per day after his electricity and internet cost.  His total for year one is $13,000.  If he's working two hours a day on microstock, that's $35.50 an hour.  Still a hamster?  If so, call me a hamster, because this is my story. 

Actually, now that you've made things clearer, I'd call you a hamster AND a liar.

First, you haven't been doing this microstock thing for a year, have you?  Second, when you claim you'll be making $35.50/hr you conveniently failed to consider the cummulative hours you put into building your archive in the previous months, didn't you?

Here's what you said 8 days ago in another thread:

"I started in Nov 2008, and here's my growth to date:

Nov 08 - $4.02 per day
Dec 08 - $9.80 per day
Jan 09 - $13.65 per day
Feb 09 - $20.86 per day
Mar 09 - $26.97 per day
Apr 09 - $26.80 per day
May 09 - $39.36 per day
Jun 09 - $47.79 per day
Jul 09 - $47.50 per day
Aug 09 - $51.35 per day

I have two revenue goals: short term ($100 / day) and long term ($300 / day).

My projections show me hitting my short term goal around April 2010."

So, you really aren't earning $73/day, are you? 

You're using the special microstocker rose-colored glasses that allow you to daydream of a constant 9% growth each month and project your imaginary earnings into the future and completely ignore the fact that your monthly earnings, in less than a year have gone from growing 143% in your second month (Dec 08) to 8% in August '09.

It takes posts like yours, giving actual microstocker figures, to illustrate just how naive you bunch really are.

You completely ignore than in less than a year, your monthly microstock revenue growth has stalled (and even turned negative once) several times already and is now in the single digits.

You imagine this fairy tale world where your revenue will just keep growing at 9% each month if you keep putting in your 2 hours per day.

WAKE UP, bozo!

A business that grows 9% each month is growing at over 100% per year!  For most of these businesses, the party doesn't last more than a few months.  Getty projects that Istock will grow 15% per year for the next two years.  And they have millions of dollars available to fund this growth.

If you want to keep growing at 100%+ pace, you'll have to invest a LOT more than your measly two hours per day.

Step up to the hamster wheel, sunny, you're in for a looong ride.


« Reply #101 on: September 09, 2009, 05:59 »
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OK, now I'm being called delusional and a liar, so I'll make one last post and call it quits here.  My tally for yesterday was $82.33 and my daily average for Sept so far is $66/day including weekends.  Growth has been more or less steady since my start just under a year ago.  Yes, I'm putting in 2 hours a day for image creation AND uploading process, churning out an average of 2 images a day. Crunch those numbers anyway you like guys, but I'm pretty * happy with them and will happily continue on my little hamster wheel.

For any beginners following this thread, you've now read both sides of the story: the success story of someone who has done his research, figured out a niche and is making it work (also see cthoman's post), vs. the skepticism and anger of folks who either blame microstock for ruining the world or couldn't figure out how to make it work for them.

Good night and good luck, I'm done here.

« Reply #102 on: September 09, 2009, 06:31 »
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It takes posts like yours, giving actual microstocker figures, to illustrate just how naive you bunch really are.

You completely ignore than in less than a year, your monthly microstock revenue growth has stalled (and even turned negative once) several times already and is now in the single digits.


Ok, ok, you can twist the figures quoted any which way you like to make your point. You are of course choosing to ignore the fact that the work done up to now will also produce revenue well into the future.

If you're so emphatic that we're all wasting our time, and presumably costing you money, why don't you state what these 'other avenues' are that you keep keep referring to? How about providing some of your own revenue figures to illustrate the error of our ways and steer us away from micro?

With over 40 posts in little more than 3 weeks, all on the same theme, you're putting a huge amount of effort into persuading us. Unfortunately, unless you provide any evidence to reinforce your points, it is difficult to give you any credibility __ you come across as yet another loser from the macros who cannot compete in the vastly more competitive digital age.

« Reply #103 on: September 09, 2009, 07:03 »
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why don't you state what these 'other avenues' are that you keep keep referring to? How about providing some of your own revenue figures to illustrate the error of our ways and steer us away from micro?

Yes, I would be interested in that too. But my guess is that we are never, ever going to get such information from this wilddingo guy. I'm guessing he's somebody that has gotten rejected at iStock for the fourth time.

« Reply #104 on: September 09, 2009, 07:06 »
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move along nothing to see here, 1cent per hour if your lucky. :)

« Reply #105 on: September 09, 2009, 09:02 »
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Microstock is still new, and the microstock companies have been making it all up as they go along.  I have no inside knowledge, but it seems to me that the current situation - where the only way to make money is to continue flooding the sites with thousands of images - isn't what these companies really want.  It's just what they ended up with, based on decisions they made.

It's not a healthy marketplace, and it suggests the old joke "I lose money on every sale, but I make it up on volume."   It's also like a country with runaway inflation, where you need a bag full of paper money to buy a loaf of bread today, and next week you'll need a wheelbarrow full, and then a truckload.





wilddingo

    This user is banned.
« Reply #106 on: September 09, 2009, 09:04 »
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For any beginners following this thread, you've now read both sides of the story: the success story of someone who has done his research, figured out a niche and is making it work (also see cthoman's post), vs. the skepticism and anger of folks who either blame microstock for ruining the world or couldn't figure out how to make it work for them.

You've been doing microstock for less than a year and you're giving advice to beginners?

You want to leave the thread because you've come across someone who is not smoking the same stuff as you and presents you facts and truth, which in your arrogance you confuse with skepticism and anger.

Here are the facts as stated by you.  These are your own figures.  I've added some additional information so the whippersnapper beginners can see exactly what is going on in your delusional world of microstock success.  It's hard to show tabular data on forum posts, so I've listed the column headings in order.  All the information is there if you look at it carefully:

Columns are in the following order:

1. Month   
2. Earnings/ day   
3. Earnings for month   
4. Total earnings (cumm)   
5. % Growth (month to month)   
6. Hours worked (cumm)   
7. $/hour (cumm)

11-08   $4.02   $121   $121      60   $2.01
12-08   $9.80   $294   $415   144%   120   $3.46
01-09   $13.65   $410   $824   39%   180   $4.58
02-09   $20.86   $626   $1450   53%   240   $6.04
03-09   $26.97   $809   $2259   29%   300   $7.53
04-09   $26.80   $804   $3063   -1%   360   $8.51
05-09   $39.36   $1181   $4244   47%   420   $10.10
06-09   $47.79   $1434   $5678   21%   480   $11.83
07-09   $47.50   $1425   $7103   -1%   540   $13.15
08-09   $51.35   $1541   $8643   8%   600   $14.41


So our hamster friend here with unique "niche" material has made the equivalent of $14.41 per hour after his first 10 months in microstock and before all expenses are deducted.  In that short period his month to month growth was negative twice and is now at 8% for Aug-09.

He's projecting that his growth will continue at 9% each month, which means he'll achieve about $100/day earnings sometime in April '10.  Here's what it will look like:

04-10   $102.32   $3070   $27161   9%   1080   $25.15

He has said that his long term goal is to achieve $300/day in earnings, which at 9% monthly growth will allow him to get there in May '11.  After about two and a half years, our friend will have made the equivalent of $55.89 per hour before all expenses.

05-11   $313.69   $9411   $103959   9%   1860   $55.89

If we continue smoking whatever he is and keep going at 9% growth each month, he'll be earning $37,363 per month and $157/hour before expenses exactly three years from now:

09-12   $1245.43   $37363   $442494   9%   2820   $156.91

And in five years, $295K per month and $838 per hour:

09-14   $9852.74   $295582   $3569813   9%   4260   $837.98

This is the scenario he has presented as plausible and the dream he is pursuing.

But, here is what it will look like in five years if his monthly growth stalls:

09-14   $55.97   $1679   $111068   0%   4260   $26.07

In other words, if his delusional growth stops, after almost six years in microstock he will have made the equivalent of $26 per hour before all expenses.  I'll leave you the exercise of calculating how much he'll keep after you subtract all the thousands of dollars of expenses he will have accumulated.

In truth, what will most likely happen is that his growth will not only stall, it will reverse course into negative territory and our hamster friend will have to work much harder at the wheel to maintain the same level of earnings he saw in the past.  Once he starts doing this, his hourly wage will dramatically drop.

He doesn't know this yet because he's a newbie and, for him, ignorance is bliss.  Humans are wired to be optimists when they're doing something they like.

It takes a super hound like Dingo to sniff out the flakey logic in microstockers' fantasy world.


« Reply #107 on: September 09, 2009, 10:14 »
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Is macro the answer?

« Reply #108 on: September 09, 2009, 10:16 »
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Wow. Your wisdom has convinced me of what an utter failure I am.  I'll earn $2,000 this month, but your calculations have shown me how it will all evaporate before I can touch it.  I guess I should throw out my computer and shut off my electricity and internet, since I don't want those "costs" lingering.  And I certainly don't want my portfolio to continue to be downloaded after I've given up and saddle me with a mountain of more costs, so I should just delete them as well.  Count me as another worthless hamster slain by the mighty dingo.

hqimages

  • www.draiochtwebdesign.com
« Reply #109 on: September 09, 2009, 10:33 »
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Wow. Your wisdom has convinced me of what an utter failure I am.  I'll earn $2,000 this month, but your calculations have shown me how it will all evaporate before I can touch it.  I guess I should throw out my computer and shut off my electricity and internet, since I don't want those "costs" lingering.  And I certainly don't want my portfolio to continue to be downloaded after I've given up and saddle me with a mountain of more costs, so I should just delete them as well.  Count me as another worthless hamster slain by the mighty dingo.

lol!  :o ;D

« Reply #110 on: September 09, 2009, 11:07 »
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For any beginners following this thread, you've now read both sides of the story: the success story of someone who has done his research, figured out a niche and is making it work (also see cthoman's post), vs. the skepticism and anger of folks who either blame microstock for ruining the world or couldn't figure out how to make it work for them.

You've been doing microstock for less than a year and you're giving advice to beginners?


But you are a beginner yourself aren't you?

wilddingo

    This user is banned.
« Reply #111 on: September 09, 2009, 11:49 »
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Wow. Your wisdom has convinced me of what an utter failure I am.  I'll earn $2,000 this month, but your calculations have shown me how it will all evaporate before I can touch it.

By the end of this month, you will have earned around $10K total for your 660 hours of work.  That means you made around $15/hour during the equivalent of over four months of full-time work (40 hours per week).  From your $10K you'll deduct your expenses which will leave you with much less, in terms of real hourly wage.  Your agents, on the other hand, have made probably close to $100K from your work and labor.

In my book, you are a failure.  In fact, in your own book, you are a failure.  If you were a success, you would've quit your other job and be doing microstock full time.  This means that, in terms of investing your time, you have options that pay you more but you continue to spend time on those options that pay you less.

This is not some microstocker pipe dream projected out 3 or 5 years into the future or speculation drivel.  These are facts based on your own figures and experience.

None of what Dingo says will change your mind.  You will continue to make poor business choices because you never took this seriously as a business -- you're just another poor sap who is passionate about some aspect of your hobby and unable to see the forest for the trees when it comes to getting the best value for your intellectual property.

« Reply #112 on: September 09, 2009, 12:03 »
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You humble me yet again, Mr. Dingo.  But I assure you that your wisdom has convinced me of the folly of my actions and I will give up.  But it's a shame.  I just checked today's figures and it will be a best sales day ever for me.  I will immediately contact the agencies to inform them that: 1) their numbers must be inaccurate as wilddingo's calculations have proven without a doubt I should not have experienced such growth, and 2) they will have to keep this money as I cannot bear the costs associated with it.  Thank you again, dingo, for showing me the futility of my actions.  This time, I promise, will be the last you hear from me, as my computer is going straight to the curb.

« Reply #113 on: September 09, 2009, 12:04 »
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By the end of this month, you will have earned around $10K total for your 660 hours of work.  That means you made around $15/hour during the equivalent of over four months of full-time work (40 hours per week).  From your $10K you'll deduct your expenses which will leave you with much less, in terms of real hourly wage.  Your agents, on the other hand, have made probably close to $100K from your work and labor.

Your math really sucks. Let's say he stopped shooting. I'm sure he would make $10K during the next three years (let's say 6K next year, 3K year after that and 1K third year). That doubles the revenue and there is no additional expenses. Shooting stock is an investment, you can't wait for instant returns.

In my book, you are a failure.  In fact, in your own book, you are a failure.  If you were a success, you would've quit your other job and be doing microstock full time.  

You need to check your books. Stock photography doesn't work that way, it takes time to build a library. I think he's doing great, just one more year and he could quit his day job too (if he wanted to)

I'm asking again: Where does the dingoguy sell his images and how much does he make?

« Reply #114 on: September 09, 2009, 12:06 »
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Wow. Your wisdom has convinced me of what an utter failure I am.  I'll earn $2,000 this month, but your calculations have shown me how it will all evaporate before I can touch it.

By the end of this month, you will have earned around $10K total for your 660 hours of work.  That means you made around $15/hour during the equivalent of over four months of full-time work (40 hours per week).  From your $10K you'll deduct your expenses which will leave you with much less, in terms of real hourly wage.  Your agents, on the other hand, have made probably close to $100K from your work and labor.


In my book, you are a failure. 

But you are a failure yourself aren't you?

RacePhoto

« Reply #115 on: September 09, 2009, 12:09 »
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Great post!!!! I have to agree too.. if you have a few 100 shots, and you aren't adding at least 100 to that per month over a period of 1-2 years (consistently), then you won't make much.. especially when competing against pro's on the same web sites adding 1000 a month, your images get lost in the mix unless you want to produce at that level.. which I believe cannot be done if you have a 'day job'.. but these people don't, they have made microstock their living, and you have to compete against the person with all the time in the world to give to it, with whatever you have left after making a living.

I really think they will have to do something to keep the small contributor happy, with all the pro level people entering and producing massive volume of images, they will monopolise it, and then they will only compete with each other, but they have saturated the market to a huge extreme.. it makes it harder for anyone to sell any image, and it drives the price down. It will be interesting to see what happens though that's for sure!!

I look at it strictly on a business level. The agencies don't care about the small contributors, and don't need to. They are in it for a profit, not a "feel good" website for lazy people like me who don't upload enough photos.  ;D

The people who can upload 1000 a month are a small select group. Lets be realistic, we aren't them, don't have a studio or staff and they have a big advantage. They have financial backing to start with, or built the business by re-investing in growth. Some people can create 100 photos a month. Nice work! Best wishes... that's the competition as well as the people who enjoy making some spare change, or added monthly income with their spare time.

Some people give glorious stories of how much can be made selling stock, but the facts are there. The agencies are being filled by established pros and if someone doesn't have at least 1000 photos online, they are going to be lost in the percentages. A few years ago that may have been 200 photos to get some returns. The market has changed. It's not 2005 anymore, but some people are still using that data and information. Times have changed.

One photo a day or 7-10 a week for a year and there will be returns. I won't say profits, but a steady flow of sales. After two years, someone will have something coming in every month. Some people pay their rent, some pay for equipment, some just have fun and are entertained.

Day job? Up until last year I had a full time job days a part time job four nights, weekend work (and I skipped out of the day job to work some days for cash) and I was shooting photos for some publications. Someone asked me why I didn't get a job, and I said, I need to sleep sometime?  :D No excuse for not shooting more micro, but I'm already months behind on editing what I've shot this Summer.

I'm adverse to the people who claim that there's big money or actual profit to be made from grabbing a P&S and uploading to the sites, which gives people false hope and dreams. Sure a tiny portion of the people, do make it. But lets be honest up front. Only hard work, long hours, a good eye and patience, will bring sales and positive results.

RacePhoto

« Reply #116 on: September 09, 2009, 12:15 »
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OK, now I'm being called delusional and a liar, so I'll make one last post and call it quits here.  My tally for yesterday was $82.33 and my daily average for Sept so far is $66/day including weekends.  Growth has been more or less steady since my start just under a year ago.  Yes, I'm putting in 2 hours a day for image creation AND uploading process, churning out an average of 2 images a day. Crunch those numbers anyway you like guys, but I'm pretty  happy with them and will happily continue on my little hamster wheel.

For any beginners following this thread, you've now read both sides of the story: the success story of someone who has done his research, figured out a niche and is making it work (also see cthoman's post), vs. the skepticism and anger of folks who either blame microstock for ruining the world or couldn't figure out how to make it work for them.

Good night and good luck, I'm done here.

My compliments for anyone who can make even $50 a day on micro. You are exceptional. Just don't forget that the next 100 or 1000 new people will never reach payout, ever. I think that's my point and you can't project your success to other people.

Did you mention you were an illustrator not a photographer? Did I read that right?

How many images have you actually uploaded in the last year? I recognize that some sites have limits, but on average, what's the count on the top six?
« Last Edit: September 09, 2009, 12:25 by RacePhoto »


« Reply #117 on: September 09, 2009, 12:30 »
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Just don't forget that the next 100 or 1000 new people will never reach payout, ever.

This is what I keep coming back to - sort of. Sure there are people "making money" today, depending on how you look at it. But it seems like the whole thing is just losing steam.  You used to need 100 new photos a month,  now you need 1,000, next year I calculate you will have to upload 1,000,000 new images a month to succeed .  Ok I made that all up, but you get the point. This thing is steadily ceasing to make sense.


hqimages

  • www.draiochtwebdesign.com
« Reply #118 on: September 09, 2009, 12:47 »
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Just don't forget that the next 100 or 1000 new people will never reach payout, ever.

This is what I keep coming back to - sort of. Sure there are people "making money" today, depending on how you look at it. But it seems like the whole thing is just losing steam.  You used to need 100 new photos a month,  now you need 1,000, next year I calculate you will have to upload 1,000,000 new images a month to succeed .  Ok I made that all up, but you get the point. This thing is steadily ceasing to make sense.



So true.. and the image libraries started out with 40k images, then 80k, then 1 million, then 1.2 million, it's crazy.. plus what started out as the big six, will slowly become the big seven, the big eight, the big nine.. we can't ALL make money with market saturation at these levels!

« Reply #119 on: September 09, 2009, 13:04 »
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I just want a place where small contributors can play.  I can compete on quality, but not on quantity.


hqimages

  • www.draiochtwebdesign.com
« Reply #120 on: September 09, 2009, 13:13 »
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I just want a place where small contributors can play.  I can compete on quality, but not on quantity.



Me too! A web site with a cap would be great, set a cap of 1k images per person, and if you want to add more, then delete some first.. if supply was restricted, the price would go up.. never going to happen tho, the web sites just want to say 'we have the biggest database of images in the world', there's nothing in it for them to control supply unless EVERYONE does it, which also will never happen..

It has to implode at some point though.. if the pro's can't sustain the work it currently takes to make it full-time, it will implode.

« Reply #121 on: September 09, 2009, 13:17 »
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I just want a place where small contributors can play.  I can compete on quality, but not on quantity.

Sounds like you should try macro instead..

« Reply #122 on: September 09, 2009, 13:18 »
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I just want a place where small contributors can play.  I can compete on quality, but not on quantity.
I upload less than 60 a month now, quantity doesn't matter as long as enough buyers want what you upload.  Alamy has over 16 million images and I get sales there with a portfolio of 250.  The micros are easier than alamy.

hqimages

  • www.draiochtwebdesign.com
« Reply #123 on: September 09, 2009, 13:23 »
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I just want a place where small contributors can play.  I can compete on quality, but not on quantity.
I upload less than 60 a month now, quantity doesn't matter as long as enough buyers want what you upload.  Alamy has over 16 million images and I get sales there with a portfolio of 250.  The micros are easier than alamy.

You know, I should bite the bullet this year and give it a go! The up-sizing thing is scary it always puts me off, I should try it tho!  :)

« Reply #124 on: September 09, 2009, 13:36 »
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I too looked at Alamy but forgot about it when I saw the upsizing requirement.  Not only is it very time consuming, and possibly requires buying a high-quality upsizing tool, but it's completely pointless and in fact counterproductive. Alamy could easily upsize images on demand, on their servers, if the customer insists on a monster image and won't do it themselves.

The goofy upsizing requirements gave me an image of Alamy as being seriously  out-of-date and not going anywhere.  Maybe I'm wrong.


 

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