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Author Topic: Positive next steps : other photo sales, gigs, agency prioritisation etc  (Read 1828 times)

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« on: March 23, 2021, 03:48 »
0
With 2021 mostly being dismal in stock earnings so far what positive steps have you taken to maintain or grow earnings? Some options I've seen people take

1. cut out low paying agencies completely
2. This is the new normal, make more stuff, put it on all agencies
3. Started something new like book covers - brutallyhonestmicrostock.com style
4. Focussed more on inperson shooting gigs
5. Left this side of the business entirely
6. Go to aggregators like blackbox, wirestock etc

Hopefully some postive way forward stuff

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« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2021, 04:20 »
+9
With 2021 mostly being dismal in stock earnings so far what positive steps have you taken to maintain or grow earnings? Some options I've seen people take

1. cut out low paying agencies completely
2. This is the new normal, make more stuff, put it on all agencies
3. Started something new like book covers - brutallyhonestmicrostock.com style
4. Focussed more on inperson shooting gigs
5. Left this side of the business entirely
6. Go to aggregators like blackbox, wirestock etc

Hopefully some postive way forward stuff

Sent from my SM-G996B using Tapatalk

Aggregators do not increase your income, but decrease (taking their % cut for nothing)

« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2021, 05:48 »
+2
As a "part timer/hobbyist" I am rarely producing any new content but still unploading to the usual suspects when I do. Actually this month is showing signs of picking up and overall my income has not declined as much as I deserve considering my lack of effort. In the UK we are still not allowed out of our local area when we are I think I might do a bit more of stuff I enjoy.

« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2021, 06:46 »
+4
I always say cut out the worst agencies entirely and only give the lower RPD sub sites work that is several years old at least. To make this work you have to be quite organised so you can keep uploading regularly your new stuff to the best paying (per download) sites and your oldest stuff to the lower paying sites.

It will take some nerve in the beginning because it means pausing uploads entirely to some of the best earning sites for some time to make them fall behind the better RPD sites with your content, but it really works to increase your overall income. It has meant I have been able to grow my earnings consistently for many years and been able to maintain a six figure salary for 8+ years.

We are in the business of licensing intellectual property. Think of it like film companies did pre Covid. The Cinema release of a film brings in a load of cash (high RPD sites) then eventually it goes to streaming rentals or Netflix (low RPD sites). The rentals may even bring in more money in the long run, but you dont need to miss out on the chunk from those willing to pay more. If we all did this we would also eventually ensure the best RPD sites have the best and freshest content on an ongoing basis, so buyers prepared to pay for that go there while those who just need good enough older stuff can stick to the cheaper subs offerings.

I know I am about to get a load of but these sites are my best earners, I dont care about RPD only what I make overall on a site, responses. Ask yourself how well that has been working for you, or them, lately.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2021, 07:14 by Justanotherphotographer »

« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2021, 10:24 »
+5
In today's world stock/micro stock is really nothing more than a Ponzi scheme.

At first there appears to be amazing "growth" potential and there often is for the first few hundred images because you started from zero, but after a while you get thousands of images up and it simply stops "growing" and levels off even if you actively contribute.

3. Started something new like book covers - brutallyhonestmicrostock.com style <<< BTW there is nothing new or nothing style about this.

1. cut out low paying agencies completely <<< name one high paying agency as there are none around anymore.

6. Go to aggregators like blackbox, wirestock etc <<< and give another 15% of already pathetic royalty rates.



« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2021, 11:06 »
+1
There was this whole deal that going to aggregators like blackbox would help earn more in places like shutterstock with the new levels. Also aids discoverability

However I'd much rather have control over my assets.



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« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2021, 11:41 »
+3
In today's world stock/micro stock is really nothing more than a Ponzi scheme.
Absolutely not ::). Earlier contributors are not paid with funds from the more recent contributors.

« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2021, 12:07 »
0
...

Aggregators do not increase your income, but decrease (taking their % cut for nothing)

hoist on your own petard!   if they take 15% then YOUR income is increasing by 85% of their sales!

« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2021, 12:13 »
0
...


I know I am about to get a load of but these sites are my best earners, I dont care about RPD only what I make overall on a site, responses. Ask yourself how well that has been working for you, or them, lately.

this assumes that sales on a low earning site are reducing your sales on other sites but there's no evidence this is the case - eg when you eliminate low earners do your other sites increase?

also, sales on different sites are not all the same - my best sellers on adobe are mostly different from sales on SS, pond, DT et al

people complain about reductins on sites, but forgo the passive(admittedly small) income from low-earners

« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2021, 12:15 »
+1
<<< name one high paying agency as there are none around anymore.


so why all the vitriol spent on SS when 'everbodys doing it'?

« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2021, 14:55 »
0
<<< name one high paying agency as there are none around anymore.


so why all the vitriol spent on SS when 'everbodys doing it'?
I would say its particularly irksome when they do it because they don't really need to and as market leaders they set the trends.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2021, 15:05 »
0
...

Aggregators do not increase your income, but decrease (taking their % cut for nothing)

hoist on your own petard!   if they take 15% then YOUR income is increasing by 85% of their sales!

And a small second note. Through aggregators, I get a higher level for pay, that might make up the 15% compensation? Might, I won't say it does for sure.

But one thing for sure, for me, I now contribute to four agencies that I don't have any account and wouldn't. I get paid whenever the total from all the places I check off, adds up to $35, not when it reaches $100. There are some benefits beyond what someone short sighted says "but they take 15%" because they also give back in many ways as well.

In today's world stock/micro stock is really nothing more than a Ponzi scheme.

1. cut out low paying agencies completely <<< name one high paying agency as there are none around anymore.


Always was a kind of like a Ponzi scheme... with impossible unsustainable increases and growth.  Promises of making easy money and people suggesting how they made such good money, to lure new victims.

Can't name one. You're right. If someone can, I want to join.

Someone left out POD sites, which can be interesting for some sales. And I didn't see mention of that cesspool Etsy.

« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2021, 16:54 »
+2
In today's world stock/micro stock is really nothing more than a Ponzi scheme.
Absolutely not ::). Earlier contributors are not paid with funds from the more recent contributors.

You are being too literal. Just sayin.

« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2021, 21:45 »
0
...

Aggregators do not increase your income, but decrease (taking their % cut for nothing)

hoist on your own petard!   if they take 15% then YOUR income is increasing by 85% of their sales!

And a small second note. Through aggregators, I get a higher level for pay, that might make up the 15% compensation? Might, I won't say it does for sure.

But one thing for sure, for me, I now contribute to four agencies that I don't have any account and wouldn't. I get paid whenever the total from all the places I check off, adds up to $35, not when it reaches $100. There are some benefits beyond what someone short sighted says "but they take 15%" because they also give back in many ways as well.

In today's world stock/micro stock is really nothing more than a Ponzi scheme.

1. cut out low paying agencies completely <<< name one high paying agency as there are none around anymore.


Always was a kind of like a Ponzi scheme... with impossible unsustainable increases and growth.  Promises of making easy money and people suggesting how they made such good money, to lure new victims.

Can't name one. You're right. If someone can, I want to join.

Someone left out POD sites, which can be interesting for some sales. And I didn't see mention of that cesspool Etsy.
What is a POD site?

Would Adobe not be part of the decent paying site (definitely not high). But thats per sale, definitely not yet at a total level

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Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2021, 08:40 »
+1
...

Aggregators do not increase your income, but decrease (taking their % cut for nothing)

hoist on your own petard!   if they take 15% then YOUR income is increasing by 85% of their sales!

And a small second note. Through aggregators, I get a higher level for pay, that might make up the 15% compensation? Might, I won't say it does for sure.

But one thing for sure, for me, I now contribute to four agencies that I don't have any account and wouldn't. I get paid whenever the total from all the places I check off, adds up to $35, not when it reaches $100. There are some benefits beyond what someone short sighted says "but they take 15%" because they also give back in many ways as well.

In today's world stock/micro stock is really nothing more than a Ponzi scheme.

1. cut out low paying agencies completely <<< name one high paying agency as there are none around anymore.


Always was a kind of like a Ponzi scheme... with impossible unsustainable increases and growth.  Promises of making easy money and people suggesting how they made such good money, to lure new victims.

Can't name one. You're right. If someone can, I want to join.

Someone left out POD sites, which can be interesting for some sales. And I didn't see mention of that cesspool Etsy.
What is a POD site?

Would Adobe not be part of the decent paying site (definitely not high). But thats per sale, definitely not yet at a total level

Sent from my SM-G996B using Tapatalk

Print on Demand - like Fine Art America and they are not great. The only part I've found to be interesting is, I upload, they make the product and ship and send me the amount I've selected for my commission, over the costs. They don't do very much marketing, we'd have to do that ourselves. Not a way to make a living, just that I get $20 now and then and someone has one of my prints, or something else, with my image. https://pete-klinger.pixels.com/ For example, Pixels makes, more than the prints, puzzles, comforters, shower curtains, bags... and does all the production and shipping. Again: not a solid source of sustainable income. Just something extra.

Just what you wrote. I find Adobe very fair and much like Microstock used to be, per sale, but on a total level, I don't see them or any agency that's like things used to be. Not a big whine and complaint. Competition, too many artists and images, has driven the prices and values for our work down. The market has matured. I won't say anything is bad or impossible, but for someone new, they should keep looking for something other than stock images.

In today's world stock/micro stock is really nothing more than a Ponzi scheme.
Absolutely not ::). Earlier contributors are not paid with funds from the more recent contributors.

You are being too literal. Just sayin.

Yes that's why I used "kind of like" a Ponzi. Kind of like a MLM, but not.

But the promise of income or earning wages came from contributors, not the agencies. I never saw any agency saw, you can earn a living doing Microstock. I did see that in books, blogs and on the forums. The agencies pretty much all had referral income, pay for recruiting new contributors. That ended when they had enough of us.

<<< name one high paying agency as there are none around anymore.


so why all the vitriol spent on SS when 'everbodys doing it'?


I've asked that question for a long time, and there has never been an answer except "we're not talking about the other agencies". SS is the poster child for Microstock agency hate and frustration. But they worked harder to earn that position. Meanwhile, 2c downloads and connect sales for fractions of a cent with 2 or 3 zeros, and that's ignored?

Sad but true, everybody is doing it... to us. There are no high paying agencies, when it comes to overall earnings. What did people call it for all those years, as sales dropped and dropped? Dilution!  :) The slice of the pie keeps getting smaller. And now, the commissions for those smaller slices, have also been cut thinner.

We've been sold some magic beans and they got the cow. Self feeding social hype gave us A Worthless Treasure, that many people worked very hard to accumulate. Thought of building a sustainable long term return on creating a collection, but we based that on prices and values remaining the same. So not only do we get less money, but less downloads as well.

Keep up or get out of the way...  ;D

There are probably other opportunities in other areas, but stock photography is not a growth area and hasn't been for some years. (for most people)
« Last Edit: March 24, 2021, 08:42 by Uncle Pete »

« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2021, 22:31 »
+1
It's interesting that no one has mentioned that they'll start doing shoots once the pandemic ends. That still seems to be the way pros earn

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« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2021, 09:31 »
+5

We've been sold some magic beans and they got the cow. Self feeding social hype gave us A Worthless Treasure, that many people worked very hard to accumulate. Thought of building a sustainable long term return on creating a collection, but we based that on prices and values remaining the same. So not only do we get less money, but less downloads as well.

This is the nub of it, Pete. At least for old-timers like me.

I'm lucky in that all my stock production has been done primarily "for fun" and not mainly "for profit." A classic hobbyist making money doing the things I love to do and would be doing anyway. So I don't have a lot to complain about.

But there was once upon a time long, long ago some notion that one's growing collection of salable images might add up over the years to something like an annuity. You do the work when you're best able to do it, and then you can reap at least some small rewards later in life, when you're least able to do it.

Doesn't seem to be working out that way for me. Probably not for you either.


« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2021, 10:57 »
+2
Martha, that sums up exactly my position. Very disappointing that by the time I retire, which isn't that far away, I will have very little income from my portfolio to supplement my pension.

« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2021, 01:49 »
+1
Martha, that sums up exactly my position. Very disappointing that by the time I retire, which isn't that far away, I will have very little income from my portfolio to supplement my pension.

Exactly. I'm already at that stage, so I can tell you it's a real situation.

Good luck to you as you approach my stage of life and my situation.

« Reply #19 on: March 29, 2021, 06:40 »
0
Do webcam work

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2021, 11:22 »
0

We've been sold some magic beans and they got the cow. Self feeding social hype gave us A Worthless Treasure, that many people worked very hard to accumulate. Thought of building a sustainable long term return on creating a collection, but we based that on prices and values remaining the same. So not only do we get less money, but less downloads as well.

This is the nub of it, Pete. At least for old-timers like me.

I'm lucky in that all my stock production has been done primarily "for fun" and not mainly "for profit." A classic hobbyist making money doing the things I love to do and would be doing anyway. So I don't have a lot to complain about.

But there was once upon a time long, long ago some notion that one's growing collection of salable images might add up over the years to something like an annuity. You do the work when you're best able to do it, and then you can reap at least some small rewards later in life, when you're least able to do it.

Doesn't seem to be working out that way for me. Probably not for you either.

YES!  :) I mean NO, it hasn't been working at all. I'm happy to be creating anything, but I see no long term future for any of this, anymore.

It's interesting that no one has mentioned that they'll start doing shoots once the pandemic ends. That still seems to be the way pros earn


I know it's mostly, just people like me, but no access for a year, meant nothing new and from the latest, media is still restricted to major outlets. Doesn't matter that we're getting better and getting vaccinations, I'm looking at another year of nothing new. I wonder if two years is "once the pandemic ends" or if that will be three years. Who can survive and grow or at least produce new, if they have to sit idle for three years?

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #21 on: March 30, 2021, 02:54 »
0
My plan is to just work more hours, try and keep up with the percentage increase of content on the agencies for as long as possible. Should work for a few years, and hopefully it will give me time to come up with some kind of super-duper After Effects template (or two) that I can live off for a while. 

« Reply #22 on: March 30, 2021, 07:00 »
0
My plan is to just work more hours, try and keep up with the percentage increase of content on the agencies for as long as possible. Should work for a few years, and hopefully it will give me time to come up with some kind of super-duper After Effects template (or two) that I can live off for a while.
That seems to be the only way out i guess. Moving to greener pastures like after effect templates or better production value vidoes like drone shots in smaller markets

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